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“How We Learnt to Stop Worrying and Live with Uncertainty” – Case Studies from Large Scale Agile Program Management

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Traditionally, businesses like banking and telecom focused high on standardization and national regulation. The development lead times were long. Consequently, the solution providers developed capabilities to influence standards, develop products and interact with the end-service providers. The changing business landscape challenges providers to keep pace. In the slow-moving market, providers honed the ability to run major multi—year projects. Solution Providers became predictable development machinery with extensive mechanisms to enable predictability and control at the expense of flexibility and customer closeness. This led to organizational setups focusing on the alignment with the project structures and deepening the competencies in narrow areas both in the product and in the functional dimensions. The result? Organizational silos with multiple related hand-over challenges.

My talk will cover solutions to these challenges when multiple teams come together to deliver a solution.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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“How We Learnt to Stop Worrying and Live with Uncertainty” – Case Studies from Large Scale Agile Program Management

  1. 1. HOW WE LEARNT TO STOP WORRYING AND LIVE WITH UNCERTAINTY CASE STUDIES FROM LARGE SCALE AGILE PROGRAMS Mahesh Varadharajan 1st – 3rd December, 2017 | Westin, Hyderabad, INDIA
  2. 2. Self-Awareness – Step # 1 to deal with Uncertainty Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin_framework#/media/File:Cynefin_framework_by_Edwin_Stoop.jpg
  3. 3. It Begins With Us !!! › If in a Basket ball match, Players – Don’t know how to play, – Un aware of the rules of the games – Un aware of their common goal – No score board – Coach instructs every move as the game is played – Have no winning spirit › Agile – Value and beliefs – Common Goal – Winning Spirit Agile Belief: Key to Success
  4. 4. Case Study #1: A US-based Pharma Supply Chain Company Source: https://www.solutionsiq.com/resource/case-study/safe-and-beyond/
  5. 5. How did we Achieve: The LOPDE Approach Leadership Organization Product / Business Strategy Delivery Execution Organization Coaching Team Coaching
  6. 6. Case Study # 2: Large Scale ERP Implementation Industry: Captive unit of a Global Automotive Major Type: Technology Refresh Project Domain: PeopleSoft ERP Implementation Program Duration: Large Scale / Multi-Year Program – Q4 2011 TO Q1 2016 Requirements: Global Application, however regional laws to be complied Others: Supplier Led Solution Delivery
  7. 7. Wave 1 Launched In Waterfall Approach  Project Life Cycle – 19 months  Business SMEs split in 11 countries  AUS, NZL, IND, CHN, THA, VNM, TWN, PHL, ZAF, JPN, IDN  Development teams in 2 countries  IND & USA Planning Deploy Requirements Gathering Design & Build 1 month 5 months 6 months 5 months 2 months Test
  8. 8. Launch Story  99% conversion rate Yet, Launched On Time  20 interfaces launched with minimal post launch issues  106 Customizations launched with no post launch issues IT WAS NOT EASY!!!!!
  9. 9. 9 Inaccurate estimations Sequential development phases Impact Delayed start of each subsequent phase Changes to requirements were difficult to contain High volume of CR’s - User engagement towards the end All Stakeholders required for decision making Capacity utilization at peak Impact Impact Impact Delayed decisions with cascading effect Meetings at odd times Impact Long Working Hours
  10. 10.  Project Life Cycle – 19 months  Business SMEs split in 9 countries  USA, CAN, MEX, CHL, ARG, VEN, BRA, PER, COL  Development teams in 3 countries  IND, MEX, USA  Overlap with Wave 3 - significantly limiting SME availability 20 70 Number of Interfaces Wave 1 Wave 2 106 200 Number of Customizations Wave 1 Wave 2 37 200 Records to be Converted… Wave 1 Wave 2 1919 Time (in months) Wave 1 Wave 2 Scope Comparison  Significant increase in the number of Interfaces, Customizations and Population.  Higher Complexity.  No Change in the Delivery time. Shift to Agile in Wave-2 Launch
  11. 11.  Deliver on time  Effective distribution of SME time  Increase team productivity  Maintain cross functional alignment Project Preparation Blueprint Realization Determined Project Scope Product Backlog Creation Sprint Backlog Creation Cut Over Go Live 4 Week Cycle Integration Testing Phase 1 Integration Testing Phase 2 Integration Testing Phase 3 15 Sprints The Initial Agile Approach Planned (Before Coaching): Drivers for the Shift in Approach:
  12. 12. 12 Mind-set shift  Teams split across regions  Team ramp-up – For changed approach  Business Buy-in  Development to start at Day 1  Complex Interfaces Challenges Faced During the Transition
  13. 13. Sprint 1  Common Product Backlog across Multiple Teams  Basic Agile training  Agile Awareness for Business SME’s  6 Week Sprint  Common Sprint Reviews  Aligned Definition of Done Sprint 2 Sprint 3 Sprint 4 Sprint 5Sprint 6Sprint 7 + Agile Coach On- boarded + Scrum Master training + Scrum of Scrums Launched Roadmapping Release Planning + Rally - Intro + All Teams in Rally +Re-aligned Product Owners to teams + Program Progress Reporting through Rally - Multiple Teams + Whole Team Structure +Refined Definition of Done The Journey As it Started:
  14. 14. GLOBAL Virtual Stand- ups Common Sprint Closure Rally Tool Program Roadmap Whole Teams Scrum of scrums GLOCAL Development teams – IND, USA, MEX Business SME’s – USA, CAN, MEX, CHL, ARG, VEN, BRA, PER, COL Agile Teams – 7 Interfaces Data Conversion Customizations Configuration Delivery Interdependencies - Complexity with Globally Distributed Agile Teams
  15. 15. 15 Product Backlog Common Sprint Closure Iteration 1 Iteration 2 Iteration 3 Iteration 4 Iteration 5 Iteration 6 Iteration 7 Deliverable 1 Deliverable 2 Deliverable 3 Deliverable 4 Deliverable 5 Deliverable 6 Deliverable 7 Deliverable 1 Deliverable 2 Deliverable 3 Deliverable 4 Deliverable 5 Deliverable 6 Deliverable 7 Deliverable 1 Deliverable 2 Deliverable 3 Deliverable 4 Deliverable 5 Deliverable 6 Deliverable 7 Iteration wise breakdown of deliverables Agile Team 1 Agile Team 2 Agile Team 3 Advantages - Sample - Forecasted Roadmap Across Teams Prioritization of Backlog Items Management of interdependencies Advantages - Common Sprint Reviews across Teams Common Product Backlog and Release Planning resulted in Forecasted Backlog for a quarter Agenda - Sprint Reviews Roadblocks Risks Rewards & Recognition Next Sprint’s Plan Sprint Metrics – Velocity, Defects etc. Improved Progress Visualization More transparency Drives performance Scaling Practices Adopted to Manage Complexity
  16. 16. 16 Build Run Valid ate Clea n-up Rule s for Build Impact Small Conversion Cycles – 4 weeks Early availability of converted data Improved Performance Risks identified upfront Better Quality Positive Linear Growth in the Conversion Rate Few Emergent Practices in Data Conversion: • Learnt from error(s) • Learnt by running conversions • Overall Defects minimized
  17. 17. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Requirements Design Build Test Deploy Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Agile Attributes: • 100 Points • 3 Features • 600 hours Business Process – Set 1 Extract Transform Load Business Process –Set 2 Extract Transform Load Business Process –Set 3 Extract Transform Load 1 2 Dependency:  Needs Customizations  Needs Configurations  Needs Converted Data Agile approach Waterfall approach Extract for all Business Processes Transform for all Business Processes Load for all Business Processes Complexity in Data Conversion: Waterfall Vs Iterative
  18. 18. Want to Get Smarter EveryDay? Stop Worrying and Learn to Embrace Uncertainty • Focus on Continuous Learning • Be the Change You Wish to See – Mahatma Gandhi
  19. 19. Disclaimer This Talk Proposal has been submitted for participation purposes only and is not intended to serve as advice of any nature whatsoever. This Talk Proposal also contains certain information available in public domain, created and maintained by private and public organizations.. The Talk Proposal is the property of Accenture and its affiliates and Accenture be the holder of the copyright or any intellectual property over the news release . No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Accenture. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.
  20. 20. Mahesh Varadharajan Enterprise Agile Coach, Accenture +91-9840963812 Mahesh.mkr@gmail.com Mahesh.varadharajan Thank You

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