Member since 5 years
Passionate Agile Coach and Trainer. Certified in:
CST (Certified Scrum Trainer)
CTC (Certified Team Coach)
Marshal Goldsmith Certified Executive and Team Coach
Have experience in Agile Transformation and leadership coaching. I have a training company "Learnovative" through which I deliver Agile, Scrum training and also provide consulting services. For more details about me, please visit:
Let's solve a practical problem together using Lean Principles
This topic has popped up in my mind through an observation of a practical problem I found yesterday. I thought to apply some lean principles to resolve this problem. I am proposing the problem statement here in this forum and the idea is to have an interactive workshop to come up with possible solutions to address this problem using Lean thinking/principles. Here are the details.
Yesterday I visited Hyderabad Zoo (Nehru zoological Park) along with my cousins families. We are 12 members including adults and children. Earlier till November 2014, visitors cars were directly allowed inside with an additional fee of 200 rupees per car. I visited the Zoo before 2014 November and it was an awesome experience going by our own car and stop wherever you want for however long you want. Now, as they stopped allowing private cars inside, they arranged electric cars rides inside the Zoo. Below is the process and problem statement that I observed.
1. The fee for one adult is 50 Rs and child is 30 Rs for Electric car
2. Tickets will be given only at the entrance of the Zoo that is located outside the compound wall (You will not know how many members are waiting for electric cars inside)
3. Tickets once sold cannot be refunded or exchanged
4. There are limited electric cars available to cater the crowd (I got the info that around 25 cars)
5. Each ride takes 40 minutes. It will stop at various locations where you can get down the car and visit the animals and come back to go to next stop
6. Each car can take up to 12 members including the driver (
7. You have to get onto the car at only one starting location and get down at the same point after the ride is complete. If you want to give away the ride in between its fine up to you
The problems I observed and want to solve these problems by applying lean principles:
1. At the time of buying the tickets:
a. I did not have any clue on how many cars are there inside
b. How long each trip takes
c. How many members are in waiting
d. Whether I can take the car and leave it at some place and visit the animals and by the time I come back after my visit there can be some other car available to take me to next stop or not
2. I had to wait more than 1.5 hours to get my turn to have a car available
3. The driver told that if I can give him 300 Extra we can take our own time to visit and he will not mind (this is the primary cause of the long queues I observed)
4. Weekend visitors are more than 2 times of weekday visitors
5. The queue is not properly managed so at times I observed people are joining in the middle of the queue and making it even more worst
What I want to resolve:
1. Reduce the waiting time
2. Address the loophole of extending the ride by giving bribe to the car driver
3. Address the queue management inconsistencies
Scrum Master - The Team Spirit Guardian
Lord Krishna was our first Scrum Master who helped "Pandavas" to win the "Kurukshetra" war without using a single weapon. On top of it, he was the almighty with so many invisible powers, but he still guided the "Pandavas" through his servant Leadership.
Inspired by this concept, I have created a session to highlight the role of a "Scrum Master" and how can we make a Scrum Master a true "Servant Leader" without so much depending on authority or tools rather concentrating on simple things that can make his contribution to the team a true differentiating factor.
In this task, I am going to cover the following topics:
- Understanding the team formation stages
- 5 dysfunctions of teams
- Gauge the team members' behaviours
- How a Scrum Master can make his team GREAT
- Soft skills for Scrum Master
- How a Scrum Master help his team in various situations
- Importance of learning for a Scrum Master
- Scrum Master's backlog for his team's improvements
- Scrum Masters checklist
I will also cover anti-patterns of Scrum Master in this session along with suitable remedies.
Enterprise Agility - Not a Cakewalk
I worked as a coach and have experience ranging from team level to large scale agile transformation that involves:
- Multiple teams from different locations
- Different cultures
- Variety of structures
- Component teams
- Strong silo working culture
- Legacy code base
- Different release schedules and processes
- Wide range of tools
- And many other challenges
As part of working on the assignments to help the organizations transforming into agile, I had come across various anti patterns and road blocks at various
levels. These anti patterns are very critical to understand and help the organizations to tackle them effectively without compromising on the core agile
values and principles.
It is very easy for any organization to kick off the transformation but it is very hard to maintain the sustainability and become a matured agile organization. During this period there will be many traps that will force the organization to take a U turn and get back to where they started. Lot of effort, money and time gets wasted in this process. It is important to understand the key areas of enterprise agile pathway and decide the roadmap for the transformation with a clear vision and goal. Periodic inspection and adaption is also critical in this whole process to successfully achieve the vision and goal of transformation. top to bottom of the organization will play very vital role in this journey, without proper collaboration, communication and understanding among these teams, organization cannot transform.
Once the transformation kicked off, organization will go through a whole set of different challenges during their release planning, sprint ceremonies, collaboration issues, cross location team challenges, tools and processes and these are also critical humps to crossover successfully.
Another important area that usually will not get enough importance in transformation is the "communication" part. Agile emphasizes more on "face to face" communication. But is it just enough talking face to face? Conflict --> Communication --> collaboration --> Value delivery. This path has to be clearly understood at all levels of organization.
My topic is going to cover these anti patterns that I had come across in my coaching experience and share them with the audience. As part of this session, I am also planning to conduct a survey to see how many of these anti patterns are common to the organizations that are transforming into Agile. I will collect the survey information from the participants by providing them a quick hand copy of the survey form. This information will help me for my paper that is in progress on the "Enterprise Agile Transformation".
I am also planning to have some activities within the session by giving the audience some challenges of transformation and try to find suggestions to arrive at solutions to tackle those challenges. This part will make the session interactive and two-way knowledge sharing.
The anti patterns will be mostly around the following categories:
- Management responsibility
- Structural challenges
- Product teams
- Portfolio management
- Scrum teams
- Scrum Master
- Support teams (Sales, Marketing, HR, Admin etc)
- Continuous improvement
I will also cover, what was done for some of the key anti-patterns to address them as part of the transformation engagements.
Scrum Master Experience Report
This presentation brings a different perspective for the Scrum Masters and helps them to become more powerful Scrum Masters through their enhanced soft skills. I am going to cover how the teams evaolve, how the change is resisted, how the teams behave, how Scrum Master can handle all these effective to make the teams deliver working software every sprint continuously.
The information explained below is from my experience as Scrum Master and Coach. Below are the points that will be covered in the presentation:
Primarily I am planning to cover the anti patterns that will push the teams back and where the Scrum Master can support the teams with his knowledge, experience and interpersonal skills. For example please find below some scenarios:
1. In effective sprint planning: Team might miss some of the tasks while doing the sprint planning part 2 so they will anyway identify them during the development of the stories so these tasks take additional time which is not budgeted. So they will have to miss some stories which will impact the sprint goal. So I encourage the scrum masters to collect all such unidentified tasks on a separate colr sticky notes and during retrospective discuss with the team to see how much % of the capacity is gone for that tasks. At the same time are there any tasks in that list can be repeatable tasks (Eg: Code review) so this will help the team to come up with a tasks checklist which will help the teams to do effective sprint planning part 2
2. Partially ready stories pushed into the sprint: Sometimes product owners push the stories that are not fully ready and the team cannot say "No" in this case either the story gets changes during the sprint or it cannot be finished due to unknown factors. So Scrum Master to encourage the team to have a proper DOR (Definition of Ready) and get a working agreement between the PO and team so that they will work around it whilst they understand "Responding to change over following a plan"
3. Cross functional behavior: Team generally does not want to become cross functional because they are fine with what they are. Scrum Master has to bring a change in their thought process and get them agreed to become cross functional. For this it takes time so SM has to also manage the management expectations with respect to set the expectation in the dip in productivity
4. Pale retrospectives: This is another area where Scrum Master has to provide support to teams and get the liveliness and make the teams high performance teams
5. Timeboxing: Most of the teams do not respect this important guideline. Again SM has to get the importance of this characterstic in to the teams and get them aligned towards this. So there are some examples which I can quote such as if different people arrive at different timings, how much time is wasted and how many times we need to recap on the points already discussed, how much gap created etc
6. Stop starting and start finishing: This will cover to complete the stories/tasks that you are working before you pick up something. In general the teams pick up many items at a time and complete them close to 100% but not 100% so this will impact the sprint goal. In such case the SM has to provide inputs to the team to pick as few as possible but close them as soon as possible so this way the value delivery at the end of sprint is guaranteed
7. Lack of importance for quality: In the hurry of completing the stories the team at times give less or no importance to the quality. So the probability of escaped defects or getting rejection for the stories is high. So the Scrum Master has to educate the teams to strictly define/refine/follow the Definition of Done for each story. I saw many teams having their DOD in the tools like VersionOne but not infront of their eyes.
8. I know when I see it: Information radiators. This will be the key for the teams to adjust their pace as per the principle #8. So creating big visible information radiators and updating the underlysing details frequently will bring attention in the team and they naturally tend to adjust their delivery mode as per the requirement
Lean and Kanban Implementation from Trenches
I was part of a Large Scale Agile transformation in my organization and I was one of the Agile coaches there. As part of transformation we have created LeanOps teams to manage the technical debt, production incidents with a focused concentration. This article covers the following:
- Why the trasnformation required?
- What are the structural changes implemented?
- LeanOps inception
- Lean Ops working Model
- Challenges with the LeanOps
- How we addressed those challenges?
- Goal oriented approach
- Q & A
A retrospection on a Large Scale Agile Transformation
This is a case study prepared based on a large scale agile transformation happened at a product based company with over 5000 employees across 5 different locations. The transformation journey started with a clear vision and a timeline. There was a detailed plan and management buy-in for this transformation. I am presenting the key details of the transformation in this case study. This case study covers the critical activities carried out as part of the transformation and what went well and what went wrong during the transformation.
“Challenges” are to be expected in any rapidly changing enterprise in a dynamic and exciting market, and they must be addressed to survive and thrive. The enterprises which stand out and set an example to the rest are the ones which handle these challenges in a different way leaving the foot prints for others to adapt these good practices and benefit out of them. Healthy organizations continuously learn and re-invent themselves to go from good to great, and this is what we are striving to do.
This is a practical Agile Transformation case study of an organization. Our key drivers for change include:
- Improve platform and gaming availability
- Reduce feature cycle time
- Reduce defects in production
- Develop flexible, multi-skilled teams
- Produce high value features first
- Enhance cross site business collaboration
We started our agile journey during September 2013. In the presentation the following points would be covered:
- Why did we choose transformation?
- What was our roadmap of transformation?
- What was our approach towards the transformation?
- What were our challenges during the transformation?
- Solutions to the challenges that we faced during the transfformation?
- What tools we have selected?
- What are the outcomes of the transformation?
- What is our current status and what is remaining?
- Any questions and answers
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