Friday, September 11, 2015

Play Scrum on the run with help of Mobile App

Leanpitch has launched a mobile app “PlayScrum Lite” to help you play and practice scrum. App is free and there are more than 800 download after releasing it at google play store. We are receiving a very positive feedback and current rating is 4.7 out of 5. Due to time constraint we have only released android version so far and will be releasing ios version in couple of weeks.

Playscrum App provides below features.

Check the readiness to conduct scrum ceremonies
Check the doneness of conducting scrum ceremonies 
Size product backlog using planning poker cards 
Refresh scrum knowledge
You can download this app from 

Download and keep playing scrum. Don’t forget to rate and write your feedback. We value your suggestion and will try to incorporate in next version.

Leanpitch is agile company and beside than developing products we also provide agile training and consulting.

Please check our schedule based your role in your city (Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Delhi)

Coaches and Scrum Master – Look for CSM, Certified LeSS Practitioner or write to me if looking for CSP (Certified Scrum Professional) 

Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) –

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) –

Product Owner/Product Manager – Check our CSPO course that help if you to understand your role in scrum

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) –

Development Team members – Check our CSD workshop that’s especially designed for Developers, Testers, Business Analyst and all other skills those are part of development team.

Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) –

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Agile and Scrum Workshop for Business Analyst and Product Owner

Course Overview

Course will cover the Scrum framework but more importantly, what it means to function as the business analyst, or customer, for a scrum team. Participant will learn about managing stakeholders, creating and refining the Product Backlog, emerging detail with Product Backlog Items and User Stories including Acceptance Criteria and the Definition of Done and Definition of Ready. Course will have many exercises, in-depth discussion, case studies and techniques to help illustrate practices and principles. This workshop is for project managers, business analyst (BA), product owner, product manager and member of product management team.

Learning Outcome  

Understanding of Agile and Scrum
Practical knowledge of Scrum Framework and role of business analyst in Scrum
How to capture product ideas in a Product Vision Statement
How to write appropriate Product Backlog Items, which outline deliverable value for the
How to define Product Roadmap and Releases to aid in Product Lifecycle planning
Product and project budgeting in Scrum
Techniques for collaborating and interacting with the Development Team to ensure better
understanding of requirement.

Day -1

Scrum Basics
Understand the Scrum Framework, the core components of the Scrum framework, Roles,
Ceremonies, Agreements and Artifacts
Understand the principles of empirical process control and how to practice it through
Create work culture that helps in maximizing business value

Roles & Responsibilities
Understand the role of the Product Owner, proxy product owner and business analyst in detail
Understand why product mindset and not project mindset

Product Vision
Understand the importance of having the product vision as an overarching goal galvanizing the
entire Scrum team
Develop Product Vision using real case study
Understand the desirable qualities of the vision and how it can be shaped
Understand the importance of carrying out just enough prep work
Practice Impact Mapping to define product vision and roadmap
Understand the relationship between vision and product roadmap

Day -2

Product Backlog
Understand what the product backlog  and PBIs
Understand product backlog Refinement
Writing effective PBIs
Slicing PBIs using best practices like INVEST
Identification of MVP (minimum viable product)
Keeping product backlog in DEEP status

Understand the importance and benefits of prioritizing the product backlog
Understand the implications of saying everything is mandatory
Understand who should have input into prioritization decisions
Learn prioritization techniques such as MoSCoW and Kano
Understand how much latitude to give a team in adjusting the sequence of work

Understand the different estimation levels in Scrum
Practice estimation techniques
Understand that estimates of size and duration can be done separately
Understand the difference between estimating and committing

Day -3

Release Management
Understand the goals and how to of release planning
Understand that planning is adaptive, iterative and collaborative
Understand why software should be released early and frequently
Understand and measure velocity to forecast
Understand release burndown charts
Understand how a release plan can help predict the future

Acceptance Test Driven Development/Behavior Driven Development
Understand how to write testable acceptance criteria
Understand the importance of automation in scrum
How to automate acceptance test
Learn Gherkin language to write feature file

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Why and how to become Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)

Almost 200 professional become either Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) or Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) through Leanpitch every month. We strongly advise every participant to focus on continuous learning and share your learning with others as often as possible. If you are learning and have required experience then also become certified scrum professional (CSP). Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) is not only a certificate but a milestone that demonstrate your skills and experience. If you are planning to become coach or already working as coach and wanted to earn Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) certification then CSP is 1st step towards it. Same apply for Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) as well. CSP doesn't required any training like CSM, CSPO or CSD but needed 70 SEUs (Scrum Education Units) that shows how much you are investing on continuous learning. These SEUs can be earn through various way and same mentioned below:-

Category "A" - Unlimited SEUs through Scrum Gathering and User group meetup. You can join Playscrum user group and attend monthly meetup in your cities. Playscrum user group available in 5 cities. -Playscrum-Pune, Playscrum-Bangalore, Playscrum-Chennai,Playscrum-Delhi and Playscrum-HyderabadPlayscum also facilitated one day playscrum meet in Chennai and planning to keep facilitating same in other cities as well.

Category "B" - Unlimited SEUs through Scrum alliance training program like CSM, CSPO and CSD. You can also earn these Scrum Education Units (SEUs) through other courses like Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), User story and agile estimation etc. Leanpitch deliver corporate training on TDD, BDD and User story development in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Category "C" - 15 SEUs under this category and same can be earn through attending any agile workshop like Kanban, LeSS practitioner, DevOps and PMI-ACP workshop. Leanpitch regularly conduct Kanban training in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Category "D" - 15 SEUs under this category through volunteer service for Scrum Gathering or User group meetup. You can reach out to playscrum  community.

Category "E" - 15 SEUs through self learning like reading few books. I would recommend reading below books. One hour of reading is equal to one SEU.

1. Agile Estimating and Planning: Mike Cohn
2. Professional Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products: Jim Highsmith 
3. Professional Agile Retrospectives: Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber 
4. Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game Author: Alistair Cockburn
5. Coaching Agile Teams: Lyssa Adkins 
6. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile Extreme: Robert K. Wysocki
7. Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals: Dan Rawsthorne with Doug Shimp 
8. Kanban In Action: Marcus Hammarberg, Joakim Sunden
9. Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business: David J. Anderson 
10. Lean-Agile Software Development: Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott  
11. The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility: Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick
12. User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development: Mike Cohn 
13. Agile Product Management with Scrum: Roman Pichler

Category "F" - 15 SEUs through co-training or live webinar 

Leanpitch has brought below program for you to learn and earn SEUs in your city.

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) - 16 SEUs under Category "B" - For product owner, product manager, project manager, business analyst and leaders to maximize product business value. Leanpitch conduct Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) - 24 SEUs under category "B" - This will give you opportunity to learn agile engineering practices and most suitable for scrum master, developers, testers, agile coaches and as well as for managers to build value and focus on outcome. Leanpitch conduct Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) training in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

Certified Kanban Management Professional - 15 SEUs under Category "C" - For practicing scrum professional including scrum master, agile coaches and senior management to maximize value. Leanpitch conduct Certified Kanban Management Professional training in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

Friday, July 31, 2015

PMI-ACP Exam series -1 :: Why not PMI-ACP certificate

PMI-ACP has changed exam content and now focusing more on Scrum and Kanban. I would not recommend PMI-ACP to anyone due to exam fee and examination process itself but reading reference material is always helpful. PMI approach is not encouraging especially when it's come to Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certificate. Purpose of this PMI-ACP exam series not to criticize but elaborate what contents get cover in exam. I will be writing a separate blog on each topics in coming days. 

Here is details why not PMI-ACP.

Unlike PMP there is NO guide from PMI and only suggest to read below 12 books. These books are anyway available and agile enthusiast refers it. Why should I go to PMI to get this list if same is available everywhere. In case of PMP, PMI does provide a guide called PMBOK.

1. Agile Estimating and Planning: Mike Cohn
2. Professional Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products: Jim Highsmith 
3. Professional Agile Retrospectives: Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber 
4. Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game Author: Alistair Cockburn
5. Coaching Agile Teams: Lyssa Adkins 
6. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile Extreme: Robert K. Wysocki
7. Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals: Dan Rawsthorne with Doug Shimp 
8. Kanban In Action: Marcus Hammarberg, Joakim Sunden
9. Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business: David J. Anderson 
10. Lean-Agile Software Development: Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott  
11. The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility: Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick
12. User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development: Mike Cohn

PMI test agile enthusiast skills through exam but since content is not provided by them and course will not going to be taught by PMI accredited trainer then why someone has to write PMI exam? Unlike PMI, other organizations like Scrum Alliance and Lean kanban University teaches same and conduct their own exam which are more focused on  good content and good trainer. Becoming Scrum alliance trainer is difficult and someone should really be good in agile and scrum and has to go through well managed process. In case of PMI, anyone can teach without even knowing agile and scrum. Bad part is participants come to know about poor training only when they fail in exam and same time PMI is not going to take any action against trainer.

Exam Fee:-
$495 (33,000 INR) only for exam? but why? what if I have failed due to poor training by any trainer? Will PMI take any action against trainer? NO then $495 just for exam? Because PMI is a brand and can issue a piece of paper? I was hoping that PMI will reduce exam fee and will keep it around $200 but unfortunately exam fee remain same. Participants also has to spend 15,000 for training and around 5,000-10,000 for books. Total cost of PMI-ACP certification comes around 55,000-60,000 INR in India.
Scrum Alliance program cost is very less that includes training, content and exam/certification fee. Participants can attend multiple program and get certificates in 55,000 - 60,000 INR in India then why PMI-ACP?

Certified Scrum Master CSM) cost around 24,000 INR and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) cost around 27,000 INR so total cost for both still 51,000 INR that will also help in getting Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
If not Certified Scrum Developer then you can think of getting Certified Kanban Professional Management or Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) in 27,000 INR same will also help in getting certified Scrum Professional (CSP).

I will definitely recommend to read above books but will not suggest to spend lots of money to test your learning skills through expensive exam.

This is my personal view please ignore if you don't like. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Agile adoption start from you

Why agile? I think adoption start with this question but honestly many fails to answer this simple question. Answer is usually very generic like reducing time to market, faster releases and improved productivity etc. Well all these is fine but what exactly you are trying to achieve through agile adoption? Is there any dysfunction in the organization? not able to compete in market? or employee attrition rate is too high? Clear answer will help in setting clear goal for transformation.

Which framework? Can we adopt Scrum, Kanban, LeSS, SAFe or XP? Any framework is fine as long as framework is empirical in nature. Even you can ignore all these frameworks to start with and let people decide which is more suitable as per complexity in adoption. You can design your own framework but better to have someone to facilitate teaching, mentoring, setting it up and answering all your doubts. Usually people call them "Agile Coach" or "Transformation Agent". Selection of framework depends on work and organization complexity but to reduce complexity, better not to choose complex framework.

How to select Agile Coach? Better to hire someone good in facilitation and understand software engineering. Someone with lots of certificate? may be if you don't know anyone because there is no other way to filter but better to speak to their customers to understand more about individual behavior and approach. Hire Agile coach and not "Enterprise Agile Coach", "Executive Agile Coach" or "Team Agile Coach" etc. Agility is also about getting away from complex organization design if coaches themselves start promoting hierarchy then what they will bring for you is a big question. Coaches should facilitate rather preach to ask question around facilitation techniques. Someone having good knowledge about agile, facilitation techniques and software engineering can be a better choice. Must be a good listener.

From where to start? Start from wherever you are. Yes you need a leader within organization who understand why agility. Better situation if leader is very senior in hierarchy else someone very influential. Even that's not the case then adoption will slow down but still possible. Start small rather than big bang implementation but once you see success and win confidence of leaders then better to go big bang. Ensure transformation not restricted to software development but happen in all supporting department like human resource, payroll, marketing and general administration as well. If not then agile organization will not be possible and such cases people may go back to old path because required support to sustain agility will be missing. Ensure there are leaders (not managers) from every field to lead and support transformation to see better result. 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Question - Scrum (CSM) or SAFe (SA) - How to start your agile journey.

Let me explain these then you may decide your own.

CSM - is a introductory course on Scrum framework but nowadays majority of trainers cover scrum master role in details beside than covering topics like estimation, planning and scaling etc. This is a beginner course. You can think of doing other courses by scrum alliance after CSM like CSPO and CSD and then CSP once you have 3 years of experience in Agile/scrum.

SAFe - very much prescribed with heavily loaded processes and roles to scale agility. Not good for agility but still people practice because of extensive marketing. Since one organization processes can't be applied exactly same way in other organization so many failed cases are there. Started with Nokia mobile and we all know now Nokia mobile doesn't even exist.

Scaling is not a new things and organization usually figure out itself how to scale beyond single scrum team although there are some model that can be studied but only study not to copy like SAFe, LeSS or DAD etc.

I would suggest to choose a path of Scrum alliance starting with CSM then later on figure out scaling model if you have challenges.

Regarding trainer - I would suggest Satisha but may be because I know him personally but you can go with anyone because all are approved by scrum alliance. You may reach out to any organization but figure out who is your trainer and try to connect someone when has already attended his/her classes.

Still have query then you can reach out to me on +91 9810547500.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Agile and Scrum onsite Workshop

As per latest survey, more than 80% software development organization is practicing agility in some form. This clearly shows that how quickly organizations shifting from traditional approach to empirical process control to maximize values of the work done. But organization must ensure smooth transition and that required some investment either in the name of training, coaching, educating or may be some better name like hands-on workshop. Transition can happen with or without these investments so this is not prerequisite but having these workshop conducted prior will help in overcoming challenges during transition.

But how to decide what kind of agile training and who will be trainer (facilitator as our definition)? Some trainer comes with PPT and sometime more than 100 decks. Participants and trainer both reading presentation together in class. Some of participants even sleeping in class especially after lunch break. Now how to decide? Also what if organization collects feedback at the end of workshop and share same with trainer? Training is already over so what to do with feedback now.

Our workshop is PPT free so there is nothing to read together, workshop full of fun and hands-on practice. There is no chance that participants not engaged because workshop runs by participants and we just facilitate. Reach out to our existing client to know more about our approach. Our workshop called "Scrum On Wall", "BuildValue", "PlayScrum" and "MaximizeValue" unlike some boring name.

Course Outline of PlayScrum workshop

Agile vs traditional process
What is empirical process
Why Scrum and what is scrum framework
Scrum framework in details 
Agile Estimation and Planning
Monitoring Agile development

Reach out to us if looking for Agile, Scrum, Scrum Developer, Product Owner, Product Management workshop. We facilitate regular Agile and Scrum workshop in all major cities in India that includes Bangalore, Delhi, Pune and Chennai.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LeSS Practitioner, Kanban Foundation and Scrum Developer Training in India

Certified LeSS PractitionerLeSS is a set of rules combined with guides for applying Scrum in a multi-team context. It is not a framework that applies Scrum at team level and then adds additional scaling processes, instead it is Scrum scaled on all the levels. Created by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde while practicing in Nokia Networks. See here

Bangalore   5th to 7th   August    Register
Pune         10th to 12th August    Register

Certified Lean Kanban Foundation – Leading Evolutionary Change is a highly interactive two-day course accredited by the Lean-Kanban University (LKU) and provides in-depth training in Kanban practices and the principles that underpin the Kanban method, including a fully immersive Kanban simulation.

Chennai    25th to 26th June   Register
Pune         14th to 15th July   Register

Certified Scrum Developer – Certified Scrum Developers have demonstrated through a combination of formal training and a technical skills assessment that they have a working understanding of Scrum principles and have learned specialized Agile engineering skills. CSD introduces best practices for scrum developer and scrum testers that includes BDD, ATDD, TDD and continuous Integration. 

Bangalore    26th to 28th June  Register
Pune           19th to 21st June   Register
Chennai      24th to 26th July    Register

Upcoming Events
Playscrum Meet 2015 – One day event in Chennai around scaling scrum. Viktor Grgic sharing case study on Large-Scale Scrum and 24/7 business critical systems – This is a story of how an organization transformed traditional large and overly complex program/ project into continuous delivery of a 24/7 business critical products every 2 weeks in production.
Chennai      10th July 2015   Register

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) Training in Bangalore

This program introduces Behavior Driven Development (BDD) to the audience and follows a life cycle approach where audience get to learn how to practice BDD in real life projects using some the best BDD tools like Cucumber, Jbehave and Specflow. Good Test First practices can reduce defects drastically, promote better design, make the code easier to understand, to change and cheaper to maintain. This workshop will give your team a solid grounding in practical BDD/ATDD, no matter what language they use or what background they come from. Participants will learn how to write high-quality unit tests, or more precisely, "executable specifications", to write better designed, more maintainable and more reliable code.

In this 2-day intensive course, Participants will also discover how BDD helps keep development focused on the real requirements, resulting in a higher quality product for the end user. Return on investment is immediate - these are skills that every developer needs to master.
This workshop teaches the principles of Test First and BDD, which are applicable in any modern programming environment. We discuss ATDD/BDD tools for Java, .NET and participants should bring their own laptop to practice same.

Contact me on +91 9810547500 or for any agile and scrum training including Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified Scrum Developer (CSD), BDD, TDD, CSP or clean code etc.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Not much difference between Scrum and LeSS

There is hardly any difference between Scrum and LeSS as long as number of team is less than 8 and not moving to LeSS Huge. Since there is not much noticeable difference and if you don't tell team about LeSS, team will not even notice that they are adopting Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS). Though better is to conduct workshops to ensure team know about objective behind LeSS and challenges is adoption. Though there is hardly any difference in structure but still LeSS adoption takes time and required lots of effort and energy. LeSS is too simple and usually simple framework become more challenging than complex framework.

Learnt the areas where LeSS adoption takes more time while working as coach with one the biggest recruitment firm having offices across globe. I am working with one product team as of now and there are 3 more products. Highlighting some of the areas where adoption takes more time.

Definition of Product - Team of more than 40 people working on different component, enhancement, production support, testing and requirement management etc. These team has also named their team based on component that they are developing. These teams are having dependencies to each other and can't move their work in production until every team is not ready with their work. They are also having multiple product owner and separate product backlog. Defining product and aligning every team with single product is challenging work. Although senior management understood what I am trying and got full cooperation but still its taking time.

Single product but multiple product owner - This is because product definition was missing. This issue was identified earlier and management was working even before I joined them. Now There is only one product owner and product owner focus more on prioritization rather than clarification. Some challenges are still there and we are working on.

Component team to Feature team -  This is the toughest part. Change in culture, mindset, attitude everything needed but still if team is practicing scrum and already self-managed and self-governed then it will be easy. But truth is littler bitter because there is hardly any true self-managed and self-directed, cross-functional team and same here as well. Tester not part of development team because they don't have full-time work, middle layer service integration team is not part of development team, database and configuration management people out of team so essentially only software developers are there that too component-wise. Working with team and designing cross-functional team is going on and hoping to have little matured team in next 4-5 sprints. If this happen then will start working with 2nd product team.

Above all applicable to the organization already practicing Scrum for last 2 years and team understand concept of single scrum team.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Software Development - Metrics vs Practice

Every organization looking for more and more metrics and especially wherever I go as agile coach and consultant to talk about agile adoption or improving software engineering practices. Many time management fails to explain objective behind so many metrics. While talking to management, what I have felt that these metrics sometime initiate violent communication in team that leads to lack of trust. Organization should focus more and more on building practices and better innovative processes that will automatically help in meeting objective. Metrics needed for sure because it helps organization in deciding future course of action but metrics without practice will demotivate team that result in poor product quality. 

Some of the basic example:-

80% code coverage - What is the reason for this metrics? This is to judge individual performance or ensure code is maintainable? If objective is NOT well communicated to team and practices for clean code is not established then what team member will do? Team may end up meeting 80% code coverage by any mean to satisfy metrics but what about objective?

Similarly there are many other metrics like "defect ratio", "defect per feature", "Code complexity", "team velocity", "estimation accuracy" etc. These can be easily manipulated if team doesn’t know objective behind these metrics. There has to be a process for defining metrics and every metrics must have clear objective. Before measuring ensure there is a practice setup and practice and metric both are aligned to single objective.

Measure outcome not output.

Reach to me on or +91 9810547500 for corporate training.

We deliver training on Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Cucumber, Selenium, Jira Agile, Scrum, Jenkins, Scrum Master, Scrum Developer, Product owner, agile estimation and planning, writing user stories etc.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Roles and Responsibilities during Scrum Ceremonies

Scrum Master
Product Owner
Development Team

Release Planning
Make sure Release plan ends with List of PBI, number of sprints.
Why we do this release, stakeholders expectation on this release, timeline, PBIs for the release.

Provides team velocity to consider while release planning
Product Backlog Refinement
Confirm all questions of Dev team are cleared by Product Owner
PBI are enough for next 2 sprint as per team velocity
Introduces the PBI and explain Definition of Done, any specific Voice of Customer related to the PBI, rank of the PBI, Clear all doubts, manages PBI splits.
Understand PBI and Definition of done and ask as much question to Product Owner to establish acceptance criteria and uncover potential technical challenges.

Sprint Planning
Make sure Sprint plan ends on time. Post a poster on burndown chart for team update. Quote Team capacity, indicate velocity.
Make sure the PBIs taken by Dev team are in line with produce release plan; Understands and decide on dependent PBIs, Conclude Sprint Goal.
Confirms the team planned capacity.  Indicate technical dependencies, Issues in Definition of Done, choose PBIs for the sprint, manage themselves on list of task and confirms task are leading to sprint goal.  Commit on the PBI.

Daily Scrum
Update chart, List down Impediments.
Before Review: Remind Review preparedness to Dev Team.

Monitor scope. Help team to get further clarity on PBI
Update the progress to team. Plan for today and highlight impediments
Sprint Review
Send invite to all stake holders in advance. 
Accept or reject sprint outcome
Show outcome of latest sprint and answer questions to the Stakeholders.

Sprint Retrospection
Read feedback, impediments faced, Action & results observations, Share Product Owner feedback, how much Scrum followed, Read improvements planned and actual from last Retrospection.
Not required but can join if team looking for help.
Open discussion towards improving the efficiency of the team; identify key problems faced, review last improvement action & Result.  Append new actions.