Stages

The conference is divided into stages, where each stage focuses on a particular area. 

The stages and their organizers are:

StageProducerCo-Producer
Agile and Outsourcing
Udayan Banerjee
Vibhu Srinivasan
Agile Development Practices
Dhaval Dalal
Chirag Doshi
Agile Product Management
Tathagat Varma
Annu Augustine
Coaching and Mentoring Rahul Sawhney George Dinwiddle
Culture, People & Teams Ajay Danait
DevOps Ajey Gore Patrick Debois
Enterprise Agile Sanjiv Augustine Linda Cook
Lean Principles and Practices Balachander Swaminathan Mary Poppendieck
Lean Startups Akkiraju Bhattiprolu
Leadership & Organizational Transformation Mahesh Singh Mike Russell
Research Rashina Hoda Nils Brede Moe
Lightning Talks Alexey Krivitsky


Agile and Outsourcing

Stage Producers: Udayan Banerjee, Vibhu Srinivasan

In the Indian context majority of the software professional are engaged in providing offshored software service to a global customer. With agile being preferred by most organizations and off-shore development being the norm, customers expect software service vendors also to follow Agile practices. There are several challenges in marrying the two as most Agile methodologies assume co-located, cross-functional teams with importance given to interaction and collaboration over documentation and processes. This is further compounded by fixed price contracting and that vendors organizations which undertake offshore engagement rely on SEI-CMMI process model and there are concerns about the compatibility between CMMI model and agile methodologies. This stage is for experience sharing on how these paradoxes can be managed to ensure successful offshoring.

With software development going global, there are lots of organizations doing distributed development in various forms today. There are not many large projects left which are being developed without outsourcing or offshoring. While this is a trend in the industry, there are also lots of organizations which are realizing heavy-weight processes don’t work. Over the last fews years more and more organizations are trying light weight methods like Agile.

While there are great advantages to Distributed Development, it comes with its own challenges. Some organizations have tried to apply Agile values and principles to distributed development to solve some of those issues. Some organizations have had great success, but others are still finding it difficult to apply Agile values and principles to distributed projects.

This stage will present talks from various speakers who have successfully adopted Agile practices in distributed environment.

Agile Development Practices

 

Stage Producers: Dhaval Dalal, Chirag Doshi

Being Agile and realizing success requires being committed to applying certain sets of practices continuously and sincerely. How we behave, how we communicate, the set of practices we follow -  all affect our results. We will focus on technical, sociological, and other practices that affect and influence the ability of individuals and of the teams to attain Agility and realize success in their development activities. We will learn real tried and tested practices from practitioners who have gained hands-on experience from real life projects and have the ability, willingness, and passion to share those with us.

Agile Product Management

Stage Producers: Tathagat Varma, Annu Augustine

Recent market successes like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Groupon emphasize that entry barriers to New Product Development (NPD) have dropped down and have become completely democratized.

The focus of Agile processes is on development processes and the day-to–day tactical issues. This forms only a small subset of activities of any software product development company. NPD today involves challenging previously unknown assumptions; creating completely new business models; working with globalized virtual teams involving research, academia, offshore partners and freelancers; and yes - though the software quality aspects continue to be high, it is not perhaps as high as innovation.

  • How have companies adopted Agile practices and incorporated them into their existing product development processes?
  • How have companies adopted the product owner role?
  • What are the challenges facing product management in the Agile world?
  • Is product management Agile?
  • Are agile methods more suitable for custom software development?

In this stage we aim to understand how product development organizations are evolving to address the realities of new marketplace and applying newer agile practices to lead and maintain product leadership. We expect this session to come out with provocative ideas rather than support the status quo.

Coaching and Mentoring

Stage Producers: Rahul Sawhney, George Dinwiddle

As Agile becomes main-stream, the values laid down by the Agile Manifesto are continuously challenged in different ways during its adoption in different situations. Great coaches help teams and organizations in facing and overcoming these challenges through various learning techniques, so that the issues can be handled effectively. Coaches help teams and organizations embrace agile in its true spirit in order to maximize value that is delivered to the customer.

As an agile coach and mentor, you will learn about skills and techniques needed to improve team effectiveness so that you can guide your teams towards unleashing their true potential. As an agile team member, you will get a better understanding of different perspectives and techniques for improving team dynamics and create a better work environment.

This stage will have multiple sessions, potentially including experience reports, tutorials, talks, workshops and research papers. Through these sessions Coaches, Mentors, Leaders and Team members will enhance their existing toolset and return with real life examples and thought leadership in this area. We are seeking interactive sessions that explore practical techniques a coach can use with teams. We also want to hear stories from experienced coaches that sharing insights into what works and what to avoid.

This stage will include:
  • Coaching and Mentoring skills and techniques
  • Coaching challenges with people and technology
  • Helping teams discover and deal with team dysfunctions
  • Coaching in different situations (product development, IT services, consulting, distributed teams, new and mature teams, large and small teams etc.)
  • Coaching for the enterprise
Come and learn techniques, listen to the experience of other coaches, and see how you can better support teams in their Agile journey.

Culture, People & Teams

 

Stage Producers: Ajay Danait

Most Agile methodologies rely on the work of self-organizing teams, yet give little guidance on how to create them. Assigning a collection of people to a project and collocating them in a team room will sometimes result in them gelling into a real team, but sometimes remains just a work group assigned to the project. Management will usually call them a team, but that is insufficient to make it so.

Since a decade when the term Agile has been coined as related to software development, bottom-up team and people evolution towards an agile mindset has been much slower than its top-down Agile process adoption. This leads to faux-Agile or Agile-but implementation in an organization.

Using this stage, we will explore how coaches, consultants, and companies are creating environments, building teams, growing individuals and creating people-oriented organizations. We expect a variety in spice sessions to come out with innovative ideation in addition to tricks, tips, and proven methods that have been part of inspiring and helping software people “”be agile”” rather than “”follow Agile”“. More importantly, it examines how to create or enhance teams and collaboration, both from within and without.

In this stage we’ll explore and share experiences related to:

  • How managers interact with and support self-organizing teams. 
  • The nature and benefits of teams and collaboration Building and sustaining high performance teams 
  • How manager lead across the organization. 
  • Manager’s roles in understanding and removing impediments. 
  • Pragmatic methods to see and influence the organization as a system. 
  • Replacing traditional management practices with practices that are more effective with agile teams. 
  • How to address the role and concerns of middle managers.

The benefits that come with teaming seem entangled with collaboration. Similar to the loose usage of the word team, the word “collaboration” is often used when “cooperation” would be more appropriate. Cooperative work may be directed toward the same goal, but is independent rather than interdependent and mutually coordinated.

DevOps

 

Stage Producers: Ajey Gore, Patrick Debois

Even though Agile has existed for many years it’s only slowly embracing new ideas and it’s still so much focused on software. In this stage we hope to extend the traditional view: new ideas such as Agile infrastructure,devops, expand traditional boundaries to the operations, infrastructure group.

We value both submissions at the technical and human level in this stage: tools are an important part as they help you to achieve goals, but cultural integration between different groups are much more important and harder to achieve.

Much of the bridging between the two worlds, comes from Continuous Integration, a part that is also too often a no-man’s land in the world of software development. CI and Continuous Delivery will be an equal part of this stage.

Enterprise Agile

 

Stage Producers: Sanjiv Augustine, Linda Cook

Agile Management is a way of managing projects to deliver customer value via adaptive planning, rapid feedback, continuous improvement and intense human interaction and collaboration.

If you are responsible for product development, project management, program management or simply team results in complex and dynamic environments; agile management can help your teams deliver better results such as: - Rapid business value realization and flexibility to change via iterative and incremental delivery - Improved customer and associate satisfaction via increased teamwork and collaboration - Higher productivity via waste reduction and closer customer alignment.

Lean Principles and Practices

Stage Producers: Balachander Swaminathan, Mary Poppendieck

The idea of leanness has been around for several years and has been successfully adopted across industries. The software industry has also been a beneficiary, though the adoption and propagation of these concepts is still in the early stages. There seems to be an increasing belief within the Agile community that greater adoption of these concepts (some of which are anyway inherent in agile software development) can lead to tremendous efficiencies in the way software is developed along with other allied benefits. 
The Lean Principles and Practices stage will focus on the application of Lean principles to software development. The intent is to explore the current state of research and practice in this area.  Ideas or practices related to kanban, JIT, A3, minimising WIP, jidoka, etc. and the fundamental people centric elements of lean in relation to software development are likely to be discussed. This stage will also showcase real examples of software projects that have borrowed from various lean concepts and adapted them to their environments in an attempt to make their projects deliver more efficiently. Overall, the goal for this stage is to act as a platform for spreading these messages to a wider aligned audience and provide a fillip to the adoption of these concepts for the betterment of the software industry.

Lean Startups

 

Stage Producers: Akkiraju Bhattiprolu

Startups in India are on a rise. Specifically the product startups as it is discussed in this report http://tinyurl.com/6axyxbf .

Arguably, the Indian IT industry is built on the strong service/consulting mindset and heavy weight process models. That mindset and tools are ill equipped to offer any value to the startups. That also resulted in a clear scarcity of workforce suitable for startups.

On the other hand, Agile has been the champion of the startups for all the new generation product development organizations around the world. The ability it offers to mend ways to suite the changing market demands, its natural preference to create self managed teams are some of the reasons.

The emergence of “Lean Startup” concept has been readily accepted as the natural fit for the needs of such startups. It is considered to be the most innovative set of ideas to enter the Agile arena in the last few years. It pushes the boundaries beyond what people previously considered feasible and calls Agile orthodoxy into question. It is remaking the software industry, starting with startups and now changing enterprises as well.

This stage focuses on bringing out some of the following themes but not limited by them.

  • Startup case studies
  • Lean Startup concepts: Customer Development, Market based validation, A/B testing,
  • Lean Startup metrics
  • Product prioritization & laying the road map. What does agile offer in this. (like story maps)
  • How to structure the teams in terms of roles and responsibilities
  • How can Agile optimize the costs in all the above dimensionsAny other dimensions of relevance

Leadership & Organizational Transformation

 

Stage Producers: Mahesh Singh, Mike Russel

Leaders at all levels and in all areas must fundamentally change themselves and the organization to catalyze change to enable agile transformation or scaling.  Implementing changes to technical practices or development teams is not enough; a broader, more comprehensive approach is needed.  

Traditionally, organizations have depended on hierarchical structures, top-down/ centralized leadership styles, and deterministic methods to manage projects and implement change.  As the same organizations adopt Agile/ Lean methods, they will need to redesign structures and management philosophy to remove built-in impediments to success and foster an environment of innovation and continuous improvement.  Furthermore, key aspects like success/failure metrics and operational mechanisms like budgeting will need to be revamped or replaced.  

Currently, we often see a continuous struggle between managing projects and operations the 'same old way' rather than truly embrace the principles of Agile/Lean, with behaviors occurring along the following themes: 

  • Senior management push for maximum utilization, then expect project teams to take on additional/ work (customer interrupts) while continuing to expect that everything else the team is/ was working on will also get delivered on the same schedule and to the same scope.
  • Senior managers, as well as Project Managers, continue to focus on effort – planned/ estimated vs. actual, employee productivity and actual attendance at work, rather than results like work completed, products/ features delivered, improvements in quality, lead times, etc.
  • Customers say they want agile methods implemented but still expect to get fixed price/ scope/ time projects, same reporting metrics as before, etc.
  • Teams are cited as necessary for improvement, but then team members are evaluated as individuals, reinforcing anti-team behaviors long-term.

This stage invites proposals for the above themes as well as related themes in this area.

Research

 

We are proud to announce a Research Stage at the

Stage Producers: Rashina Hoda, Nils Brede Moe

Agile India 2012 conference. The popularity of Agile software development in industries around the world has been reflected in the increasing number of researches on the topic. The Research Stage is specifically designed to bring together researchers and academics from around the world and showcase both validated results as well as new and emerging ideas in Agile research.

We invite researchers and academics to submit their contributions to the Research Stage. We aim at bridging the gap between research and practice, and encourage submission of case studies, action research studies, grounded theory studies, experiments, surveys and literature reviews. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Architecture and Design
  • Customer Collaboration
  • Distributed Teams
  • Large-scale Studies of Agile Practice
  • Lean Principles and Applications
  • Management and Business Issues
  • Self-organization and Self-management
  • Leadership
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Team Dynamics and Culture
  • Tools and Applications
  • User Experience and Interaction Design
  • Agile in the classrooms
There are two types of submissions invited for the Research stage:
  • Full-papers, limited to 10 pages, that report original and significant results
  • Short-papers, limited to 4 pages, that report original research work that explore new ideas and/or have emerging results.
The Research stage program committee consists of world experts on Agile software development research. Papers will undergo a rigorous double-blind peer-review process, by reviewers selected from the program committee. Both full-papers and short-papers will be published in the electronic proceedings and indexed in IEEE Xplore. Papers to the Research stage must be submitted via the EasyChair submission system by 15th October 2011. Click here for Call for Papers and more details on the Research stage.
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