Over-selling the "Enterprise Agile Frameworks and Certifications"

Agile is only for smaller projects and/or startup organisations - Not Anymore. Taking my own and my organisation's experience, Agile is a proven methodology that is well suited for delivering complex, distributed, multi-year enterprise programs, for many years now.
While this is really a great thing for agile enthusiasts and practitioners, it’s a bit of worrying sign for me the increased recognition and popularity the ‘Agile Certifications’ and ‘Agile Frameworks’ are receiving among individuals and organisations who would like to adopt Agile to stay relevant in current world.
I would like to share my views on the adoption of these frameworks and certifications, why I feel they are not-so-agile and how am I and my organisation are solving similar problems without the need for any of these frameworks and certifications.
I am planning to walk through the complete life cycle of the most recent program that I’m part of (from Inception to Initiation to on-going Execution to Post-Production Support) and bring out the relevant agile principles that we adopted, context based customizations we did and the best practices that we have come up with.
  • For instance, one should know the clear difference between hygienic practices vs context based practices - the first ones are not to be compromised at any cost, whereas the latter ones are to be applied based on the need, not because some framework prescribes it.
The typical life cycle stages that we follow in any program / project delivery is normally: Discovery - Inception - Initiation - Execution - Transition, whereas the actual set of practices within any of these stages and how they are being implemented could be very different from project to project, team to team. 
  • For example, in the Execution Phase, doing pair programming and following TDD are hygienic practices for us. Having said that, it’s perfectly okay for a pair to split and work on a specific task on a case-to-case basis (we call this Pragmatic Programming) and the pair decides when and how long they would split and when to re-join.
To give an idea on the complexity, enterprise and distributed nature of the program, some key data points:
  • Started almost 3 years ago, on-going
  • 10 quarterly planning workshops done so far
  • 10+ teams, 7 timezones
  • peak program size: 250+
  • peak team size from my org.: 50+
  • total no of systems: 10+
  • geographical spread: plan: 100 countries, 132 locales launched so far: 53 countries, 56 locales
  • 140 page-views / sec
  • Av. response time: 1.3s
  • Handling 100+K products in the catalog, 15+ K pages , 300+ K responsive images
  • Blue-Green production deployment (zero downtime over 1.5 years)
  • 3 weeks cycle of production releases

Outline/Structure of the Talk

This is how, I will split the 45 minutes of my talk:

15 minutes: My views on the individual/organizational level adoption of enterprise agile frameworks and certifications, reasons I see them as counter-productive

20 minutes: Without being prescriptive, share my experience in running distributed enterprise projects in a customized approach, following basic agile principles and processes 

10 minutes: Open for questions and answers

Learning Outcome

At the end of my session, I would like my audience to walk away with a better perspective of:
 - why it would be better off not to follow some frameworks in trying to solve a problem that's more contexual and may not fit one of these frameworks
 - how any of the complex, enterprise, distributed programs can be successfully managed by sticking to the basic agile principles and being adaptive to the problem context and situation

Target Audience

Agile Practitioners in any role

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

  • Saket Bansal

    Saket Bansal - How to fix team dysfunction?

    Saket Bansal
    Saket Bansal
    schedule 5 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    Many teams suffer from dysfunction where they lack trust and have huge communication overhead. Can we fix it? I do not have directly plug and play solution for this but I have done some experiments in this area which I would like to share during this talk. 

     To give some idea things like following will get presented with real life experience

    1. Right Information radiators
    2. Culture of Accountability
    3. Transparency
    4. Fixing the Process or work allocation and monitoring
    5. Promote Healthy Conflict
    6. Show vulnerable side of you
    7. And many more… I am still exploring.
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    In this talk, we will go on a journey to figure out what new challenges are coming up in the future, and more importantly, what do we need to do next to prepare for it. Also, just preparing for the future is not sufficient. We have an opportunity to stretch beyond our current set of skills, capabilities and boundaries to influence out future! The question is - will we make use of this opportunity? Will Selenium help us take the step in the right direction? Or, will it hold us back?