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Agile Way of Dealing with Uncertainty in a Complex Adaptive World

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Recently I facilitated a workshop at the Agile Goa 2012 Conference titled – “Agile Way of Dealing with Uncertainty in a Complex Adaptive World“.

Abstract: It is human nature to look for patterns while solving new problems. We have a dangerous tendency to reuse what we already know to solve the next problem. We rarely discard what we’ve learned; we simply build on top of it. Sometimes this is a useful tactic, but often new problems and their context are slightly (if not vastly) different than the previous ones. And applying our previous way of doing things, will not be best suited for tackling the new problem.

In the software world, we’ve seen a similar desire to find the “one true way”, “the BEST method”, “the silver bullet” to solve all software development problems. Alas, after decades of trying we’ve not found one.

In this workshop, I’ll let you discover why this is not possible and possibly explain how best to deal with this problem. This ideas in this workshop are based on my experience backed by latest research from Cognitive Science, Complex Adaptive System’s Theory and Evolutionary Psychology.


Agile Goa 2012 Conference Program

Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Day 1 – Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Time Talk
08:30 – 09:00 AM Registration
09:00 – 09:30 AM Welcome Talk
09:30 – 11:00 AM Agile Way of Dealing with Uncertainty in a Complex Adaptive World

Naresh Jain, ASCI

11:00 – 11:15 AM Cofee/Tea Break
11:15 – 12:00 PM Agile Way of Dealing with Uncertainty in a Complex Adaptive World …continued
12:00 – 01:00 PM Turning into an Agile Engineering Manager

Debashis Banerjee, Yahoo!

01:00 – 02:00 PM Lunch Break
02:00 – 03:30 PM What is Kanban and why should I care?

Sreekanth Tadipatri, DeccanTech

03:30 – 03:45 PM Cofee/Tea Break
03:45 – 05:00 PM DevOps – The missing Secret Sauce

Ajey Gore, Hoppr

05:00 – 06:00 PM To Explore or not to Explore… How we Crossed the Bridge

Nivedita Bawa, Microsoft

06:00 – 06:30 PM Open Discussion
Day 2 – Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Time Talk
09:30 – 10:45 AM Agile Evolution & Academic Imperatives

Raja Bavani, MindTree

10:45 – 11:45 AM Embracing Scrum – One step at a time
A real life case study with real world challenges

Niraj Kumar Bhandari, McKinsey & Co

11:45 – 12:00 PM Cofee/Tea Break
12:00 – 01:00 PM Implementing Agile: Do’s and Don’ts

Anay Kamat, PresentSoft Technologies

01:00 – 02:00 PM Lunch Break
02:00 – 03:00 PM Let Tests Drive Your Design…Yeah right!

Naresh Jain, ASCI

03:00 – 03:30 PM Respect in the Agile context

Ravichandran J.V, Independent

03:30 – 04:00 PM Cofee/Tea Break
04:00 – 05:00 PM Challenges in doing Agile in IT Services

Srinath Chandrasekharan, HCL Technologies

05:00 – 06:00 PM Retrospective

[AgileIndia2013] Call for Proposals and other Upcoming Conferences

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Agile India 2013 Banner

Learn… Connect… Network…

@ Asia’s Premier Agile and Lean Conference

27 and 28 February 2013 – Management Conference

1st and 2nd March 2013 – Technical Conference

Hotel Sheraton, Bengaluru

We are pleased to call for proposals for Agile India 2013 conference. You’ll notice that 85% of the conference program is ready. However it won’t be complete without your awesome sessions. So please submit your session at before 1st September.

Also, we have two other upcoming conferences you might be interested in:

Agile Goa 2012

Agile Goa 2012

25th and 26th August 2012

Our 5th Agile Conference in Goa. The purpose of this conference is to address the growing interest in light-weight software development methods and to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art Agile and Lean Values, Principles and Practices. Its also a great platform for the industry to meet the academics.

Agile Coach Camp Bengaluru 2012

Agile Coach Camp

Bengaluru 2012

Essence OVER Ceremony

Sep 14th and 15th 2012

Global unconference for Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Agile Trainers, Leaders, Change Agents and Mentors. For the second time in India. Will be hosted at Ramada Hotel Bangalore.

Agile India 2013 Conference Details:

If you attended Agile India 2012 conference, let me tell you, Agile India 2013 will be at least 10x better. You can choose to attend the Management conference or Technical conference or both. During this refreshing yet intense conferences you can:

  • Meet experts like Craig Larman, Mary Poppendieck, Rebecca Parsons, David Hussman, Fred George, Jeff Patton, Jez Humble, Linda Rising, Neal Ford, Venkat Subramaniam and many other Agile Thought Leaders...
  • Network & share your experience with over 1400 international delegates from literally every software company practicing or exploring Agile & Lean.
  • Explore diverse and interesting solutions and contribute to the future of Agile software development.

At the Agile India 2012 conference we hosted 750 professionals with 337 unique Roles from 228 different Companies from 21 Countries. Check out the detailed Agile India 2012 Conference delegate profile to understand the profile and diversity of people attending this conference.

Registrations will open on 15th Aug. Tentative pricing plan.

Also check out our blog: Improvements made to Agile India 2013 based on feedback from Agile India 2012 conference.


Sponsorship details: Also check out our Sponsors Portfolio (pdf).

Twitter: #AgileIndia2013

Agile India 2013 Conference Venue Layout

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

We’ve been working with our event management partner to figure out the conference layout for the Agile India 2013 Conference. As you might know, we are hosting the conference at Sheraton Hotel. Following is the layout we’ve come up with:

Agile India 2013 Conference Layout

Agile India 2012 is Live!

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Folks, Agile India 2012 conference is live! What does that mean?

Early-bird registration has started in full swing.

Sponsorship detail are published for interested companies.

We are reviewing all the awesome proposals submitted by experts from around the world. We should have the program live by end of Nov.

After 6 Years We’re Still Struggling to Establish Any Sustainable Community/Special Interest Group in India

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

For the last 6+ years, few of us in India, are trying to establish a sustainable Agile community. The truth is that we are still struggling to have a self-sufficient, self-driven community.

We don’t seem to be hosting regular user group meetings. Our sporadic events seem to attract mostly new people each time. Next meeting we rarely see them. Huge number of people sign up, but only a fraction show up.

Its not just the Agile community, we’ve tried many other communities like .Net User Group, TechCamp, GeekNight, BarCamps, etc. Except the Linux community (FOSS now) I don’t think any other software community has really sustained itself.

This is very contrary to what I saw when I used to facilitate the Agile Philly User Group and the Philly GeekNight. People used to drive 2 hrs to attend the meeting. We had the same set of people coming every meeting. We all had this sense of learning and growing together.

What do you think is different in India?

IMHO the biggest problem I see is that there is so much “mediocre job opportunity” available, that frankly software professionals can be in demand for many years without learn anything new. With many people I sense a “there-is-no-need-to-stretch-ourself” attitude. Necessity is the mother of innovation and action. People don’t see the necessity. Period.

There are very few people I know who care about learning and exploring and growing.

Some other problems I see:

  • For most people, there is no end to mediocre opportunities and they are happy with it. “This job sucks, but its OK, I get a decent salary.” kind of attitude. The ones who want to purse big dreams mostly move to US or other places. (There are always exceptions to the rule.)
  • With all the personal, social life & society obligations and working late to catch up with counterparts in other countries, there is very little time left for user groups and other initiatives. Even if one is interested, the traffic and other logistics make it next to impossible to motivate people.
  • There is country culture, but the biggest culprit is the Organization culture. At certain places I’ve worked, if you are not learning new stuff, you feel like a piece of shit. But in many other companies I’ve visited, that’s not the case.
  • Indian Software Industry is unfortunately very “brand conscious“. If its a big name speaking at an event, people will walk a whole day to attend the event. But if its a local speaker presenting, it doesn’t appeal.

I’m sorry if you find me ranting, but I’m disappointed with the attitude. I’ve almost lost hope, but may be you can show me the light.

Presenting on “Continuous Deployment Demystified” at Bangalore Agile Group on May 5th

Friday, April 29th, 2011

User Story Mapping – Jeff Patton

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

A prioritized user story backlog helps to understand what to do next, but is a difficult tool for understanding what your whole system is intended to do. A user story map arranges user stories into a useful model to help understand the functionality of the system, identify holes and omissions in your backlog, and effectively plan holistic releases that delivery value to users and business with each release.

Getting Ready to Produce

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

How do you know you are ready to start iterating? In some cases, very little is needed before the first iteration. In other cases, rushing to iterate (because you were told to) can lead to weeks of time wasted overly focused on delivering a poorly understood product.

In this presentation by David Hussman titled Getting Ready to Produce at Agile Mumbai 2010 Conference, David provides concrete tools for discovering your product context and assessing whether you are ready to start building and / or iterating. Participants learned tools for defining how much process you need and tools for truly understanding what you are building and why, as well as who will use it, why they will (or will not) use it and why.

Adding Sanity to Your Agility

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

10 years after the introduction of agile methods, many communities are succeeding in their adoption while others are struggling or failing. Why? Many struggle because agile methods were introduced in an overly prescriptive manner. People were told to follow a set of practices instead of learning to use the agile practices and values to amplify their existing strengths and address their challenges.

In this talk, David Hussman shares successful coaching techniques he uses to grow sustainable agility that lasts beyond the early iterations or the first few agile projects. David begins with a series of tools to help you build a solid foundation: assessments, pragmatic practice selection, chartering and product planning tools. He then moves on to discuss ideas for finding a groove of discover and delivery that is best suited to your project community.

As a full time working coach, David uses coaching stories and experiences to discuss establishing strong cadence while also building the essence of coaching and coaches in your community Whether you are new to agile methods or you are a seasoned players, this session will help you grow your coaching skills and your ability to truly discover and deliver real value.

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