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Agile Software Community of India Agile Pune 2014 Conference
 
Selenium Conf 2014 Registration Data (as of Aug 15th) (Naresh Jain)
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 08:51:51 +0000
Important Conference Updates [SeConf, FunctionalConf, AgilePune, AgileDC...] (Naresh Jain)
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:39:57 +0000
A quick update on upcoming conferences: Selenium Conf 2014 – 4th Annual Selenium Conference. Draft program schedule is now available at http://seleniumconf.org/#program. Also you’ll notice that the registration for the 4-pre-conference workshops are also open now. We’ve limited seats, grab them now at http://booking.agilefaqs.com/selenium-conf-2014 Functional Conf 2014 – 1st Functional Programming Conference in India. Draft program schedule is now available at http://functionalconf.com/#program. Last […]
LAST (Lean Agile Systems Thinking) 2014 Conference (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:26:00 +0000

imageLast week I had the pleasure of speaking  at the LAST 2014 (Lean Agile Systems Thinking) conference. This is my second consecutive year of having opportunity to speak at this popular Melbournian event.I  have seen this event growing year after year. First year, we had 150 attendees, the second year 350 and third year is even more successful with 450 people. The event is highly affordable and run by the Melbourne community.  Some call this conference as  “Meet up on Steroids”. 

The two passionate people who are successfully managing this event are Craig Brown  and Ed Wong.  Organizing such a large scale event managing speakers, schedule, events and sponsors is not a simple thing. The event was such a smooth one, didn’t realize that the day had already passed.

This is a classic example of power of passion and network in the community.  You don’t need many people to make a positive difference to the society, you just need one or two passionate givers.

The session was organized by  TABAR 

I spoke about  10 Irrefutable laws of Agile Coaching.  The presentation slides are available on Slideshare as well. Feel free to download/share.  

My intent for sharing these ideas was to encourage Agile coaches to think beyond  Scrum, Lean, XP, etc.   Agile coaching involves a broader systems knowledge to succeed.

More details about my session:  Agile coaching is one of sought after skills in the IT industry and many experienced coaches are doing extremely well. However some change agents are struggling to make an impact, not because, they don't know Agile but because, they don't know some ground rules dealing with the coaching teams and leaders.

Whether you are a novice or an experienced coach, there are irrefutable laws governing Agile coaches. Based on my own personal experiences coaching teams/leaders since the last several years, I have come to realize the 10 secrets. Irrespective of where you are in the journey as an Agile coach, practicing these 10 laws will help you to become a successful Agile coach. These handy rules can help you anywhere in Agile coaching journey.

Upcoming Agile Project Management MasterClass at Swinburne – Aug 21st and 22nd (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:11:00 +0000

This two day Masterclass commences with an introduction to the foundation and history of the Agile movement. It then looks at common practices and frameworks used by teams including Scrum, Kanban, Lean Start-up and XP.

Day two drills into project management activities related to planning, monitoring and controlling projects highlighting the role of collaboration, developing appropriate feedback and quality systems, including elevating the focus from schedule and budget targets to delivering customer value.

This course introduces

  • The background and history of Agile management
  • Leading frameworks used in industry and their features and benefits
  • Principles and practices to initiate and plan a project
  • How Agile practices and techniques can be used to manage a project, with particular focus on dealing with a changing project scope

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Check out here for more details.

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.

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Read rest of the article on Cutter

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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.

venkatesh-dust-bins

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

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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

4. Open Agile Adoption

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

How culture gets created and how to change ? (Venkatesh Krishnamurthy)
Fri, 02 May 2014 01:57:00 +0000
imageI 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

imageIt’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.

Read the complete article on Techwell

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.)

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