Posts tagged ‘Agile software development’

January 5, 2013

Progressive elaboration of user stories

by Sampath Prahalad

Progressive elaboration of user stories just means that big user stories are broken down into smaller ones and filled up with more detail when they appear closer to implementation. This video below from Rally explains the progressive elaboration of user stories in an iceberg metaphor and also brings in a water line. Quite interesting.

July 4, 2012

Bye Bye AgileIndia2012, Welcome AgileIndia2013

by Sampath Prahalad

I attended Agile India 2012  in February this year. Three full days of talks and discussions about different streams within Agile (Agile Product Management, Agile Testing, Agile Coaching, etc), the different flavors of Agile (Scrum, Kanban, very little of XP, etc). Many talks were great,  tweets and related blogs were nice. There was enough food for thought and for the tummy as well. I made new friends and met up with lots of friends and like minded people. Here are my experiences from day 1, day 2 and day 3. So, Agile India 2012 was a success by any yardstick, the organizers deserve many pats on the back for organizing and pulling off an event of such a magnitude. They had done their due diligence and it showed.

Now, here comes Agile India 2013 . I don’t want the 2013 version to be a similar success, I want it to be much bigger and better. Yeh dil definitely maange more (Translates to ‘The heart yearns for more’)

For this, there are some tweaks and changes that the organizers need to make. I have tried to list some of them here.

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February 21, 2012

Kickass tweets from #AgileIndia2012 #Agile #Scrum

by Sampath Prahalad

Here are some Kickass quotes (in the form of tweets) from the recently concluded 3 day Agile India 2012 conference (my experience at the conference on Day 1Day 2 and Day 3) at Le Meridean, Bangalore.

Most of them were quotes that the presenters came up with during the course of their talks and workshops. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did and get to learn from them.

Top contributors for the kickass quotes: Rebecca Parsons, Tathagat Varma and Scott Ambler.

Disclaimer 1: These are in no particular order or preference.

Disclaimer 2: When I am not sure of the conference speaker who came up with the quote, I have put the name of the person who tweeted it.

Agile Work Culture 

February 18, 2012

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.


February 18, 2012

Path for Middle management chickens to become pigs.

by Sampath Prahalad

Attended a talk on the topic above by Anila George at the Agile India 2012 Conference. It was quite informative and thought provoking.

Just a quick definition of Chickens and Pigs in the Agile methodology.

Pigs: Anyone who is committed and responsible for the day to day work in the Scrum team. These are people who work on the team and whose tasks and activities contribute towards the success or failure.

Chickens: Managers and other stakeholders who do not directly contribute to the success of the sprint.

Click here for story on why the terminology was coined.

As a company transitions from a Waterfall software development model to Agile, the middle managers who are used to the ‘Command and Control’ type of management suddenly feel a sense of helplessness, which could cause anxiety, frustration and even boredom in the new ‘Team empowerment’ model.

Here are some steps that these chickens could take to become pigs and contribute effectively (in no particular order of preference)

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January 31, 2012

Rules and Best Practices for the Daily Scrum / Stand-up meeting

by Sampath Prahalad

We all know the 3 questions that are to be answered in the daily Scrum meeting.

  1. Yesterday: What did you work on since the last Scrum?
  2. Today: What will you be working on till the next Scrum?
  3. In my way: What impediments are you facing?

Below are some Written Rules and some Good practices for the daily scrum meet.

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