We are people who love Agile. We want to share experiences and unite like-minded people. For us this is the only natural way to think, work and sometimes to live.

Posts by Vassili

Ethan Ram – Playtech

Was it Worth It? Measuring the Success of an Agility Project in Business Terms

Transforming a company that is working in “”traditional”” methodologies to “”Agile”” is expensive: management attention, overcoming change resistance, cost of consultants and time spent on re-education and training. Is it worth it? Measuring success in business terms is hard but may be crucial in management buy-in into executing an Agility project.

How will it improve the bottom lines? Can we expect more lines of code to be written by less developers? Can the success of an Agility project be somehow quantified?

This session looks at statistics gathered in my company – R&D, QA, Support, HR and Sales have all contributed their KPI graphs – to try and answer this question. I’ll be presenting some enlightening graphs of before and after a major Agility project that covered many aspects of the company operations. Trying to explain the change both in qualitative AND in quantitative measures. Hopefully, making a clear business case for going Agile.

1. Executive motivations in an Agility project
2. Short overview of the Agile path taken in Videobet/Playtech
3. Looking at statistics gathered in R&D, QA, Support, HR and Sales
4. Making the business case for Agility

Learning Outcome
a. Serve as an example for an executive level Agility project retrospective.
b. Can be used as a tool in management buy-in for a company-wide Agility project.

BIO: Ethan Ram is the chief architect of Videobet, the Tallinn division of Playtech, developing one of the most advanced gaming platforms in the gaming market. Among his recent project he has led the Agile transformation of Videobet development and operations groups to work in Scrum. The project started late last year and is now past its climax. Before Videobet Ethan was working as the R&D manager of a web-based gaming startup where he transformed the development group to work in Kanban with Continuous Deployment environment.

Agile Saturday XII – agenda

Priit Kaasik – FlowHow

Too many ways to improve Scrum? Take them all!

Many teams, from small to large, not familiar with incremental and iterative delivery methods, struggle with getting started, keeping the momentum and focusing at the right things. Right tools and technologies can help!

A brief summary of organisational development tools for improving the implementation of Scrum, complemented with a few real-life use cases, where these tools have been used in different organisations – number of teams involved, characteristics, effects, outcomes etc

BIO: 18 years in the field of international software industry, from small to humongous-sized companies. I have collected a few excellent achievements over the years, combined them with many more how-not-to experiences. During the last five years I have been focused on building tools of organisational development to smoothen the merger of technology and business.

Jaan Pullerits – CyberCat Creations

Building microservices with Esticade framework

Easiest way to get started with microservices.
How to start using benefits of microservices without worrying about REST APIs, port mapping, configuring endpoints and firewalls or service discovery. We explore the benefits and pitfalls of Esticade framework and show how to achieve scalability, reliability and optimal performance with Esticade (and microservices in general), with minimal time and effort.

BIO: Developer for more than ten years, have been working with many technologies and languages.

Björn Kimminich – Kuehne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG

#NoComments /* about the worthlessness of comments in clean code */

What #NoEstimates is for agilists, #NoComments should be for all developers who <3 clean code!

Comments are – at best – a necessary evil” (Uncle Bob, “Clean Code”) – Over the years I gathered quite a collection of examples for bad code comments. The most precious gems among them I would like to share with you. You will listen in on developer monologues and dialogues, try to analyze cryptic bylines, experience different levels of UnCamelCasing(tm) skill and fight your way through a redundant, useless and misleading inline thicket. You will also hear about well-meant tools and plugins that should not even exist if the mantra #NoComments would be valued as it should be.

BIO: Björn Kimminich is working in the area of software development for Kuehne + Nagel for over 8 years where he is now responsible for Global IT Architecture. He is doing Clean Code trainings with Kuehne + Nagel’s globally distributed development staff since 2011. As a side job he lectures software development at the UAS Nordakademie where he teaches Java to engineering students as their first programming language.

Jaanus Soots – Skype

My personal experience with innovation in product team

This is the story where I was against hacking in team but after 1 year became the innovation champ do push it across the company.
I got my new product and team who was willing to do hacking. As a product manager with full of backlog, delayed delivery and high pressure from managers I was against of any new distractions. But that how it started. After long journey and many complicated experiments we ended up with fantastic outcome. Lot of internal improvements, many new customer features in live and patent taken for one invention.

BIO: more than 20 years on IT field and last 6 years in Skype

Filips Jelisejevs – Also Cloud (two session together)

What are they hiding from you – dark(er) side of SCRUM

Have you ever wondered what your SCRUM Master knows that you don’t?
Take a peek into the psychological mechanisms used (or abused?) in SCRUM!

Sure, daily stand ups are improving your information flow and sprint demos are great for fast feedback, but what about the cogs of the machine – the people?
Why exactly more than 7 do not make a good team? What good does cross-functionality do if we are doing one thing at a time, anyway?
This 15 minutes session for people with SCRUM experience is an invitation to think about the psychological aspects that make the framework tick.

Building Xanadu

How would you organize your team in the ideal world? What exactly of this wishlist you can’t do in a real one? For extra brownie points – how do you do it in a large corporate environment?
This is one part bragging about how cool we are and one part a list of controversial ideas in team building and people management.
Includes keywords like “”wage transparency”” and “”unlimited vacation policy”” and do they work in real life (aka corporate environment).
This is a 15 minute talk about grass-roots team building and organization, enjoyable by both teams and managers alike.

BIO: Agile enthusiast who has been a SCRUM Master already before it was cool. Hobbyist of behavioral economics, has worked in companies big and small but still a believer that biggest challenge in software development is people.

Hanno Jarvet – Jarvet Consulting

Defining and executing a portfolio strategy

How to come up with a successful portfolio strategy and how to execute it?
Hanno JarvetHow does a Chief Product Owner turn the company strategy into a portfolio strategy and build a suite of products and services to satisfy new and existing customers? What are some common pitfalls in aligning the organisational structure, governance, budgeting and legal issues and what to do about it?

In a perfect world everyone in our organisation knows what and why it should be achieved, has clarity around which decisions need to be made by whom and has the necessary competence, information, resources and authority to do it. Usually this is not the case. I will share practical examples, tools and models that I have used to help organisations make progress in executing their portfolio strategy.

Kristjan-Hans Sillmann – Telia Eesti (will co-present with Alek Kozlov)

The agile journey of Telia Estonia: experiments and discoveries

How to deal with 150 projects on a waiting list, if they are on the same level of importance and urgency? How to help business overcome the fear of building only small part of their grand vision? How to grow intrapreneurship in the hierarchic and matrix organization and support the people in their new roles?
In this talk you’ll hear what experiments we had, what we learned from these, where we failed and where we succeeded.

BIO: “I have 16 years of experience in software development, I’ve been a developer and a project manager. For 11 years, I’ve also been a lecturer in Tallinn University of Technology.
For the last 2,5 years I’ve been responsible for IT development process improvements in Telia Eesti. In my view, improvements in IT development cannot be enforced, they can only be sold out to the leaders, managers and teams. I think this can be done by a Lean-Agile evangelist who will train, mentor and coach people.
My favourite topics are: Lean thinking, principles and practices; startup mentality in the enterprise; agile Product Ownership and scoping (eg story mapping); DevOps & continuous delivery.”

BIO: Alek Kozlov Product Success Catalyst and Designer. I love to see how people uncover innovation by finding very simple and elegant solutions. But even more I love to see how these innovations help to understand and spin new business models.

Ari Tikka – Gosei OY

From Tayloristic to Agile organization

What is common to Ford factories around 1900 and the collapse of Nokia Mobile Phones 2011? What leads most corporations towards Tayloristic organization? What is the other path to success?

“What is common to Ford factories a hundred years ago and Nokia about 20 years ago? In our session we explain the logic that takes the vast majority of leaders and corporations towards Tayloristic organization. We will also show the necessary and adequate changes to move from Tayloristic to Agile organization. Agile Adoptions tend to fall back to the old status quo. This happens for several reasons. First, a partial adoption introduces changes, which make the socio­techno­-economical system inconsistent and uneconomical. Second, partly because of the previous, the old status quo remains more comfortable for the individuals, and the new practices do not sustain. Third, the fundamental leadership assumptions have been cemented in the culture.
We will shed light on Taylorism versus Agile using several approaches: Ouchi’s theory of organizational control, Hackmann’s research on High­Performance Teams, Lean product development, Large­Scale Scrum, Complexity theory, history of Leadership, and our 20+ years of experience.”

BIO: After studying structural mechanics Ari built fault tolerant embedded real time systems for ten years. He has been full-­time organizational therapist since 1997. He has deep experience in organizational and group dynamics. He likes to explore and publish about patterns and unconscious phenomena in organizations. Ari is working with international Large­Scale Scrum (LeSS) adoptions, and contributing actively to the framework. In private life Ari listens to strange classical music (now playing), lifts iron, runs after the ball and tries to sit quietly in zen meditation.