Scrum Dev : An effort towards Developer Friendly Scrum Practices
When faced with some challenge we try various things and finally find one silver bullet. Further we make use of the same silver bullet by incorporating it as part of Process and make it a rule to follow.
SCRUM as a framework has originated in similar situations and become the silver bullet for avoiding the ills of waterfall method. Scrum is successful and now widely used within multiple organizations.
Since SCRUM is almost 20 years old and 20 years of usage must have generated enormous feedback for the framework itself. Maybe it’s time to look at those feedbacks and do a retrospective on the way we’re using SCRUM.
My experience with multiple scrum projects taught me that one of the biggest de-motivating factor of working with scrum sprints are their monotonous nature of work. The sprint cycles with sprint planning and retrospectives becomes too repetitive to keep up the initial momentum.
We use the word “Just for change” quiet often for our own well being and happiness. SCRUM Dev is the same “Just for change” development practices incorporated within sprints.
These sprints contain unplanned working to themed based working which breaks the monotonous cycle of work and help maintaining the team momentum. At the same time it also benefits the product and its quality.
Outline/structure of the Session
1. Introduction & Reason for having Scrum Dev - 10 Mins
2. Problem associated with monotonous working environments - 5 minutes
3. Scrum Dev recommendations of Unplanned & Themed Sprint - 20 Minutes
4. Conclusion and Q&A - 10 minutes
Scrum Dev is an effort to improve the development practices which breaks the monotonous aspect of working.
I’ll share with the audiences my experience of using Scrum Dev at some places. The audiences will know the results of experiments and the thought process behind that.
This may also encourage Agile Practitioners to look at their own agile way of working for new experiments
All Agile Practitioners, Enthusiasts, Thinkers and Fence sitters
schedule Submitted 1 year ago
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We're living in the days of fusion where fusions have created extremely useful products. There are fusions like western music with Indian classical, Pizza with Indian dishes like Paneer etc to name a few.
Scrumban is also a fusion generated by combining the best practices of Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is an excellent framework for delivering the software by using iterative incremental way while kanban "Just in Time" technique enables us to handle on demand agility for frequently changing and dynamic working environments.
Scrum framework consists of artifacts and roles while kanban is a visual board which deals with Work in the form of Work in Progress limits. There are situations where our product development environment faces ever changing priority and requirements.
ScrumBan is an effort to combine the iterative development and role based responsibilities of Scrum along with capability to handle the adaptive dynamics of Kanban.
Scrumban can be used effectively for product development as well as for maintenance purposes. In scrumban we do a Release Planning but not sprint planning. Planning on Demand is the characteristics of Scrumban where based on the items on the Scrumban board we decide to do planning or product demonstrations.
Scrumban also imbibes some new concepts of release planning called Triage & feature freeze which greatly improves the product quality.
Transformation - The Devil is in the ExecutionJayaprakash Puttaswamy
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This talk is an experience sharing session about what it takes to realize business benefits in a large-scale (beyond 100 people) agile transformation. Having driven more than 4 large-scale transformation initiatives (of scales 160 to 700 people) over last 5 years, I would be sharing a couple of case-studies where I worked recently and I would discuss various challenges of implementing large-scale transformation and possible approaches to handle them. Participants would be engaged through interactive discussions on mutual experience sharing with a focus on key dimensions of agile execution.
As the title reveals, the talk would focus more on execution challenges and approaches to handle them at all levels of stakeholders involved in a transformation. Levels include developers, architects, managers (project/engineering), senior management (delivery/program management, directors) and CXO's. More details in Outline section.
The key dimensions to be covered include
- Building and sustaining learning culture (approaches include Community of Practice, Guilds and Joint Workshops)
- Causing the mindset shift in engineers (different approaches for developers, architects and engineering managers)
- Enabling managers to create and nurture agile engineering culture (approaches include effective metrics about quality of code, tests, application and build)
- Inverting the Test Pyramid (approaches include test automation strategies, BDD, dealing with Legacy using Strangler pattern, Component Guardian pattern)
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Let's solve a practical problem together using Lean PrinciplesVijay Bandaru
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This topic has popped up in my mind through an observation of a practical problem I found yesterday. I thought to apply some lean principles to resolve this problem. I am proposing the problem statement here in this forum and the idea is to have an interactive workshop to come up with possible solutions to address this problem using Lean thinking/principles. Here are the details.
Yesterday I visited Hyderabad Zoo (Nehru zoological Park) along with my cousins families. We are 12 members including adults and children. Earlier till November 2014, visitors cars were directly allowed inside with an additional fee of 200 rupees per car. I visited the Zoo before 2014 November and it was an awesome experience going by our own car and stop wherever you want for however long you want. Now, as they stopped allowing private cars inside, they arranged electric cars rides inside the Zoo. Below is the process and problem statement that I observed.
1. The fee for one adult is 50 Rs and child is 30 Rs for Electric car
2. Tickets will be given only at the entrance of the Zoo that is located outside the compound wall (You will not know how many members are waiting for electric cars inside)
3. Tickets once sold cannot be refunded or exchanged
4. There are limited electric cars available to cater the crowd (I got the info that around 25 cars)
5. Each ride takes 40 minutes. It will stop at various locations where you can get down the car and visit the animals and come back to go to next stop
6. Each car can take up to 12 members including the driver (
7. You have to get onto the car at only one starting location and get down at the same point after the ride is complete. If you want to give away the ride in between its fine up to you
The problems I observed and want to solve these problems by applying lean principles:
1. At the time of buying the tickets:
a. I did not have any clue on how many cars are there inside
b. How long each trip takes
c. How many members are in waiting
d. Whether I can take the car and leave it at some place and visit the animals and by the time I come back after my visit there can be some other car available to take me to next stop or not
2. I had to wait more than 1.5 hours to get my turn to have a car available
3. The driver told that if I can give him 300 Extra we can take our own time to visit and he will not mind (this is the primary cause of the long queues I observed)
4. Weekend visitors are more than 2 times of weekday visitors
5. The queue is not properly managed so at times I observed people are joining in the middle of the queue and making it even more worst
What I want to resolve:
1. Reduce the waiting time
2. Address the loophole of extending the ride by giving bribe to the car driver
3. Address the queue management inconsistencies
Lean Scrum - The need of the hour
The 2015 state of scrum report published by Scrum Alliance states that the outlook of scrum is highly favourable. Virtually all consider it likely that their organization will use scrum in future. While this is good, the survey also noted one of the key challenges observed by survey respondents as “Product owners and teams were just not willing and/or enthusiastic about Scrum best practices”. Thus, although scrum methodologies have greatly increased productivity, scrum is not without its problems. We need to quickly address this gap.
Keeping scrum values at the core, scrum methodology is mostly visible to teams on the ground in terms of three pillars (1) Scrum roles (2) Scrum artifacts and (3) Scrum events. While Scrum has kept scrum roles and scrum artifacts lean, it has empowered teams on the ground to learn the art of performing scrum. Scrum prescribed guidance on scrum events with clear purpose, frequency, maximum duration and recommended attendees. It recommends teams to learn the art of performing scrum events through their experience stating “scrum is easy to understand and difficult to implement”
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As part of this talk, I will share my experiential insights on
- Outlook of scrum is highly favourable. Although scrum methodologies have greatly increased productivity, scrum is not without its problems. We need to quickly address these gaps
- While scrum has kept scrum roles and scrum artifacts lean, it has empowered teams on the ground to learn the art of performing scrum events. Are we keeping these events lean and Valuable?
- Lean scrum – The need of the hour
- What is Lean Scrum
- Anti-Patterns/Most frequently faced challenges/ wastes experienced by scrum teams in each of the scrum events (case findings based on my experience)
- Where do the scrum teams stand on "expected scrum patterns" in each of the scrum events (case findings based on my experience)
- Leverage "Lean Framework" to craft scrum events towards value generation. How to draw "AS-IS" and "TO-BE" Value stream management maps for two scrum events.
- Leverage "Lean framework" to help scrum teams to learn the art of performing scrum events through realizing value and enhancing their reach on "expected scrum patterns".
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software” The term value is increasingly becoming starting point of what we do. We need to keep questioning everything we do using customer value generation as the yard stick
Unless, we drive scrum events towards value generation by continuously eliminating waste/ anti patterns, there is no surprise that “Product owners and teams were just not willing and/or enthusiastic about Scrum best practices” as observed by "The 2015 state of scrum" report.
This is where Lean-scrum could prove to be powerful...
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With many organization moving to Agile environment, it is important to have a model that can help us identify if the Agile Transformation is resulting in the expected outcome. This session would present different measurement models to measure the outcome of Agile transformation in an organization.
The paper covers various measurement models that can be used during different phases of Agile transformation. The session also presents outcome of a survey conducted by the author on how different organizations, Agile coaches & leaders are measuring effectiveness of their Agile implementation. It would present a research on how different organization perceive success of Agile adoption, what are the parameters used by different organizations and how different people present the changes observed by adopting Agile environment.
e.g. 20% respondents each said ‘Delivery cycle time’ & ‘Delivering business value’ as the key parameters. And other 20% mentioned ‘Working Software’ / ‘Customer Satisfaction’ & ‘Reduction in defects, waste & risks’ as the parameters for measuring success of Agile.
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Building Cross functional teams by example.
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- They are flexible to adapt to changing market needs
- They develop innovative products more quickly
- They span across organization boundaries
- They improve problem solving and lead to more thorough decision making
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Building CFTs is an art and nurturing collaboration among CFTs is even more challenging. In this talk, I will explain about
(1) Building Cross Functional Teams by Example
(2) Nurturing Cross-functional Team Collaboration
(3) Imperative elements that need to be considered for succeeding with cross functional teams. Without proper attention to these elements, any cross-functional team will be fighting an uphill battle to succeed.
Ineffective release planning makes teams oscillate instead of iterate
Although agile methodologies have greatly increased productivity, Agile is not without its problems. Agile recommends adaptive planning through its multi-level planning events. Agile planning is expected to remain relevant in guiding teams till their destination as it incorporates the then risks, issues, assumptions and constraints into consideration while planning at last responsible moments.
While it appears good on paper, I find challenges involved in this approach. Scrum teams on the ground may mostly focus their efforts on their team specific daily and sprint targets. They lack common understanding of team expectations on what is probable product that they think is possible at the moment with the list of the then risks, assumptions, constraints and dependencies. To be precise, teams on the ground lack this bottom up view of the integrated probable product in next 2 to 4 months
On the other hand, enterprises spend efforts and money for their strategy, portfolio and product planning exercises. The result is that these planning events tell the top down view of “Where Product owner want to take the product to be?”
When top down view and bottom up view are not properly balanced with proper discussion among stakeholders during release planning exercise, we see teams oscillating instead of iterating witnessing below symptoms.
- Teams slips on their release forecast
- Cross team dependencies are detected towards end of the release and there was not much time available to resolve those dependencies within the release
- Key decisions that were supposed to be taken during release planning exercise, would be taken up towards final sprints.
- Risks are identified towards the end and this gives less room to mitigate the risks
When these symptoms recur periodically, as an enterprise, we would not be in position to provide the expected functionality to the end users. This may ultimately hit team’s morale and enterprise brand. Part of this chaotic pattern may be attributed to agile planning events.
This can be overcome if we perform release planning exercise effectively. But surprisingly, not much literature is available on how to perform release planning exercise even though everybody underlines its importance. In result, we see anti patterns keep creeping and they derail release planning objectives.
In this talk, I will be listing potential probable anti patterns that can derail teams from achieving their expected outcomes. I will introduce each pattern in the format
- Potential Impact
- How to address this anti-pattern
If performed well, release planning exercise makes stakeholders meet together and discuss the challenges involved in unifying the top down understanding of “What the product Owner wants the product to be” with the bottom up understanding of “what the development teams thinks as the possible product scope that can be accomplished”. This inturn will be input to upcoming product planning events. Release planning thus acts as a guide post to baseline current understanding of team expectations on what is probable product that they think is possible at the moment with the list of the then risks, assumptions, constraints and dependencies.
Gamification –an essential element for vibrant retrospectives.Madhavi Ledalla
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Over the years, my experience has been that retrospectives can get monotonous with time, and hence tend to become ineffective. The more I engaged with the process, the more I felt the need to revolutionize the process, bring out something new, fun, and exciting to make the retrospectives vibrant. The other interesting aspect I came across during my research into the subject was the theory of gamification and the universality of its application.
During this session the audience will understand how the concept of gamification brings in a completely different dimension of thinking while maintaining the element of fun as we try and apply it to a few everyday situations!
I have leveraged Luke Hohmann’s Innovation Games, The Conteneo Collaboration Could platform for this concept of gamification so that distributed teams can benefit by this.
Enterprise Agility - Not a CakewalkVijay Bandaru
schedule 1 year agoSold Out!
I worked as a coach and have experience ranging from team level to large scale agile transformation that involves:
- Multiple teams from different locations
- Different cultures
- Variety of structures
- Component teams
- Strong silo working culture
- Legacy code base
- Different release schedules and processes
- Wide range of tools
- And many other challenges
As part of working on the assignments to help the organizations transforming into agile, I had come across various anti patterns and road blocks at various
levels. These anti patterns are very critical to understand and help the organizations to tackle them effectively without compromising on the core agile
values and principles.
It is very easy for any organization to kick off the transformation but it is very hard to maintain the sustainability and become a matured agile organization. During this period there will be many traps that will force the organization to take a U turn and get back to where they started. Lot of effort, money and time gets wasted in this process. It is important to understand the key areas of enterprise agile pathway and decide the roadmap for the transformation with a clear vision and goal. Periodic inspection and adaption is also critical in this whole process to successfully achieve the vision and goal of transformation. top to bottom of the organization will play very vital role in this journey, without proper collaboration, communication and understanding among these teams, organization cannot transform.
Once the transformation kicked off, organization will go through a whole set of different challenges during their release planning, sprint ceremonies, collaboration issues, cross location team challenges, tools and processes and these are also critical humps to crossover successfully.
Another important area that usually will not get enough importance in transformation is the "communication" part. Agile emphasizes more on "face to face" communication. But is it just enough talking face to face? Conflict --> Communication --> collaboration --> Value delivery. This path has to be clearly understood at all levels of organization.
My topic is going to cover these anti patterns that I had come across in my coaching experience and share them with the audience. As part of this session, I am also planning to conduct a survey to see how many of these anti patterns are common to the organizations that are transforming into Agile. I will collect the survey information from the participants by providing them a quick hand copy of the survey form. This information will help me for my paper that is in progress on the "Enterprise Agile Transformation".
I am also planning to have some activities within the session by giving the audience some challenges of transformation and try to find suggestions to arrive at solutions to tackle those challenges. This part will make the session interactive and two-way knowledge sharing.
The anti patterns will be mostly around the following categories:
- Management responsibility
- Structural challenges
- Product teams
- Portfolio management
- Scrum teams
- Scrum Master
- Support teams (Sales, Marketing, HR, Admin etc)
- Continuous improvement
I will also cover, what was done for some of the key anti-patterns to address them as part of the transformation engagements.