Posts tagged ‘Kanban’

July 6, 2012

Inspect and Adapt for Agile Product Managers

by Sampath Prahalad

As organizations make their movement from Waterfall to Agile software development, a shift in culture takes place. One discipline that is most affected in this whole change is Product Management. They have to cope up with the demand for more releases within the same time and each release has to have meaningful content.

I have tried to list the traits needed for a successful Agile Product Manager here.

  • The clarity for the near term goals along with a vision for the medium term.
  • The ability to constantly prioritize and groom the product backlog so that the most important business requirements are placed at the top.
  • The ability to split requirements into granular user stories so that they can be completed within a Sprint.
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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 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.


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