|Enterprise Agile Transformation through Centralized Agile Group – Benefits and Challenges (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:36:00 +0000
Authored the following article for Cutter Consortium as part of their Agile advisory series. In this article, some analysis has been done detailing pros/cons of setting up centralized Agile excellence or group to promote Agile as part of Agile transformation in the enterprise.
Here is just a snippet and the complete article can be accessible by Cutter members.
Read rest of the article on Cutter
|Changing the mindset of Agile teams (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:35:00 +0000
Recently I penned a guest post for Version One about the why people behave in the way they do and how to change them ?
Agile is not about practicing Scrum, XP or Kanban. It is a mindset that one needs to cultivate. It is not about doing a daily standup or retrospective but knowing the values/principles behind it. Most of the agile teams are interested in practices and very few are interested to learn the values/principles.
People resist adopting new values and principles as it expects a change in mindset of teams. Changing the mindset of agile teams is always a bit difficult. I have started believing that it is easier to change the people than their mind. The good news is, there are some tools and tips available to help in this journey of changing mindset.
Let me explain one of the tools with an example. A couple of weeks ago, I came across these two dustbins outside of our apartment complex.
As one could see, one of them a simple open cardboard box and the other one is a proper dustbin. Not sure why they had kept these two together. In the next few days, I noticed that people were throwing wastes mostly into the open box. However, the other one needed additional effort to open the lid to throw the wastes, which was left unused.
What I learned from this experience is, if you want people to follow ideas, make it easier for them to learn and use. Or else they will never change.
Another case study is from one of my agile projects. The teams were using an agile project management tool which was not so user-friendly. Teams diligently added all the user stories and tracked them on a regular basis. However, when the need came to extract the key metrics like Velocity and Cycle times, the team had to write queries manually and tweak it regularly. They always resisted this manual, cumbersome process, which was time consuming as well. The teams always used to fall behind sharing these critical agile metrics with the stakeholders.
I suggested an alternate approach, which involved adding a dot on the user story cards after their daily standup until it is complete. It looked something like the one shown in the picture below for measuring the cycle times. They used a simple sketch pen to put the dots on the cards. This was so much easier, and the team loved it. After this little change, they never resisted sharing the metrics.
Conclusion: If you want to change the behavior or mindset of agile teams, create an environment that is easier to navigate and use. The non-intuitive tools and processes could be a major blocker in the change journey of your teams.
|Presenting Agile Pune 2014 Conference – Nov 21st and 22nd at Hyatt Regency, Pune (Naresh Jain)
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:33:36 +0000
We are delighted to present Linda Rising and Joshua Kerievsky, as our keynote speakers for the upcoming Agile Pune 2014 Conference. The conference will be hosted at Hyatt Regency, Pune on Nov 21st and 22nd. The Agile Pune 2014 is a volunteer-run, non-profit event organised by the Agile Software Community of India (ASCI). The goal […]
|Action Precedes Clarity (Naresh Jain)
Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:52:47 +0000
Remember the dot-com days of Webvan and Pets.com? We took traditional businesses and gave then an online presence. Rapidly acquiring a large customer base was the sole goal of many dot-coms. “If we can get enough users, we can easily figure out how to monetize it.” And all of this made perfect sense expressed in dollars and cents. I know people who melted […]
|Presenting Functional Conf 2014, Asia’s Premier and First Conference on Functional Programming (Naresh Jain)
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 03:03:38 +0000
We are delighted to announce the first Functional Programming conference in Asia. Functional Conf will be hosted in Bangalore, India on Oct 9-11th. This is your golden opportunity to meet the Functional Programming community. For over 35 years, functional programming has been a hot research topic. However in the last 5 years, driven by the need to build […]
|Presenting SeConf 2014, the official Selenium Conference in Bangalore on Sep 5th and 6th (Naresh Jain)
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 02:58:45 +0000
We are delighted to announce that this year we’ll be hosting the 4th annual (official) Selenium Conference in Bangalore, India. This is your golden opportunity to meet the selenium and test automation community in general. The goal of the conference is to bring together Selenium developers & enthusiasts from around the world to share ideas, […]
|Open Submission System VS. Closed/Blind Selection of Conference Talks (Naresh Jain)
Wed, 14 May 2014 02:45:51 +0000
Recently, we announced the Selenium Conf 2014 to be held in Bangalore India. Based on my past experience running others international conferences for the last 10 years, I put together the following review process: Interested speakers are requested to submit their proposals directly on our proposal submission system. All proposals will be public. Registered user of the […]
|Some buzzwords in Agile community and new trends (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Sat, 03 May 2014 00:07:00 +0000
In the recent times the following ideas/buzzwords are getting filled with the void of struggling, adolescent Agile
1. Holacracy : Read more here from Zappos example.
2. Real Options Theory : Read more here
3. For scaling Agile: SAFe(Scaled Agile Framework) is already popular, Craig’s LeSS(Large Scale Scrum) and now ScALeD
Photo Courtesy: Flickr
|How culture gets created and how to change ? (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Fri, 02 May 2014 01:57:00 +0000
I will explain this through a simple example of how culture gets created in organizations.
The team is conducting a retrospective. They capture all the good, bad and ugly items on post-its and capture the action items as well. However, the Scrum Master never bothers to follow up with action items.
Team attends the second retrospective and the similar issues crop up again. Some one nudges the Scrum Master about the pending action from the last retro and you would hear that it is yet to be done.
By the time you are in 3rd or 4th retro, team members would have lost interest in creating action items as they have lost faith in this process. This has lead to creation of a culture that “nothing works in this team” OR “It is a waste of time”
When new members join the team and observes the retro, they would be surprised to see that no one is creating action items. They could potentially blame the team for this. Even if the new team members try to bring their new ideas, rest of the team would be skeptical and pull them down by saying “nothing works in this team” don’t stress yourself. This trend will have domino effect on the entire system.
In retrospect, it is not that the team was un-willing to do anything with action items, it is the leader who silenced them in every instance. People in power, authority, dominant and influential positions play a key role in creating culture in the organizations.
Good news is, it is possible to change. I see two options in such situations, either get a new leader who could enable in creating a new culture or get a shark in the team, who could stand up and challenge the status-quo
What is your experience in changing the culture ?
|Different Root cause analysis techniques and tools (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Wed, 30 Apr 2014 02:21:00 +0000
It’s common to see people point fingers and play the blame game after a project fails. These blame games not only hurt the team members but also impact their morale as well. Is there a way to avoid these hurtful situations while focusing on improving process and identifying the failure’s root cause?
The answer to that question can be found with root cause analysis (RCA), which helps to divert attention from people to process improvement.
Typically, agile teams are recommended to do an RCA session in response to issues raised during retrospectives. Shamefully, many agile teams skip RCA and continue to struggle in a whirlwind of issues.
RCA is not rocket science—especially when we have such a simple tool as the five whys. Eric Ries has elaborated on RCA with some practical examples from his lean startup journey. Here’s an example of a simple Excel spreadsheet that shows how to conduct RCA using the five whys; you can download a ready-to-use spreadsheet here.
Photo attribution: ThinkReliability
|Agile India 2014 Conference Video DVD are ready! (Naresh Jain)
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:11:27 +0000
Grab 72 hours of HD quality videos from Agile India 2014 Conference burnt on 16 DVDs (62 GB.) Visit http://booking.agilefaqs.com/agile-india-2014#dvd to order the DVD set online to be hand-delivered at your door-step (anywhere in the world.)
|Scrum, XP, SAFe, Kanban: Which Method Is Suitable for My Organization? (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:12:00 +0000
I have recently seen the SAFe framework criticized by the Scrum founder as well as the Kanban founder (see "unSAFEe at Any Speed" and "Kanban -- The Anti-SAFe for Almost a Decade Already"). Method wars are not new, however, and could go on forever. In the face of these discussions, it is important to remember the real intent behind Agile methods.
In this recently published Cutter article, I discuss the importance of understanding Agile as a tool rather than as a goal. I am also proposing some ideas from complexity theory and Cynefin framework to substantiate the need for parallel/safe to fail experiments rather than handcuffing organizations with single framework/method or a process.
Read the complete article on Cutter
Photo courtesy: Flickr
|Tennis coaching , Halo effect and celebrity bias (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:34:00 +0000
One of my friends is a very successful tennis coach, however, he sends his kids to a different coach. This was interesting, and I asked him why can’t he teach his kids. His response didn’t surprise me at all. He said, kids take parents for granted and some times, they listen to outsiders more intently.
I see a similar pattern at work as well. Some times, employees listen to a highly paid external consultant rather than an in-house expert or supervisors.
Why is that ?
I googled around to find some research or articles around this kids behavior, and I found this interesting article. The author gives the following 3 reasons behind kids behind deaf to their parents:
Applying the above reasons in the context of organizations, I see that employees don’t listen to organizations when organizations don’t listen to them. Is this a reasonable hypothesis ?
On a similar note, I have seen another “Celebrity bias”. I have seen some tweets from celebrities tweeted and favorited by hundreds. But the same information published by a lesser known person does not get noticed much. For example, if Seth Godin or Richard Branson say something and if a common man “X” says exactly the same thing, then people tend to believe celebrities more than a common man.
Why do we have this celebrity bias ?
Many people attribute this to “Halo Effect” . Some good stuff from the article below…
As you read above, the halo effect can influence how teachers treat students, but it can also impact how students perceive teachers. In one study, researchers found that when an instructor was viewed as warm and friendly, students also rated him as more attractive, appealing, and likeable.
Marketers take advantage of the halo effect to sell products and services. When a celebrity spokesperson endorses a particular item, our positive evaluations of that individual can spread to our perceptions of the product itself.
Job applicants are also likely to feel the impact of the halo effect. If a prospective employer views the applicant as attractive or likeable, they are more likely to also rate the individual as intelligent, competent, and qualified.
So, the next time you trying to make an evaluation of another person, whether it is deciding which political candidate to vote for or which movie to see on a Friday night, consider how your overall impressions of an individual might influence your evaluations of other characteristics. Does your impression of a candidate being a good public speaker lead you to feel that she is also smart, kind, and hard-working? Does thinking that a particular actor is good-looking also lead you to think that he is also a compelling actor?
|First book: Who is Agile in Australia and New Zealand is published (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 01:22:00 +0000
This book is a collection of interviews with passionate Australia & New Zealand agilists who answer the following questions:
1. What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
2. What would have become of you, if you were not doing the job you do today?
3. What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
4. What drives you?
5. What do you think makes a great team?
6. What is the essence of Agile?
7. What is the last book you have read and which book made a huge impact in your life?
8. If you were going to have a dinner party with anyone alive or deceased - which three people would you invite and why?
9. What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting with Agile?
10. What question do you think I should also ask and what is your answer?
11. Whom do you think we should ask next in Australia and/or New Zealand and why do you feel they should be included in the book?
Based on the original "Who Is Agile" book, this book is a regional version for Australia & New Zealand. Whether you’re a novice or an Agile Guru, this book is going to help you learn a bit about the people behind the names & get their perspective on Agile.
|Which Agile adoption Strategy is good for my company ? (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 00:46:00 +0000
The statistics I have seen recently give me a euphoric feeling about the pace of Agile adoption. However, I feel that most of the so-called "Agile projects" are just the "water-Scrum-fall," which no one is willing to admit. I could list various reasons behind the failure, but one thing that stands out clearly is a poor Agile adoption strategy.
Organizations generally go with copying the practices/strategies from other popular brands/companies with the assumption that it works for them. In reality, it won’t. Every practice is context dependent, and since each company is different the strategies adoption should be different.
In this Cutter article, I write some of the secret ingredients that fuel the strategies. Check this article out: http://www.cutter.com/project/fulltext/advisor/2014/140306.html
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