Monkey See Monkey Do

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We don't have all the answers. We don't know the best way to build software in the right way. But we do know one thing: the right way doesn't involve mindlessly following practices just because some "self-proclaimed expert" says you need to. In this workshop we'll take a critical look at various "agile" practices and try to highlight the dogma and ceremony that has creeped in. We'll also question if the practices defined a decade ago are still applicable? If yes, have they evolved since? What are some of the original creators of these processes practicing today? And so on...

Text of Monkey See Monkey Do

Monkey See Monkey Do!

Sandeep ShettyDirecti

Naresh JainIndustrial Logic

Released under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

1Thursday 4 February 2010

Image Src: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/chimp.jpg

As an agile presenter,I want to create a backlog,

So that we can actually get it done!

5 Nuts100 BV

Backlog for the Workshop

2Thursday 4 February 2010

Like any expert agile practitioner we started off our mini-project with a list of well thought-out user stories. These stories of-course were prioritized based on the business value and story point estimates and then carefully placed in our backlog. Notice weve used NUTs (Nebulous Unit of Time) for our story point estimate.

Backlog

3Thursday 4 February 2010

Lets take a closer look at the stories in our backlog

As a presenter,I want to select a title for the talk,

So that it is attractive to the conference attendees

1 Nut500 BV

Freeze on Workshop Title

4Thursday 4 February 2010

To submit a proposal to the conference, the first thing we needed was a title and hence this story

As a presenter,I want to come up with an

interesting abstract for the talk along the conference theme,

So that it gets accepted

10 Nuts500 BV

Write Workshop Abstract

5Thursday 4 February 2010

The title alone was not sufficient, we also needed a kick-ass abstract, inline with the conference theme to get selected.

As a presenter & co-presenter,we want an outline,

So that we can start creating the content for the workshop

15 Nuts700 BVWorkshop outline

6Thursday 4 February 2010

Once our proposal was accepted, we had to break down the workshop into tasks and start working on it.

As a co-presenter,I want the slides to be usable,

So that my message is conveyed clearly to the conference attendees

2 Nuts200 BV

Slide Usability

7Thursday 4 February 2010

Fed up with all the accusations about the Agile community not being user centric, we choose to give high priority to Usability. We take no crap from these non-believers

As a conference attendee,I want to learn something new,

So that Im delighted

35 Nuts2500 BVCustomer Delight

8Thursday 4 February 2010

Having a workshop where the participants dont learn anything is like writing unit tests without asserts, pointless!

As a presenter,I want to create workshop content,

So that we can conduct the workshop

30 Nuts2100 BV

Workshop Content

9Thursday 4 February 2010

This was the most obvious story.

Analysis Paralysis

10Thursday 4 February 2010

Our agile zen like intuition told us that we had enough stories and we could start planning our sprints.

Analysis Paralysis

10Thursday 4 February 2010

Our agile zen like intuition told us that we had enough stories and we could start planning our sprints.

Adaptive Planning

11Thursday 4 February 2010

Lets look at our wonderful adaptive plan

Sprint 1Velocity 12

Capacity 5 hrs

Freeze on workshop title 1 point 500 BV

Write workshop abstract 10 points 500 BV

Stories

12Thursday 4 February 2010

Sprint 1: Since we had worked together before on similar conference presentations, we had a clear measurement of our velocity. By the time we realized we wanted to present at the conference, it was the last day for submitting proposals to the conference, we had only 5 hours to go. (BTW, we both have full-time day jobs). Talk about real world deadlines and constraints.

Stor

y Po

ints

Sprints

Burn Down

13Thursday 4 February 2010

To start off with, this is what our burn-down chart looked like. We had 93 story points to finish.

Story: Freeze on Workshop Title

14Thursday 4 February 2010

Workshop title:F**k that Sh*t

15Thursday 4 February 2010

We had a growing feeling that there is a lot of dogma and ceremony creeping into the agile community. We wanted to highlight some of our concerns. Since we did not have all the details flushed out, we wanted to keep the title a bit abstract. This would help us work out the details at the last responsible moment. While throwing around ideas for the title, nothing seemed to communicate our state of mind. Just then we remembered this strip from XKCD http://xkcd.com/137/ which captured our sentiments. The title was also provocative (and in-your-face) to attract attention and raise curiosity.

Story: Freeze on Workshop Title

16Thursday 4 February 2010

That was easy!

Story: Write workshop Abstract

17Thursday 4 February 2010

We don't have all the answers. We dont know the best way to build software in the right way. But we do know one thing: the right way doesnt involve mindlessly following practices just because some "expert" says you need to.

In this workshop we'll take a critical look at various "agile" practices and try to highlight the dogma and ceremony that has creeped in. We'll also question if the practices defined a decade ago are still applicable? If yes, have they evolved since? What are some of the original creators of these processes practicing today? And so on...

18Thursday 4 February 2010

As you can see this was the abstract that was published on the conference website. On the right, you see the strip from XKCD. Please note that we dont really have all the answers. We are no experts by any means. Certainly over the years weve learned what does not work well. Esp. mindlessly following some self proclaimed expert.So this session is dedicated to questioning the dogma and ceremony with a twist.

Story: Write workshop Abstract

19Thursday 4 February 2010

With the Title and Abstract in place, we submitted our proposal to Agile India

Stor

y Po

ints

Sprints

Burn Down

20Thursday 4 February 2010

This sprint was a slam dunk. This is an example of how every sprint should be executed. Picture Perfect! Everything went as planned. We burnt 11 points in just under 5 hours.

Customer Feedback

21Thursday 4 February 2010

Soon the conference program was published. Our workshop was accepted for both, Mumbia and Bengaluru conference. As we were celebrating the acceptance of our proposal, potential conference attendees (our customers) started sharing their open and honest feedback on the agileindia mailing list (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/agileindia/). We realized people were quite offended by our rather cool & thoughtful title. Some customers said they wont be able to share this presentation with the rest of their organization. We were pissed and discussed how stupid & naive our customers were. Anyway like good Agile practitioners we embraced our customer feedback and decided to change our title.

a NEW story!

22Thursday 4 February 2010

And hence we had to create a new story which was not planned for.

As a Presenter,I need to change the talk title,

So that it is not offensive to the prospective conference attendees

3 Nut300 BV

Change Offensive Title

23Thursday 4 February 2010

Added it to our Backlog

Stor

y Po

ints

Sprints

Burn Down

24Thursday 4 February 2010

Adding this story to our backlog, created a spike in our burn-down.Sidebar: With all those wonderful, cool looking, Project Management (commercial) tools, managing scope creep is just a breeze. We dont really need a Master to maintain our Big Visible Charts.

Sprint 2Velocity 20

Capacity 10 hrs

Change Offensive Title 3 points 300 BV

Slide Usability 2 points 200 BVWorkshop Outline 15 points 700 BV

Stories

25Thursday 4 February 2010

After the grand success of our first sprint, we started planning for our second sprint. This time we had more time to spare and hence our capacity was 10 hrs. Our projected velocity was also higher this time. You see, we really inspect and adapt, unlike others who just talk about it. So this sprint, we took on 3 stories. Even though the Change Offensive Title story was just created, we had to react quickly so that we did not loose our audience.

Story: Change Offensive Title

26Thursday 4 February 2010

Since we had already burnt our hands trying to come up with an attractive title, we decided to use the crowd sourcing model. We asked people for suggestions on Twitter & on the agileindia mailing list.

Janta ki Adalat mein aaj Agile Practices

Escaping th

e cage

Which Agile Practices? - A Practitioner's Dilemma

Practices, Practices, Practices

Shut-up and Do

Zen-gile

Enterprise Agile

27Thursday 4 February 2010

We got a lot of wonderful suggestions from people.

New workshop title:Monkey See Monkey Do!

28Thursday 4 February 2010

Finally we decided to choose this title as it seemed most appropriate (hoping that no monkeys would get offended by this). We had to sign a 5 year MSA (Master Services Agreement) with the CHA-CHA-CHA (Coalition of Human Anti-Capitalists Helping Animals Conquer Hominid Abuse) foundation for using this title.

Story: Change Offensive Title

29Thursday 4 February 2010

We updated the conference program and our customers seemed to be happy. (Like always we had some customers having other preferences. We let our Product Owner clearly exp