My experience at AgileIndia 2012 – Day 1

by Sampath Prahalad

The AgileIndia 2012 conference got underway on the 17th of Feb 2012 at the Le Meridean, Bangalore. It is a 3 day conference ending on Sunday, the 19th of Feb 2012.

Talks are from many eminent people in the Agile communities. A good number of talks from folks at Thoughtworks (Rebecca Parsons(CTO),  Chirag Doshi), Rory McCorkle of PMI, William Rowden from SolutionsIQ, Keith Nottonson from Yahoo to name a few.

The ones that I attended on 17th Feb 2012 and my brief lessons learnt from them are listed below.

  • Theory of Constraints. An interesting Talk by Masa K Maeda
    1. Identify the Constraint: Any process moves at the speed of the slowest step. That step is the constraint.
    2. Exploit the Constraint: The person working on the constraint skips all non value add tasks.
    3. Subordinate everything else: Slow down everything upstream and downstream of the constraint. This reduces wastage and increases quality(because the other steps have more time to complete their work)
    4. Elevate the Constraint: Brainstorm on the constraint and improve the process. Encourage Identify steps that remove or speeden up the constraint.
    5. Find a new Constraint: Back to Step 1.
  • Lean Workflow: A parable in pictures. An engrossing talk by William Rowden of SolutionsIQ.
    1. Basics of Lean Kanban. Get them here
    2. Types of waste in software development: Partially done work, extra processes, extra features, task switching, waiting due to lack of information, defects. Disclaimer: Do not use the term ‘waste’, however to refer to these within the team. No one wants their work to be called a ‘Waste’.
    3. Limit the Work in Progress. Each person in the team works on 1 task so that the context switching time is eliminated. Context switching also causes tasks to get extended beyond the actual time needed.
    4. Many times, when neither Scrum nor Lean Kanban would work best, take a look at Scrumban.
  • Converting Chickens to Pigs. A talk by Anila George of Nokia Siemens.
    • In an Agile world, the Project manager ends up with a feeling of no control over the team.
    • To get over this and to get a better sense of involvement, he/she can do a bunch of small things that go a long way in attaining the trust of the team.
    • Take a look at the steps that can be taken. Click here.

All in all, an enriching first day at the Agile India 2012 conference.



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