Monday, 16 June 2008

A Bad Presentation

Yesterday I was supposed to take up the Agile workshop for the part of the team that is really been damaged due to NO process and Process myths in the organisation. The "supposed to" was really for the last 7 months when each time I had to request for this and all I got is an answer saying "At the moment we dont really have time for this", eventually I was lucky enough this time to get through the Team and at least be prepared on some items on what and how I wanted to do things for this Agile workshop to make it more effective and more better. To my own surprise I relied on Powerpoint and really prepared something that I always hated.

But they say you need to have it your day and your way to make it work... eventually the fever, headache and fallout of some ideas and team members in contributing to the workshop lead this to be the BORING ever presentation I have been a part of... remember I have attended some corporate trainings on finance and technologies which were really boring and I claim this one from mine to be worst than any of them. The Idea of running the workshop was bright, though I was not able to successfully convert it to a involved workshop.

I retrospected what went wrong and here are the items I found:

1. Involve the crowd
Seems like I missed it for 2 reasons, I did not analyse the crowd before really kicking it off. The Idea I had was to involve a few guys bring them mid store and ask them some survey questions to bring out the Myers-Brigg indicator model out and also make them aware of how important Team plays in the Agile model.
Second I was not able to create some real time humour out of Agile and waterfall models... things that rushed my mind during my presentations were eventually to heavy than I thought they could be.

2. Never depend too much on PPT
I wanted to start with NO presentations... use the board and the Team speeches to make it more effective, however change of plans last minute made me think that its better to go the PPT way and try to address issues and tips and concerns while I talk... this was a bad plan honestly.

3. Unresponsive crowd is the truth
Its not that I have always seen very energetic crowd in the presentations... half the time I have presented to people who dont even know if they should keep their eyes open in the sessions or not. Anyways today i realised that Teams can really be unresponsive if they dont know why are doing what. Ideally I saw only 5 people involved in the entire presentation:
1. Vinaya the girl who was sitting right in front.
2. Shailesh : Who was trying to understand and respond in a way that would be pleasing to a presenter
3. Bhargavi : Who kind of knew the objective and was curious to know whats next
4. Eric : The guy in the bottom most corner who understands Agile and wants to enhance his knowledge
5. Arjun who wants to know more about it.

Rest I saw were either there by force or for a sake. Eventually some of them may be involved but I did not find it out for some reason.

4. Missing exercises
25 minutes of the kickoff I understood that its getting boring and I need to change something, eventually when I changed to bring in some questions and role playing I found that the Team lacked feel of energy and enthusiasm. It would have been good to have some exercises to make it work better.

5. Wheres the Red Bull
The energizer was missing. These are the things I wanted to do:

1. Ask Deepesh , Yogesh and Nikhita to talk about the developer advantages they feel from the Agile we follow
2. Ask Sidd , Saket to make it work effectively and explain the QA and the Release processes.
3. Have the funfilled Crack my code exercise to get the developers write some code on the fly while others extract the mistakes.
4. Have the QA write flow cases for the developer code.
5. Have the Project Manager plan the 30 mins code and qa exercise
6. Have the architect review

7. Have the Stakeholders explain the requirements and do a official kickoff.

All of this was role playing eventually I dropped this after 25 minutes of session just to make sure that it doesnt go wrong way due to the sleepy crowd.

Anyways as a corrective measure I am going to continue the training and appoint some agile coaches to make this work effectively for the Team. Eventually looking at the team formation I think it will be at least a 6 month task to make this team understand agile and start implementing it to some extent.

Whoa .. Task is ahead......