Lesson 8: Keeping the “Managerism” high

Devils,

I am very angry and very concerned.

Inspite of all our efforts, the Agile brigade has been masquerading and converting people to  Agile. So much so, that almost all clients now want to start their new projects, using Agile practices.

This is baddd..

We need to step up our war against this Agile thing and make sure this evil is defeated. I have been thinking about how do we achieve this and I got a brilliant idea from “Shiva Trilogy “books that I have been reading off-late. There they say,  to keep your beliefs high and spread them, you need to find that one emotional anchor which would unite the masses and I am happy to inform you little devils, that I have been able to find it, and it is called “Managerism”

These agile people have been conspiring to drive Managerism out of our well acknowledged and experienced friends and trying to convert them to mentors and coaches. We must now not allow this. We need to help them to maintain their titles, designations , way to work and we should soon win their support and may be our battle against Agile.

So, Here is my 5 commandants that you need to preach to all our friends, to maintain their “Managerism”

“THOU SHALT NOT LOSE CONTROL”

reins-control

Even if the team has been baptized into Agile, still they are incapable of making decisions. There needs to be someone who needs to oversee everything and make sure team is performing as expected and they deliver what they promise

“STATUS TRACKING IS IMPORTANT AND REQUIRED”

As the head of the team, team members must report all the things that they do, they missed and the current state to you without fail. This helps you in being on top of things and catch the person responsible for failure, in the rare case your team fails.

“JUNIOR TEAM MEMBERS SHALT NOT MAKE ANY DECISIONS”

kitty-junior team member

They are just of out of their wings and will need at least 5-7 years to gain sufficient knowledge. So as a manager it is your duty that you assign them the right tasks and check with them every day if they have been able to follow the plan. You can praise and penalize them based on how they perform their respective tasks

“THOU SHALT MAINTAIN THE ‘Bell curve’”

Bell Curve

Bell curve has and will always remain the tool for appraisals and Thou shall not abandon it. This would help you identify superstars from you team and make sure you have right people on your side whenever you need them. All this talk of team performance and 360 feedback is utter nonsense and flimiscal.  As a manager, you know best how each team member has been performing. So, keep ringing the bell !!

“THOU SHALT PLAN IN DETAIL”

map-detailed plan

One of the basic tenets of managerism is to be able to create, maintain and approve detailed project plans. And all of us need to be master in that art. This helps the management, clients and the company see the bigger picture and with our knowledge we can list down all possible scenarios, risks and outcomes. Plan Ahoy !!

So get working devils ( and devilettes, of course !!) and we shall succeed…..

Yours truly,

devil

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Lesson 7: How to scare your teams away from Agility

Hello Devils,

I hope 2012 has been good for you and you reaped good rewards in your efforts to drive away agility. I hope you have been able to clear minds of quite a few of your students to steer away from Agility.

I am also sad to report to that our master devil , failed to end the world on 20-12-2012 and  so now we need to work hard in 2013 to erase any sense of hope these Agile coaches might have garnered to imbibe agility to the masses.

2012

So, here is my first lesson of 2013 and it is about the work we do best, to scare people away from the perils of Agility

man-running

Here are a few simple steps for you to instill that fear:

Help them make their Agile process look complicated :

Complex processes scare tech geeks. You need to make sure you tell the geeks that whatever they do, they have to follow the process religiously because its a company directive and the best possible approach suggested by their revered guru, “The Agile Coach”

complicated process

Instill a false sense of belief in the management :

My estranged cousin, The Agile Coach has been telling the executive members that they need to invest in infrastructure, training , HR practices and policies to succeed with Agile. But you need to ask the executive a very simple question. Why do we need to spend so much when the things are smooth? Why do we need to incur an extra cost on infra etc. where all they just want is a process change. This would help to confuse them regarding their investment in support systems for Agile teams.

facilities

Agile makes all their team members, Usain Bolt avatars:

Guide them to believe you heard somewhere that Agile teams can perpetually deliver faster, take more work in the same amount of time without too many changes from management / requirement perspective. This will make them push their teams to take up additional work they can’t possibly deliver and thus create a conflict…and the simple blame will go to “Agile”. So, Its simple Sir Arthur Simple…just make Agile philosophy the scapegoat.

london-olympics-athletics-men-fda680e20da61fe4

“Ek baar jo commitment maine ker di, uske baad main khud ki bhi nahin sunta”

(Once I have made commitment, I don’t even listen to myself to change it)

36975-salman-khan-looking-angry.jpg

Remember , that dialogue from Macho Man Salman Khan’s movie. That’s a perfect tool for us. While they are training for Agile, tell your managers that for a Scrum team commitment is every thing and once they have decided a sprint and release plan , it is their obligatory duty to fulfill it, come what may.

So the management will put a Gun to the team’s head and chide them if they don’t deliver as per the sprint commitment and the team will feel all their ills have been brought on by using Agile technique…Beautiful thoughts, ain’t it :). Who cares about the “forecasts”

article400-man-shouting-at-woman-420x0

Just get them started:

Agile is so simple, right. Why do they need to spend time on hiring an expensive trainer or a coach when there is so much material available online. Why waste two productive billable days in a classroom training when we can just get started after reading a document. The consequences of that would be a half cooked agile knowledge for them and you know, half cooked is a dangerous thing :P

pulling-hair

So start using these principles now and I hope to hear good news from all of you soon about how many teams abandoned believing in Agile philosophy . Keep me posted  !!!

Yours Truly

The Agile Devil.

Devil

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Lesson 6: Quick Steps to render your Scrum Team ( and Scrum :D) ineffective

Hello Little Devils,

After a short break, you guru is back again. I have been travelling the world noticing poor team member souls trying to be efficient while working as an Agile Team.

Oh ! The kind me ! I cant see my lovely denizens being in such a pain. So, today I am going to tell you some secrets about how to make the agile team ineffective so that these poor souls can get back to their old tested ways of siloed existence .

Destroy the Alarm clocks ( and outlook reminders :-X):

Following all the meeting timings and promised deadlines is for dumb robots. The agile team members are humans. They ought to have their own timelines , own calendars to follow and own things to do … and if they still don’t agree, remind them of their beloved agile principle

“People and Interactions” matter more over “Processes and Tools”

All meetings should include everyone in the team and should be at least 1 hour long :

Small meetings are so boring. You just have to be very attentive and listen  in a small meeting. My lovely team members are so busy in their work everyday that they deserve some rest. So , what better place than a meeting to relax those overworked minds. To help them, make sure the meetings run into at least an hour, have no fixed agenda and some people are allowed to talk as much as they can.  This would make sure my team member friends can sleep well while in meeting. You see

“A relaxed mind breeds innovation and a busy mind breeds bugs”

No Plans :D:

These Agile coaches preach that be ready for the change, plans or useless. So lets give them a taste of their own medicine !!!!!

My devils, you ought to make sure all the team plans are high level and don’t ever let them know that one of the team’s responsibility in a sprint planning meeting also includes creating a sprint plan with all task dependencies and expected timelines for each story completion.

Their unawareness will make sure they are running mini waterfalls in sprints, relaxing in the first few days and then running crazy in last days of sprint..This would provide them some well deserved rest and gratification to us devils..isnt it … ?

Keep the hierarchies intact:

This Agile is just a passing thing. All the experience people earn over the years matters more. So, that means the newbies need to be controlled and tamed to make sure they work in the right way. The managers and team leads need to be there to keep an eye on the little mischief mongers. From their grey hair, they best know who is suited for what task…So…the hierarchies and the  authority needs to be there to make sure everything runs smooth as silk.

Set higher expectations:

Agile Gurus says teams work more efficiently when they are using Agile. Why Not ?

That means they can accomplish more work in same time. That means our sales guys can earn money for the company by committing lesser timelines and more work. We need to make sure each team member is loaded at least 150%(the more loading, more efficient the team member is) … and believe me they can do that…after all they are  agile….and if they fail, we would get out chance to blame Agile and throw it out of the window…so lets do it :D :D :D :D

OK ! enough of lessons. Now get out to the field and start implementing these fast…We have very less time left. This agile thing is spreading its tentacles and I am scared…GO GUYS ! Lets destroy Agility before it kills us…

Yours

Agile Devil

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Lesson 5: Instant Agility for the Fast and the Furious

These Agile coaches……

They really make me LMAO when I listen to their poor efforts to transform organizations to be more Agile

Understand what you want…

Find business challenges to resolve…

Identify the process…..

Pilot the process……..

Spread the message and the practices

I mean, are they nuts ?

Who on earth has that much amount of time and money !!!!!

But don’t worry, my dear disciples. Your guru has just the right recipe for you…

Just make sure you mix the ingredients right I am sure you would enjoy the fastest transformation recipe. Here you go.

Ingredients :

  • 10-15 Team Leads or Managers
  • 1-2 Senior Project/ Program Managers to drive the program
  • Guidebooks for CSM, RUP, CMMi, ISO etc etc
  • Sufficient meeting and training rooms
  • 1-2 Quality/ SEPG for nourishing and checking progress of the recipe

Steps :

  • Make all PMs / Leads certified :

The best way to  get certified is to create as many certified team members in your company as possible.Certifications not only make their CVs look good , they would also get you a good appraisal as your bosses would know how dedicated you are to your work and save costs to company. The certification could be any CSM, PSM, PMI-ACP, ICI etc etc…the flavor is the key

Cost Saving Tip:
To add a twist, you can also make sure the training is in the company premises itself . So, if you need these valued resources in middle of training, you can pull them out of training anytime
 
  • Organize mass trainings for developers:

Make sure all the team members have gone through 2 day training rigor and have dozed, snoozed and passed through  an exam to test their agility right after

Cost saving Tip :
All the training can be conducted by the newly crowned PMs aka Scrum Masters
 
  • Define the Agile process :

With the senior directors and client representatives define the Agile process teams have to follow. Don’t worry if you have tweak a few principles because you think they cannot be followed in your organization. You can still  safely call it Scrum/XP or whatever else…after all you are the Guru. You know the best

Your PMs aka SMs should make sure every one in the team  follows the process religiously . All the ceremonies, no documentation , no planning….You can even attach it to their appraisal goals

  • Conduct the audits and punish the guilty :

Now is the part of the SEPG and QA garnishing.

Every quarter the SEPG should evaluate the project and Scrum Masters on ‘compliance’ with the ‘Scrum’ process and make sure those fully compliant with Scrum are promoted and made Senior Scrum masters and  “Agile Coaches”

That way you can show them off and sell them to clients  to earn more money for the organization (who knows you might also land a lucrative offer as the ‘chief Agile Coach” for mentoring so many coaches :D )

Chalo, I need to sign off for the day…I hope I see your company being Agile , tomorrow morning…

ciao

Agile Devil
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Lesson 1: How to kill Quality and Testing in your sprints

Hi My Fellow Agilists,

I am your neighborhood Agile Devil and today, As my first learning to you,  I bring you some tips on how to effectively Kill Testing in your sprint and the Quality of your deliverables !!!!

I hope they work well for you, My dear brethren ……


Make Sure the team picks up more stories than the QA Expert/Team can test
Make Sure your code changes continue till last date of the sprint.
Make Sure all stories complete on last 1-2 days of sprint so that the QA expert is overwhelmed about executing test cases on the last day of the sprint.
Make Sure tasks published on Scrum task board do not have test plan review, test execution and bug fixing so that they are conveniently forgotten till that last day of the sprint.
Make Sure story priorities are ignored so that all stories start and end on same days.
Make Sure Some bugs are definitely carried to the next sprint and to the bug backlog.
Make Sure No Regression testing is possible in the sprint so that the bugs cannot be found before the end of release is near. This would keep the regression team very busy too.
Make Sure you ignore hints of expected help from the QA Expert and focus only on the tasks assigned to you. That’s the only thing which is important, Not the team goals.
Make Sure Minimum time remains for Bug fixing at the end of sprint. This would ensure high quality bugs till late in release.
Make sure DoD is never looked into sprint review and is invisible on team pages too .
Make sure your bugs are not tagged to stories/ features. This way nobody would be able to trace where it all started.
Make sure your estimates include only the development complexity/size and not the test complexity and size

 

Your Beloved Agile Devil

 

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Lesson 2: How to break builds without breaking sweat

Hello My Little Devils,

I hear that you are out of work and I am concerned.

The time for action has come and we need to make sure our victims are worried in the year 2012.. !!!!!!!

So…  To help you,

Here are my tips to kill the builds and delay the release…

With References from :

Adios and Hoping for a good success in killing Agility !

Your Beloved Agile Devil

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Lesson 3: Presenting “Accurate Estimates”

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