Wave of Agile

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published October 30, 2018

Last few months, we were just covered by a wave of Agile. First, we visited the workshop of two German mentors;
Then we prepared the presentation of the acquired knowledge and created workshop within the company while using the Scrum methodology for preparation;
At the same time, we prepared a commercial offer to one of the local banks for conducting Agile training and were preparing to speak on Google Dev Fest in Almaty on the same topic.
But first things first.
Depending on the project, we have been using Agile principles and values for a long time in our teams. But as we noticed, for each project and each individual case, we adopt the methodologies a little for ourselves and our needs. Nevertheless, our rush to knowledge is very big, and we are happy to listen to a different opinion and share our experience. Therefore, our developers decided to attend a seminar by Sven Koble and David Grossman.

With a small team of seven people, we came to the seminars on weekends and in the evening. Coaches shared us with lots of positive emotions and potential for development. For me, as a project manager at Attractor Software, there were no significant discoveries on the methodology itself, but it was beneficial to see how certified specialists present this information. Yes, of course, we had a great chance to ask a lot of detailed questions and had a personal talk with excellent German experts. In addition to this, training for us was a kind of team building. We built towers, developed strategies, discussed plans, evaluated and communicated in many ways.
After a couple of weeks, it was decided to conduct a similar training, but in a shortened form, within our company. And we decided to strengthen our knowledge in scrum well enough and began preparing for the seminar using this methodology. Our final product was a two-hour seminar in which all members of the team were to speak, and we had to engage the public with interactive tasks. Overall we had exactly two weeks for preparations.
Our first meeting was tough — we distributed the roles, tried them on ourselves as far as knowledge and capabilities. We had an Agile box from Ulissa after the workshop. We gave out badges and been discussing with our smartest look for a long time — what to do next? Since we did not have explicit stakeholders — we ourselves were stakeholders. Therefore, we began to create our product backlog and divide it into small user stories.

Our product owner wrote user stories at Trello. With the help of Agile poker cards, we estimated each task, and the team assigned tickets themselves. We have gone through all the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance during work on this project.
In addition to preparing for the seminar, we had our usual work tasks; we did not want to spend a lot of time on the simple presentation. We began to gather for daily meetings. The first of them were like this: I did not do anything yesterday, did not do anything today, I will try to do something tomorrow. But day after day, the team began to get inspired in selected topics. Later, at the daily meetings, we saw the efficiency of this. For example, when one of the team members started to tell — I plan to draw such a scheme, and another team member said — I have already found it yesterday, I can share it with you. It was amazing. We even drew the burndown chart.
As in the present project itself, we had unforeseen circumstances and one of the team members retired from the project and we had to distribute his tasks within the team. We had a meeting to review and received feedback from the product owner and all of the team members as stakeholders, corrected the necessary details and just made a fantastic presentation on the day of the seminar. Our colleagues were enthusiastic about the quality and amount of information that we described during with two hours. We became proud of ourselves suddenly.

After this, our team discussed various little things for a long time and actively began to advise the interns how to work it right. After all, we gathered for a retrospective, said thanks for each other and chose an idea to go to celebrate our furor.
In a week, Veronika and I had a trainign on a similar topic at the Google Dev Fest. The conditions were about the same, the only thing we did not know what kind of audience we would have and what size of the venue. Interactive required space, and to shake the public after lunch — courage.
But our workshop turned out to be one of the loudest. During and after the seminar, we were overwhelmed with questions and suggestions to analyze or build the Scrum processes in some companies. We were satisfied, we drank whiskey, ate pizzas and even danced at the end of a stormy and active day.
From myself I want to say a big thanks to Sven and David, they were the starting point, which led to so many positive events. And also many thanks to our team, we are amazing and it's great that we work together!

After several months Sven asked me to prepare a video about my Agile journey for Webinar.
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Worked on the article:
Juliana Amelina
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
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