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Agile Gambling: A Cautionary Tale!

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Learn how the road to Agile Coaching made me a an (Agile) Gambling Addict and see if you see yourself in my story...

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Agile Gambling: A Cautionary Tale!

  1. 1. 1© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com HOW THE ROAD TO AGILE COACHING MADE ME A GAMBLING ADDICT! A CAUTIONARY TALE RAVI VERMA THE ORG WHISPERER
  2. 2. 2© 1993-2014 Scrum.org, All Rights Reserved About Me… • Education:  Bachelors in Computer Sc. & Engg.  Masters in Entrepreneurship • Certifications:  PST (PSF, PSM, PSPO), PSE, PSM II, PSPO II, PSD I  Evidence Based Management Consultant  MBTI Certified Practitioner  Certified in Advanced Conflict Resolution  Certificate in Organizational Development • Experience:  Sr. Principal – Enterprise Agile Deployment, Sabre  Founder & Org Whisperer – SmoothApps  16+ years in SW Delivery, Consulting  Siemens, HP, Avaya, Cisco, AT&T. among others  Dev Background: C/C++, VC++, Win32 SDK, Oracle…
  3. 3. 3© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Not easy •Big Risk! •Responsibility • To myself and the industry • To caution others who are on this slippery slope •1st step in the healing process Why Am I Doing This…?
  4. 4. 4© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com BOSTON TTT Let’s Start at the Beginning…
  5. 5. 5© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Imagine…
  6. 6. 6© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com $50K 1BET@$50K 50 BETS @ $1K What would you choose…? Why…? X
  7. 7. 7© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •In an environment of risk and uncertainty, • Smaller bets are better • Allow us to look at actual results • Adapt our approach • Alter future bets •But what does all this have to do with software delivery…? Risks & Uncertainty
  8. 8. 8© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • Things rarely turn out the way we expect them to • How often… • Are business and I.T. on the same page - “what” we should build? • Are I.T. teams on the same page – “how” we should build it? • Do 3rd party components behave exactly as we thought they would…? • Does solution behave the same way in production as in the lab? • Do customers behave exactly the way you expected them to…? • Does the market remain static between the time the requirement is created to the time the solution was deployed? Uncertainties in Complex Software Delivery…
  9. 9. 9© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •There are none! •Anyone who says otherwise is… • Mis-informed or • Not talking about “COMPLEX” Software Delivery Guarantees in Complex Software Delivery… “COMPLEX” Software Delivery
  10. 10. 10© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •This uncertainty puts a lot at risk… • Investment in I.T. • Delays in time to market • Loss of revenue • Loss of market share • Other…? The Stakes…
  11. 11. 11© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •When so much is at stake, how can we manage the risk so we don’t lose more than we can afford…? Key Question…
  12. 12. 12© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com “What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker •How can we measure the size of our bets…? •Let’s look at a simple model… The First Step…
  13. 13. 13© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Avg. hrly. blended rate per team member: •Avg. # of team members / scrum team*: •Avg. # of scrum teams / project: •Avg. # of projects / program: •Avg. # of programs / portfolio: Assumptions… $85 /hr * Assumes 9 Developers and shared Scrum Master / Product Owner 10 5 5 2
  14. 14. 14© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • # of working hours per day: • # of working days in week: • # of weeks in sprint: • Approximate # of sprints in… • 1 Quarter: • 2 Quarters: • 3 Quarters: • 1 year: Assumptions… 8 5 4 3 9 6 12
  15. 15. 15© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com DeveloperDeveloper DeveloperDeveloper Developer Developer Developer Developer Developer A Scrum Team Product Owner Scrum Master A Scrum Team… * Assumes 9 Developers and shared Scrum Master / Product Owner
  16. 16. 16© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com PROJECT A Project…
  17. 17. 17© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com A Program PROGRAM
  18. 18. 18© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com PORTFOLIO A Portfolio…
  19. 19. 19© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •How might we measure the build up of these bets…? Tracking the bets…
  20. 20. 20© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com 1 Team Member… Developer $50K $100K $150K
  21. 21. 21© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com 1 Scrum Team… $.5M $1M $1.5M
  22. 22. 22© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com 1 Project / 5 Scrum Teams… $2M $4M $6M $8M $.5M
  23. 23. 23© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com 1 Program / 5 Projects / 25 Scrum Teams… $10M $20M $30M $40M $3M
  24. 24. 24© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com 1 Portfolio / 2 Programs / 50 Scrum Teams… $20M $40M $60M $80M $6M
  25. 25. 25© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Comparing the bets…
  26. 26. 26© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • What are their expectations about ROI? What is their investment horizon? • How big a bet are they willing for you to make on their behalf…? • How much I.T. investment are they willing to lose on invalid assumptions? • How many weeks of delay in time to market are they willing to accept? • How much revenue loss are they willing to accept? About Your Investors…
  27. 27. 27© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com About your Investors… • Its usually 4 weeks or less…
  28. 28. 28© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Once you know… • Adjust your sprint size within their risk tolerance! • Find a way to integrate and deploy to production every sprint • Even if it’s turned off
  29. 29. 29© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Once we quantify the size of the bets, we need an effective way to manage them •We must elevate empiricism to the business level •One possible way of doing this… • Evidence Based Management, or EBMgt ™… Managing the bets…
  30. 30. 30© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • The complexity and the creative nature of software development make it a highly fascinating, yet quite unpredictable business. • Scrum employs empiricism, systematic inspection and adaptation, to deal with the unpredictability typical to software development. • Empiricism is also a pillar of ‘Evidence-Based Management’ – “EBMgt ™”… Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™” 30 WHITEPAPER – Empirical Management Explored: EBMgmt for Software Organizations, Gunther Verheyen, Scrum.org Gunther Verheyen
  31. 31. 31© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • Managers in product-development organizations are shifting towards using evidence for better decision-making. • Information and insights gained from having actually performed some work are infinitely more valuable than any upfront theory, assumption or prediction. • In the absence of observable work, all preliminary information is to be considered a hypothesis, not knowledge or evidence. 31 WHITEPAPER – Empirical Management Explored: EBMgmt for Software Organizations, Gunther Verheyen, Scrum.org Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™” Gunther Verheyen
  32. 32. 32© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • What do we need to make informed decisions? • Without knowledge no informed decision about the future can be made. • Where does knowledge come from? • Knowledge is gained when an actual working result can be compared against a stated hypothesis and the observers capitalize on the findings that emerge from the comparison. • How can we create a methodical way to collect knowledge? 32 WHITEPAPER – Empirical Management Explored: EBMgmt for Software Organizations, Gunther Verheyen, Scrum.org Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™” Gunther Verheyen
  33. 33. 33© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • A highly dynamic and safe way to gather evidence of what does and does not work is to create repeated cycles of 1.Stating a hypothesis 2.Working on the hypothesis for a limited time 3.Verifying results of the work • This approach enables learning and improving while effectively making progress. 33 WHITEPAPER – Empirical Management Explored: EBMgmt for Software Organizations, Gunther Verheyen, Scrum.org Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™” Gunther Verheyen
  34. 34. 34© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™”
  35. 35. 35© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt ™”
  36. 36. 36© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • Complex software delivery is like high-stakes gambling • Even the smartest person / team cannot consistently predict / guarantee… • The solution will work exactly as we designed on paper • How the market will react • How much business value will be generated In Summary… 36
  37. 37. 37© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Every morning, our investors give us a briefcase of cash… The Daily Brief-Case
  38. 38. 38© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Our investors expect us to be effective at gambling with their time and money • Understand their risk tolerance • Be transparent about the size of the bets • Manage the bets to optimize ROI / Value •We owe it to them to be “Expert Empirical Gamblers” Responsibility
  39. 39. 39© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Empirical gambling requires three pillars… • TRANSPARENCY: Into size & placement of the bets • INSPECTION: Of results of the bets • ADAPTATION: Of size and placement of future bets Empirical Gambling
  40. 40. 40© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • Evidence Based Management – “EBMgt™” can help us get better… 1. Create / Refine hypotheses 2. Transparently place small, calculated bets 3. Deploy to production 4. Inspect the market response 5. Measure ROI 6. Learn 7. Adapt future bets Empirical Agile Gambling 40
  41. 41. 41© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •Yes, those of us in Complex Software Delivery are high-stakes gamblers •For us to be effective, we must… 1. Come out of denial 2. Acknowledge the reality 3. Get better at it In Summary
  42. 42. 42© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com •What is your investors’ risk tolerance? •How can you track your bets? •How can you manage your bets? •How will you continuously learn and adapt? Call to Action
  43. 43. 43© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • What was your most valuable takeaway? • What is one baby step you will take in the next 30 days to apply what you learned today?
  44. 44. 44© SmoothApps 2014 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Let’s Talk… Ravi Verma The Org Whisperer smoothapps smoothapps orgwhisperer

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