Agile @ AOL Jochen (Joe) Krebs Director / Program Management AOL Author — Agile Portfolio Management (Microsoft-Press 2008) — RUP Reference and Certification Guide (IBM Press 2007) — Articles Instructor, Consultant, Mentor Speaker NYU, APLN NYC, PMP, CSM, CSP Overview AOL Transformation 1. Organization 2. Initiatives 3. Challenges Lessons learned & insights Q&A AOL Portfolio / Portal Fragmentation Example Standards Advertisement Feature Functionality Integration Example: Search Content Vision Before / Matrix & Waterfall / Command & Control User Product Experience Technology PM Sales Photo Acquisitions PM Matrix Functional Departure from Waterfall Removed PRD Removed TRD Removed sign-off meetings Removed MS-Project Re-Defined the role of “project manager” Removed traditional PM metrics around phased-approach (e.g. 90% done) “Final” approval checklists Goal –> Empowered & Self-Organized Teams Delivery Teams Scrum Program Master Manager QA UI Designer User Experience Software Developer Delivery Teams and Stakeholders Delivery Team Boundary Scrum Master Product Team Product Program Management Owner Sales QA UI Product Program Designer User Manager Manager Experience Software Developer Finance Channel-Based Approach 5 Total Training Days • 2-day scrum training • 1-day Sprint Planning • 1-day retrospective • 1-day sprint planning • New employees will receive internal or external 2-Scrum training Geographical Distribution London, Dublin New York, Washington D.C Bangalore Mexico AOL Global Workforce 8,000 employees world-wide 1,000 employees AOL Programming — Product — Technology — Editorial — Photo — User Experience Affecting ~2,500 ~ 550 Scrum Masters within AOL 25 Product Owners, 100 Acting Scrum Masters > 40-60 Projects in parallel Knowledge Transfer AOL University – internal training and workshops Ongoing agile coaching (internal) Town hall meetings, lunch & learns Agile blog Conferences, local chapter events Knowledge Transfer Challenges Sprint planning Sprint length Trust Team empowerment Distributed development Estimation and metrics Morale Challenge: Sprint Planning (User Experience – Implementation) Delay Mock User- Experience Implementation Sprint n Sprint n+1 • Sizing •Estimation •Planning •Task-Breakdown Challenge: Sprint Length 1-4 weeks — Blog style site 1-2 weeks — Larger teams iterate 3-4 weeks Occasional changes (team retrospectives) Short Sprint challenges — Very small increments — Vacation, holiday & sick days impact — Requires sizing and sprint planning efficiency — Impacts on morale (positive and negative) Long Sprint challenges — Long sprint planning sessions — Fewer retrospectives Challenge: Trust Team members continued to “think” in silos Team members continued to “think” in phases Shaping the team boundary Existing reporting structures and agendas Corporate HR policies, conflicting goals Who is responsible for the project and outcome? Social role of team members Challenge: Team Empowerment “Delivery team can do whatever is needed to achieve sprint goals” Curve balls from stakeholders — Advertisement — Custom-deals — Changing priorities Protecting and respecting sprint boundaries Acknowledging estimates and commitments Challenge: Distributed Development Time-difference Language Culture Team boundary Agile collaboration Distributed Knowledge Transfer (F2F/Video etc.) Rally Software as Integrator and Identifier Challenge: Estimation and Metrics Estimation — Method – Limited Fibonacci – T-Shirt – Planning poker — Sizing vs. duration (task-breakdown) Metrics — Average velocity — Burn-Down vs. velocity (work vs. completion) A-Team Internal reward and recognition system Three months of successful sprinting: — Managing expectations — Sharing velocity — Demo — Sharing experiences Multiple rewards available Not necessarily consecutive successful sprints Fun Team competition Increasing process maturity Lessons learned & insights Highest frequency of feature releases Scrum Master / Delivery Team ratio (1:2 to 1:3) Product Management performs road mapping and competitive analysis Increase of product innovation Small vocabulary which translates up to executive management Agile provides focus Higher quality Decreased waste Increased morale Contact Jochen Krebs www.AOL.com www.jochenkrebs.com email@example.com Q&A ?
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