Final Schedule for Agile India 2016 is live!

Pre-Conference Workshop

Mon, Mar 14
Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST)
09:00

    Registration - 60 mins

10:00

Agile Leadership

Tue, Mar 15
Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST)
08:30

    Registration - 30 mins

09:00
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    Richard Sheridan

    Richard Sheridan - Build a Workplace People Love – Just add Joy

    schedule  09:00 - 09:45 AM place Grand Ballroom star_halfRate

    The CIO invited me into his office and closed the door. Before he took me for a tour of his operation, he had a few stories to share. Important stories. Last year’s project was a disaster. Late, lots of quality issues, in short, a failure in every dimension. His boss, the CEO, had just presented him with a very personal ultimatum: deliver the next project by April 4th, "or else". 

    "Or else what," I asked?

    His team was burned out and scared. They were a hard-working and dedicated group, but fear and demoralization had set in and he didn't know what to do next. That’s why he wanted to talk to me, he had heard things about my company, things that seemed too good to be true, but he had to hear them firsthand. He wanted hope, inspiration, and a practical way to get there.

    I told him about my own journey from joy to fear to disillusionment back to joy. It was simple, but, of course, simple isn’t easy. I wasn’t sure he and his organization were ready; "manufactured fear" is a powerful drug.

    In this talk, I will share with you what I shared with him. I will explore what an intentionally joyful culture must choose as its focus. I will discuss what joy looks like, feels like, how it is organized. Along the way, you will be confronted by paradoxical approaches of how workplace noise increases productivity, how two people at one computer outperforms hero-based organizations 10-to-1, how rigor and discipline emanate from a shared-belief system, how transparency conquers fear, how all of the disciplines you study including agile, lean, and six sigma when done well are really about building human relationships at the intersections of business and technology, between project management and software development, between development and design and how quality can be a natural result of a team built on trust. This is not a theoretical talk, but rather a talk built from well over a decade of experience of leading a team focused on “the business value of joy”. There will be lots of room for discussion with the audience. The audience will begin to understand why thousands of people make the journey to Ann Arbor, Michigan every year to see The Menlo Software Factory firsthand, and why so many more are reading about it in Joy, Inc. – How We Built A Workplace People Love.

10:00

    Opening Talk - 15 mins

10:15

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

10:30
11:30
13:00

    Lunch - 60 mins

14:00
15:00
15:30

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

15:45
16:45
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    Sanjiv Augustine

    Sanjiv Augustine - The Joy of Agile Work: Managing Performance and Sparking Innovation

    schedule  04:45 - 05:30 PM place Grand Ballroom star_halfRate

    Do you find your work exciting and fulfilling? Is your team rewarded for finding better ways to work? While many organizations have adopted Agile approaches at a project level, few have effectively aligned their HR processes with Agile values, or made finding better ways of working a truly rewarding and exciting proposition for their teams. With a new generation of employees who are interested equally in purpose as in profit, it is imperative that we revisit schemes like the 3600 annual review, and recognize not only their limitations, but also the damage they cause to individual morale and team productivity.

    Join Sanjiv to explore the subject of creating a holistic performance management system that not only adheres to Agile principles, but actively promotes individual drive and team innovation. Learn how delink merit pay from feedback, the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; and how to create a “flow state” on your agile teams to enhance performance and spark innovation.

17:45

    Can Data Science & Business Intelligence be Agile?
    Gopal Krishnan, Walmart Labs, Raghu Kashyap, Orbitz, Joy Montello, Target and Sanghamitra Bhattacharjee, HelpChat
    - 60 mins

19:00

    Philips Sponsored Reception Dinner - 180 mins

Agile Team Culture

Wed, Mar 16
Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST)
08:30

    Registration - 30 mins

09:00
10:00

    Opening Talk - 15 mins

10:15

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

10:30
11:30
  • schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate

    If you've never worked at or seen a high performing team, it is difficult to know what to do to get yours started. This talk will give you a basic recipe for forming the working agreements that can lead to a high performing and self managed team. By weaving together both theory and the practical experience from Spotify's way of doing things, we will go on a journey that will give you both the ingredients and the techniques to get cooking. 

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    Balaji Ganesh N

    Balaji Ganesh N - Doing Agile vs Being Agile - Sins and epiphanies from my agile journey

    schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    There are so many organizations and product teams that are embracing agile implementation methodologies as a means to accelerate product development for competitive advantage and customer delight. Agile is now more than a fad or a buzzword.

    Despite all this pervasiveness and penetration, there are only some teams for whom agile works well, whereas it doesn't work so well for some of the other teams and it fails for the rest. 

    But, is the problem really with adopting agile or is it something else? After all, agile is a mirror.

    As Leo Tolstoy once said, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” There is a lesson to learn from every failed implementation.

    From the 9th "State of Agile" survey done by VersionOne in 2014, in cases where agile projects were unsuccessful, 44% of the respondents pointed to lack of experience with agile methods.

    Drawing from my experiences through my journey as a lean agile coach, this is an attempt to collate the anti-patterns (sins) associated with "lack of experience with agile methods" within the teams implementing agile and possible solutions (epiphanies) to overcome them. I believe that addressing these anti-patterns and preventing them from happening in your teams would significantly enhance the probability of succeeding with your agile implementations. Establishing the purpose and aligning the teams with the organization strategy is one of the key determinant of success. Due to time constraints, I would be focusing on 3-4 anti-patterns (points 1,7,8,9)  that are commonly seen while touching on the rest of them briefly.

     Details are given below:

    1. Square pegs in round holes- These are role anti-patterns and arise by looking at Scrum Master / Product Owner as positions to fill rather than identifying and assigning the right person for the job and abrupt transitions from PM / architect to SM / PO creates this anti pattern. It is important to ascertain the fitment and identify the right person with the attributes of a servant leader who can influence the team without authority, empathize, ask the team the right questions which would empower and enable them to become more self-organizing and step back when required. In cases where a transition is involved adequate training / coaching needs to be provided to smoothen the transition.

    2. Ineffective retrospectives - Retrospectives are treated more as a ritual with no feedback loop to the planning process. Ineffective retrospectives are good at addressing the person and not the problem, creating actionable without owner(s) and timelines, have no focused outcomes and create a "blame game" culture.

    3. Sub-optimal local execution - This is reflected in product teams / modules / component not aligned at the global / program level and is primarily due to misalignment of the teams during planning, no vertical slicing, poor dependency management,  inability to create cross functional teams, no single product backlog, infrequent touch points across the teams with no day to day interaction. This typically results in teams following the sprint cadence but not creating any working deliverable at the end of the sprint.

    End to end optimized execution is possible only through creation of flow across the entire product line. As a first step, it helps to visualize the workflow and understand the work in progress across the various sub-systems to surface the bottlenecks. Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) is one of the powerful tools that help identify bottlenecks across the system.

    Some general techniques that help address bottlenecks are identifying the right features (Kano model and user satisfaction matrix) and then vertical slicing to create a working deliverable every sprint, having a single Chief Product Owner (Scaled Scrum) who owns the overall product backlog and ensures priority and value alignment with each team's backlog, synchronizing the iteration time-boxes to ensure that dependent user stories are delivered in the same sprint as much as possible, investing in building relationships and trust among teams (investing in kick-off meetings and face to face engagement), creating a scheduled daily cadence for points of alignment like daily scrum of scrums (weekly inter-team sync-ups would be a killer for teams working on 2 week sprints), usage of tools like Design Structure Matrix (http://dsmweb.org/) for the right development sequence during planning / accurate impact analysis and complexity assessment alleviates this anti-pattern to a large extent.

    Other aspects to address include the team structure and alignment. Executing cross skilling plans levels out workload and integrating business + dev + QA ensures that the right product is built right and reduces failure load significantly.

    4. Dysfunctional team  - This typically happens due to trust deficit. There is typically no daily engagement with the team and team is comfortable with conflict avoidance. Understanding the team (Use tools like Pat Lencioni's 5 dysfunctions of a team), managing conflicts effectively, creating conditions for constructive confrontation, rewarding team collaborative behaviors goes a long way in creating trust, confidence and collective responsibility.

    5. Dis-engaging Daily Standups - Typical anti-patterns here include scrum meetings that overrun significantly beyond stipulated time, team members reporting status to the Scrum Master and not the team, impediments not raised in the meeting, dis-engaged team members. Visualizing the work, raising and tracking impediments, being sensitive to the time zone differences and accommodating them, investing in technology that helps enhance the engagement / involvement levels of the complete team helps make the daily scrums more effective.

    6. Unaligned Process model - Team members frequently pulled into firefighting and production support activities with no regard to the commitments made. There is a need to introspect if time boxed sprint is the right way to go for teams in this case or would a different approach like Scrum+ Kanban (ScrumBan) work better ? There are also cases where heavy weight ALM tools are used for short duration engagements or small teams just because of the availability, without any training or regard to the ROI.

    7. Product Owner - Team misalignment: This is typically manifested in busy product owners (Example -: product owner spending time in too many  discussions with the client, Product Owner for multiple teams) for whom this is an additional responsibility apart from their day jobs, mismatch between the product owner's expectations and the team's expectation, disruptive product owners who do not appreciate or understand the team's challenges, team's velocity not factored in release planning by the product owner. Ensuring that a product owner is not assigned for more than 2 teams, business analysts in the team interfacing with clients to see what the market needs leaving the responsibility of the technical product to the actual product owner, proxy product owner who is empowered to take decisions in the product owner's absence are some of the strategies that ensure enough bandwidth is available for the POs to collaborate effectively with the product team and focus on effective product delivery.Appropriate budgeting for PO during the pre-planning phase, sensitizing the product owners through more face time with the team, identifying  chief product owners for alignment across multiple teams (scaled scrum), proxy product owners are also additional strategies that can address this situation.

    8. Not building the right thing - As Drucker said "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all". . Appropriate widely used techniques / frameworks (Value Stream Mapping, Value-Risk mapping, Risk Based Testing, Design Structure Matrix, Product-Market fit decision frameworks, Kano model) for identifying the right thing to implement, prioritize and eliminate waste would help tackle this antipattern.

    9. Cultural anti-patterns - Typical issues observed here includes -Teams not aligned to the organizational goal / purpose of the program,  non-collaboration across teams, offshore team treated as a "B" team,lack of T shaped skills, inappropriate performance / R&R systems that reward individual success over team success, irregular or inconsistent sprint cadence, student syndrome, using velocity as a tool to compare performance across teams, abrupt transition from project manager to scrum master role, management looking at agile as a tool to overwork the teams, poor ALM tooling strategy and non-alignment across the teams.

    Why is alignment important ? Because one of the important components of ownership is knowing "What to own ?". In surveys with the top management misalignment of the team's goals with the organizational goals comes out as a top response.

    Some symptoms of a poorly aligned team include: poor or failed execution, lack of clarity about priorities, low morale, absence of healthy debate, lack of ownership or follow through, underground communications (gossip, “us versus them” thinking)

    Usage of surveys like the team alignment questionnaires, Scrum Butt questionnaire, team assessment versus the 12 agile principles surfaces points of mis-alignment and dysfunction across the teams

    Some solutions to address cultural dysfunctions include usage of purpose alignment matrix and four questions (who do we serve ?, What do they need and want most ?, What do we do better than anyone else to meet those needs and wants ?, What is the best way to deliver these products / services ? ) to establish the team's purpose, creating cross-functional teams that can get to “done” in each location, recognizing and rewarding adaptive collaborative change behaviors (cross skilling, taking initiatives in supporting team to overcome impediments, helping others cross skill, breaking boundaries for effective problem solving) to reinforce these behaviors,  assessing current project managers and ensuring an effective transition into agile roles through 1:1 coaching (for transforming  smoothly from command and control to servant leadership), effective management of time zone differences in distributed teams to ensure appropriate rotation of meetings / discussions so that one of the teams does not burn out, top down approach to sensitize management and make necessary changes to the organizational structure and career roadmap  for accommodating agile roles like Product Owner, Scrum Master, agile program manager etc.. , adopting objective metrics like Time to Market (TTM) and business value accrued to measure effectiveness.

    As Eliyahu Goldratt once mentioned "Tell me how you will measure me and I will tell you how I will behave". Therefore, look into your performance systems first if you come across any dysfunctional behaviors. One cannot expect a person to display collaborative behavior, if the performance system encourages and rewards individual success over team success.

    10. Surfeit of Metrics  - Team tracks too many metrics that are not relevant and are inherited from waterfall mindset. There is also an obsession for effort tracking at the individual level and % complete’s. Burn-up charts, velocity, committed vs achieved ratio, defects per sprint are just enough metrics for effective tracking.

    11. User story anti-patterns - Teams do not put in efforts to refine the product backlog as it is seen more as a cost than an investment. There are multiple product backlogs and definition of ready is not agreed between the PO and the team. This results in large user stories that cannot be completed in a sprint, wait times for clarifications and things getting put on hold a few days after implementation due to lack of adequate inputs. Agreeing on a Definition of Ready (DoR) and coaching the team / PO on patterns for splitting user stories helps overcome these barriers

    12. Agile Manifesto Delusion - This typically manifests as no documentation, no Definition of Done, multiple disruptions during the sprint to accommodate changes etc... Helping teams understand and interpret the agile manifesto and principles in the manner in which they were intended creates clarity and helps obliterate this anti pattern. 

    At the end of the day, it is all about delivering valuable working software in an incremental manner. Hence principles should always take precedence over practices and tools. We, from the agile community have a big part to play in helping to realize the above and breaking the above barriers for successful agile adoption. 

  • schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    One common problem any delivery team struggles is to have a common understanding of "why" a product or feature is being built. The documents such as Project Charter, vision document etc. tries to solve this problem, but it’s common to see such documents exist in the repository, hardly known or read by anyone in the team. And this document rarely gets updated too. Ask your team members what is the goal of the project? You may be surprised to know how many actually know about it.

    The so called "vision" or "goal" usually rests within Product Manager/Owner or any other stakeholder. There is no forum to converse about these goals or ideas as a team. The planning meetings [iteration or release planning] are supposed to take care of this, but there is no standard guidelines defined which would help to brainstorm these in a typical release/iteration planning meetings.

    This is where Impact Mapping comes into the picture. It is a "Strategic planning technique", defined by Gojko Azdic, explained in the book Impact Mapping. It is a very simple technique based on the idea of "asking the right questions" which are:

    • Why are we building what we are building? i.e., Goal(s) of the product
    • Who we think are the actors who’ll get impacted?
    • How do we expect to change the actors’ behavior?
    • What are we going to do to create the impacts? i.e. the feature list / deliverables

    Finally, by connecting the deliverables to impacts and goals, a map shows a chain of reasons that leads to feature suggestion. 

    Fundamental of Impact Mapping is that Impact means a change in behavior of an actor which usually results in a positive impact either by Reduction in the Cost or Improvement in ROI for the business.

    If you closely watch the sections in Impact Mapping, what to build i.e. the features or the so called backlog comes only at the end, whereas in the typical planning meeting we usually start with a backlog.

    The above questions need to be answered by the entire team [the IT team, the business people and any other stakeholders, if any], and avoids the common anti-patterns during planning meetings:

    • Ad-hoc planning
    • Wrong Assumptions
    • Pet features

    The hands on workshop will cover the above mentioned concepts of Impact Mapping in detail along with exercising the same.

    Below are a few comments that we received from our customers after being part of the Impact Mapping session:

    • “It made me think about the real goals my product has to achieve during the initial launch.”
    • “Wow, this is a great way of visualizing”
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    Raj Karunakaran

    Raj Karunakaran - Building a Agile Culture - Our experience at Philips

    schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Sigma star_halfRate

     

    At Philips, we have been focusing on shifting organizational mindset and behavior and incorporating an Agile mindset.

    It is a normal practice for organizations to adapt Agile by first conducting Agile training for teams, adapting Scrum ceremonies and mechanically applying Agile practices. The biggest challenge that an organization faces is on how to shift the mindset of the team and the leaders towards Agile. Moreover how to shift the people practices, that have been strongly aligned to traditional set up.

    It is important for organizations to understand that Agile is a cultural shift and additional interventions should be introduced to make this cultural shift. 

    At Philips we looked at various aspects to bring in a holistic shift in the culture, mindset and behaviors :-

    • The first step was towards building a purpose driven organization with a strong vision that intrinsically motivates people towards creating customer value – rather than being too focused on financial results and internal metrics.
    • Secondly, for Agile teams to be successful, focus is on mowing the ownership to the teams. This includes teams to not just acclimatize Agile values and principles but also to start driving the change. This involved creating change practices and interventions that facilitated this process.
    • A culture change is a transformation in team behavior and competence. The team should be able to adapt and give feedback to each other on these competencies. Feedback souk is now getting embedded as a regular ceremony.
    • To shift the ownership to the team, the traditional organization structure needs to change. Traditional hierarchical structures represent flow of control and authority that is top down. Lateral Career paths are making way to Career Lattice. Managers have started playing the role of facilitators and performance coaches. 
    • The people practices like hiring, performance management, learning and development, recognition practices, decision making process are getting transformed to allow a bottoms up approach.

    We are seeing that the real shift in culture happens when organization become truly external and customer  focused and shifts its focus from internal controls to more flexibility.

12:30
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    Craig Brown

    Craig Brown - Prioritizing backlogs across diverse stakeholders simply and easily

    schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate
     
    Can we get 100 people to agree on what to prioritise to the top of a backlog? Sure we can. Can we identify a reliable systematic system we can use to get this done in just a few minutes? Of course we can.
     
    Requires 100 people to meet the claims in the session, but we can run this with ANY amount of people from 3 (Easy!) to 300 (Equally easy!)
     
    I learned this one from Alistair Cockburn in a pub. It's a neat trick.
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    Tathagat Varma

    Tathagat Varma - Minimum Viable Coaching: an experience report

    schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    In May 2015, I got involved in coaching a products organization in improving their agile practices. This was a unique coaching experience for me because of some interesting experiments that I did:

    • I focused on coaching and literally zero consulting. 
    • My coaching stance was only limited to showing them the way, initially training them on the essence of agility, and later on to simply shine light on areas that needed their attention, and if needed, share ideas from the industry.
    • I spent just 1day every month with the teams to only focus on my coaching sessions, and a few hours during that time to review the progress.
    • The teams and the leadership would decide on what they wanted to do, and how much they wanted to change.

    In ~6 months that I coached them, I found that the team has matured to a very high level of self-organization. They changed their process, their key roles and responsibilities, and self-organized into a very high-performing teams (which was corroborated not just from the high-energy levels of their teams but also the project metrics).

    I call this model Minimum Viable Coaching, and it was helpful in demonstrating how a coaching could be made extremely effective if there is a client who is willing to trust its team in their ability to self-change, with minimal guidance (more of direction than really support) from an external coach. It also requires a coach to think in terms of minimum self-interests (read commercial interests) but focus on what will make the client successful in the long run.

    In this experience report, I will share my approach and experiences, and offer some ideas on how the coaching can be elevated to a true coaching where the enterprise becomes self-organizing on their own.

  • schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    Consider an agile utopia executing a lean build-measure-feedback loop for software development. How would you feel if your biggest strength of receiving early feedback from your end-users turns out to be your Achilles heel? Recently I faced this dilemma where my end-users unfortunately were a group of introvert individuals. This led to Monger project’s MVP almost declared as a failure since it did not fulfill the end-user’s requirements. 

    Many a times, projects transform their delivery mechanism from traditional models to agile with a myth that agile is a recipe for success. In reality many projects fail since agile is not well understood by the teams. A few times (like in this case) the agile process falters not due to incorrect implementation but due to incorrect participants responsible to execute a part of the process.

    Experience with me what happens when your end-users falter your feedback loop just because of the nature of individuals. If you’ve ever been a part of a group (or may be in the future) where your end-users are introverts, learn from this experience report how we overcame this problem on the Monger project by strengthening our anemic reviews. At the same time, if you as a participant have been there and done that, I would love to hear about it.

  • schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Sigma star_halfRate

    What is it about?

    This is a story about building appreciation and feedforward culture in the organization.

    I am going to talk about a bottom-up experiment based on Jurgen Appelo's Merit Money, conduced in the biggest e-commerce company in Poland - Allegro Group. It is a story about learning throughout an Agile experiment to get the most out of it. Primarily the experiment was intended to challenge the existing bonus system based on forced ranking. It turned into appreciation and feedback system with some sweets involved. 

    This feedback system has grown to more that 230 people involved from 3 different physical locations and still grows virally. We made a structure in which there is a coordinator in each location. If at least part of scrum team plays the game, SM is the first line contact. He distributes credits and exchanges them for sweets. Also cooperates with coordinator who is responsible for making sure system works well in his location.
    Iterations are now 2 weeks. We introduced a requirement that credit has to be filled in with short description what you thank for, in order to be exchanged. This was to promote written thank you’s and avoid situations where people hand over credits just to get sweets.
    Also every quarter we change credits appearance so that the previous credits cannot be exchanged for sweets. This is to set a time box and “flush the system”.

    Is it for me?

    Do you feel your team could be more engaged in their work? Trying to get rid of silos in your organization? Then this is for you.

    Get inspired by this simple game, in which there are several instant feedback loops, fun, gambling and sweet prizes.

    Oh, I forgot... and you'll find an answer on why we call it Fudge Candies.

13:00

    Lunch - 60 mins

14:00
  • schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate

    Agile development isn’t any longer considered to work for small teams only. Also large teams, projects and organizations are asked to focus on delivering value. So the question arises, how to adhere to the agile principles when applying them in the large.

    In this workshop we want to use the agile principles as a guideline for scaling. This is basically by understanding agile as a value system, a mindset, a culture – and not as a tool. So be prepared to being asked to think for yourself and to balance forces based on your own needs and requirements instead of finding a recipe that assumes that one size will or can fit all (organizations, projects, products, or teams). Thus, this workshop is not about providing or defining a framework for the enterprise or the organization, scaling scrum or using other existing methodologies at different organizational levels. It is about examining the agile principles according to their effects and application when scaling up. For example, we will discuss what a principle such as "self-organizing teams" means when it is applied to a team of more than 100 developers or to the enterprise level.

    The workshop is based on the necessity of large-scale Agile to give and get frequent feedback in order to deliver the highest business value to the customer at all times besides learning and getting better continuously.

  • schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    A number of agile brands downplay the need for business analysis and requirements management on agile projects, putting large store in the role of the Product Owner.  This paper tackles some of the problems this misconception can result in and shows how effective product ownership almost always requires a team with a variety of skills and backgrounds to be effective.

    Product Ownership requires clarity of vision, alignment with organizational strategy, understanding of the development process and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders across all levels both inside and outside the organization.  The complexity of the role is most often more than a single person can (or should) cope with – effective product ownership requires a teamwork approach covering a variety of skills and knowledge.

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    Ellen Grove

    Ellen Grove - Everything Is Better When We Stick Together: Building Team Working Agreements

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    Whether a team is brand-new or seasoned veterans at working together, explicitly defining and/or refining a team working agreement will help the team to align on how they will work together effectively to meet their common goal. In this fast-paced hands-on session, participants will go through the process of building a team working agreement using LEGO Serious Play (LSP).

    Creating a team working agreement helps team members set the stage for effective communication and high performance by making assumptions about ‘what really matters to us’ and ‘how we will work together?’ explicit and negotiable.  Great working agreements address some difficult topics - what values do we share? how do we want to deal with conflict when it comes up? how will we handle problems within the team? - which are often challenging to discuss openly and honestly, especially when a team is first assembled.  

    This session will show you how to use LEGO Serious Play to encourage a frank and fearless discussion in order to kickstart these discussions so that a team can quickly create a powerful set of simple guiding principles for working together.  Participants will learn about the importance of team working agreements in creating team cohesion and common understanding of shared values and operational guidelines, and experience hands-on how to use the LEGO Serious Play cycle of build-share-reflect to have a participatory discussion to identify shared values, explore reactions to conflict, and build a set of simple guiding principles.

     

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    Angel Diaz-Maroto Alvarez

    Angel Diaz-Maroto Alvarez - Being Agile to become Customer Centric

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Sigma star_halfRate
    The first principle of Agile manifesto says "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” But, Is our highest priority to delight our customer, or to delight our sponsor. Do we understand who the real customer is and behave accordingly?
     
    I’ve often seen Agile teams producing software aimed to delight: another departments within their organization, an external organization hiring their development services, their management or even their Product Owners. But, are those the ones to be delighted by the product in development?
     
    I believe that software is awesome when it helps creating awesome experiences to the people the organization is serving. To create those delighting experiences is very important to understand who your real customer is and empathize with him. This session is aimed to create that awareness and to introduce some practical tools that can help creating a "Customer Centric” Agile implementation and culture in organizations.
15:30

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

15:45
  • schedule  03:45 - 05:15 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate

    Many Agile teams focus on Velocity as their measure of progress. They build burn-up charts to track it over time and make it the focus of much of their discussion during Sprint Planning and Retrospectives. Is the strong focus on this metric truly in line with the principles of Agile Software Development?

    Join Ardita as she leads us through a hands on workshop to explore this question. In this workshop you will discover how a focus on Value first, instead of Velocity, changes how the team approaches the work to be completed. Through a series of structured activities you will work with a Story Map for a fictitious project and assign value to the discovered stories. You will learn the practices and skills necessary to track Earned Value on your project and also learn the valuable lesson on how to discover what not to build. The outcome will be a set of new skills that you can take back with you and immediately apply to your current team development planning efforts. This session will be fun and educational. This is one workshop you don't want to miss.

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    Steve Holyer

    Steve Holyer / Pavel Dabrytski - Requirements Engineering for Agile Product Owners: Hunting value with structured conversations

    schedule  03:45 - 05:15 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    Hunting value through conversations. This is a skill that helps Product Owners when working with stakeholders, analysts and requirements engineers. Start with identifying your project partners, and use the 7 Product Dimensions (user, interface, activities, data, control, environment and quality attributes) to uncover correct requirements for your product. Understand how you can use it to focus on value, deliver value and optimise value.

    Unfortunately all too often, many Product Owners do much of their work alone. We want the participants to experience the power of the conversation structured to hunt value through a specifically designed dojo, and we want to create better awareness of good requirements engineering practices. This session is intended to help Product Owners and Business Analysts create better requirements and to help them have richer and more powerful conversations. The session is based on the work of Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman’s “Discover to Deliver” as well as the work of James Shore and Diana Larsen’s Agile Fluency Model.

  • schedule  03:45 - 05:15 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    What does John F. Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon in this decade...", the recent organizational change that you had, and your latest update on social media have in common? Have you ever thought why well-intended, perfectly valid logical ideas fail to appeal to people?

    One of the best ways to communicate with people is through a story. Stories or narratives help you to connect with the hearts and minds of your audience. An emotionally engaging story affects more areas of the brain than rational, data-driven messages - meaning that they are far more likely to resonate with people you lead. Realizing this, the importance of storytelling as a tool has gained prominence in organizations.

    So what sort of stories can you tell in a business context? And an eloquent leader uses different narrative patterns of storytelling to achieve different outcomes. Learn about the skill of storytelling to communicate your vision, spark action, have people collaborate at work and transform your organization.

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    Dipesh Pala

    Dipesh Pala - Unleashing the full potential of your Distributed Agile Teams

    schedule  03:45 - 05:15 PM place Sigma star_halfRate

    Are you interested in succeeding with Agile in large, complex distributed development projects? Being Agile in a distributed environment has been a subject of controversy over the years, which is not surprising given the importance placed on face-to-face communication in the twelve principles of the Agile Manifesto.

    This workshop will address the opportunities, challenges and concerns that are commonly faced by organizations in keeping to this manifesto when their Agile teams are geographically distributed.

    Agile teams need to work together very closely as cross-functional teams, instead of silos with hand-offs after long project phases. Agile teams also need to engage customers and stakeholders frequently to ensure that they are meeting customer needs, adapting to changing requirements and delivering high-quality software. The transparency inspired by Agile makes any challenges related to this level of daily communication, collaboration and teaming, painfully obvious to teams and individuals. However, many large-scale and distributed Agile teams are successfully and boldly rising to meet the challenges with great success.What makes the difference between thriving versus just merely surviving?

     In this session, we will explore how organizations can create cultures, nurture individuals, and build teams to create high performing Distributed Agile teams in a globally competitive world. Dipesh will also share some innovative ideas in addition to tricks, tips, and proven methods that have inspired and helped people and organizations to 'be Agile' rather than just 'do Agile'.  The Agile Manifesto puts more emphasis on individuals and interactions over processes and tools and we want to keep it that way no matter where they are!

    Bring your greatest distributed teaming challenges and and be ready to be inspired during this active and engaging session.

17:30
18:30

    Snacks - 15 mins

18:45

    Thaalavattam Project - A music jam with 100 instruments - 45 mins

19:30

    Dinner and Networking - 150 mins

Enterprise Agile

Thu, Mar 17
Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST)
08:30

    Registration - 30 mins

09:00
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    James Shore

    James Shore - Scaling Beyond the Enterprise

    schedule  09:00 - 09:45 AM place Grand Ballroom star_halfRate

    The brilliance of early Agile methods was their non-conformity. They rejected conventional wisdom about how software should be created and substituted a new reality: one where collaboration, adaptation, and continuous improvement were more important than rigid processes and plans. At first, many people rejected these innovations, but Agile stood the test of time. Now it's won the day.

    When people talk about scaling Agile, they forget those insurrectionary roots. They focus on what's palatable to the "enterprise:" how to make Agile safe, non-threatening, and acceptable--how to make it more conventional and conformist. In doing so, they risk losing the innovations that make Agile work so well.

    What if we stopped worrying about what's safe and acceptable? What if we went back to those innovative roots? What would Agile look like if we scaled beyond the enterprise?

    Come find out.

10:00

    Opening Talk - 15 mins

10:15

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

10:30
11:30
12:30
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    Stelio Verzera

    Stelio Verzera - The (near) future of work: how you are going to work tomorrow.

    schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate

    Generation after generation we humans devise and create what we need in order to evolve as a whole, as an adaptive system. We extend our bodies and consciousness in order to fly, to compute, to communicate, to be faster, to reach further, and so on. Good or bad is not of interest here. This is just how it works. This is how we have created all of our tools and technologies, or "media" as Marshall McLuhan would say. To extend ourselves.

    Nevertheless, tools and processes are the fastest layer in the evolution of a human system. If you observe and study them, it is very difficult that you'll understand where the future is headed. In times of concentrated change like the one we're living through, if you focus on tools and processes, you'll be observing the results of a change in people that has happened yesterday. It is, at best, the present of work. It might not be mainstream yet in some aspects, but from a systemic point of view, it is already all here.

    If you want to really have some sound insight of what the future of work holds, you have to look into people. Let's see how, and what this shows.

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    Anand Murthy Raj

    Anand Murthy Raj / Sundaresan Jagadeesan - Philips - Enterprise SAFe Transformation Journey

    schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    About the company

    Philips is a healthcare multinational company that focuses on building complete health care products and solutions for emerging markets, in addition to developing solutions and products for global markets, across the three sectors Healthcare, Lighting and Lifestyle. Using the expertise of its nearly 2000 engineers in Bangalore and aligning the marketing and sales teams the campus is responsible for creating and rolling out a complete set of products that include a whole host of solutions for global customers. It also contributes to global solutions in critical health care component development for connected consumer devices and renewable energy.

    Executive Summary

    Beginning of 2014, an external survey brought out the issues wrt time to market and code quality. Taking the survey results positively, the Leadership embarked on an Agile/SAFe journey with pilot projects. The results were amazing and with the currently learning from the pilots, the organization is running 25+ deployments within. The journey has started and Agile release trains are delivering periodic value to our customers at defined frequencies.

    Background Objective/Challenge

    Product quality, consistent & predictive delivery and quicker time to market are the key challenges the organization is trying to address today. Continuous Innovation is constrained due to the above issues and hence there is need to find a new way of product development which can meet the dynamic business needs, foster people engagement and deliver meaningful products to the world.

    Target

    ScaledAgile has been used as a framework for product development across the organization global. The whole organization is undergoing a transformation from waterfall way of working to the SAFe agile way of working and roadmap is till 2019.

    Agile Initiative

    The Framework used for the transformation can be summarized into 4 major steps

    1. Develop products in the Agile way with focus on Basic Agile practices (Scrum)
    2. Establish Product Ownership with focus on Enabling Scaling aspects (SAFe practices)
    3. Establish a release pipeline with continuous integration (supported by Automation)
    4. Adopt a DevOps Culture with focus on Continuous delivery (to production environment)


    This includes a comprehensive diagnosis of the various business processes, agile practices and behavior, engineering practices, delivery maturity and recommendations for the transition. A coaching and tooling plan is also an outcome of the diagnostics.

     Measurable Impact

    • Predictable Releases to customers (hitting the market with features every three months with features and business criticial bugs with less than 2 weeks with all the regulatory compliance)
    • Capitalization
    • Feature planned vs Feature delivered per program increment > 80%lose
    • Defect reduction co t 45%
    • Team velocity – Baseline vs actual.
    • Very high sense of ownership and high levels of engagement

    Transformation team Profile

    Global team

    • Agile Capability program manager -1 FTE
    • Agile Deployment Program Management – 1 FTE
    • Communication expert – 1 FTE (Today we are 0/1)
    • Coordination - 1 FTE
    • Enterprise Agile Coaches – 16 (Today we are 9 /16)

     

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    Gopinath Ramakrishnan

    Gopinath Ramakrishnan - Laying A Strong Foundation for Agile Transformation

    schedule  12:30 - 12:50 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    Success of an Agile Transformation depends a great deal on how effectively it gets initiated.
    This experience report presentation will discuss a 5-Step approach deployed for successfully initiating an Agile Transformation engagement at a client location.
    The practices that ensured effective identification and execution of two pilot projects will be shared.
    We will also talk about how using a customized version of  Comparative Agility™ Assessment  Framework, the impact of the Agile way of working on these pilot projects was measured.

    The impact of Agile on pilots was presented in terms of quantified measures (metrics) of benefits and areas of improvements to the leadership team. The results were encouraging enough for them to continue with the Agile Transformation exercise by bringing the rest of the projects in the organization into its fold.

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    Lightning Talks

13:00

    Lunch - 60 mins

14:00
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    Angel Diaz-Maroto Alvarez

    Angel Diaz-Maroto Alvarez - Expanding an Agile Culture in organisations with Design thinking (workshop)

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate

    Abstract: Design Thinking refers to the methods and processes to investigate complex problems in highly uncertain systems. This workshop is about how to use this iterative process of observation, ideation and implementation to better understand organisation's culture and create reasons for people in the organisation to embrace Agile. Design thinking is commonly used to create empathy for the context of your customers, but this time we'll use design thinking to create empathy for the context of your staff. 

     

     
    Summary: This workshop is about how to use a design thinking process an techniques to better understand organisation's culture and minimize resistance to change in the creation of an Agile culture. The strategy is to combine empathy for the context, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context. This solutions are aimed to create reasons for people in the organisation to embrace Agile. You'll also learn some useful design thinking techniques that you can use in your retrospectives!! Description: Design Thinking refers to the methods and processes to investigate complex problems in highly uncertain systems, acquiring information, analysing knowledge, and positing solutions. This workshop is about the usage of this process to better understand organisation's culture and minimise resistance to change in the creation of an Agile culture. The strategy is to combine empathy for the context, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyse and fit solutions to the context. This solutions are aimed to create reasons for people in the organisation to embrace Agile. This iterative process of observation, ideation and implementation can be integrated within your retrospectives and also applied outside IT to create a continuous improvement engine for organisational culture in organisations.
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    Ellen Grove

    Ellen Grove - Games for Learning about Conflict Resolution

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    Scaling Agile across the enterprise can also scale up or create new organizational conflicts: groups that are accustomed to working in their own silos struggle to find ways to identify their shared interests and collaborate effectively.  Equipping team members with effective conflict resolution skills is important in helping everyone navigate change successfully.

    Conflict isn’t inherently a bad thing – it’s inevitable when people are working closely together on things that they care about. In fact, diverging viewpoints can bring new insights to help teams move forward and create something new. Dealing with conflict head-on is challenging for many people, yet few organizations and teams spend time explicitly considering “how will we work together when things get rocky?” Teams need to build the skills to be able to navigate through rough times together and come out with win-win solutions.

    This workshop will present useful models for considering conflict supported by games teams can use to develop and practice conflict resolution skills. The models address underlying drivers of conflict, modes for responding to conflict, assessing conflict severity to determine appropriate interventions, and the patterns of principled negotiation. The games build on the concepts to help participants gain insight and develop important skills in a non-intimidating and memorable way.

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    Jas Chong

    Jas Chong / Guillaume Duquesnay - Product Owner & Development Team - A Tango in Communication

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    With over 5 years in the practice of tango, I would like to use tango techniques to explain the nuances in communication between product team and dev team. It's not often straight forward or easy. 

    Tango is an extreme dance in coordination and non verbal communication where both dancers decide how fast or how slow they want to take it. It is also one of the few dances where pauses are encouraged and takes the form of regrouping. 

    It will be an experiential learning experience. I will be using tango moves to explain communication techniques and considerations. 

    (Note: It's not a session to learn tango, but a session to learn communication through tango.)

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    Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards / Sean Dunn - The Value Uncertainty Game

    schedule  02:00 - 03:30 PM place Sigma star_halfRate

    In this highly engaging workshop attendees will experience estimating, planning and delivering a new product and product features. The uncertainty in value and costs will be resolved through rolling dice based on the stories that the team selects and prioritizes.   The teams will run through 3 iterations of story cost, value estimation, and product feature delivery. Points will be scored for delivering product features and meeting release and iteration commitments.

    Dealing with uncertainty is one of the largest challenges that teams face. The simulation aims to have levels of uncertainty in value and delivery that are commensurate with those found in software development. Some of the key tools for dealing with uncertainty are integrated into the simulation.

    Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the challenges of working with uncertainty in software projects, and will learn some of the tools that are at their disposal for managing this uncertainty.

15:30

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

15:45
16:45
17:45
18:30

    Snacks - 15 mins

18:45
19:45

    Scaled Agile Inc. Sponsored Reception Dinner and Networking - 135 mins

Continuous Delivery+DevOps

Fri, Mar 18
Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST)
08:30

    Registration - 30 mins

09:00
10:00

    Opening Talk - 15 mins

10:15

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

10:30
11:30
  • schedule  11:30 AM - 01:00 PM place Grand Ballroom 1 star_halfRate
    The age old task of racking and stacking in a physical data centre is becoming more and more rare as more companies embrace the public cloud. Having the ability to chose between providers such as AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean and Google Cloud Platform makes creating infrastructure easy. It is better to spend time developing better services for our customers than managing infrastructure
     
    During this talk, Paul will demonstrate how building a scalable infrastructure on AWS becomes easy with Terraform. The talk will demonstrate how using configuration management, pre-baked AMIs and auto-scaling groups it gives the ability for developers to be able to launch their own infrastructure when needed. The demo’s will include the ability to launch instances, databases and manage user access
     
    By the end of the talk, Paul will have demonstrated that the creation of infrastructure now becomes part of the development lifecycle and that the old ways of system administration is fast moving to become infrastructure engineering. Paul will also demonstrate that the creation of new ‘environments’ are just a change of parameters in our infrastructure code
     
  • schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Grand Ballroom 2 star_halfRate

    It wasn't long ago that everybody thought "Continuous Deliver" was only for tech companies.  It is amazing how much things have changed over the past two years.  More and more enterprises are exploring what it will take to achieve Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment for their core customer facing applications.  The challenge for these companies is that many of the practices and processes they have put in place over the years stand in the way of achieving this goal. From rigorous engineering practices, to a very different view on product ownership, to organizational restructuring, to streamline the software development pipeline, Continuous Delivery .i.e. the ability to reliably release software at any time requires a significant shift in the mindset.

    Join Cheezy as points out several Continuous Deliver anti-patterns and how to avoid or eliminate these patterns within your organization in order to align your development value stream, operations, release management, and product owners.  If you want to know what it takes to achieve Continuous Deliver then this is one talk that you will not want to miss.

     

  • schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Esquire star_halfRate

    Ever solve a jigsaw puzzle?  Do you typically design and document all your pieces before assembling the puzzle or know anything about the kind of picture formed by the puzzle?  Hardly.  Usually, the specifics of the puzzle, as they emerge through the process of solving that puzzle, affect our tactics for solving it.  

    This analogy is at the heart of Exploratory Testing (ET) - a fun, focused and powerful approach to testing that has been gaining in popularity in recent years.  While not a new idea, it is often misconstrued as being a random, flailing at the keyboard approach to uncovering problems.  Not quite.  ET is a disciplined practice that involves simultaneously learning about the software under test while designing and executing tests, using feedback from the last test to design the next.  It leverages traditional test design analysis techniques and heuristics, but design and execution become a single inseparable activity.  Within the agile context, there is a need for agile teams to augment their scripted automated tests with a manual testing practice that is adaptable, and ET provides the right fit.

    In this session oriented towards beginning explorers, we will gain a deeper understanding of what ET is, what it isn't, and discuss the essential elements of the practice with practical tips and techniques for: learning the system under test and capturing our understanding to design tests; designing tests on the fly using heuristics; executing tests and observing results; and finally, integrating ET into the cadence of an agile process.

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    Jutta Eckstein

    Jutta Eckstein - Increasing Productivity by Uncovering Costs of Delay

    schedule  11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place Sigma star_halfRate

    Fred Brooks once stated so wisely "How does a project get to be a year late? … One day at a time." Lean Development and queuing theories offer help so that this won't happen. The suggested remedy is to implement a steady flow in order to achieve maximum productivity. However, most teams and organizations are far from reaching that goal and moreover it is often unclear which approach leads to what kind of delay. In-depth examination shows how generally accepted concepts such as Definition of Ready, Clean Code, or experts in a team can lead to costs of delay. In this session Jutta presents simple tools and methods for uncovering hidden costs of delay. These tools and methods can be applied in various contexts: In small and large teams as well as in co-located and distributed teams. Using an agile approach will help to make these cost visible.

12:15
13:00

    Lunch - 60 mins

14:00
15:30

    Coffee/Tea Break - 15 mins

15:45