The first meeting of the Limited WIP Society Pune Chapter happened on Jul 20. Over 20 participants from 5 different companies attended this session.
The first session was presented by Sutap Choudhury from the Amdocs Transformation team. Sutap explained the challenges of the traditional development models and the rationale behind the Agile/Lean/Kanban adoption within Amdocs. He explained the Kanban core practices using Henrik Kinberg’s animation slides. At the end of this session, multiple questions were asked around the implementation of Kanban. One of the questions asked was around the practicality of having cross functional teams – how practical is it to have people from one value stream lane move to another lane to help out on a Blocked card? It was explained that while it may not be 100% possible to get fully cross functional teams, it is important for the team keep this objective in mind and look for opportunities to implement the same. Cross skilling the team will always help tackle such bottlenecks. Another question was around the differences between Kanban and SCRUM. It was discussed that SCRUM/XP are time-boxed execution models in contrast to a continuous flow approach in a Kanban system.
The second session was presented by Hrishikesh Karekar, also from the Amdocs Transformation Team. He explained the challenges of implementing Kanban in a large project – a project of over 800 man month, with over 150 resources over a timeline of 9months. The key challenges that this team experienced were around: A) Splitting Requirements B) Managing Execution and C) Understanding whether the project is on track from a budget perspective. To help manage project execution and tracking project budget consumption, Hrishikesh explained the adoption of Earned Value Management. In the initial days, Amdocs adopted Earned Value tracking by giving part credit to a card when it completed part of the value stream (similar to % progress in MS Project). Unfortunately, this approach led teams to keep pulling work so that the Earned Value % increases, instead of focusing on completing work. Amdocs is now considering adopting the AgileEVM method, wherein a card gets credit when it completes the value stream. Expectation is that while this will strongly encourage teams to complete work as soon as they start on it.
Hrishikesh summarized the session with three key learning:
1. Telling people “Just do it” just doesn’t do it.
2. Mindset issues as well as “Real issues” especially when the ecosystem is not agile.
3. Coaching strategy needs to be agile as well – know when to persist and when to let go.