Scaling from Project > Program > Portfolio - The Agile Transformation and Journey

location_city Bengaluru schedule Feb 26th 04:30 PM - Jan 1st 12:00 AM IST place Esquire

The case in point is a journey of Agile transformation when the organization was looking to manage releases through shorter iteration cycles. As the journey began, the organization had to leapfrog into 3x growth in terms of both people and business needs due to a round of substantial investor funding.

The agile transformation started with just 6 teams in the organization and due to the nature of the team structure, the 3-member PMO team did not have the luxury for pilot projects and had to simultaniously roll out at one go across the 6+ component teams.

In a span of 6 months, the number of teams grew to 12+ and the number of releases more than doubled. Also, 80% of the releases cut across more than 3 teams and the challenge was to keep the process pretty lean. PMO team worked closely with key stakeholders from Product, Engineering, Architecture and Operations to forumate and roll-out a simple 3 step process that aided the teams to deliver releases better than before. Here is when the organization leaped from project to portfolio of releases cutting across 10+ themes.

Similar to what is quoted in the "Scaled Agile Framework" which the PMO tripped on much later in the process, there were organization wide prioritization done based on the product strategy, infrastructure and technology needs which eventually got translated into multiple programs within the organization, cutting across various teams. A concept of 3-in-a-box (PM, Architect and Engineering Owner) was formulated to bring in the required vigor in to the planning and execution process.The 3 in the box was further extended to Dev +QA + Ops who worked as a team to deliver the various stories across the contributing stacks.

The challenges across value-driven prioritization from 100+ releases across the portfolio, release planning with engineering and product, the execution framework and scalability in engineering infrastructure commensurate with the agile processes, working with operations teams and all the way till adoption was seamlessly scaled using the initial framework that was set for just 15 releases.

The presentation details how agile helped and is helping the product and technology teams in delivering better results than before. This would also detail the necessary Agile and operational metrics across the project teams, the program and the portfolio levels that aid the mid and senior management to take informed decisions. As always, this would not cover the IP and actual data of the organization but provide a clear framework to substantiate the process.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

1. High level overview of the organization, team structure, what is a release in the system, dependencies. What is an Epic in our purview. How component teams can still exist which is an agile no-no.

2. The Agile Framework - 3 simple steps and how it has evolved over time as the organization grew

3. Experiments with Agile Flavors and techniques (including Engineering practices)

4. The Push and Pull Framework (Portfolio rationalization using value points, release planning using Agile scrum and the Kanban approach for execution)

5. Agile metrics relevant to engineering, product and business

6. Q & A

Learning Outcome

1. How continuous agility is an enjoyable and meaningful journey than a destination to aim for. It also lists how one needs to experiment with the various methodologies based on the need than fixating on one.

2. How engineering practices such as TDD, Continuous Integration need to significantly scale and aid the success of agile adoption in organizations. Also, how they were uncovered as being the problems.

3. How Agility is not just at team level but at organizational level (across product, biz, engineering, operations, biz operations and field teams)

4. How support from senior management and the team is so imperative for successful formulation and rollout of agile adoption

5. What and why to measure - Metrics - the necessary and sufficient ones for Agile Portfolio Management

Target Audience

Agile Project Managers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Engineering Leads, Architects, CxO



schedule Submitted 9 years ago

  • Aman King
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    Battlefield Agility® is a quest to make our deliveries better, more collaborative, faster and effective. It relies on age old principle from the Army to provide a holistic view of the problem landscape which a project team needs to solve and be able to succeed in this, through small collaborative groups working in coordination to achieve the bigger goals.

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    A VP saying to another “Not sure if Agile has increased our productivity, how do I know it is productive? I understand teams are empowered and self-organizing, but are they self-productive? And what is this fuss about Managers’ not happy with “no-role”. Nothing should change for them.”


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