Head of Academy & Agile
location_on United States
Member since 4 years
Seshadri Veeraraghavan is a seasoned software professional with a strong background in software engineering, design/architecture, project management, and agile transformation.
With over 15 years of experience under his belt in areas ranging from networking to security (all in the realm of enterprise software) to being a ScrumMaster and now a Director (R&D) leading a team of experienced Scrum Masters/Agile Coaches currently heavily contributing to an in-progress agile transformation at a large global corporation, Seshadri has consistently demonstrated that success is earned only by the relentless application of solid ideas with strong and concrete governing principles.
He's passionate about agile; Communities of Practice; purposeful and meaningful collaboration; and drilling down from the big picture to the nitty-gritty details.
Family time is spent with his wife and their two rescues: Isabelle (Lab mix) and Annabelle (Beagle-Basset mix). His interests include photography and animal welfare.
The Key To Initiating And Sustaining True Business Agility: A Robust Agile Coaching OrganizationSeshadri VeeraraghavanHead of Academy & AgileIHS MarkitLaxmana Rao SettipalliAssociate Director-Agile PracticesIHS Markit
schedule 1 year agoSold Out!
Transparency as an Enabler of Strong Agile Culture
One of the most important, yet also among the most neglected, misunderstood, and feared elements of Agile culture is Transparency. In many instances people simply pay lip service to the idea of openness, and in some cases people even work actively against it.
In reality, organizations can indeed quite easily foster a safe, transparent, and productive environment, and provide radiators to help make informed decisions. This contributes to happy, productive, and trust-based Agile teams (and therefore leads to better software and more satisfied customers).
So, how can we help make this happen? How can we remove the fears and worries associated with Transparency, and replace them with trust, safety, and confidence?
Join Sesh in a highly interactive session as he shares real-life examples, easy-to-apply practical tips, and secrets to help improve human aspects such as trust, teamwork, collaboration, and communication: All by making Transparency the centerpiece of team culture.
Agile Transformation:Practical Insights into Behavioral Adjustments and Cultural Changes
An all-encompassing effort such as a full-scale agile transformation goes to the very roots of an organization and tends to shake things up quite dramatically. Indeed, it’s very much like undergoing heart surgery AND brain surgery – simultaneously.
Imagine the damage caused from a failed organization-wide change:
- Loss of credibility
- Loss of trust
- Loss of face and reputation
- Strong demotivation and loss of commitment and faith on the part of employees
- Clinging even tighter to the old (safe!) ways of doing things
- Diminished success of future attempts by leaving behind a wary and highly skeptical audience
After the storm passes, where things have settled often determines how and where the organization goes from that point onwards. Ensure your transformation plan succeeds and the pieces fall into place according to the set goals and plans -- and not according to someone’s whims and fancies; politics; cultural and attitude issues; or naysayers.
Setting Up Successful Agile Communities of Practice: An Experience Report
All agile organizations need champions – those passionate preachers of the power of agility – to spread the message far and wide, and to convince those unwilling to change. However, over a period of time even champions may wither and lose their motivation if they don’t get the necessary support.
So, how do you deal with (or better still, prevent) the loss of a strong evangelist/champion that had been the backbone of your agile movement? By creating many, many more evangelists and by keeping the fires going – that’s how!
In other words, you need a committed, tight-knit, and constantly learning COMMUNITY.
And that's exactly what we did at IHS. Very early in our agile transformation effort (June 2013) we realized we needed a way to sustain the momentum even before we'd started moving. To that end, the best way forward seemed to be to group like-minded, like-skilled people together, who could make a difference at the right time during the movement.
In effect, we needed change agents that knew agile and who were also willing to evangelize. That's when we decided to form our first Community of Practice. I was tasked with coming up with the charter/manifesto; pulling in the relevant people; organizing the launch; and ensuring we had a place to collaborate, all of which I was able to manage successfully.
The first CoP was for ScrumMasters, and we had our first meeting in late July; an external (very experienced) agile coach gave the very first talk and got us going. Since then, we've met every 2-3 weeks via WebEx and also collaborated via email, phone calls, and IMs; created special agile investigation groups to look into different aspects of agility, and generally made ourselves very useful and relevant to the transformation efforts.
Topics have included everything from kanban to scrumban to scaling agile to creating and demonstrating special dashboards for specific roles (e.g. QA, ScrumMasters etc.) using the Rally tool. We just finished our 34th session and attendance has been quite steady.
In the meantime I've also helped launch a CoP for QA - which is thriving and coming up with findings, standards, guidelines, ranging from automation to effective test case-writing to thought leadership around working effectively in an agile environment.
Currently, I'm involved in launching a CoP for Product Owners.
All this is great - but we also had challenges that we had to overcome, and challenges we face that still need to be conquered.
In this session, specifically for the ScrumMaster CoP I'll walk you through how we did it, our successes, challenges faced and overcome, what challenges remain, and next steps for the CoP.
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