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Offshore Agile Challenges


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Operating a delivery model of 90:10 (90% - offshore and 10% onsite) or 80:10 implementing the agile practices could be very challenging. The aim of this presentation would be to bring out challenges …

Operating a delivery model of 90:10 (90% - offshore and 10% onsite) or 80:10 implementing the agile practices could be very challenging. The aim of this presentation would be to bring out challenges faced by offshore agile teams. The presentation will be complemented with couple of case studies.

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  • 1. Offshore Agile Challenges and Mitigation Strategies Sowmya Karunakaran Agile COE HCL Technologies
  • 2. Agile has crossed the Chasm Agile
  • 3. Expanding on Geoffrey Moore Geoffrey Moore's classic suggests : After the early adopters there tends to be a period of lull due to the evaluation and adoption times for the mainstream. In case of Agile, Early adopters seemed to have sent signals to the mainstream and they are now keen on applying Agile. Example: Microsoft, Yahoo
  • 4. Challenges could be diverse Source: 3rd Annual Agile Survey – Version One
  • 5. Top 10 problems we faced  Project not suitable for agile  Project Tracking  Communication and Collaboration  Project Health unknown until delivery  Handling adhoc support items  Team entirely new to agile  User Story estimation  Handling risks  Sign off from Pos  Participating in scrum ceremonies
  • 6. Problem #1 Project not suitable for Agile Offshore Agile Assessment Assesses based on Business objectives Project Classification Technology /Domain Technical Complexity Stakeholder commitment Communication & Infrastructure Skills
  • 7. Problem #2: Project Tracking Use of Agile Tools Pendi Hours Burndown with Cumulative Flow Workitem Cumulative Flow ng 250 200 Pendin Number of Work Items g Workitem Hours 150 In 100 Progres s 50 Comple te 0 Sprint Days Sprint Days
  • 8. Problem #2: Project Tracking In house Agile Tool
  • 9. Problems #3: Communication and Collaboration Value in team knowledge sharing Travels Wiki Mailing list/forum Video Conf. email Phone chat Usage frequency • Travels ( rotation of members in onshore and offshore teams) • Phone: atleast 3 calls per week • Wiki: 1 topic modified per day • Email: several times per day • Through builds: every 2 hours or check in based • Chat: continuously
  • 10. Problem #4 Project Health unknown until delivery Continuous Integration – Stable build at all times The set of files and revision numbers modified for this Code build Metrics Code Find Unit Test Coverag Bugs Code Reports e Reports Style Reports Reports The Build Log Version Control Reports
  • 11. Problem #5 Handling Adhoc Support items No support items Support request ScrumTeam Scrum Team Pick items from Pick items from Items planned for Items planned for current sprint Address support current sprint issue Product Backlog Product Backlog
  • 12. Problem #6 Team entirely new to Agile Step 1 -- ilearn modules , self e-learning on the basics Step 2 – 1 day workshop on Scrum Step 3 – Followed by real time assessment leading to Scrum Sprinter certification Step 4 – Post workshop evaluation and HCL processes walkthrough
  • 13. Problem #6 Team entirely new to Agile Agile community
  • 14. Problem #7 User Story Estimation Story Point Estimation Guidelines
  • 15. Problem #8 Handling Risks Burn down and Risk Management Overall Priority Overall Estimates Risk Critical Low 7% Non- 7% High Essential 29% 29% Essential Medium 64% 64%
  • 16. Problem #9 Sign offs from POs X Formal review process  Joint walkthroughs Instead of formal review process a Joint walkthrough / meeting is planned and the consensus reached is treated as signoff Customer is informed about this practice in the beginning of the project itself
  • 17. Problem #10 Participation in Scrum Ceremonies Ensure participation in some form rather than exemptions Record Play and Observe Onsite team with PO and Offshore team with other stakeholders scrum master
  • 18. Case Studies #1 Case Study on Flight test system (for one of the largest flight manufacturers) #2 Case Study on Voicemail application (for a Fortune 5 product company) #3 Case Study on Lifecycle management flagship product ( for a global leader in ALM)
  • 19. #1 Case Study on Flight test system A thick client application which enable users to generate Test Information Planning sheets, manage their workflow, organize Test conditions data and generate operations documents aiding engineers to prepare for and perform flight tests. Execution Model: Agile Development framework with XP model to benefit from collaborative development and deliver quick deliverables Business Challenges:  Need to fine tune processes of an existing application  Deploy the application in production in 2 months  Update multiple user stories in parallel  Control changes effectively  Lay foundation for future phases
  • 20. #1 Case Study on Flight test system Onsite Challenges  Set up of Development Environment in given time frame  Evolution of scope leading to possible slippage in schedule  Educating developers with complete functionality  Ensuring the requirements, documentation & code update is in sync with the Offshore team  Frequent travel between multiple onsite location Offshore Challenges Complete understanding of functionality not available for all team members Have to implement 91 requirements/changes in a short period of time Ensuring the requirements, documentation & code update is in sync with the Onsite team Value to Customer  Application delivered to user in 2.2 months  Addressed immediate requirement of program  Modified existing code base to suit the needs of IDS  Parallel requirements definition of modules  Features burn down chart  Standardization of test planning
  • 21. #1 Case Study on Flight test system Challenge Mitigation Sprint 0 - planned for 2-5 days depending upon the project size and used to perform KT, KT to offshore team. analysis and clarification related activities Requirement stability Plan a freeze for requirements for every sprint during sprint planning phase. Further changes updated in the product backlog and will be taken up during next sprint based on priority.. Signoff from Customer and Stakeholders should be well informed about their pro-active role for the customers and success of Agile projects. stakeholders Joint walkthrough/ meetings be planned and the same treated as signoff Lack of focus on Application performance Get non-functional requirements in the beginning and set-up a bench mark of performance. Effort, schedule and cost over-run. Re-estimate and re-plan the sprints / schedule Train the resources in Agile before the project kickoff and make them understand about the Adapting to Agile Agile concepts and the way of working in Agile. Conducting Stand-up meetings & culture Retrospection. Time zones Work in shifts /overlapping hours, so that the clarification / discussion can take place. Update the changes and update the revision history. Decide on the Documentation No Documentation. requirements during project initiation. Baseline the requirements before construction.
  • 22. #2 Case Study on Voicemail application This application offered consumers the ability to have select carriers (Network Operators ) voicemail forwarded to their mail account and accessible via vendor applications or services. Execution Model: Scrum was used for project execution among the globally distributed teams. Business Challenges:  Enhance the end-consumer satisfaction level  Increase the productivity in terms of time  A better, faster, simplified way of testing  To create a repository of independent, self sufficient, maintainable tests scripts that can be scheduled and executed remotely or locally  Effort spent in developing test script development to be made re-usable  Risks of “unfinished” testing  Keeping up the morale of the individual and the team
  • 23. #2 Case Study on Voicemail application Onsite Challenges  Initially lack of support for offshore team  No onsite coordinator Best Practices  Proper Communication channels was not  Resource dedicated to established communication  Twelve-hour turn-around time for questions  Multiple communication channels  Little visibility into what offshore team was  Cultural and time zone awareness doing  Common code base / document  Lack of trust repository  Site visits / rotation Offshore Challenges  Partners must be flexible  Initially No/limited Remote Access to Servers &  Allow time for processes to mature Code Repository  Open, honest communication  Information Flow / Lean Documentation  Communication Difficult  Round-the-Clock Productivity  Low Visibility  No Shared Vision
  • 24. #3 Case Study on Lifecycle management flagship product For a Global Leader in application Lifecycle Management products providing Maintenance and Sustenance support to two of their flagship products Business Challenges:  Maximizing team efficiency  Trust and Collaborate to get the job done  Introduce automation wherever applicable  Share the knowledge through portal and single repository  Identify and deploy value-adds  Enhance product for multi platform support and 3rd party plug-in
  • 25. #3 Case Study on Lifecycle management flagship product Best Practices • Those who do the actual work involved in effort estimation • We prioritize to ensure we’re building the most valuable software for our customer • Keeping release plan visible helps remind people where we are going • During the 15 minute daily standup meetings that happen every day, we work on the iteration goals and commitments • If it’s not going to add value, don’t do it! • Acceptance criteria for user stories and tasks are well understood by all participants Tools & Technologies: Languages: Java, C++, VC++, C#, .NET, C , WebServices , Oracle , JavaScript; Development IDE: VS2003, VS2005; Bug Mgmt : Team Track; Code Repository: PVCS , Dimensions CM; Automation: Winrunner; Document Repository : SharePoint, Wiki portal; Product Backlog , Task Mgmt & Risk Plan: Custom Spread Sheet
  • 26. Thank You
  • 27. 27