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Key Take-aways Vinayak Hemant Elhence, Confidential – August 2014

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Presentation on theme: "Key Take-aways Vinayak Hemant Elhence, Confidential – August 2014"— Presentation transcript:


2 Key Take-aways Vinayak Joglekar, CTO @vinayakj @vinayakj Hemant Elhence, CEO @HemantElhence Confidential – August 2014

3 Conference Overview July 28 – Aug 1 in Orlando, FL Approx 2000 participants from 40 countries, 17 tracks, over 200 sessions, plus inspiring keynotes Stated theme: Achieving Enterprise Agility We attended 20 sessions each, plus Exhibit Booths of about 40 vendors of tools and training services 4th year of 1-day Executive Forum, with invited senior executives, ~25 More large company participants, e.g. Walmart, Cisco, etc. Confidential – August 2014

4 17 Tracks Agile Boot Camp Coaching and Mentoring Collaboration, Culture & Teams Development Practices & Craftsmanship DevOps Enterprise Agile Experience Reports Leadership Learning Lightening Talks Open Jam Project, Program and Portfolio Management Research Stalwarts Testing & Quality Assurance User Experience Working with Customers Confidential – August 2014

5 Synerzip’s Top “10” Takeaways Note: 40 sessions were attended out of 200 by Hemant Elhence and Vinayak Joglekar. Where possible, the presenter’s name and other reference are listed. Confidential – August 2014

6 Top 10 (15) Topics 1.VJ: Managing People 2.HE: Scaling Agile/SAFe 3.VJ: Lean Start-up Adoption 4.HE: Spotify Model/Engineering Culture 5.VJ: Mob Programming 6.HE: Self Organization – TradeMe Case 7.VJ: T-Shaped + Broader Skills 8.HE: Agile Transformation 9.VJ: UX Runway + Mobile UX 10.HE: Value Team vs. PO Role 11.VJ: DevOps & Continuous Delivery 12.HE: Estimation 13.VJ: Org Structure & Architecture 14.HE: Interesting Soundbites 15.VJ: Interesting Soundbites Confidential – August 2014

7 1. Agile is not about software Confidential – August 2014 It’s about managing people

8 Managing People Healthy, happy workplaces are real and achievable  healthy bottom-line Trust is the bedrock of high performing team Confidential – August 2014

9 Managing People Confidential – August 2014

10 Managing People For building trust/commitment, embrace conflict − think about things never discussed “We need to allow people to choose to unleash their potential” - Olaf Lewitz We need to build fail safe relationships Very simple manifesto − We value people “Self organizing organization” - Sandi Mamoli Confidential – August 2014

11 Managing People (Cont’d) Theory Y to deal with Business VUCA Need based allocation instead of budget to avoid gaming & conflicts of target/allocation No perfect KPI-Standing on scale example Roundabouts instead of traffic signal (Value based system instead of rules based one) Confidential – August 2014

12 Traffic Signal Vs Roundabout Confidential – August 2014

13 2. Scaling Agile Effectively scaling Agile adoption to hundreds of teams Probably the biggest discussion topic, perhaps the next biggest frontier Multiple frameworks/approaches –Scrum-of-Scrum (SoS) –Large Scale Scrum (LeSS, Larman/Vodde) –Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe, Leffingwell) –Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD, Ambler/Lines) –Spotify “Model” (Kniberg) –Scrum at Scale (Sutherland,, meta Agile Scaling Knowledgebase (ASK) Decision Matrix, Less about the framework choice, more about culture change Confidential – August 2014

14 Confidential – August 2014

15 3. Lean startup adoption Confidential – August 2014 Beyond discussion − GE does it.

16 Lean Startup in Microsoft & GE! Keynote by Sam Guckenheimer confirmed Microsoft’s journey to cloud cadence  customer feedback in sprints from 2008 Is it important? Going in the right direction? Early customer feedback is the primary motivation for Agile  Cloud Cadence move C/s functional teams - autonomous backlog Deployment in 3 rd week of 4 week sprints Only trunk checkin - baby steps - feature flags GE Healthcare executive lunch conversation Confidential – August 2014

17 Lean Startup meets Agile via UX Workshop to quickly design an MVP in a cross functional team – diverging  converging Design: Thinking + Lean Startup + Agile = Lean UX User-centric continuous design vs big upfront Hypothesis driven development Prototype  Test  Learn cycles Confidential – August 2014

18 4. Spotify “Engineering Culture” Confidential – August 2014 Spotify offers a fascinating model for scaling. It has kept an agile mindset despite having scaled to over 30 teams across 3 cities. Alistair Cockburn (one of the founding fathers of agile) visited Spotify and said “Nice - I've been looking for someone to implement this matrix format since 1992 :) so it is really welcome to see.”

19 Squad, Tribe, Chapter, Guild Squad: the basic unit of development, similar to a co-located Scrum team, designed to feel like a mini-startup. Each squad has a long-term mission such as building and improving the Android client, creating the Spotify radio experience, scaling the backend systems, or providing payment solutions. Tribe: A tribe is a collection of squads that work in related areas – such as the music player, or backend infrastructure. Designed to be 100 people or less, a tribe can be seen as the “incubator” for the squad mini-startups. Chapter: A chapter is your small family of people having similar skills and working within the same general competency area, within the same tribe. For example the testing chapter, the web developer chapter or the backend chapter. Guild: A Guild is a more organic and wide-reaching “community of interest”, a group of people that want to share knowledge, tools, code, and practices. A guild usually cuts across the whole organization. For example, the web technology guild, the tester guild, the agile coach guild, etc. See this white paper by Henrik Kniberg & Anders Ivarsson Confidential – August 2014

20 5. Mob Programming Mob programming-Woody Zuil-Teams attracted by awesomeness of vision=naturally motivated Best requirements, architecture and design emerge from self organizing teams 1 computer, 2 keyboards, 2 projectors - bright minds working on the same thing at the same time in the same room for 3 years! Interactions  kindness, consideration & respect No politics, context switching or waiting Less code, no duplication, low technical debt Confidential – August 2014

21 Mob Programming video Confidential – August 2014

22 6. Self-organization Trade Me case study on self-organization leveraging Spotify WP Company ( size 125 people, 80 in engineering Facilitated self-selection process, done offsite –Pre-defined 11 Squad categories (product areas) –Pre-assigned Product Owners –Rest of the team of dev & testers self-selected –Rules 1.“Do what is best for TradeMe” – posted prominently 2.Squads should be 3-7 people 3.Capable of delivering end-to-end 4.Co-located, if possible Result –Stable, focused teams, that deliver higher –Happier team members Mob Programming – evolved version from pair programming ( Confidential – August 2014

23 Self Organizing, Self Selecting Spotify concept of squads, tribes, etc. was the inspiration to squadify all teams Idea from Fedex day - teams were formed by self selection - what if they do it all the time? 3 out of 11 squads self-selected on trial day No explicit management buy-in was asked for Empty squad sheets - only 6/7 pictures could fit Sheets placed, title/mission explained by PO - 10 min iterations  8 squads fully staffed Learning - Trust works, peoples’ interests Confidential – August 2014

24 7. T-Shaped + Broader Skills Confidential – August 2014 Everyone does everything

25 T shaped skills Every member has QA, BA, Ops & Dev skills No one works alone; everyone works together Shared activities  people more accountable Communication, curiosity, respect, empathy needed for cross-skilling within the team Remove phases & design together; no story would be written by less than 3 people Shared activities resulted in better quality, 0 bugs, 3X efficiency, shared understanding of goals, trust, increased empathy Confidential – August 2014

26 Skills “Do what you love to do, work with purpose, care for your tribe” - Diana Larson Tools for self-discovery − survey, ask friends, check what you did when there was nothing to be done, the kind of stories that move you Purpose inspires, brings focus, motivates Confidential – August 2014

27 Lean to smash biases Lean canvas - cognitive bias - I know it Experiment A3 - hindsight bias - I knew it Heaven/Hell ritual - Optimism bias - Wow its gr8 As the problem gets fatigued disciplined thinking fast and slow helps Your sense of doubting brings disciplined slow thinking Confidential – August 2014

28 8. Agile Transformation Big challenge, faced by large (>10,000 person), older companies, with distributed (incl. offshore) teams Entire focus of the Executive Forum, with case-studies by: Bank of America, United Healthcare, Frost Bank (146 yr old), Cerner Corporation Culture trumps process and practices –Agile Mindset –Servant Leadership –“Less about the framework (e.g. SAFe), more about the culture change.” Customized Agile process, with some remnants of waterfall Embedded coaches –Hired externally, but integrated –1 coach per 3-6 teams Physical space changes – cubes to open room, all whiteboard Lot of attention to communication of vision, why change, etc. Attention to metrics Confidential – August 2014

29 9. UX Runway + Mobile UX Confidential – August 2014 Integrating UX design & scrum

30 Intro to the UX world Roles − researchers, information architects, visual designers, CSS devs, accessibility experts Aversion to time boxing; Centralized / Isolated UX needs to be integrated at portfolio, program and product levels; hence it’s hard to integrate User research/personas etc. at portfolio level CSS designs/wireframes at product/program level UX runway with + 3/2/1 week lead for research, architect and dev work Confidential – August 2014

31 Step by step UX framework Takes 2-4 weeks before development Collaborate/empathize with users for problem/assumption validation Business goals – why are we doing this? Expectation setting from business owner Contextual research – observe users in their environment Target user may change as we iterate; but its important to know the primary persona Research insights = opportunity patterns Confidential – August 2014

32 Step by step UX framework Lean canvas or elevator pitch to prioritize Risk/Complexity/Value to prioritize Design principles are best understood by designers – rest solution can be framed by team Experience principles like “proactive, flexible, friendly, safe” need to be explicitly stated Storyboards/User Journey – Day in the life Lowest fidelity proto to get early evaluation Experience mapping across various touch points Interaction/navigation model – core behavior Confidential – August 2014

33 Mobile UX testing UX research needs to be planned with dev Heuristic review – is the design conforming to standards and known rules? Usability study – in-person/remote Remote research is difficult for mobile apps Working with agile teams need UX to be flexible on fidelity of prototypes – could be paper or using tools like appcooker/blueprint Low budget research – observe users – don’t talk Magitest/remoteviewer – record/share remotely Confidential – August 2014

34 Mobile UX considerations Case study – how to display menu; 9 out of 12 didn’t know the hamburger icon Secondary navigation – accordion preferred Horizontal scrolling was understood when the arrows appeared in the table header 4X more appetite for scrolling on tab vs phone Confidential – August 2014

35 10. Value Team vs. PO Role Value Team session by Ahmed Sidky, Considering Product Owner as the single wring-able neck for feature prioritization is unreasonable Create a Value Team, PO = Value Team Facilitator Confidential – August 2014

36 11. DevOps & Cont Delivery Confidential – August 2014 DevOps is more about culture than tools

37 DevOps-Next level of c/s function DevOps isn’t @ creating a silo or buying a tool DevOps is a cultural & professional movement Can’t solve social/cultural issues with tools More and more sysadmins are writing code Many devops - day talks - empathy for other depts Continuous change often gets misunderstood as nothing’s ready because it's going to change Small teams that are inquisitive & ready to learn Hackathons − build anything that added value ^ pressure, ^features, v design  Sinking of Vasa Confidential – August 2014

38 12. Estimation Evolved #NoEstimate Movement what-would-you-do/ what-would-you-do/ estimates/ estimates/ “Building software is by its very nature unpredictable and unrepetitive. While building software we cannot easily break down the work into same-sized, repeatable widgets like we can when manufacturing car parts.” Just deliver high-value working software slices in shortest possible time intervals, and do-away with estimation. Using Empiricism over Guesswork Use actual historical data of work done by team For large projects, sampling based estimation –Take a sample of few epics to use –Use Weibull distribution, with Monte Carlo simulation tool for arriving at full project estimates Confidential – August 2014

39 Using Sampling + MC Confidential – August 2014 From Troy Magennis’ session Moneyball for Software Projects

40 13. Org structure = Architecture Confidential – August 2014 Designs = copies of communication paths

41 Architecture & Org Structure Architecture originates in different places and different ways, and is deeply ingrained in the org Shape of design group = imp design decision Loosely coupled/distributed orgs are less likely to produce tightly coupled ball of mud Selective hiding and exposing information in an org − like interfaces with private/public methods Architectural change required for remote team Avoid hierarchy paths, pipelines; refactor org Scaling-^ small teams building PAAS services Confidential – August 2014

42 Interesting Soundbites (HE) “Agile” is technology driven, Lean-Agile is business value driven Agile helps you deliver faster, but doesn’t save you from bad business decisions To pilot Agile, pick a really important (& visible) project in the company Keep all the work visible, including any skunk works, pet projects, etc. To really understand customer needs, don’t (just) ask them; observe them, and infer what they really need 2 key requirements for Agile to not fail: 1.Definition of Done 2.Culture Candidates for 5 th Value for Agile Manifesto –Demonstrating & delivering business value OVER trying to use the word Agile to sell products/services –Continuous improvement OVER “Best Practices” Confidential – August 2014

43 Interesting Soundbites (VJ) If we improved by measuring we could’ve reduced weight by just standing on the scale. Co-located team is likely to result in a local mudball. Remote teams result in a modular approach. Architecture is a social discipline. It impacts daily life. Many scrum teams work in a compressed waterfall model. By asking users to participate in early research you are getting their trust for the brand not damaging it. Politics tax is the amount of time spent to CYA. The very word “engineering” is limiting our thinking of what software can do. Continuous delivery is a journey. No need to get there now. The direction is right. Confidential – August 2014

44 Questions? Confidential – August 2014

45 Confidential – August 2014

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