The voyage toward agility


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Presentation I gave at Agile Bazaar in August 2009

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  • Productivity was plummetingFinal qualification was taking longerCTO commissioned evaluationboth quantitative and qualitativeConsultant recommended and sold Agile to CTO
  • 5 full time coaches from consultant, 5 part time internal coachesAfter about 9 months, only used 5 part time coaches
  • Globalization, New UI and new Reporting platform
  • Help teams navigate their way through the transition
  • Very hierarchicalPeople treated as “resources”Regularly moved from team (workgroup?) to team to handle crises and delaysPeople assigned to multiple projectsManagement makes most decisionsTeams do not feel empoweredMany teams just going through the motions of agile development“Blame” is typical reaction
  • Manager – VP, Director, Manager Customer – QA, Pubs, Architects, Product ManagementDeveloper – Developers Confusion about who is in charge, and “single voice of the customer”
  • 60 ScrumMaster receive CSM from Ken Schwaber30 Product Owners receive CSPO from Ken SchwaberNo more “communities”1 ScrumMaster, 1Product Owner, Team of developers, testers, writer, etc.Scrum didn’t replace, just augmented
  • About 30 teams need to coordinate effort to release the suiteDeemed impossible to synchronize sprints
  • Suite Management Team (SMT)Steering committee1 Director and 1 Product Owner from each of the 3 organizationsSuite Integration Team (SIT)Installs suite on a set of integration servers each weekCreates and runs series of suite-wide testsSuite Release Team (SRT)ScrumMaster and Product Owner from each team (60 people)Responsible for coordinating dependencies and resolving suite-wide issuesPrimary communication vehicle for the suite
  • Adopted the concept of “Release Candidates”Every 6 to 8 weeksEntire system integrated and tested togetherSuite build and battery of suite tests run weeklyTeams hold their own sprints but integrate into last integrated system each weekEach team has daily builds and battery of daily tests (some team build more often)Beginning each RCEach team presents release plan focusing on dependencies and impacts to SRTEnd of each RCSRT holds an RC RetrospectiveProduct Owners hold an RC Review for organization
  • Each identify and resolve impedimentsExperiencing the same impedimentsDifferent solutionsSome solutions impacted other teams
  • Etc. - Enterprise Transition CommitteeSenior Execs doing the work of prioritizing and resolving organizational impediments Identified by the development teamsResolve by creating small teams to remove the impedimentUse Scrum to run the processIssuesExecs had no time for this workReluctant to assign people to impediment removal teams
  • ScrumMasters, Product Owners, and ArchitectsFacilitated by Agile CoachA brief coaching session on an agile topic from one of the teamReview of resolved impediments, identifying and prioritizing new ones, and volunteering to resolve highest priority
  • Budgets give guidance to Product Owners on what senior management is willing to invest to get the benefit or return
  • Initiatives – Broad areas of focus tied to corporate strategyHeadlines – Major Feature Sets/Capabilities within an InitiativeEngineering commits to these within a budgetShippable Units – The smallest feature that is worth shipping to a customerAnalogous to Minimal Marketable Feature from Software by NumbersEngineering delivers as many of these within the budget of a headlineBusiness Value measured hereStories – User stories as we all know and love
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