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Defying Parkinson’s Law: Sustainable Development and Beyond | Talk | AGILE GURUGRAM 2018 | 23 -24 March


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Defying Parkinson's Law: Sustainable Development and Beyond


"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion", can we afford it during a sprint? Agile team need to focus on delivering value and eliminating waste. They need to cut down the distractions and non-productive time. Pomodoro Technique along with Time boxing and paired programming can be very effective to increase productivity. Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle comes in handy when team need to prioritize their activities. In today’s competitive era, time to market is shrinking, so cycle time should be reduced and learning feedback loop needs to be speedup. In this presentation paper, an effort has been made to describe about how to manage time effectively during a sprint. It illuminates some innovative insights into areas like DoD, time boxing, task slack, WIP, task switching, pair programming, osmotic communication, disciplined delivery and value stream mapping etc. For an effective time management team can utilize Parkinson’s law to define sustainable development in their workplace.

Parkinson’s Law and Sustainable Development?
Effective Time Management
Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle
Pomodoro Principle
Cut down the distractions and non-productive time
Better Agile Practices: like DoD, time boxing, task slack, WIP, task switching, pair programming, osmotic communication, disciplined delivery and value stream mapping etc.
What is Sustainable and Unsustainable development?
Tasks prioritization techniques
Time Management
Continual refinement
How to inculcate sustainable development in work culture
45 Mins

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Defying Parkinson’s Law: Sustainable Development and Beyond | Talk | AGILE GURUGRAM 2018 | 23 -24 March

  1. 1. Defying Parkinson’s Law: Sustainable Development and Beyond Harpreet Singh
  2. 2. #AG18 My Self.. Name: Harpreet Singh Industry Experience: 20 Years Contact:, 9818775067 Website: Qualification & Certifications: MCA, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, Scrum Master Certified, Scrum Developer Certified, Agile Expert Certified, Scrum Study Certified Trainer. Certified Internal Quality Auditor (CMMi), Certified Information Security Auditor, ITIL V3 (F), Six Sigma Green belt.
  3. 3. #AG18 Story of a “Good” Project Manager ´ This story is about a very good project manager who is known for handling complex projects. He is currently handling a project of 2 months of duration. Currently team in the end of first months. ´ Customer is asking for some minor changes. Team along with their current tasks is in the discussion with customer about the new task. Testing team is waiting for the code to be completed so that they can start testing ´ Senior management instructed the project manager to utilize tester and gave them whatever functionality is complete. So tester started the testing and started to log defects in defect tracker tools. Developer started fixing these defects along with the development work they were doing. Team started working extra hours to accommodate this. There are no automated Unit test cases as developers thinks it will further slow down the development. ´ Project Manager realizes there is some problem and team is unable to deliver on time.
  4. 4. #AG18 "work expands to fill the time available for its completion" : Cyril Northcote Parkinson
  5. 5. #AG18 Parkinson’s Law ´ Credit goes to Cyril Northcote Parkinson as part of the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and since republished online,[1][2] it was reprinted with other essays in the book Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress (London, John Murray, 1958) ´ A c urrent form of the law is not the one Parkinson refers to by that name in the article, ´ It was a mathematical equation describing the rate at which bureaucracies expand over time as a result of closure of colonial offices. ´ Interestingly the adage “ Work expand to fill the time available for it’s completion” become more popular than the actual law.
  6. 6. #AG18 Unsustainable Development ´ Myopic focus on the features in the next release, the next quarter, and the current issues such as defects and escalations reported by customers. ´ over- (or under-) design, a code first then fix defects later (code-then- fix) mentality, too many dependencies between code modules ´ Lack of automated tests, and use of temporary patches or workarounds that are never addressed. ´ Team is reactive to changes in their ecosystem and are caught in a vicious cycle of reacting to events and ´ working harder and longer hours just like walking up a down escalator. The result is a project Death Spiral.
  7. 7. #AG18
  8. 8. #AG18 Death Spiral
  9. 9. #AG18 Unsustainable Development
  10. 10. #AG18 The Causes of Unsustainable Development Project Stresses Project Controls Collaboration Expertise Decision Making Simplicity Cost Management External Dependencies Disruptive Technologies Disruptive Business Model
  11. 11. #AG18 Technical Debt and the Flywheel Metaphor
  12. 12. #AG18 Sustainable Development ´ Achieve and maintain an optimal development pace indefinitely. ´ Teams are able to be proactive about changes in their ecosystem. ´ These teams are in a virtuous cycle where the more team is able to improve themselves and how they work together, the greater their ability to deal with increasing complexity and change. (No fundamental Attribution Error)
  13. 13. #AG18 Striving for Sustainable Development Is Like Juggling Features Bug Fixing Design Emphasis Working Product Defect Prevention Continual Refinement
  14. 14. #AG18 Working Product 1. No "Broken Windows" 2. Be Uncompromising about Defects 3. "Barely Sufficient" Documentation 4. Continuous Integration 5. Nightly Builds 6. Prototyping (quick and dirty approach ,Throwaway, Tracer Bullet) 7. Don't Neglect Performance 8. Zero Tolerance for Memory and Resource Leaks 9. Coding Standards and Guidelines 10. Adopt Standards (Concentrate on Your Value-Add) Working Product
  15. 15. #AG18 Defect Prevention 1. Ruthless Testing 2. Use Available Tools 3. Pair Programming and Code Reviews 4. Lightweight Root-Cause Analysis Defect Prevention
  16. 16. #AG18 Design Emphasis 1. Design Vision 2. Guiding Principles 3. Simple Design 4. Refactoring 5. Design Patterns 6. Frequent Rapid Design Meetings 7. Commitment to Re-Architecture 8. Design for Reuse Design Emphasis
  17. 17. #AG18 Continual Refinement 1. Iterative Development 2. Release Planning 3. Daily Standup Meetings 4. Refactoring 5. Retrospectives 6. Coaching and Team Development 7. Make Key Matrices visible Continual Refinement
  18. 18. #AG18 Unsustainable to Sustainable Development ´ Start ruthless testing by emphasizing unit tests for new code and, if you can, by putting safeguards in place such as system level tests to catch regressions sooner. ´ Introduce simple design and refactoring. ´ If you aren't already doing so, make sure your product is built nightly (completely, from scratch) and that you are using a configuration management system. ´ Pay attention to your design practices. If you do a lot of up-front design currently, don't stop doing design because you don't think it's agile. Don't get hung up on simple design and emergent design. Start with frequent rapid design meetings and architectural reviews. ´ Start collecting some metrics to find out what kind of defect trend and backlog you have. This will help plan your next steps to help get defects under control.
  19. 19. #AG18 Time Management: Time Robbers ´ Procrastination ´ Overreaching ´ Unnecessary Travel ´ Email and paperwork ´ Timewasting Meetings ´ Distractions and Switching Cost ´ Time Wasting Boss
  20. 20. #AG18 Time Management: Pomodoro Technique ´ developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s ´ The "Pomodoro Technique" is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used when he was a university student ´ Decide on the task to be done ´ Set the pomodoro timer to n minutes (traditionally 25) ´ Work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x ´ Take a short break (3–5 minutes) ´ After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes)
  21. 21. #AG18 How do you spend time? Making Activity log Helps in: ´ Make a realistic estimate of the time spend during the day on job orders ´ Pinpoint the critical areas:-time spend on low value jobs ´ Finding the high yielding time of our day
  22. 22. #AG18 Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle Quadrant-1 Important and Urgent Crises & Deadline Problems Quadrant-2 Important But Not Urgent Relationship planning and Recreation Quadrant-3 Not Important But Urgent Interruptions, Meetings, Activities Quadrant-4 Not Important Not Urgent Time Wasters Pleasant Activities Trivia
  23. 23. #AG18 Eisenhower ´ Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States from 1953 until 1961. Before, he had been general in the United States Army and served as the Allied Forces Supreme Commander in World War II. He later also became NATO first supreme commander. Dwight had to continuously make tough decisions on which of the many tasks he should focus on each day. This finally lead to inventing the world-famous Eisenhower principle, today helping us to prioritze by urgency and importance.
  24. 24. #AG18 Priority
  25. 25. #AG18 Sustainable Development Culture ´ Disciplined ´ Responsible ´ Leadership ´ Visionary and Tactical ´ Shared Sense of Urgency ´ Highly Collaborative ´ Complementary Talents and Skills ´ Continually Improving and Learning ´ Change Tolerant ´ Risk-Aware ´ Fun
  26. 26. #AG18 Conclusion ´ Team needs to be proactive to changes in their eco system to manage time. ´ Defects prevention techniques needs to be used effectively so as to focus on features rather than struggling with defect fixing. ´ Pomodoro’s Techniques is helpful in moving things forward case of disruptive environment. ´ Some non productive activities can also be prioritize using Eisenhower matrix. Following above techniques team can defy Parkinson’s law and do sustainable development.
  27. 27. Thank You Harpreet Singh Question?