Overcoming More Impediments to Agile Transformation - Distributed Teams, Scaling Agile and Hybrid Projects


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Overcoming More Impediments to Agile Transformation - Distributed Teams, Scaling Agile and Hybrid Projects

  1. 1. Overcoming MORE Impediments to Agile Transformation: Scaling Agile Distributed Teams Hybrid Projects Michael de la Maza, PhD August 30, 2012
  2. 2. Who is cPrime?Engaged for Your Project Management Success
  3. 3. After the webinar…• We will send information to collect the PDU you will earn from this webinar• We will also send a link to the recorded webinar once it is posted online
  4. 4. About Me• PhD in Computer Science from MIT• Former VP of Corporate Strategy at Softricity• During the past year, I have been an agile coach at PayPal, Symantec, and Blue Cross• Previously, I have done agile training and coaching at Carbonite, EMC, Intuit, Verizon Wireless, etc.• Startup mentor at Blackbox.vc• Co-author of Professional Scrum with Team Foundation Server Copyright© Agile Transformation Inc
  5. 5. How We Chose The Topics
  6. 6. Poll• What topics are you most interested in?1. Scaling agile2. Hybrid projects3. Distributed teams
  7. 7. Poll• How large is the organization that might do agile?1. Under 10 people2. Between 10 and 50 people3. Between 50 and 150 people4. Between 150 and 500 people5. Over 500 people
  8. 8. Scaling Agile
  9. 9. Assumptions• Agile has worked on one to three teams!• These teams are, by definition, early adopters.
  10. 10. Poll• At what stage is your agile adoption?1. Innovators2. Early adopters3. Early majority4. Late majority5. Laggards
  11. 11. Uh oh!• Early adopters have, by definition, succeeded. If they hadn’t, you wouldn’t be scaling agile!• But 84% of organizations which do agile have had at least one project fail! (source: Sahota, Agile 2012).• 75% of organizations do not get expected benefits from scaling agile (source: Schwaber).• Scaling agile means that the people who do not want to do agile will have to make a choice.You will almost certainly run into serious problems when scaling
  12. 12. Environment Checklist• Availability of personnel with right skills? Do you have Scrum coaches, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, development teams, etc.?• Management support? Has management taken an agile course? Has management ever done agile? Do all executives agree on what “agile” means?• Perceived time to transition? Do folks think that a full transition to agile will take less than a year?• Budget constraints? Do you have a budget of $100K+ per team?• General resistance to change? When was the last time a change initiative worked?
  13. 13. Culture Check• What do you need to do in this company to succeed? – Collaboration: Working together – Control: Getting and keeping control – Competence: Being the best – Cultivation: Learning and growing• An agile organization will focus on collaboration and cultivation. Control is almost completely absent.Source: Schneider Culture Model
  14. 14. Poll• What do you need to do in your organization to be successful? (choose one)1. Collaboration: Working together2. Control: Getting and keeping control3. Competence: Being the best4. Cultivation: Learning and growing
  15. 15. What Flavor of Agile?• Kanban: Control organizations.• Extreme Programming: Competence organizations.• Scrum: Collaboration and Cultivation organizations.(Source: Sahota, An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide)
  16. 16. Setup Your Org Structure• Where do Product Owners and Scrum Masters come from? (for those who are scaling Scrum) Common pattern is for POs to come from Product Management and for Scrum Masters to come from Project Management.• Do you have an Enterprise Agile Team? Example at 1000 person company: COO (Product Owner), SVP of Operations (Scrum Master), VP of IT, VP of Administration, Dir of Software Development• Is your HR organization on board? New job requirements, career paths, training curricula, job titles, etc.
  17. 17. The Ability To Navigate Through Conflict• The Dip• Is conflict suppressed in your organization? Is power used to resolve conflict?
  18. 18. Distributed Teams
  19. 19. Standard Advice• Don’t do it!• Violates agile principle: “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”• Off shoring is cost effective only when offshore personnel cost 10% of local personnel (source: Sutherland).• Create a communication plan (include escalation path).• Make sure to create a project charter and product vision.• Consider bringing people together for six weeks at the start of the project.
  20. 20. Poll• What, in your experience, is the overhead cost of distributed teams?1. Under 20%2. About 50%3. Over 100%
  21. 21. The Simple CaseProduct Owners and Dev Teams are split PO Dev PO Dev Team Team California Kazakhstan• Split into two teams, each with a Product Owner and Scrum Master• Create Scrum of Scrums which meets once or twice per week• Maintain shared understanding by being able to work on any product backlog item
  22. 22. The Hard Case: Two TypesPO or Dev exists in only one location• Physically distributed but similar time zones Example: Boston and Buenos Aires are one hour apart.• Physically distributed and different time zones Example: California and Kazakhstan are 13 hours apart
  23. 23. Similar Time Zones• Make extensive use of videoconferencing Idea: Setup a laptop with Skype and keep it on all day. Cost < $500• Consider telepresence technologies Product: Oculus (xaxxon.com). Cost < $300.• Use games for planning and retrospective Product: Innovation Games (innovationgames.com)• Keep meetings to no more than one hour• Pair
  24. 24. Radically Different Time Zones• Work together for the first six weeks of the project. Work together one sprint every quarter.• Establish clear daily routine. Example: Dev team in California checks in code at end of day. QA team in Kazakhstan tests code. Dev team fixes bugs in the morning.• Make extensive use of agile project management tools Product: Assembla (assembla.com). Price: ~$50/month.• Conduct review together if at all possible Example: 8pm in California, 9am in Kazakhstan
  25. 25. Hybrid Projects
  26. 26. Two Key Sources of Friction• Culture• Cadence
  27. 27. Two Types of Hybrid Projects• On a multi-team project some teams are agile and some are not• Upstream and downstream activities are not agile
  28. 28. The Hybrid PMO Program Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project ManagerScrum Master Scrum Master (Software team) (Upstream) (Downstream) Program Manager must be equally adept at agile and non-agile projects
  29. 29. Poll• Does your organization have a hybrid PMO?1. No, but we wish we had one.2. Yes, but it does not work very well3. Yes and it works well4. No. We have something better!