Agile India 2013 Conference presents 50GB of HD Quality Video Recording of all 95 Sessions, packed in 13 DVDs.   Buy Now!

Tracks

The conference will feature the following topics and more:

Topics
Agile Development Practices Agile Product Management Agile Testing and Quality Assurance
Agile and Outsourcing Coaching and Mentoring Craftsmanship
Culture, People and Teams DevOps Enterprise Agile
Leadership and Org Transformation Lean Principles and Practices Lean Startup
Lightning Talk Mobile Development Open Space
  User Experience  

Agile and Outsourcing

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

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 Testing and Quality Assurance

Sessions under this topic are designed to help testers and anyone who is part of an agile team succeed in delivering high quality software. The presentation of new and innovative techniques and ideas for ensuring high quality results is an important purpose of this topic. These sessions will give you practical ideas and techniques to take back to your workplace. These sessions will be highly interactive to allow for experiences to be shared and learning from each other. If you’re a tester, developer, business analyst, coach, manager, or anyone else with a stake in delivering high-quality software, you’ll find practical information here.

Questions we will attempt to answer:

  • How do quality metrics improve testing practices?
  • How to effectively managing technical debt in test suites?
  • How to ensure that testing “keeps up” with the fast pace of agile development?
  • What skills should agile teams have to ensure high quality?
  • What is the role of a QA specialist on an agile team?
  • What is the relationship between developer testing and tester testing?
  • How to test nonfunctional requirements on agile projects (load, performance, security, usability, stress, etc.)?
  • How to create and maintain non-brittle test suites?
  • How do distributed agile teams practice effective, continuous testing?
  • How can agile testing help with compliance requirements (e.g., FDA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.)

Agile Product Management

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

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.

Craftsmanship

Developer focused practices like test-driven development, refactoring and pair-programming have always been central to the agile development team. Sessions under this topic will help developers learn and improve their technical skills to help ensure the delivery of high quality software. The emerging movement of Software Craftsmanship, with its attention to apprenticeship, adaptation and pragmatism will be highlighted. We will include lectures, hands-on-labs and tutorials to help you learn to improve your skills as a developer and craftsman.

Questions we will attempt to answer:

  • What is Software Craftsmanship and how is it different from Software Engineering?
  • How do you, as a developer, ensure you deliver high quality software while ensuring the code remains flexible enough to adapt to changing business requirements?
  • How do you apply specific practices like test-first development, design patterns, clean & simple design to the code you write?
  • How have our tools, languages and practices changed over the past 10 years to help us make better software, faster?
  • How to the practices of software craftsmanship help us continuously add value to the software we create?

Culture, People & Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Mobile Development

Over the past few years, usage of mobile devices to access the internet has dramatically increased, to a point where, organizations can no longer afford to ignore them. The mobile arena introduces a layer of complexity that can be difficult for organizations to accommodate. Also the development process on the mobile is quite different from the traditional development model. Sessions in this stage will highlight various trends and approaches for making your organizations mobile enabled.

  • User Interface and Design on Mobile - Creating a great experience for mobile users is much easier than you might think. Expert guidance will be provided to help you avoid the pitfalls that have caused other apps to fail. You should gain a good exposure to guide where to focus your efforts in order to build successful mobile apps.
  • Business and Marketing - Sessions will focus on industry trends and business development which centers on attracting new customers and adding value for existing customers by creating new mobile experiences. You will gain insight on the strategies that business leaders are using in their organizations to bring new content and experiences to mobile consumers.
  • Mobile Web Development - Learn how to develop mobile web apps using HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Native Application Development - Understand how to build apps on the most popular platforms using native development for iphone, android and Windows 8.

User Experience

Anyone passionate about building products that delight their customers should attend these sessions. User Experience practices will help your agile team discover, build and deliver the right product - putting the customer at the heart of every decision.

We are excited to show you some of the ways Agile and User Experience practices are being combined in the Lean Startup and Lean UX communities - driving the iterative discovery and development of new products. The track brings together practical and theoretical sessions from some of the best practitioners in the field. You’ll find something in every session to make your team more effective and your customer happier.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How do you discover what users really want?
  • How can you drive the iterative discovery of new products?
  • How can generative user research be integrated with agile projects?
  • How can an agile team sustain a long-term product vision?
  • How do UX practices help agile teams build better products?
  • How do you put practical UX skills into the hands of the whole team?
  • How do you deal with the challenges of UX work on your agile team?
  • What are UX practitioners doing to enhance real world agile projects?
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