Delivering Data to Agile Initiatives - a Fannie Mae Case Study

Even for waterfall initiatives where requirements are (allegedly) known, delivering the right data to developers and testers is slow, painful, complicated, and often rife with errors.  For Agile initiatives, this process is even more difficult.  How do you get the right data to your team members during 1 or 2-week sprints when it often takes 3 or more weeks to generate?  Come learn how Fannie Mae has solved this problem for several of its largest Agile efforts, and how Fannie Mae has formally incorporated Data Delivery into its DevOps journey.  Fannie Mae's approach is one that can be reproduced in most organizations, and should prove to be very helpful and eye opening.

 
9 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

The problem -

Challenges with Data delivery in any Dev/Test context

Data delivery flexibile enough to support short duration sprints

Case Study context -  

Fannie Mae CSPi (Common Securitization Platform integration) program, a 3-year program costing more than $100 million and involving a large number of Agile and waterfall initiatives.

Fannie Mae DevOps journey and the automation capabilities it delivers to Agile initiatives

Focus on two large Agile initiatives requiring significant data that changes with each sprint.

The Solution(s) -

Centralized Test Data Management team focused on this large program

3 primary data delivery capabilities:  synthetic data creation, subsetting, virtualized data delivery

Automated framework approach vs. individual request fulfillment approach for Agile delivery

Iterating your way through data requirements generation, just as the project iterates its way through delivery

Leveraging program planning increments to get started early

The Results - 

Time savings

Delivery speed

Cost savings

Data quality

Days of slippage saved

Conclusion - one slide

 

Learning Outcome

Data delivery issues CAN be overcome.  You don't have to simply live with them, or live with bad data.  These principles can be duplicated in whole or in part in most organizations, and some of these results are relatively low hanging fruit.

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Developers, SDETs, and others looking for ways to speed up delivery

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked David Horowitz
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David Horowitz - The 7 Secrets of Highly Effective Retrospectives

    David Horowitz
    David Horowitz
    Cofounder and CEO
    Retrium
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Retrospectives are the core of agility. And yet they are the scrum ceremony that is most frequently skipped. Many teams like the idea of the retrospective but find them boring, or worse ineffective.

    This talk aims to re-energize retrospective facilitators and participants. Starting with the basics: "what's a retrospective and how do you run one?", this talk reveals 7 secrets that lead to more engaging, more effective retrospectives.

    You'll learn:

    * The best way to ensure your retrospectives lead to real change

    * The "pledge" everyone on your team should take before participating

    * How to know who to include in each retrospective

    * The single most important thing you can do to keep your team engaged during the retro

    * And much, much more!

  • Liked Craeg K Strong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Craeg K Strong - Behavior Driven Development Workshop

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Behavior Driven Development / Acceptance Test Driven Development (BDD/ATDD) is a new, exciting approach to developing software that has been shown to reduce rework and increase customer satisfaction. While other testing tools focus primarily on “are we building the thing right?”, BDD tools such as Cucumber and SpecFlow attack the problem of software directly at its source: “are we building the right thing?” By retaining all the benefits of automated unit testing, while extending them upstream to cover requirements, we cut the Gordian knot of risk and complexity to unleash hyper-productivity. 

    Why is BDD so effective?

    • As a form of Test driven design, BDD helps produce frugal, effective and testable software.
    • As a development tool, BDD frameworks like SpecFlow provide many convenience functions and are pre-integrated with powerful libraries like Nunit and selenium to make writing tests a snap.
    • As a collaboration tool, BDD helps ensure the “three amigos” (tester, analyst and developer) sync up – ahead of time.
    • As a facilitation technique, BDD enables product owners to efficiently provide the team with concrete examples that clarify the true intent of a user story and define the boundaries.
    • As a reporting tool, BDD captures functional coverage, mapping features to their acceptance criteria to their test results, in an attractive hierarchical presentation.

    Want functional documentation? How about documentation that is guaranteed to be correct, because every feature maps to its test results? Witness the holy grail of traceability – executable specifications.

    We will spend a few minutes talking about the context and pre-requisites, so attendees have an idea of where BDD fits in, and what type of investment they are signing their teams up for. We will see that in return for a modest amount of investment in tools and training, very significant benefits can be realized, and the benefits compound over time.

    This workshop then dives right in to Gherkin, the structured English language technique used to capture BDD specifications. We will spend the better part of the session learning the tricks and techniques that make for robust and maintainable gherkin specifications. We will review and critique lots of examples, both good and bad.

    We will review several examples of reports generated from BDD tools, to provide context and to immediately highlight the bottom line business value that makes an investment in BDD so worthwhile.

     

     

    Come and learn why Behavior driven design is taking the software world by storm!

  • Liked Mathias Eifert
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mathias Eifert - Don’t assume you’re creating value – prove it!

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Does your organization find it hard to determine “the right thing” to build? You are not alone – studies show that even in very high performing organizations only 10-35% of initial ideas actually generate business value. Agile development should make it easier to obtain early customer feedback, but in most organizations Agile approaches are limited to software development teams with little connection to the rest of the business. In addition, Agile methods by themselves offer few guidelines on how to translate organizational goals and customer needs into the backlog’s content and relative priorities in the first place. As a result, there is a significant, but often underappreciated risk that Agile teams end up very efficiently building “the wrong thing right.”

    In this session, we explore how Lean Discovery and experimentation can expand the scope of Agile’s “inspect and adapt” feedback loops to systematically identify and validate critical assumptions about our product’s value proposition. Based on the Lean Startup and Lean UX approach to product development as a series of hypotheses about customers’ behaviors and value perceptions, we discuss ways to derive testable assumptions from organizational goals to enable validated learning. Finally, we explore the implications of this approach on project planning and budgeting to support increased business agility.

  • Liked M. Scott Ford
    keyboard_arrow_down

    M. Scott Ford - Embracing the Red Bar: A Technique for Safely Refactoring Your Test Code

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Does your team treat test code differently than production code? Do you let your test code accumulate duplication and complexity that you'd normally attempt to squash in your production code? Have your tests become brittle? Are you worried that they aren't providing you the same value they used to? Have you strongly considered dumping your test suite and starting over? Are you afraid that if you refactor your test code, you'll introduce false positives?

    If you said yes to any of those questions, then this talk is for you.

    We'll explore the technique of "refactoring against the red bar" (http://butunclebob.com/ArticleS.MichaelFeathers.RefactoringAgainstTheRedBar), and how you can employ this technique to confidently refactor your test code. No longer do you need to let your test code have a lower standard of quality than your production code.

  • Liked Ken Furlong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ken Furlong - Upgrade Your Metrics – Cumulative Flow Diagrams and Beyond

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    When dealing with metrics, most Agile or Lean teams begin with a Burndown Chart.  Unfortunately, that is also where most of them stop.  While a Burndown Chart is a great first step, it only provides a small sliver of the information the team has access to.

     

    In this talk, we’ll be starting at the beginning with what a Cumulative Flow Diagram is, how it relates to a Burndown Chart, its advantages, and where it too ultimately stops.  We’ll then look at additional information radiators that the team can easily use based on existing data to provide transparency to stakeholders and the raw material for continuous improvement.

  • Liked Atif Salam
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Atif Salam - Cracking the Code... Implementing SCRUM at Scale within Enterprise Data at Fannie Mae

    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Fannie Mae, a leading source of residential mortgage credit in the U.S. secondary market, provides reliable, large­scale access to affordable mortgage credit across the country so people can buy, refinance, or rent homes. In November 2014, Fannie Mae’s Enterprise Data Warehouse completed a multi­year project to implement several thousand data attributes across numerous interfaces which were then integrated with various development organizations working in parallel; the results were sub­optimal. In January 2015, Fannie Mae undertook a brownfield initiative to transform Fannie Mae’s Enterprise Data Warehouse, responsible for sourcing, vending and provisioning data attributes, which informed numerous interfaces, as part of a larger Federal compliance mandate, to SCRUM. Initially, starting with two teams using SCRUM, the initiative progressed to six-teams implementing SCRUM­OF­SCRUMS, within 6 months. Thereafter, the SAFe framework was adopted encompassing twelve­teams (130+ team members) on a single Agile Release Train. As a result of transforming from Waterfall to Agile, Fannie Mae experienced a significant boost in productivity and reduction in delivery risks through the relentless focus on innovation and automation to ship "production ready" code with high and higher frequency. The transformation to Agile has revolutionized how the firm plans for the delivery of large scale ($100 million plus investment/year) programs, has significantly mitigated risk inherent in complex in integration between legacy and new architectures/applications, as well as between internal and external systems. Within the larger context of the transformation to Enterprise Agility, this Experience Report will focus on the changes to the organization, architecture, and technical practices required to implement data attributes every two­-weeks and the corresponding benefits realized.

  • Liked Dave McMunn
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave McMunn - Panel: Agile Transformation at Scale... Fannie Mae's Executive Perspective

    Dave McMunn
    Dave McMunn
    Director
    Fannie Mae
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Abstract: Fannie Mae, a leading source of residential mortgage credit in the U.S. secondary market, provides reliable, large-­scale access to affordable mortgage credit across the country to help individuals buy, refinance, or rent homes.

    Coming out of the housing crisis in 2013, Fannie Mae recognized that the lending environment it was moving into required it to be even more responsive to meet rapidly changing customer needs.  Further, Fannie Mae recognized that agility was critical, not just in technology, but across the enterprise to achieving this objective.  

    Over the last 2 years, Fannie Mae has undergone a concerted effort to adopt the agile values and practices and has begun to recognize the benefits promised. Today, there are more than 170 agile teams across Enterprise IT, and both functional and business portfolio's are adopting lightweight agile values and practices as part of their day-to-day activities. 

    As a result of transforming from Waterfall to Agile, Fannie Mae experienced a significant boost in productivity as well as a reduction in delivery risks through the relentless focus on innovation and automation to ship "production ready" code with high and higher frequency. The transformation to Agile has revolutionized how the firm plans for the delivery of large scale ($100 million plus investment/year) programs, has significantly mitigated risk inherent in complex in integration between legacy and new architectures/applications, as well as between internal and external systems.

    Within the larger context of the transformation to Enterprise Agility, this Executive Panel Discussion will provide unique Executive insight with respect to the organization's journey to date and goals for the future.

    Fannie Mae Executive Panelists:

    • Bruce Lee, SVP & Head of Operations and Technology, O&T Executive Office
    • Stephen Pawlowski, SVP for Business Solutions Initiatives, SF Mortgage Business 
    • Frederic Veron, SVP & Head of Business Technology and Delivery Services, Enterprise IT
    • Mike Garcia, VP for Development Services, Enterprise IT
    • Scott Richardson, VP for Enterprise Data Strategy Execution, Enterprise IT

    Moderator:

    • David McMunn, Director, Agile Center for Excellence, Fannie Mae
  • Liked Dave Nicolette
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave Nicolette - When you don't need TDD and why

    Dave Nicolette
    Dave Nicolette
    Consultant
    Neo Pragma LLC
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Others
    Beginner

    Ideas similar to test-infected development or test-driven development have been around quite a while - at least since Alan Perlis wrote about interleaving small amounts of design with small amounts of testing in the 1968 Proceedings of the NATO Software Engineering Conference. Yet, even today, there are endless debates about whether such an approach is useful. Some consider it a baseline practice for any professional developer. Others consider it extra work that adds no value. 

    There's certainly more than one way to achieve a goal. What are the goals, when we write and deliver software professionally? Let's identify the various stakeholders of a software system and enumerate the needs of each. Then, let's walk through several popular ways of building software - TDD and others - and see how we can meet those needs using each approach. 

  • Liked Shawn Faunce
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shawn Faunce - What You are Doing Wrong with Automated Testing

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    We firmly believe that automated testing puts the "A" in "Agile". Without an effective suite of automated tests your ability to be truly agile (that is embrace change) can only be based on the hope that your latest change doesn't have unintended consequences. Additionally, without automated tests, you are missing a vital component in getting feedback into the development team's hands. In our travels, we have encountered many organizations that are struggling with automated testing. These organizations are successfully adopting many Agile techniques but are failing when it comes to automated testing. We frequently hear "Automated testing just doesn't work for us" (eerily reminiscent of the days when we would hear, "Agile just doesn't work for us"). From our experience addressing their challenges, we have identified anti-patterns common across these organizations. These anti-patterns look like they should work, but are in fact doing more harm than good.

    This talk is about those anti-patterns. We have given those anti-patterns a name and a face to help organizations understand why they are not getting the benefits from automated testing that others are. We describe several anti-patterns, such as the "Ice Cream Cone", the "Monolith", the "Sunk Cost". We explain why these anti-patterns appear to be good solutions, what makes them attractive, and why they do more harm than good. We talk about the right approach and draw on our experiences helping organizations adopt a robust automated testing strategy that instills confidence and provides fast feedback to the development team. We explain what benefits from automated testing the anti-pattern is preventing. 

  • Liked Chris Li
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Li - Missing the point about Backlog Item Estimation

    Chris Li
    Chris Li
    Founder
    SparkPlug Agility
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    The energy teams that spend performing some sort of estimation exercise among themselves can often burn them out, put them at odds, and not foster any sort of collaboration.  Even worse, when a team is looking to take on some work and someone not a part of the team gives them the estimates rather than creating them as a team.  These sorts of challenges are present on many teams who wish to work in an incremental fashion and can have a seriously negative impact on productivity and team morale.

    In this workshop participants will visit some of the typical scenarios encountered with respect to estimating backlog items, a challenge that many teams encounter on a regular basis. Attendees will revisit what a backlog item represents as well as basic concepts and reasoning behind estimation.  They will then look at four specific pitfalls that make up a tumultuous cycle around how estimates can be misunderstood, miscalculated, misinterpreted and as a result misused. 

    Participants will perform exercises where they identify and share their challenges around estimation and learn a lightweight, fun and interactive approach to backlog item - level estimation that simplifies the approach and focuses on the conversation.  For those looking for an alternative way to visualize these conversations, stop by this workshop to pick up a lightweight technique to bring back to your teams. 

  • Liked Max Saperstone
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Max Saperstone - Custom Testing Frameworks

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    There are many testing tools and frameworks out there, and the question often is, which is the best one to use. The main things that I look for are ease of use, self documentation, and error handling. After working with Selenium for almost a decade, I have yet to come across a framework that provides that with ease. So I decided to write one. I wrote this framework to build upon Selenium's tools, specifically to provide more error handling capabilities and custom output reporting. While the Testing Framework is both designed and optimized for Selenium Webdriver, it can be run for any type of tests, including used for unit tests. An entire testing framework, including custom reporting metrics, is built on top of the basic TestNG framework. All of the Selenium functionality is wrapped, providing fallback capabilities, so that if an element is missing, or a check is performed that fails, the test do not crash, they continue forward, logging the error. All Selenium calls are automatically documented, and screenshots are taken anytime an action or check is performed. Setup was designed to be simple and quick, allowing more concentration on creating tests, and less worry about configuring.

  • Liked Sunil Kosuri
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sunil Kosuri - Selecting & Implementing an Automated Software Testing Tool at EPA - Lessons Learned

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner
    This presentation delves into the details of selecting and implementing an automated software testing tool at a Federal Agency. We learnt a lot of lessons during this process and we hope that others considering software automation can learn from our successes and failures.