Author: Shiv Sivaguru

Making Meetings Effective and Productive

One of the comments that I hear very often is that adopting Agile practices results in too many ‘meetings’ and hence become counterproductive. When I observe some of these ‘meetings’, some common [anti-] patterns are found across teams [and organizations]. These include: Not really engaged in the meeting [more engaged with their devices] Working on something ‘urgent’, most common reasons: production issue, client deliverable Jumping in only when someone is called out to respond to a question No wonder such interactions are considered unproductive. Some reasons why many team members feel this way can be attributed to: Ceremonies are...

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CHOW #108- Help Keerthi create an evolving architecture in an agile manner

Keerthi, a successful team leader in a Kanban team, got a promotion based on her outstanding contributions and was asked to be the scrum master for a scrum team that was being put together to create the next generation single sign on front end as the first step to integrate diverse applications that were part of the company’s portfolio. Some of these applications were home-grown, while some others come to the portfolio through acquisitions over the years. Keerthi understood the need for an overarching architecture that can evolve as applications are onboarded, as it is was not possible to...

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Should I Start My Agile Journey with Kanban?

This is one of the frequent questions that I get asked. In many instances, it is posed a little differently – from teams that started with scrum, as they felt they needed a lightweight process compared to more traditional approaches but find it difficult to get the team to internalize the principles and be effective as a team. The common challenges that teams face include Not having sufficient backlog of stories, sometimes even for the current sprint Stories being of varying granularity, that some can be completed in a couple of days with some others taking a couple of...

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CHOW #89- Letting go…

Vishal was very excited to get to work that morning. He was feeling very relaxed after the Dussera break when he had taken a whole week off. But the main reason for his excitement was the new role he was going to take up when he is back in the office. He had the requisite training and also got himself certified as a scrum master, in preparation of taking up this responsibility, considering it a recognition of his contributions as a tech lead in the project over the previous 2 years. The first standup he was coordinating was very...

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Making the SDLC safe – learning from the DuPont model

Recently I had the opportunity to lead an assessment of Business Excellence at one of the Navaratna units. This unit [and also others in the same organization] had started adoption of the DuPont model for safety. As I interacted with different participants in this initiative, was struck by many similarities or principles applicable to successful Agile teams and organizations. First, a little background on the DuPont model: Safety has been a focus for DuPont from the beginning. In the words of E.I. DuPont: Safety is a line management responsibility. If we can’t do it safely, we won’t do it...

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