Priyank will be presenting the following session
  • Vedavalli Kanala

    Vedavalli Kanala / Priyank Gupta - Your role is superfluous: Software delivery with skills-based, self organising teams

    45 Mins

    Traditional software delivery teams are layered with roles like user experience, project management, business analysts, developers, QAs, DevOps, etc. With the translation of business problems at multiple steps, each role induces a fitment drift in the devised solution. As part of this talk, we would like to present our experience from the last 7 years building products for clients delivered by teams with ZERO roles (No PM, BA, QA, DevOps). It presents the argument and evidence of why the notion of needed depth in every skill, every single time is an overkill, and how a small team of people who dabble with code and product thinking both can deliver solutions that are faster and better with minimum fitment drift. We outline the practices and rituals required to establish, operationalise and sustain skill-based teams. We also intend to discuss delivery objectives for software teams and how teams that organise themselves around business objectives deliver better products compared to one's setup with superfluous roles for analysis, testing, and management, etc. 

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

I have been extremely lucky for the last 15 years to work with some really smart people at ThoughtWorks and Sahaj who have deepy influenced my views on software development. I appreciate the need to challenge the constraints of our world from time to time and improve upon the value that we deliver.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

The lack of maker mindset in typical software delivery teams. The prevelant team structures were a result of a conscious trade offs that were made to realize some efficiency gains. It is worth re-evaluating now whether the things we have traded off are indeed the same that we were willing to trade off when the choices were made. The silos and forced specialization has put this chasm between the maker and user that shifts the focus away from the "what" to the "how" of building something.

3. Why did you choose the topic(s) you will be speaking about at the conference?

People build things better when they believe in the utility and impact of the outcome. When they are able to visualize themselves in the shoes of a user. Unfortunately, this is completely diluted by the artificial structures of how software delivery is done. We intend to present and outline a structure that inculcates that style of development. It is a topic I feel passionately about.  

4. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?
  • Ryan Singer - Shaping the Work: Assigning Whole Projects, not Tasks
  • Jason Yip - Experimenting with BAPO in Spotify Ads R&D: aligning product strategy, technical architecture, ways of working, and org structure
  • Ward Cunningham - Creativity Before and After Agile
  • Ellen Grove - Drawing Together (even when we're apart): Visual thinking for distributed teams
  • Team Meetings That Don't Suck - Avoid Retrospectives Antipatterns