Why we got rid of SCRUM to become agile again

Agile is not about doing scrum, kanban, lean or any other flavour of the process.  An organization cannot be “doing” agile, they must “be” agile.  They must believe in and understand the agile principles.  

After going through a successful agile transformation and running scrum for 3 years we realized that it’s just not working for us anymore.  The team was suffering from scrum fatigue.  It felt like there was a sprint planning, stand up or retrospective meeting happening all the time.  

We decided to take a hard look at how we were working and turn it on its head.  We looked at all the different agile options such as scrum, kanban, lean, xp, etc and decided to take the best parts from all of these instead of sticking with one approach.  This session will take you through our journey and share what worked for us that could also work in your organization.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

We adopted agile and scrum in our organization over 4 years ago.  While it had great initial benefits and allowed us to truly embrace the spirit of agile at the beginning, it has become stale and people have started forgetting why we did it in the first place.  Agile and specifically scrum fatigue started to set in.  The teams became too focused with the scrum ceremonies and started losing sight of the true meaning of agile.  In this talk I will go over several scenarios we experienced in our day to day that clearly went against the agile philosophy and mindset and what we had to do in order to get the agile mindset back.  The session will have the following format:

    • Introduction - Discuss the challenges facing us when I joined the company and and some of the steps we took in order to get us working better and creating a great software product.
    • The Challenge - Discuss the challenges we faced as we kept growing in a pretty rapid pace
    • The Solution - Once we realized that the process was no longer working for us, we had to get together as a team and really evaluate our process.  
      • The following are some of the typical SCRUM ceremonies we eliminated:
        • Sprint planning sessions
        • Bi-weekly iteration cycle
        • Story estimates by team
      • We did keep the following (with some adjustments):
        • Daily standups
        • Retrospectives
      • We adopted the following from Kanban:
        • WIP limits on board columns
        • Tracking story lifecycle rather than story points
        • Focus on completing stories by team members removing obstacles and bottlenecks
      • We also started experimenting with pair and mob programming at times
    • Conclusion  - Where we are today

 

Learning Outcome

Attendees of this session will:

    • Learn what worked for us and what didn’t in hopes of implementing or changing their own process
    • Be encouraged to evaluate their process and ask questions.  Determine if what they do works and helps their team members and end users
    • Be exposed to different types of agile processes in order to help them understand what may work for them in their organization

Target Audience

Scrum masters, Product Owners, Development & QA Managers

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Niranjan N V
    By Niranjan N V  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ron,

    The topic is interesting. It would be better to mention some of the techniques or practices used in the outline. It would really help if you can also attach the presentation deck. It might be good if you can mention some uniques practices implemented as this is not a new topic.

    Regards

    Niranjan

    • Ron Ijack
      By Ron Ijack  ~  7 months ago
      reply Reply
      Hi Niranjan,
      I have added some details in terms of the changes we made.  Unfortunately, I cannot attach the deck at this point.  Hope this helps.

      Ron

      On Sat, Nov 19, 2016 at 10:21 AM, Agile India 2017 <info@confengine.com> wrote:
      Dear Ron Ijack,

      Your proposal Why we got rid of SCRUM to become agile again has received a new comment from niranjan-n-v

      Hi Ron,

      The topic is interesting. It would be better to mention some of the techniques or practices used in the outline. It would really help if you can also attach the presentation deck. It might be good if you can mention some uniques practices implemented as this is not a new topic.

      Regards

      Niranjan


      Visit https://confengine.com/agile-india-2017/proposal/3348#comments to respond to the suggestion OR simply reply to this email (Please make sure, you delete the previous comment's content from the email before replying.)

      Regards,
      Agile India 2017 Team
      naresh@agileindia.org
      https://confengine.com
      You have received this important update from ConfEngine on behalf of Agile India 2017.
      Download ConfEngine's Mobile App to totally personalise your conference experience.
      If you are 100% sure, that this email was sent to you by mistake, please click here to unsubscribe from all future email updates from ConfEngine.

    • Ron Ijack
      By Ron Ijack  ~  7 months ago
      reply Reply

      I have added some details in terms of the changes we made.  Unfortunately, I cannot attach the deck at this point.  Hope this helps.

  • Vinod Kumaar R
    By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ron,

    Little more idea about the solution will give more clarity. Was this topic presented anywhere or do you have a blog post or mindshare about this one that we can get an idea about the nature of the solution?

    Regards,

    Vinod

    • Ron Ijack
      By Ron Ijack  ~  7 months ago
      reply Reply

      This would be my first time presenting the topic.  Please let me know what specific information you are looking for and I would be happy to provide it

      • Vinod Kumaar R
        By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  7 months ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Ron,

        I was specifically looking to understand the solution with some examples of what worked and not.

        The reason I was looking for was in my experience; people first try by the book which will provide many learnings, when they understand the intent but not the rituals then they usually arrive at somethings that works for them. When they understand their actions and behaviours, new practices will emerge that is unique to the company but the intent will remain the same. As this is a typical path taken, insights come from specific instances and the circumstances. 

        Regards,
        Vinod

        • Ron Ijack
          By Ron Ijack  ~  7 months ago
          reply Reply
          Hi Vinod,
          I have a lot more detail in terms of the changes we made and how we implemented them but didn't want to share everything in the public description.  I would be happy to send the full summary to the selection committee if that would help clarify things.  I am also happy to get on a call/Skpye if you the team feels it would help/

          Ron

          On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 10:26 AM, Agile India 2017 <info@confengine.com> wrote:
          Dear Ron Ijack,

          Your proposal Why we got rid of SCRUM to become agile again has received a new comment from vinod-kumaar-r

          Hi Ron,

          I was specifically looking to understand the solution with some examples of what worked and not.

          The reason I was looking for was in my experience; people first try by the book which will provide many learnings, when they understand the intent but not the rituals then they usually arrive at somethings that works for them. When they understand their actions and behaviours, new practices will emerge that is unique to the company but the intent will remain the same. As this is a typical path taken, insights come from specific instances and the circumstances. 

          Regards,
          Vinod


          Visit https://confengine.com/agile-india-2017/proposal/3348#comments to respond to the suggestion OR simply reply to this email (Please make sure, you delete the previous comment's content from the email before replying.)

          Regards,
          Agile India 2017 Team
          naresh@agileindia.org
          https://confengine.com
          You have received this important update from ConfEngine on behalf of Agile India 2017.
          Download ConfEngine's Mobile App to totally personalise your conference experience.
          If you are 100% sure, that this email was sent to you by mistake, please click here to unsubscribe from all future email updates from ConfEngine.

  • Bhuwan Lodha
    By Bhuwan Lodha  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hello Ron,

     

    Interesting proposal indeed! Thanks for submitting.

    We would love to see some more details about your specific approach to agile adoption, and how your teams could overcome scrum fatigue. It would be terrific if you can update the proposal with your slide deck, or a video of some past talk on the same topic.

    Looking forward

    Bhuwan

    • Ron Ijack
      By Ron Ijack  ~  7 months ago
      reply Reply

      This would be my first time delivering this talk and I don't have a slide deck ready for it yet.  I would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have or provide more clarification


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