This is a collection of real time case studies of failed projects. It is an autopsy of these failed projects studying why these projects failed and how application of agie principles could have saved them.

It is also a study into the organizational culture, behavioral attributes and the people issues and how agile addresses them.

And finally it is a study of why doing a few projects with agile is not sufficient. How complete organizational transformation into agile practices is necessary for long term success for projects, processes and people.

 
16 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 3 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  • Introduction (5 minutes)
  • Definition of project success (2 minutes)
  • Failure Case Studies and How they could have been resolved (24 minutes)
  • Challenges with Agile Adoption and Organizational Transformation (4 minutes)
  • Agile or Fragile (5 minutes)
  • Open Discussion and Questions (5 minutes)

Learning Outcome

Agility is not a silver bullet or a panacea of organizational problems. But if applied correctly, it can resolve a majority of software delivery related challenges. And majority of these challenges (if not all) are people related.

Leaders get to learn how important, organizational transformation to agile processes, is.

Developers learn the people and technical challenges of software delivery and how agile principles resolve these challenges

Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters and Project Managers learn about

  1. The challenges of how inconsiderate the management can be at times, putting all the pressure on the engineering teams
  2. How unreasonable the client can be at times expecting to get results without committing to the project as long as they throw in teh moneyand how agile principles get around these issues.
  3. How Agile Principles resolve these issues, not just with the agile ceremonies but with the cultural transformation it brings

Target Audience

Leaders, Developer, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Project Managers

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Nilotpal - In addition to the questions by Naresh, I also went through your agility slide deck. You have taken 'fictitious' case studies, which I coultn't understand. It would be far more value to take real-life case studies (even if you need to mask the details) than fabricate a synthetic case study. Once you address some of these questions, it might be helpful for reviewers to take call.

     

    thanks,

    TV

    • Nilotpal Das
      By Nilotpal Das  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Tathagat,

      First of all thank you for the feedback. I have done exactly what you have said. I have taken real case studies and masked the details. Although it says "fictitious", these are real case studies. But the disclaimer is necessary because of the non disclosure we all sign. 

      Previously there were 5 case studies. I have removed 2 as per Naresh's suggestion and will be presenting only 3. I have presented 2 comfortably in 25 minutes in the Agile Day Conference 2014 (http://www.agiledayconference.com) held in Pune on 18th July 2014 and it was very well accepted. So I am pretty sure I will be able to present 3 case studies comfortably within 45 minutes.

      However, this presentation is not just about case studies. I am going to talk about why doing a few projects in Agile is not enough and how it is important for an organization to transform itself at its very DNA and mutate into an agile being ready for change.

       

  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Nilotpal,

    Thanks for your proposals. IMHO the proposal seems too ambitious, trying to cover too many topics. Can you please update your proposal explaining how much time you plan to spend on each topic (under the process section.)

    --

    Naresh Jain


  • Liked Howard Deiner
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Howard Deiner - Agility at Scale - Platform versus Product Concerns

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    A common failure mode for organizations attempting to adopt an Agile style of software development occurs when an attempt is made to “Scale Agile”. Suddenly, the organization finds that there are scheduling problems between teams. Delivery team members suddenly find that they are required to serve on several teams at once. Dependencies surface, and teams find it difficult to come together in a common cadence to produce working software in a continuously delivered fashion. Many times, these issues become so grave that the organization reverts back to the Waterfall model that they came to hate, but at least understood.

    This session explores Agile scaling concerns, and places particular emphasis on an architecturally significant distinction in the software to be created, and the components produced to allow the software to be created. That distinction revolves around cross cutting platform concerns versus product feature creation concerns. We will examine the distinctions and explore solutions that should help your organization get past these issues when it comes to portfolio management, by paying attention to extrinsic versus intrinsic value metrics.

  • Liked vinaya muralidharan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    vinaya muralidharan / Sutap - ScrumBan Recipe – A pinch of this, a handful of that

    20 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Our talk will focus on the evolution of the Agile implementation in Amdocs.

    While Kanban is widely implemented in the Amdocs Delivery unit, recently we have started experimenting with Scrum in pockets.

    Taking it a step further, not wanting to lose out on our learning from Kanban, we are trying ScrumBan in a large scale project.

    We will share the approach, the challenges and what we have adopted from Scrum and Kanban in this implementation.

    A brief introduction to Amdocs - Amdocs is a leading provider of Customer Experience systems and services in the telecommunications domain, typically doing large scale transformation projects.

  • Liked Prafulla Girgaonkar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Prafulla Girgaonkar / Naresh Jain - eXtreme Programming for ETL and Data Analytics

    45 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Over the last decade, eXtreme Programming practices like User Stories, Evolutionary Design, Test-Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Developer (BDD), Refactoring, Continuous Integration and Automation have fundamentally changed software development processes and inherently how engineers work.

    Having experienced various benefits from XP practices on our J2EE stack, our team started to apply these practices to extract, transform, and load (ETL) and Data Analytics side of our product. Unfortunately, there is very little guidance available in this context, esp. for the SAS Platform. Right from finding the unit testing framework to structuring the code to designing our modules and setting up a Continuous Integration builds, our team had to figure out everything, the hard way.

    Join us to understand the challenges we faced during this process and how we resolved these challenges.

  • Liked srinivas chillara
    keyboard_arrow_down

    srinivas chillara - Architectural hiccups (and you really shouldn't bother with sprint-0)

    45 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    While design changes can be made as we go, sprint on sprint, the poping up of architectural changes seems insurmountable. It is need not be so.

    In this session, we provide a narrative of an online gaming product developed. This is a massively multi-player online game, for casual as well as professional players (with real sustantial money). Such a product needs to grapple with non-functional imperatives well beyond the run of the mill server-side software. As the project progressed new performance and security imperatives materialised.

    How the  team made adjustments in face of changing non-functional (and some perculiar functional) imperatives is the focus of this talk.

  • Liked Alexey Ilyichev
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alexey Ilyichev - Skype goes agile: don't repeat our mistakes

    Alexey Ilyichev
    Alexey Ilyichev
    Agile Coach
    ScrumTrek
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    In 2011, I worked for Qik, a startup that got aqcuired by Skype. At that time Skype was in the middle of an agile transition. Аfter aquisition, Qik team was told to adopt the Agile process used by Skype. I worked with the team as an agile coach. After adopting Skype's "agile" process, our ability to deliver was brought down to almost zero. In this talk, I'll tell you the story as it happened, analyze the key problems that we faced and describe how we finally solved them. Come to this talk, if you want to avoid similar mistakes. If you are already through with your transition, I would be interested to know if you see any patterns. 

  • Liked Sunil Mundra
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sunil Mundra - Getting A Partner To Adopt Agile

    Sunil Mundra
    Sunil Mundra
    Principal Consultant
    ThoughtWorks
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Due to the business benefits which accrue from Agile, clients are demanding their IT Departments/Partners to adopt Agile. It is quite common to find a situation where the client has adopted Agile, but its Partner/Vendor has not.


    This talk is based on my consulting engagement with a client who had adopted Agile and their partner had not, and the client wanted the partner to Adopt Agile.


    The talk will cover the critical challenges encountered in getting the partner to adopt Agile, especially given the wide difference in cultures of both organizations and also the organizations being located in different continents. The talk will also cover the key learnings from this journey.

  • Liked Sudipta Lahiri
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sudipta Lahiri - 10 (Understated) Lessons from TPS!

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    I talk about 10 lessons from Toyota Production System that are important but not talked about.

    Lesson I: Getting the foundation right!

    Lesson II: Be patient to get the foundation right!

    Lesson III: 3S vs 2S

    Lesson IV: Three stages of Seiso

    Lesson V: Understanding Seiketsu

    Lesson VI: Implementing Shitsuke

    Lesson VII: Improvement initiatives are harder to sustain

    Lesson VIII: Keep broadcasting your success

    Lesson IX: Kaizen vs Sustenance

    Lesson X: Lessons from 3MUs and Visual Management

     

  • Liked Anand Bagmar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Anand Bagmar - The Agile “Chalta-Hai (It’s OK)” Manifesto

    45 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    The Agile Manifesto was formulated by 17 people in 2001. We know the principles of the Agile Manifesto … but do we really understand it?

    Depending on the organisation culture, the team culture and various other factors, they reach varying levels of Agile adoption. Martin Fowler talks about the levels of adoption and the path to get better via his post on “Your Path through Agile Fluency”.

    Not surprisingly, not all Agile project implementations are successful.

    This session is going to take you through a journey to talk about some of the Myths of Agile and also behaviors that inhibit organisations and teams to reach great(er) heights in Agile Fluency to achieve Agile’s benefits.  As a result, the Agile Manifesto has remained on paper, but teams have come up with their own ‘workarounds’ - which are not truly solutions to solve a complex problem well.

    We accept it because of our “chalta-hai (it’s ok)" attitude. At the end, what are we then left with? The Agile “Chalta-Hai (It's OK)” Manifesto.

  • Liked Yilmaz Guleryuz
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yilmaz Guleryuz - Fibonacci Pairing: Learning through Collaboration

    Yilmaz Guleryuz
    Yilmaz Guleryuz
    incognito
    WareNinja
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    According to many researches, we learn the best when we experience it personally, and we comprehend when we teach to someone else.

    So if you want to achieve ample understanding of a topic, you’ll need to follow these basic steps:

    "Listen -> Observe -> Do -> Share"

     

    Pair-programming is a well-known practice, and it has been introduced by one of the thought leaders of Agile world, Kent Beck. I respect any technique that encourages collaboration and interaction among teams, and gets teams to communicate better.

    However, if you want to establish understanding of mastery or a skill-set, and increase the shared knowledge across your team members, then you need to re-think & apply new techniques.

    In this talk, I’ll share about What-Why-How of "Fibonacci Pairing" technique, which is yet another discovery from practice.

    The main goal of that technique is to establish understanding and improve collaboration, without overcrowding by artificial ways like lecturing.

    Fibonacci Pairing is simple yet very effective technique that can improve team work. This technique should be regarded as a complementary way to improve team culture effectively.

    We will elaborate with practical examples, real life experiences, and applicable ways onto different contexts.

  • Liked Vishal Prasad
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Vishal Prasad - Agile Project Forecasting with Focus Factor

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    How many deliverables should we commit to our customers in, say, the next two weeks? An intriguing question asked by many Agile teams at the beginning of every iteration. The answer to this question depends largely on the team's thinking, philosophy, and skills -- which unfortunately cannot be measured. Then how do we forecast the deliverables?

    How about a mathematical formula that provides an unbiased control based on the historical achievements of the team, which can be used for prediction? That's exactly what focus factor does.

  • Liked Unnat Gupta
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Unnat Gupta / Shree Damani - Calculating RoI on Agile Enablement

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    "We want to be Agile!!...

    Why?

    Because its cool, and its becoming a norm, it will help us to cope with changing requirements, help us deliver faster etc etc."

    Isn't this a common sentiment in organizations struggling with the ever changing user/customer taste?

     

    With Agile going main-stream with most organizations looking to have at least a few business critical projects run in an Agile way, the question of ROI comes up. Shifting from a traditional way of building software to an Agile way, requires change and as any good business leader would know; change is not free. Business leaders would like to understand and justify the return on Investment to make this shift. In our talk, we will be talking about how to look at the Agile process holistically and how this process affects budgeting and how early value realization can help offset the cost of change. We will also discuss stories of other in house IT shops and product houses who have made this shift and the journey they have undertaken

    From our experience of working with such organizations, we have found that for these process-focused Agile adopters, much of their measurements include:

     

    - how long is our stand-up?

    - how long is our build?

    - how many stories do we have?

    - how many points can we fit into a sprint? etc.

     

    From their perspective, they already have plenty of metrics. Often it's also the case that they're getting benefit, just because common sense does kick in behind the scenes, and because they're delivering more frequently as a result in the reduction of documentation, so they don't always run out of money either. That leads to bad habits, possibly, rewarding wrong practices. In this talk we want to discuss metrics we have used on the projects and have found useful. Metrics like: Cycle Time, Time to market (also called Lead Time), Collaboration, Quality (in terms of code complexity , code coverage, test pyramid) and bus factor. One thing to note is that any of these metrics alone would not provide holistic way of measuring benefit, and hence a combination of them is required.

     

  • Liked Unnat Gupta
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Unnat Gupta / Shree Damani - Know Your MVP!!

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    MVP is defined as : "that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort."It doesn't say a thing about the product being valuable to the customers or market segment.

    MVP is minimum viable product *NOT*  minimally marketable feature set / first release!  MVPs are the experiments we learned from on the way to our first release of the software.

    To us the core of the difference between "Minimally Viable Product" and "Minimally Marketable Product" is in the purpose.  An MVP's purpose is to learn, an MMP's purpose is to serve.  Understand the problem vs address the problem.

     

  • Liked Unnat Gupta
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Unnat Gupta / Shree Damani - Prioritization Techniques: Lets move beyond MoSCoW!!

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate
    • Have you been in a situation where everything gets prioritized as MUST HAVE?
    • Have you been in a situation where you have find it difficult to get different stake holders to agree on relative priority of different features?
    • Most of the time is spent in discussiing low value features?
    • Whoever screams the loudest, gets their pet features prioritixed high?
    • Do you want to learn some more prioritization games/techniques that can be used to start prioritizing at Feature level and subsequently refine it to story level?
    • You feel the current technique(s) you use for prioritization are time consuming and ineffective?

    If answer to any of the above questions is yes, this is the workshop for you to attend

    Why Prioritization?

    Customers are never thrilled to find out they can’t get all the features they want in release 1.0 of a new software product. In reality, customer expectations are high, timelines are short, and resources are limited. Any project with resource limitations has to establish the relative priorities of the requested features, use cases, or functional requirements. Prioritization helps the project manager resolve conflicts, plan for staged deliveries, and make the necessary trade-off decisions. Thus, requirement prioritization is used in Software development for determining which requirements of the software product/application should be included in a certain release. Requirements are also prioritized to minimize risk during development so that the most important or high risk requirements are implemented first.

    Several methods for assessing a prioritization of software requirements exist. In this workshop we are going show some of techniques/games we have used for feature prioritization.

     

  • Liked Sarabjit Singh Bakshi
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sarabjit Singh Bakshi - Art of Processing People in batches - Lets Re-factor our Schools

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    My talk will be highlighted on the currrent Education System and how Agile and Lean Mechanisms can help us refcator our education System . As we all proceed in this digital world its important to understand what extra can we do to make our children education more informative and creative . Using Agile and Lean from Gurukuls to Modern school- what do we think -Is the current education system is helping our students . Would like to give an insight on where are we going how we can improve it and how we all can contribute to make it better. We can talk on using Agile as Change Agent towards transforming the way our children precieve learning. 

  • Liked Ajay Avinash Solanki
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ajay Avinash Solanki - Agile Coaching - Giving and Receiving Feedback

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Advanced

    Agile is based on crossfunctional and self organizing teams. Agile is based on the Plan, Do, Review and Adapt Feedback Loop. Feedback is the basis of Agile. Feedback can be amongst team members, between Scrum master and the team, Product owner and Scrum Master, Stakeholders and Product Owner and various combination of the same. We generally give a deficit based feedback. We point out to the short commings, mistakes, fix blames etc. This is a very emotionally chaged discussion which leads to a lose lose situation and a bad relationship. Contrary to this Giving feedback should be based on strengths. It is a planned approach which has to be rehearsed before hand. The main objective of giving the feedback is to find out solution instead of fixing the blame. Let us learn the techniques by which this can be made possible.

  • Liked Howard Deiner
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Howard Deiner - Lean Thinking and What It Mean to the Agile Mindset

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Long before the Agile revolution for software development began, industry had learned that efficient production of goods required intense attention to quality, teamwork, and continuous improvement. These themes of Lean Manufacturing (which was further refined into the Toyota Production System) were never part of the original formulation of the Agile Manifesto, and are rarely mentioned as part of the traditional Agile/Scrum recipe for teams transforming to the new “Agile” mindset.

    The reality is that the traditional Agile/Scrum recipe is actually a “dumbed down” version of the Toyota Production System, and makes it easier for organisations to grasp and start from. However, if organisations really want to achieve the goal of producing the software they need in a fashion that leads to High Performance Teams and Sustainable Engineering, they will need to understand the principles of Lean so they can incorporate them into their unique process. This session teaches the basics of Lean, and demonstrates how they apply to Agile development.

  • Liked U S VINEESH
    keyboard_arrow_down

    U S VINEESH - Agility lessons from Nature

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    When Darwin said “fittest,” Darwin did not mean strongest or fastest or even smartest: he meant most adaptable, best at handling change.

    Ants have existed close to more than 100 million years now and they can be considered as one of the most flourishing beings on our earth. They have colonized almost every landmass and they thrive in most ecosystems. Have you ever wondered what makes them so successful?

    This success of theirs in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Ants are one among the most agile creatures that we have seen till date.

  • Liked Unnat Gupta
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Unnat Gupta - Agile Business Analysis Anti-Patterns

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In this talk we will pick up various (5-7) business analysis anti-patterns, specially for Agile projects, that either we ourself have practiced at some point of our BA carrier or have seen other BA's doing. We will talk about the symptoms which act as a sign of presence of these anti patterns, why are the problems associated with them and what are the ways to get rid of them.

    These anti-patterns may range from behavior with customers to behavior with the own team.

    Some of the anti-patterns we are planning to discuss:

    1) BA aka The Order takers
    2) Task (UI/backend) based stories
    3) Engrossed in too much detail to miss the view of bigger picture - story verus feature 
    4) As a “user”...., where the user is either "system" or "product owner"
    5) Leave the NFRs / CFRs to the Developers/Tech lead
    6) Detail the hell out of stories
    7) Focus on Happy Paths only
    8) Focus on building a software over solving the real problem
    9) Resist change in requirements

     

     

  • Liked Geeta
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Geeta / Joe Zachariah - Chicken Soup for the Agile Soul

    45 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Going by the adage - "Without struggle, there can be no progress", we intend to share some extraordinary stories that have and can change the way we work and interact in the Agile space. Every team, whether Agile or not, goes through the forming, storming, norming and performing stage. The storming phase is when an Agile team can look inwards using some Agile best practices to tide over the storm. The pressing challenges that a team can face during the storming phase can be categorized into:
    1. People
    2. Process
    3. Technology

    Through our talk, we would like to share some specific challenges that we faced in each of the above categories and how we overcame them -

    =================================================================================

    Example for people:

    Anti-Pattern / Challenge : In a distributed environment, code got overwritten in spite of an existing version control tool
    Conclusion : Better self organization within the team
    Resolution : Cross pollination, face to face communication, automated notifications
    =================================================================================

    Example for process :

    Anti Pattern / Challenge : Team got together to solve a problem and very little got accomplished due to external dependencies
    Conclusion : The need for more collaboration and the right problem solving protocol
    Resolution : Adopted design thinking, created cross functional teams, applied 'Pareto' principle
    =================================================================================
    Example for technology :

    Anti Pattern / Challenge : Different deployment scenarios and technology choices
    Conclusion : The need for continuous and collaborative integration
    Resolution : Created an inhouse one click seamless deployment tool named 'Deployer'
    =================================================================================

    Today as a team we have expanded beyond the bookshelf, matured as agile practitioners. And now we’re working hard on a creating a visionary path. Improving the Agile world around us is part of our mission of learning, sharing and growing. The talk will re-emphasize our journey through agility and constant evolution.

     

  • Liked Srinath
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Srinath - Radical Management - Innovative Practices at the work place

    Srinath
    Srinath
    Consultant
    Renatus Consultants
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    This talk draws extensively from the book "The Leader's Guide to Radical Management" by Stephen Denning.   This presention talks about the problems faced in  Traditional Management with respect to its purpose, how work is structured and organized, transparency and communication.  

    It then describes the 5 big shifts in the way we work - by delighting clients, changing role of the manager from a controller to enabler,  how work is coordinated from a bureaucratic method to Dynamic Linking, from a single economic value (making money to shareholders) to a set of values (radical transparency and continuous improvement) and finally the shift from a command and control way of communication to a communication where conversation plays a key role.

    A few innovative practices (Menlo Way) as practised by Menlo Innovations will be discussed - with emphasis on certain aspects  such as Open workspaces, Extreme Hiring, and Pairing - which has made Menlo a joyful place to work.