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Challenges in doing Agile in IT Services


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The talk will begin with the experiences in the current organization w.r.t implementing Agile. It will start from the complexities that exist in the organization due to the way it has grown traditionally.

The next section will then focus on specific challenges , along with project examples, in the areas of
a. Client expectations on Agile
b. Estimation
c. Execution
d. Metrics
e. Project Comparison

Then the summary on where are we as an organization with these challenges and how are we trying to resolve these.

Finally, the session will conclude with some learning’s which can potentially help others.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Challenges in doing Agile in IT Services

  1. 1. Srinath Chandrasekharan, CSMSenior Manager - ConsultingHCL Technologies
  2. 2.  The IT Landscape The Challenges Our Approach Learnings
  3. 3.  $ 6.2 Billion 1 Lakh + Spread Across 31 countries employees Multiple Domains Service mix includes  BPO 1000 + active  Engineering services and R & D projects  Enterprise Applications  Infrastructure Services  Custom Applications
  4. 4.  Other large IT players  Infosys  TCS  Wipro  CTS  + many medium and small companies… Most projects won through competitive bidding.. Margin’s play a major role….
  5. 5.  CMMI was a USP  as customers looked for predictable, repeatable process.  Spread across domains and technologies, this was a task huge task… All companies aspired for various levels…  …. 5 was great, lower ones were acceptable… Heavy documentation needed lot of checks…  Documentation became the focus and evidence was largely document based… compliance to processes became the focus instead of innovation
  6. 6.  Were more ‘Command and Control’….  following the rule was common …  deviations needed to be ‘approved’…..QA group was the gatekeeper  specialization was considered good in processes, technologies, domains…  creating smaller , specialized groups within the large organizations…..led to creation of silos
  7. 7.  For many client’s going agile means…..  Not giving the requirement in full, yet expecting a functionally working feature….  Changing the requirements within sprints..  Not having to commit to the teams in terms of time…..  Avoided heavy and bureaucratic change management processes
  8. 8.  Estimation became a problem..  How do you estimate when you don’t know what to develop…. Yet you need this for winning the bid…..  No industry published data to fall back on… SP are relative and many people don’t understand it…
  9. 9.  What’s the best methodology…  People used to spoon feeding…  Every step and outcome listed in CMMI…but Agile prescribes an open culture ……  What’s Scrum ? DSM ? Reviews? Sprints ?  Should I have a standard Agile process across all projects ? If yes, is it Agile ? If not, how do I compare?
  10. 10.  Some clients don’t care about them…  So do we ask the teams not to waste time on them and use it more productively ? Even if we collected for the other projects  nothing can be analyzed for a comparison No baseline report…  Can’t get data for RFP’s  Can’t compare which methodology will provide better results…..
  11. 11.  Formed CoE  All got trained on CSM  Created some process material around Agile (predominantly Scrum)  Created training material similar to CSM  Assessed / worked with projects implementing scrum  Studied other Agile methods and created processes, so as to increase our basket of offerings….  Forums for addressing questions..CoP
  12. 12.  Started getting involved right from the RFP stage… so as to understand clients maturity and expectations from Agile.. And if needed correct them… Assessed projects for applicability of Agile Training for client business / IT teams Session for sales team….very important.. Sessions for Senior Management…. Self learning modules on the Learning Management System….
  13. 13.  Gathered experiences from different projects on FPP Evolved a guideline on fixed price contracts for Agile Educated Senior Management
  14. 14.  Created a structured process around Scrum and some XP practices Structured training program Leveraged existing QA group to continuously check projects for consistent implementation and regular feedback Getting involved with teams for 2-3 sprints Focused sessions with teams on estimation, story writing etc.
  15. 15.  Made a set of metrics as core, ensured that these are gathered by all teams for every sprint… Published a report which said how are projects doing.. Without comparing them Used CSAT as a common measure, across Agile and Non-Agile projects as well. Collected qualitative data (team stress, weekend working, client pressure, etc.) to support the other data.
  16. 16.  Proactivelytake Senior Management along at all times. Agile should be well thought out instead of being knee- jerk  CoE was focused a lot on projects and delivery teams, left senior management interaction to project teams.  Sales teams / senior management involvement was as and when needed, so there was no single approach to Agile.  Cultural change needed was slow to take off.
  17. 17.  Top-down and bottom-up working together  While teams were becoming Agile, management was not.  Metrics from traditional methodologies were still expected from teams, resulting in pressure on teams.  Support for teams was problematic, in many areas.
  18. 18.  Geta delivery sponsor who can speak for you at various forums  Important to spread awareness and intricacies of Agile.  Get buy in from delivery teams for activities done by CoE and not be seen as an ‘outsider’.
  19. 19.  Focuson tooling and skills ….along with processes  While Scrum was becoming popular, XP practices were largely ignored.  Some practices were questioned for cost effectiveness (Pair Programing, TDD).  Leveraging projects experience was not well established.
  20. 20.