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People over Processes

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My presentation at 6th Annual Conference of Bangalore Software Process Improvement Network (BSPIN) on 9 Oct. The theme was 'CraftDucing' and we had an interesting perspective on striking the balance between people centric vs. production centric view.

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People over Processes

  1. 1. “People over processes” Tathagat Varma Sr. Director Business Operations Yahoo! India R&D
  2. 2. Let’s understand the ‘craft’ first… •  Sheer joy of making things •  Pleasure of things that are useful to other people •  Fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles •  Joys of always learning, which sprints from the non-repeating nature of the task •  Delight of working in such a tractable mediumThe Mythical Man Month – Fred Brooks, 1975
  3. 3. Pace of innovation is accelerating… 2011 - •  Instagram 2000-2010 •  2010: Pinterest, SnapDeal, •  2009: Square, Quora, Sina Weibo1975-2000 •  2008: Groupon, AirBnB, GoGo• 2000: Baidu •  2007: Dropbox, Zynga, Flipkart, InMobi,• 1997: Yandex• 1994: Yahoo!, Amazon, NetScape, Hulu, Tumblr,• 1986: Pixar •  2006: Twitter, SlideShare, Badoo Spotify• 1984: Sybase •  2005: YouTube, Renren• 1983: Intuit, Borland,• 1982: Sun, Symantec, Adobe, EA •  2004: Facebook• 1980: Informix •  2003: Myspace, Skype, Rovio,• 1979: EMC Gameforge,• 1977: Oracle •  2002: LinkedIn• 1976: CA, Apple• 1975: Microsoft •  2001: StumbleUpon, Mail.ru
  4. 4. Sadly…None of this came from…Frameworks, Standards and Certifications
  5. 5. Agile Manifesto brought people back into the equation…
  6. 6. But…Did that solve the problem? •  “…In looking back, [Kent] Beck finds that while each segment of the Manifesto was a giant leap forward in 2001, the language no longer reflects the challenge of launching successful innovation in the marketplace of 2011.” •  Beck’s Beyond Agile Manifesto - •  Team Vision and Discipline over Individuals and Interactions •  Validated Learning over Working Software •  Customer Discovery over Customer Collaboration •  Initiating Change over Responding to Changehttp://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/05/04/innovation-applying-inspect-adapt-to-the-agile-manifesto/
  7. 7. What is the most importantpart in these two machines?The Brakes…They let you go faster! And…The Man!!
  8. 8. So, what are we learning?•  Innovation is the game •  More of same is not enough!•  ‘Startups’ breed innovation •  No risk, no reward!•  Invest on smart people •  Let them break stuff !•  Don’t impose a process •  Let them self-organize!•  Don’t confuse means with ends •  It’s not about the tool!
  9. 9. It’s not about the tool! A photographer went to asocialite party in New York. Ashe entered the front door, thehost said ‘I love your pictures– they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until dinnerwas finished, then: ‘That wasa wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.’ – Sam Haskins http://www.haskins.com/ImageShop/Image_Shop_60s/60s_Books_A.Image_01.html

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