Here's a list of talks I have delivered at private and public conferences. If you'd like me to speak at your event, you could pick a talk from this list or discuss a new topic with me.
Theme: Focus on value, benefits, outcomes
Eyes on the Prize: How we use KPI Trees to maintain focus on outcomes
This talk (video) was co-presented by Sree B, who had hired me as a consultant/advisor at Travelopia in 2021. Travelopia is an experiential travel company. Their travel brands provide customers with options as varied as polar expeditions, yachts, and adventure travel. Customer experience is supported by digital platforms that enable discovery, bookings, tailoring itineraries, and completing travel paperwork. The technology delivery pipeline is always full and it is easy to get buried in the details of execution and lose sight of business outcomes.
To avoid this trap, we came with mechanisms to keep the business outcomes front and center. These mechanisms are built around a central artifact - a KPI tree. In this talk Sree and Sriram will share how they made use of KPI trees to tighten the business case analysis process, demilitarize prioritization of initiatives, improve demand management, speedup onboarding of new colleagues, and enhance shared understanding and alignment.
Measuring Value in a Product-Centric Setup
A product-centric style of operating provides greater opportunities for all members to participate on the value side of the equation. They can truly aim to deliver benefits, not just functionality. This presentation aims to share ways of capitalizing on the opportunity through the practice of benefits retrospectives. Otherwise, the payoff of the transition from projects to product-mode is limited to the delivery side of the equation.
Overcoming Business Inertia
Deliver Benefits, Not Scope
Delivery organizations fall into the trap of simply delivering scope (functionality) without worrying about benefits. They keep taking orders to build bridges and maintain them even though the bridges attract little traffic. Product/Business and delivery organizations need to work closer together in order to avoid becoming a mindless feature factory. This presentation will share ways of gradually progressing towards a culture of benefits orientation.
Theme: Agile Organization and Operating Model
Taking DevOps to the Org Chart
One of the implications of DevOps is a merger of development and corresponding operations teams into several build-it-and-run-it teams. This means the typical tech organization that supports an old-guard business must reorganize to realize the full potential of DevOps. It is insufficient to only aim for better engineering techniques and greater automation, hard as that may be in itself. The reorg is a challenge for large tech organizations that are often split down the middle in the form of a change organization and a run organization. This talk explores the challenge and describes how it being addressed at some companies.
Organizing for Business Agility
Business agility demands a lot more than development team agility. Even when Scrum is done right, it only takes us to signed-off stories. DevOps and Continuous Delivery then take us reliably and frequently to production. But this is only part of the picture and even getting to this stage is not free of organizational barriers. On the other hand, excellence in building (and running) the thing right does not ensure that the right thing that yields business benefits is built. That calls for a culture of outcome-orientation and product-centricity. Aiming for business agility thus requires us to reconsider how we operate along different dimensions such as funding of development work, team structure, procurement, governance and decision making. Sriram’s book, Agile IT Org Design, describes an approach for reshaping these dimensions for business agility. Using real-world examples, this presentation will provide an overview of the approach.
Administer the DevOps pill across the enterprise
Theme: Tech Governance
Relationship advice for API providers and consumers
The API economy needs good relationships between API providers and consumers. Making it work in this context is in some ways, similar to making it work in romantic relationships. The presentation suggests what each of the following "good practices" in the realm of romantic relationships might translate to in the world of APIs:
Code Ownership in Product Teams
The price of Reuse
Explores pros and cons of reuse of software solutions across market regions. For any large, multinational enterprise, there’s a dilemma at the heart of their software architecture. Centralization promises to save costs, providing a standardized template for how to do things and not waste effort reinventing the wheel. But local markets have unique characteristics, whether that’s customer behavior, regulations or the competitive landscape. Given this, what's the price of reuse?
Theme: Software Delivery
Improving delivery performance with statistical analysis
Large-scale software development generates a lot of data when teams use tools like Jira or Azure Devops. We could analyze the data with statistical tools and techniques in order to understand how to improve delivery performance. Naresh Jain and Sriram Nararyan have been attempting this at one of their clients. In this talk (video), they’ll share the techniques they used and the lessons they have learnt so far.
Balancing Predictability with Flow
KPIs for software delivery leaders used to be mainly with regards to meeting delivery dates without compromising on quality. There was lots of emphasis on predictable delivery. Nowadays there is increasing recognition of the value of improving speed-to-market and therefore, metrics like “Change Lead Time” (CLT) have also become important. To reduce CLT, we need to improve flow which is not the same as improving predictability. (recording - courtesy of Digité)
The curious case of too-many late-stage defects
Theme: Agile Outside Technology
Agile Outside IT
Agile Outside Technology: A Case Study
Cleararchy – Organizing Hierarchy for the Digital Age
Theme: Industry Trends
Organizing for Digital Evolution
Organizations that flourish in the digital economy will be the ones that learn to operate differently. They will be able to exploit short-lived opportunities by adopting an operating model geared for responsiveness over cost-efficiency. Although all organizations will face the pressure to make the transition, only some will succeed. Among other things, it will require a blurring of organizational boundaries between business, digital, product, and IT. It will also require a change in management and governance culture. New and native digital businesses will lead the way in demonstrating new operating models and the incumbents in the market would do well to adapt them to their larger scale operations.