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Managing Large-Scale Agile Transformations - Experiences At Yahoo!
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Managing Large-Scale Agile Transformations - Experiences At Yahoo!


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  • 1. Tathagat Varma, Sr. Director, Yahoo! India
  • 2. Yahoo! is focused on making the worlds dailyhabits more inspiring and entertaining. Bycreating highly personalized experiences for ourusers, we keep people connected to what mattersmost to them, across devices and around theworld. In turn, we create value for advertisers byconnecting them with the audiences that buildtheir businesses.
  • 3. Our Context •  Consumer Internet •  Critical success factors –  Innovation –  Speed –  UX •  Agility is more about results than beliefs, labels or rituals
  • 4. Yahoo!’s Agile Journey…•  Jeff Sutherland presented a talk @ Yahoo! and to the leadership team in an offsite in Nov 2004.•  Started embracing Agile in 2004 with grassroot effort (bottoms up)•  Over these 8 years multiple effort along with various approaches are experimented within Yahoo!•  Few teams developed and excelled in agile methodologies and now helping out other teams scale agile in the organization.
  • 5. Agile and Scrum Adoption Program (“ASAP”) Facilitate Focus Framework•  center- •  “be •  label- wide agile” agnostic, agile rather but result- adoption than “do oriented agile”
  • 6. What is the most important part in these two machines? “The Brakes!!!” They let you go faster…
  • 7. The “ASAP” journey Self- Sustaining Scaling Up •  2012-2014EstablishCredibility •  2011-2013•  2010-2012
  • 8. Establish credibility•  Don’t ‘sell’ agile. Solve specific problem(s).•  Don’t boil the ocean. Create beachheads.•  Don’t make wild promises. Show real results.•  ROI ≠ $$$ Saved. ROI = $$$ Earned.
  • 9. Scaling UpCommunityInternal community of Org Structurepractitioners andenthusiasts Roles and TrainingExpert talk series – responsibilitiesbridge the gap between Goal-setting Intact team training Processtheory and practice Performance Role-specific trainingExternal community management Product Developmentconnect Specialized Coaching Process Compensation and Executive BriefingsUnconferencing rewards Common MetricsLean Coffee Strategy Professional Development Tools
  • 10. Metrics Strategy “Effectiveness” “Efficiency” “Adoption”“Readiness”
  • 11. Decoding the ‘Stages’ Effectiveness: team has a highly effective closed-loop process with ability to make quick course-corrections and must now align its performance more clearly to it goals by constantly reviewing its currentperformance against the planned performance of the product against customers external definition of performance. This stage is the basic foundation for continuous improvement!Efficiency: team starts measuring quantitative data to plan its goals, track its progress, improve its process efficiency and eventually to plan its future performance Adoption: team (includes PO and SM) starts the basic closed-loopmanagement, i.e. a PDCA cycle in which the entire team participates and thereare as many frequent checkpoints in the team and the development process as required to identify problems and take corrective actions as early as possible Readiness: team is interested to adopt some form of agile development andshows its commitment by taking the first few steps towards it, which means the basic building blocks are in place
  • 12. From ‘efficiency’ to ‘effectiveness’
  • 13. ASAP Dashboard
  • 14. Self-Sustaining•  Starting-up is easy, sustaining is tough, continuous improvement is toughest!•  Strength of process and transformation is only tested operating in ‘real world’•  Practices that bring results are likely to sustain over any ‘prescription’•  Achieving ‘effective’ state is key to become self-sustaining
  • 15. What are we learning?•  Credibility is extremely important•  Scaling up ≠ 100% Adoption•  Results talk louder than intent!
  • 16. It’s not about the method!A photographer went to asocialite party in New York.As he entered the front door,the host said ‘I love yourpictures – they’re wonderful;you must have a fantasticcamera.’He said nothing until dinnerwas finished, then: ‘That wasa wonderful dinner; you musthave a terrific stove.’ – Sam Haskins h"p://  
  • 17. References•  The ASAP Journey – Tathagat Varma, Scrum Bangalore Meetup, 2012•  Managing Large-Scale Agile Transformation – Tathagat Varma, APMG Showcase, 2012
  • 18. Thanks!