Getting a different team to take over an application brings in challenges from multiple perspectives. There will be differences around processes, engineering as well as culture. Larger transfers would also involve changes to infrastructure. For long, the industry has done a disservice to this field by calling it Knowledge Transfer. Knowledge Transfer, is but a subset of the scope of activities involved in this exercise. We propose to rename this as Ownership Transfer.
In specific - we put this process into practice with one of our customers. After more than 5 years of supporting the platform, ThoughtWorks worked with The customer teams to transfer knowledge and context back to the customer. A few highlights on the application.
• More than 80% of all online ticket sales are done through this application
• More than 400,000 visits a day
• Close to 5 billion USD of ticket sales
• More than 70 VMs supporting the production application
• Upwards of 300 VMs supporting other development and testing environments
A few highlights on the program,
• More than 150 IT members involved in the program
• A ramp-down was part of the process to get the final numbers to about 60
• The transfer had to occur from Bangalore back to London
• Infrastructure had to re-optimised from Bangalore over to London
• Two organisations were involved viz. ThoughtWorks and the customer
Since both Bangalore and London were following agile practices, the teams decided to utilise core agile concepts to effect the transfer. This became all the more important as business required critical features to be delivered on a continuous basis. 
Before we started off on this exercise, we created a methodology to effect the transfer. This methodology is fairly context agnostic and should support a healthy, sustainable and mature way to transfer ownership. The transition itself was about a year long and involved multiple aspects around agile such as remote pairing, program MVP and above all, continuous delivery and non-disruption to business through the process.
The session will introduce a framework that can be applied to most Ownership Transfer situations. In particular, this will be of interest to groups who are looking to transfer ownership from one team to another. These could be from a development team to a support team, or from one vendor to another as well. This will also provide insights on transferring ownership across distributed teams.  


Outline/Structure of the Talk

  • We start off by giving real life example of a similar program
  • Discuss on why not enough thought is rendered to these exercises, even though there is a lot of risk associated with them
  • Delve into the different dimensions on an exercise such as this

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the larger scope of a Knowledge Transfer exercise
  • Utilise Agile methodologies to effect a program at this scale
  • Understand how we can utilise distributed development for ownership transfer
  • Discuss on true effort for a large program. Understand how Agile Fluency gaps can have an impact apart from domain and technical skill gap

Target Audience

Senior IT Executives, Scrum Masters, Program Managers

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

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