Episode 158: Jugaad Agility with Naresh Jain

Craig is at YOW! Lambda Jam in Sydney and speaks with Naresh Jain, co-founder of the Agile Software Community of India (organising body of Agile India), conference organiser of many other software conferences in India and creator of ConfEngine and they chat about:

  • The original Test Infected article
  • Cruise Control started as an idea to write a cron job to check out code, compile and run tests
  • Without good processes and tools the individuals and interactions become much harder
  • Agile India conference – running since 2005, one of the earliest Agile conferences
  • Agile is a given way to do things, but we are still not seeing the benefits – need to build capability in user first / product thinking, need autonomy to deliver end-to-end customer value (startups within a startup), need to build a learning culture and expert people / craftsmanship and need to focus on continuous delivery
  • Modern Agile (and Naresh’s input into the original article)
  • Indian Agile community – a lot of interesting work happening in the FinTech space and startup in spaces such as health and messaging, a move towards innovation centres from cost centres
  • YOW! West talk “Setting up Continuous Delivery Pipeline for a Large-Scale Mobile App
  • Code is a liability, need to focus on the problem we are trying to solve rather than perfect code or an over-complicated safety net, allows you to throw away code more easily, frequently and willingly
  • Testing through dogfooding – want to be able to fix things faster rather than safeguard and guess what might break
  • As thought leaders it is our responsibility to challenge our own beliefs, otherwise we stagnate
  • Agility is how you think about the situation around you and be opportunistic about it
  • What is the least I can do to make some progress today – Indian word Jugaad (get away with it)

TheAgileRevolution-158 (53 minutes)

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Episode 157: Transforming the UK Government Digital Service with James Stewart

Craig is at YOW! West in Perth and has a conversation with James Stewart, formerly Deputy CTO for the UK Government and co-founder of the Government Digital Service. In varying locations they talk about:

  • YOW! West keynote “Lessons Learned as a Government CTO
  • UK government had some large IT failures  in the last like the NHS National Program for IT (12 billion pound failure), but now lots of successes like Spine 2
  • Agile techniques have been successful in the UK government not just because other approaches have failed so badly but the cost of an IT project is only a fraction of the overall cost of a system
  • The Government Design Principles – start with user needs – successful projects start with clearly articulated principles, did not realise how much they would resonate
  • Worked around a number of government process early on, support from the Minister and investing time to find allies was essential
  • Design Principle posters – essential to invest in presentation, help people feel involved
  • Were never dogmatic about flavours of Agile, this presented challenges with vendors – can you make changes quickly, can you ship software faster, have you thought about quality?
  • The problem is not scaling frameworks, it’s that you tried to start big – need to start with a small team and seed the trust
  • Tackled the financials with the spending control process and an Agile business case (based around progressive funding) and align spending around Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live stages and approval for later stages comes from what you have learnt from the previous stage
  • Genuine leadership requires openness – be self reflective, clearly articulate values and principles, the biggest risks you are concerned about and the outcomes you wish to achieve – then build trust with the team to achieve this
  • The strategy is delivery
  • Don’t start until somebody can express an outcome – once they do, turn something around quickly
  • Digital By Default Service Manual – good place to start, how to do delivery
  • UK Government Technology Code of Practice – underpinning of spending controls

TheAgileRevolution-157 (43 minutes)