Agile Release Train The concept of Agile Release Train is central to understanding the constructs of SAFe and to implement them. So, what is an ART? Is it a set of teams working in tandem with each other following a common release calendar and Sprint timeline?

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Tales of Lean I was in Bangalore for a few days, in part to attend the Agile India 2015 conference.  The Sunday morning after the conference got done, I decided to go for a walk.  Instead of the picturesque Cubbon Park close by, I decided to go exploring the city.  In keeping with the Lean/ Kanban principles discussed at the conference, I decided to maximize flow – and turn in whichever direction the pedestrian crossings were open.  That immediately put me on Kasturba Road.  I thought fleetingly, “Of course, Kasturba Gandhi (Road) had to be next to her husband Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road!”

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Tales of Lean As the year draws to a close, the overwhelming feeling at Digité is one of gratitude! It has been a momentous year for us here at Digité – and we have our employees, customers and partners to thank for that! During the year, we saw tremendous strides in our products SwiftKanban and SwiftALM – and a surge in their usage around the globe. This has been possible due to 3 key factors.

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Agile Tester As Agile gets larger acceptance across the (Indian software) industry, the (manual) testing community has been concerned about how it will impact them. They hear about developers doing testing, test automation and hence wonder – what role am I going to be play? Is this going to kill my job? The concern is natural given a general perception that in Agile, developers should be doing testing. This concern has been part of the resistance that some of the organizations are facing in adopting Agile thinking.

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ChecklistsIdeas are cheap. Execution is Everything. One of the many tenets that one hears often in the Silicon Valley underscoring the fact that successful innovation requires not just the initial spark of an idea but the discipline to execute on it till it truly reaches its full potential and impacts people in the way the innovator perhaps originally thought it might! In fact, the history of innovation is replete with examples of not the one who had the original idea but the one who saw its potential and took it all the way to a huge market success!

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Unverifiable-ProductivityOur Customers range from some of the largest IT Services/ Consulting companies to Corporate IT to ISVs and Engineering organizations inside high-tech manufacturing, System Integration and embedded-systems companies. They have a wide variety of product design and development methods as well as a varying degree of need for standardized processes, collaboration with customers and partners, and the ability to support distributed teams.

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Application Lifecycle ManagementApplication Lifecycle Management is – or should be – the management of an application’s (or applications) lifecycle.  An application’s lifecycle really begins from the time it is originally conceived – as a business request to IT to support a specific business function, or as a solution to a strategic opportunity identified during a management review, or a response to a new opportunity for an IT services firm (to bid) for developing a new solution for an external business customer. In response to the request or opportunity, an organization may build a new application from scratch or implement an ISV product (such as an ERP or CRM tool) or even integrate a combination of in-house...

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Capacity PlanningProjects are often executed by dynamic teams. They start with a small core team and as the project gains momentum, add resources over time. This is commonly seen in IT service organizations that do fixed price projects. Fixed price projects have a defined scope that needs to be delivered within a contracted budget and within a negotiated timeline. For the purpose of this experience report, “Dynamic teams” or “Fixed Price projects” will be used interchangeably. Unfortunately, as Ron Jeffries put it, “Agile is founded on management of scope, not predicting when you’ll be done, even if you had fixed team size and “fixed” scope.”

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happy-new-year-2014-8-300x130_2Energetic, responsive, trying harder - those were some of the best compliments we received from our customers.  As one of them, who switched from a competing product to us, said, "It looks like you guys are always trying harder and better than the rest of them." Absolutely! The past 12 months have been truly exciting.  2013 was the year in which organizations ranging from boutique consulting companies to global automotive giants, high-security government agencies to Fortune 500 global brands trusted us and our products with their technology.

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Visual Requirements ManagementThere is a lot of attention given to Lean/ Agile product development teams around the work done and the (Lean/ Agile) processes adopted in by the Dev team once a set of features (backlog items) have been identified for a set of sprints (scrums) and/ or Releases. However, how do those features get to the team, nicely bunched up in Releases and Sprints? There is a lot of upstream effort by Product Management that goes in ‘herding the cats’ – defining and maintaining the Product Roadmap with input from myriad and often conflicting sources abstracting features and requirements at the right level, getting stakeholders to agree on their priority...

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