by Ambika Patil
SolutionsIQ was recently present at the Agile Scrum International Summit in Bangalore. Witnessing the upcoming advances in the field of Agile and adding flavor to the event were our very own speakers.
The event, conducted by Bacancy Technology, boasted a huge turnout and saw in attendance enthusiasts from around the globe. Speakers from SolutionsIQ covered a wide range of topics at the event. Vibhu Srinivasan and Joe Justice spoke about the pros and cons of the role of team manager, and Joe explained how the WIKISPEED project, a self-organizing team, was able to develop a 100mpg car in three months and win international acclaim. Throughout the day, SolutionsIQ made an impact through various presentations, discussing topics like retrospectives and being a good ScrumMaster.
The highlight of the day was the morning session, in which Vibhu and Joe engaged the participants in activities where they had to come up with reasons why a manager is needed or not needed in a team. The participants came up with many suggestions for being a better manager, including:
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Avoiding many meetings
- Empowering the teams after empowering oneself
- Team rewards instead of individual rewards
To enliven the session, the audience was given a surprise questionnaire where they had to guess the contents of a ScrumMaster’s tool kit on a piece of paper and drop it in a bowl. During a tea break, a raffle was conducted and the two best answers were rewarded with a ScrumMaster’s tool kit from SolutionsIQ.
Naveen Nanjundappa’s session was “Scrum Horoscope”. He entered dramatically like a yogi; the audience was keen on getting their Scrum team horoscopes read and predicting the impending problems in their team.
Jayaprakash Puttaswamy’s session was “Raju bangaya ScrumMaster”, which detailed the journey of a ScrumMaster and the impediments he or she must overcome. JP engaged the audience in activities that taught them how not to be a "dead" ScrumMaster.
The conference was a huge success and was a perfect way to end a year filled with Agile learning throughout India.
by Ryan Keawekane
Agile India 2012 was hosted from February 17 to 19 in one of Bangalore’s premier hotels, Le Meridien. Intended to be an annual event, the conference gives some of the Agile world’s finest minds a platform from which to share their ideas.
I performed a support role for William Rowden, who gave one talk on Distributed Scrum and another introducing Lean and Kanban. My role allowed me to see some of the inner workings of both the conference and those who shaped it. With my camera, I managed to capture slivers of conference happenings. With my pen, I hope to capture some of my experiences.
William’s first talk was an introduction to Lean and Kanban called “Lean Workflow: A Parable in Pictures”. In preparation for this talk, William had given a dry run of it at Monsanto, a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, the Wednesday before. At the Monsanto talk, Vibhu Srinivasan helped drive home the “evils” of multitasking in a game where vendors offered their customers a service: name-writing. After three rounds with different parameters, the whole group decided it was better to finish a single task rather than perform several tasks simultaneously. Both the Monsanto and Agile India groups were very interested in the concepts in William’s introduction. At Agile India 2012, William demonstrated how Lean practices could be used to improve software development. He also drew a brief comparison between Scrum and Kanban.
Interestingly, one of Charlie Rudd’s two talks was scheduled opposite to William’s introduction to Lean and Kanban. In addition, Vibhu Srinivasan, Managing Director of SolutionsIQ India, took to the stage with co-host Udayan Banerjee to discuss “Agile and Outsourcing”. As a result, “ambassadors” for SolutionsIQ were at three places at the same time. Conference-goers must have been asking themselves, “What is SolutionsIQ and how can they help us?”
The other talk William gave concerned Distributed Scrum. He had given this same talk last August in Salt Lake City at Agile 2011. The presentation, which William co-presented with client Val Scott from ALLDATA, was a great success. William added the contributions of those attendees to the Distributed Scrum presentation given at Agile India this year. Distributed team practices are of great concern to companies based in India, and this presentation gave attendees patterns they could use to open and maintain communication channels between their local and remote offices.
As with the Salt Lake City presentation, the conference room at Agile India was packed. Attendees here were also given the opportunity to contribute their own insights to tackling problems distributed scrum teams face daily. William hopes to make their contributions available online in the near future.
Both of William’s talks at the Agile India conference were successful, the Distributed Scrum presentation so much so that several attendees approached William afterward to commend him. One man found it necessary to thank William several times over the course of the next two days.
SolutionsIQ CEO Charlie Rudd also presented two talks at the conference: “Confronting Business Uncertainty” and “Agile Governance”. Although I didn’t have the pleasure of attending them, knowing Charlie, the talks were informative and thought-provoking.
Besides the talks, William and I also participated in a session Vibhu presented called “Fun with Agile Gaming: Use Games to Recharge Teams”. The turnout was good, even though it was 4pm on the final conference day, and the attendees themselves were “charged” and had a lot of fun. The games included using different gestures to distinguish “Scrum-man” from Spiderman and Superman; having a group of forty contestants count, individually, from 1 to 40 with their eyes closed and without any communication; and a coordinated group effort to sing, clap, and count an imaginary baby to sleep. The room was full of smiles and laughter, even when the session ran a little long. Eventually, however, we had to call it a day.
In the end, Agile India 2012 was well worth the effort, the time, and the money. Knowledge work is the “it” industry and Agile is a useful IT development tool. Agile India 2012 helped to make that tool available to a wider audience, and I am personally glad that I could be a part of it.