Enterprising Entrepreneurs at Martin Fowler Meet !

Last Evening most of the members at TKF convened together for the Agile Discussion by Martin Fowler , Chief Architect – Thoughtworks. The event at the outset was a terrible disaster but saved to an extent by Arun, Siddhi and couple of Friends from the Agile Forum.  The forum totally misfired on the wrong foot after Martin turned up for the event with a severe case of Viral Flu. He was in such a bad shape that he couldn’t even talk. I was in a similar shape with terrible Wheezing too owing to severe cold temperature at the venue.

Once the chief speaker was down, the floor was opened to discussion about Agile and SCRUM per se. Thats when disaster struck as here was a crowd that had come to listen on Agile practices and part of us were Agile practitioners who were trying to drive across the benefits of Agile and Scrum to practitioners of Traditional methodology.The debate was being pulled in different directions and people who were unaware of SCRUM or Priority list or product backlog or sprint were raising so many questions about the process. So the questions could neither get technical nor process centric.

The greatest strength of Agile Process is the readiness to change as per evolving needs of the customer thus making it agile. Change is by itself a greatest strength of the project. Secondly here is an option for the customer to participate in the evolving prioirity list to pull the items according to his priority for further sprints based on value created. Another major factor is frequent sprints producing workable code and build are also strengths of Agile and Scrum. The sessions could have been better aligned if we have changed the direction as to discussing the aspects of Agile and Scrum process. At least it wouldnt have been as bad a few blind men trying to feel different parts of the Elephant. .

The best part of the entire fiasco was the clarification provided by Arun on the Documentation process, and its objectives in relation to SCRUM. One clear message came out of this event is that there are still a lot Project managers that were adopting traditional methods for their global delivery of services. For SCRUM and Agile users like me it was a terrible dissappointment that we could hear Martin and for others they could neither get a sense of grasp on the entire topic. Interestingly there was a major discussion of SCRUM application on Fixed bid projects and i will take up this topic in a separate blogpost. Finally it was good to hear about the Thoughtworks project that spanned across 5 countries and 250 members. Yahoo India had done a similar scrum spanning across 3 countries and 200 crafts people for their standard view.

This event was totally organized by Narain, Yessel and Sid from our end. PROTO and Thoughtworks gave away a lot of Freebies for this event. Interestingly I met Senthil from RailsFactory in the networking session who had left the PHP domain and have started work on ROR (Ruby on Rails). It reminded me of the early days when we broke free from conventional mould to start someting on my own. Interestingly sometime back i happened to view a video on the entrepreneurship from Steve Jobs story which is so invigorating.

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One thought on “Enterprising Entrepreneurs at Martin Fowler Meet !

  1. With many practitioners on the floor. The situation as it developed and response to the situation could have been used as a demo for illustrating the Agile way of handling ‘Market Developments/changes’. A on stage brainstorming of sorts involving the organizers and the stakeholder(audience) representatives. At the end of it, may be Bala would have turned it into a hands on group workshop. ( During the Agile event in Sep, a group game was played to illustrate key Agile practices – Bala played a vital role in steering the game)
    Well, still there is time to do a public retrospect at the wiki. I think the audience that entrusted their time deserves at least a retrospect.

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