Relevance of the '12 principles' through project lifecycle - A Practitioner's View

This talk is about taking a closer look at how one or more of the 12 principles behind Agile Manifesto are closely connected to the different stages of the project lifecycle and how they impact the right choice of practices and tools at each stage. 

Few sample scenarios: 

1. Major change in the way iteration planning was done - common backlog for the platform (comprising of different application teams), think each 'iteration' as a 'release' - deployment of business features to production end of each iteration - resulted in greater collaboration, no separate integration/stabilization phase towards major commercial launch

Relevant Principle: Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale

2. Reflecting on team organization - one large team (or) multiple smaller teams and / or feature teams, concepts like Mountaineers-Divers, Navigators-Drivers -> effective and easy context sharing, no stepping-into-each-others-shoes, efficient balance between big picture view and attention to details and such.       

Relevant Principle: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly 

3. Feature kick-offs, analysis volleyballs, need basis Dev/QA/BA huddles, vide calls with distributed teams, subject-specific-google-hangouts -> Effective communication and fewer email conversations  

Relevant Principle: The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation

Experience clearly suggests that following the right principle at the right time for a specific situation ensures successful outcome, while ignoring one or many of these principles often results in failure.

4. Adverse effects of measuring the delivery team's efficiency of the team one-dimensionally based on the Story Points delivered

Relevant Principle: Working software is the primary measure of progress.


In this talk, through specific practical examples, I would be explaining

 - identifying the right principles for each life cycle stage of the project/program

 - deriving the right practices based on the principles and following them effectively to deliver value to customer 

 - business and delivery constraints that prevented us from adhering to some of these principles, resulting in not-so-desired outcomes

In summary, I would like to emphasis the importance and relevance of the 12 Agile Software Principles behind Agile Manifesto in everyday life of a Agile Practitioner.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

First 3-5 minutes: Setting the business context and program context that was used as a reference for this case study

Next 3-5 minutes: Specific expectations from the audience

Next 30-35 minutes: Practical examples from different lifecycle stages of the real-life program, surrounding context, relevant principle(s), outcome, learning

Last 5 minutes: Question and Answers

Learning Outcome

This case study shall be taken as a reference document, based on the principles of Agile Manifesto, by the project/program managers and people in client interfacing roles for guidelines, practical tips for the entire project / program life cycle.

Target Audience

Project/Program Managers, Client Interfacing Roles

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

  • Sunil Mundra

    Sunil Mundra - Getting A Partner To Adopt Agile

    20 Mins
    Case Study

    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.

  • Shirish Padalkar

    Shirish Padalkar - Application Security - The Agile Way

    Shirish Padalkar
    Shirish Padalkar
    Lead Consultant
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    Traditionally application security has involved upfront design and a big bang penetration test after development. This leads to the phenomenon of “bolt-on” security that translates into increased cost and complexity.

    Drawing on our experience on real-world projects, we show how security can be baked-in on an agile project. Using case studies we demonstrate how security concerns are captured during project inceptions, how developers write secure code, security testing is automated and how configuration management can help achieve secure deployments. This talk introduces several new concepts like secure by design, secure design patterns and lightweight code reviews.

  • 45 Mins
    Experience Report

    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.

  • 90 Mins
    Case Study

    The key objectives of Organizations is to provide / derive value from the products / services they offer. To achieve this, they need to be able to deliver their offerings in the quickest time possible, and of good quality!
    In such a fast moving environment, CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Delivery) are now a necessity and not a luxury!

    There are various practices that Organizations and Enterprises need to implement to enable CD. Testing (automation) is one of the important practices that needs to be setup correctly for CD to be successful.

    Testing in Organizations on the CD journey is tricky and requires a lot of discipline, rigor and hard work. In Enterprises, the Testing complexity and challenges increase exponentially.

    In this session, I am sharing my vision of the Test Strategy required to make successful the journey of an Enterprise on the path of implementing CD.

  • Unnat Gupta

    Unnat Gupta / Shree Damani - Calculating RoI on Agile Enablement

    45 Mins

    "We want to be Agile!!...


    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.


  • Unnat Gupta

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

    90 Mins
    • 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.


  • Unnat Gupta

    Unnat Gupta - Agile Business Analysis Anti-Patterns

    Unnat Gupta
    Unnat Gupta
    Sr. Business Analyst
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    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



  • Pankaj Kanchankar

    Pankaj Kanchankar - Line Managers - an Endangered Species in Agile

    Pankaj Kanchankar
    Pankaj Kanchankar
    Agile Coach
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    The matrix organization of yore relied on maximizing returns on each skillset. This lead to having line managers and practice horizontals.
    Engineering managers looking after developers and practice managers looking after the respective practices of BA, QA and PMO. This lead to having multiple lines of reporting for team member whilst on the project.
    In Agile teams, focus is on the self organising teams of empowered employees working towards common success criteria (project success is team success). Not everyone can be a PO or a Scrum Master. So is the role of so called line managers or practice managers become redundant?
    Whats their role in the agile teams?
    How their role needs to transform

    In this talk I will be addressing these questions. Bring out how some of their responsibilities are now taken up by the team or Product Owner or Scrum Master. I will also be suggesting how line managers can take this as an opportunity to morph into more meaningful roles that help the organization and teams. 

  • Khaarthigha S

    Khaarthigha S - Scaling Agile For Enterprises with Distributed Engagement Models

    Khaarthigha S
    Khaarthigha S
    Sr. Consultant
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Case Study

    I would like to share my experience in consulting and managing a distributed team - Identification of strategies for a transformation of "a lifeless program to a Successful Program " and journey from "Collective Inception to Collective delivery" 

    This becomes challenging especially with a complicated -distributed engagement model for our client which is a reputed and huge enterprise with presence in every corner of the world.

    In a complete globalized world, the major bottleneck for a huge enterprise is the effective functioning of globally distributed teams despite using Agile,lean.

    In my presentation, I am going to share the approaches that we tried to address the pain points including the following:

    1. Not even able to plan the Iteration planning meeting - Iteration planning not producing the outcome despite hours of planning meeting
    2. Manage dependencies between teams for a collective delivery
    3. Communication channel between teams  (Change how you communicate/coordinate)
    4. To bring the organic coherence between teams despite the cultural difference
    5. To also worry about the unknown interfaces & disastrous scenarios
    6. Different team communities with different process and practices impacting the other team’s delivery
    7. To sustain the work ecosystem for all the teams
    8. Inoffensive collective Retrospective for a constructive learning
    9. Major Natural pain point – “its not the distance, it’s the time zones”
    10. Above all, Conflict Resolution

    Eg: one part of approach which we tried was "Mountaineer-Diver Model". 


    Impacts of above are listed below:

    • Dynamic Dependecy resolution between teams ( instead of long hours of call for each dependency)
    • Collective , Objective planning for all the teams by matching the dependencies so that the delivery is not affected and also "All teams walking in same speed"
    • More common understanding and project focus in all teams (Frustration with the team members reduced)
    • All members from different teams directly interact and work even they are distributed ( as they spend some time physically working together as "integration teams")
    • As a result of above -> 2 key metrics improved :
      • Velocity of all teams improved
      • Development and Testing complete even before the deadline -> Delivery before the scheduled date
      • Very less time spent in meetings for conflict & dependency resolutions, planning , etc.. 

     "Project execution was the key success". 

    This will help in approaching the issues pragmatically , dynamically and also help understand how its better to make a hybrid out of multiple tools rather than using only one single process tool.  


  • Sridharan Vembu

    Sridharan Vembu - Turning around a twice-failed distributed enterprise program into success

    Sridharan Vembu
    Sridharan Vembu
    Head Engineering
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Experience Report

    The common myth about agile methodology is, it is suited for smaller, co-located teams, would not scale up for big enterprises and is best suited for smaller, less complex programs.

    In this talk, I intend to share how we went about setting up, executing and successfully delivering probably one of the most complex and strategic programs for one of our customers. This program was the first ever successful adoption of the fully distributed agile implementations for the customer.

    Context: The client is the leading Telecom Operator in the UK, having their captive and other strategic partners based out of India. The program was highly strategic for the client and the predicted ROI was high.

     - The implementation was tried twice by different vendors for more than an year, but failed to deliver; root causes were not analyzed

     - The Program Sponsor had one last chance to try and deliver the platform successfully, against a very tight schedule

     - Continued Operational risk with the legacy system in place 

    Outcome of our engagement:

     - Core functional application ready in pre-production by the end of first release cycle (4 months from engagement start); fully ready to functionally scale easily and quickly

     - Adoption of the technical and execution approach to other related programs within the portfolio 

    Our Approach:

     - Outcome of initial assessment of the existing codebase was to go with re-write from scratch; was a really hard sell, but was the RIGHT thing to do

     - Re-define the release cycle: extend development period by embedding integration testing as part of development cycle and cut down on the low level design phase

     - Need-basis colocation of functional SMEs with development team 

     - Direct access to Product Owners: weekly video calls, must-attend iteration show-cases, etc

     - Remove unnecessary operational overheads, in terms of people as well as organizational processes

     - Well-defined, pragmatic strategy for Integration testing (major constraints - lead time for test data preparation, limitation in re-usability of test data, lack of e2e functional understanding within team)

      - Smart seeding of other vendor team members (with good functional/domain understanding) into the core team

      - Zero compromise on basic hygienic practices: IPMs, Showcases, communicate negative-news-first with alternate solutions/workarounds, strict removal of wastes, inclusive decision making, highest degree of code coverage, sanity test suite, e2e basic automation suite   

      - Building trust between distributed teams: cross-pairing, align on core work hours across time zones, joint showcases and retrospectives (shared responsibility)

    Challenges faced:

      - Big push to release the core functional platform into production in 3 months (immediate next release)

      - Working out of other vendor premises: seen as threat to their business, lack of cooperation and collaboration   

      - Product Owners based out of UK, no easy / frequent access

      - Functional SMEs/designers based out of different location

      - Release cycle that was in place: 8 weeks of design, 4 weeks of development and 8 weeks of testing!

      - Distributed and isolated testing teams

      - Highly manual and time-consuming E2E testing processes

      - Multiple interfacing systems, both upstream and downstream 

      - Client development team based out of UK, different execution approach, lack of trust between the teams

    In summary, I would like to share the unique aspects of the execution approach that made this program a real success for the customer, though some of the approaches might be tried out in different environments and project situations.