Agile implementation stories, Effective application of theory U, in agile coaching

Right now I am in the middle of a consulting assignment of transitioning a large team from ‘scrum but’ to right scrum. When I say right scrum, I refer to the scrum guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland which can be downloaded from http://www.scrum.org.

This team from a very large multi national product company came with the baggage of ‘I know scrum, and now you teach me scrum’ scrum attitude, because they have been practising some sort of scrum, which was not new for me, as i have seen the same attitude in several other teams. Since agile is value based, like religions, a loss in faith is very difficult to be restored. No amount of talking would have convinced them. At least that was my judgment,based on my past experiences with teams with some experience in scrum, and I would have carried forward that judgment in the normal course. As a coincidence, this was the time I came across the theory ‘U’ which was advocating the postponement of the three fears of;

Fear of judgment
Fear of cynicism
Fear of change

for effective change management.

I decided to implement the concept of ‘postponement of these fears’ at every stakeholder level, me being the first one. All the coaching sessions started with the request to postpone these fears till the completion of the first sprint, and the results are very positive. After experiencing the right scrum, most of these fears are automatically addressed.

Advertisements

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. e. e. cummings

Image

20130422-210032.jpg

First pmp training with pmbok5. Using earned value management to manage the training program

Image

image

Embracing the new….Started enjoying the online classes

With the ipad compatible latest version of gotomeeting, conducting online classes / meetings have become more effective and enjoyable. It is very reliable, and the ipad makes it even better. As an instructor I am enjoying it. The white board feature and the screen sharing option makes it very effective. Here is a screen shot from the online class I just completed.

20130404-081452.jpg

The true purpose of education is to teach a man, carry himself triumphant to a sunset

Yes, The true purpose of education is to teach a man, carry himself triumphant to the sunset. This is a beautiful quote by liberty Hyde Bailey. At the end of the day, if one misses the sunset altogether then what is the purpose of a man’s existence itself. What is the use of education then?. In India, we are known for missing our sunsets for a few dollars. We can easily spend near twelve hours at the office, even when the work is planned for eight hours. We mistake it as excellence or loyalty or commitment. We plan to celebrate life after fulfilling our targets of owning a home, buying a bike, then a car, then a bigger car, then an expensive car, then a marriage, kids, securing the kids future, after retirement……it is more like postponing sex for old age. Do not let anyone or anything rob you of your sunsets, and let all our education and brilliance help us achieve it. Enjoying every sunset with a feeling of great satisfaction and pride. Start from tomorrow. It is never too late. These days nothing can stop me from enjoying my sunsets. If our education does not help us to achieve this, that knowledge is either useless or it is not applied properly. Here is one such beautiful sunset captured by me at Bahrain after work. An incentive for managing the day’s time perfectly. Good luck to you for better time management. One can save lot of time by not stopping to throw stones at every barking dog (borrowed from a Winston Churchill quote). Be committed like a racehorse without getting distracted by the galleries and other horses, targeting the winning line, from start to finish…and the reward of the beautiful sunset is awaiting you.

20130403-011243.jpg

Dissatisfaction as a driver…..

My biggest ever fear of my professional life is, satisfaction acting as a dis-abler. Rather than that I prefer dissatisfaction acting as an enabler. During my training/consulting assignments, i got the opportunity to work closely with lot of young project management aspirants and a vast majority of them were not happy with what they were doing. I see at as a very positive sign, than people who are content with jobs which are par below their hidden potential. Dissatisfaction to the statuesque can be easily channelized into a constructive force. They already have the fire in their belly, where as in a person who achieved his goals because the goals were far below the potential of the individual is living in a fools paradise. It is very difficult to light a fire in their belly again, because it is already dozed off. I love the back benchers in a class, because very often they are the dissatisfied bunch, who are quite bored with the proceedings in the class. If their energy can be channelized will fully, that can move a mountain. I am sure of it. Everything is possible, if you decide. This is not theory. This is about me. I myself is proof to it. Everything is possible, if you and God decide together. First you must decide, and if it is for a right cause, the divine providence will support you. Committing to the right cause and to the creator who created you for that specific cause is key to success. You are not what others think of you, but you are what you are thinking of yourself, when you stand in front of the creator.

So, if you are dissatisfied with the current status of your being, that is really good. Get frustrated about it. You are not meant to be there, that is why you are dissatisfied. That is great beginning. Take a sheet of paper, and write down what you want to be, and why do you think that you can be that and email to me. I will be really interested to know your story. What is my qualification?. I have become what I wanted to be (which I wrote down on a sheet of paper, several years ago.

Three day workshop on agile project planning, estimation and execution using scrum @Oracle Mumbai

Past three days, I was with a team of 20+ software professionals from the Oracle financial services, Mumbai. The participation level was very good, as some of them have already experienced scrum within the organization. My sincere thanks to the team for making this training really interesting, and for the hospitality extended to me during the past three days. Wish good luck to all participants for their future projects and career.

20121229-202309.jpg

My piece of mind, after today’s agile workshop

That was a wonderful experience, to be with 25 software professionals from a multinational organisation, explaining scrum to them. It is even more enjoyable because they all want to understand it from the practitioners perspective. Since they are deep rooted in waterfall and CMM, the initial mood was skepticism, and after understanding the right scrum in its entirety the skepticism paved way for optimism and enthusiasm. It is very encouraging to see the acute skeptics turning into great supporters of agile and scrum, once they get the right scrum as per the scrum guide, as defined by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Even if my job is only explaining scrum to the participants, I end up trying to sell scrum to the audience, because I see it as the last straw to liberate the software engineer from the clutches of non value adding processes and politics. My blood fumes, when I realise that I am from a country of maximum software engineers in the world. There is no successful product in the world without an Indian’s touch, and at the same time we do not have any major software products, which are world leaders in their domain. Considering the fact that a human being has only 36500 days to live on planet earth, and the fact that half of that is already consumed by me, make me see all these as golden opportunities to share my project management experiences, both good and bad with the next generation of engineers who have to build further on the foundations laid by my generation of software engineers. That fascinates me, and I see every training and mentoring opportunity as a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, which gives it a higher meaning. Go and impact the world positively my dear fellow engineers. Good luck.

20121221-183148.jpg

Think of a world without them, and thank them…

Image

Think of a world without them, and thank them…

They carry garbage. . Garbage, created by us. They carry the garbage created by us, day in and day out. Nobody notices them. Everybody take them for granted. I was no exception.  I started observing them carefully after listening to an interview with one of them in the local FM station. They sounded very professional during the interview. They were fully aware of their duties and responsibilities. They were loving fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Like any other Indian, their ambition in life is to provide good education to their kids.  One of the key challenges they are facing is lack of discipline by the public in not sorting the bio degradable stuff from the non degradable stuff. This leads to lot of additional work for them. The highly educated are the prime culprits. Can we be slightly more sensitive to the citizens responsibilities, so that the garbage collector’s life become better. Today morning I spotted the garbage collection team, and thanks to the radio program, they have a newer vehicle.

image

Continue reading