Perhaps you need a bit more Waterfall – 8 DON’Ts in Agile Transformation

(此文章中文版『敏捷八不』發表於 Funevo)

“When the Great Tao prevails, the world is shared by all.

The worthy and capable are chosen as leaders, trust is fostered and goodwill is cultivated. Thus, people do not only regard their own parents as parents, nor do they only regard their own children as children. The old are cared for until death, the adults are gainfully employed, and the children are nurtured. Widowers, widows, orphans, childless seniors, the disabled and diseased are all taken care of. Men have their proper roles, and women have their families. While people hate to see a resource thrown away, they do not necessarily keep it for their own use.

Not contributing one’s efforts is abhorred, the same as devoting them purely for one’s own self-interests. Therefore, conspiracies do not thrive; robberies, thefts and criminal activities do not occur. And so, there is no need for doors to be shut.

This is called the Great Unity.”

– Book of Rites(Liji), Great Unity

I was holding the role of General Manager in Titansoft when I first encountered Agile in 2014 – and I felt as though Agile (Agile development, Agile management) depicted an ideal world. Just take as an example, the most popular Scrum framework in agile methodology: there is no Team Leader in Scrum teams and projects are completed through the division of labour. Members have the option to choose the task they want to work on rather than having a supervisor assigning work. Team members are motivated  and strive to perform, with results shared by the entire team. (Note: Product Backlog is decided by the Product Owner but the team determines the best way to perform the job)

In other words, it is similar to the presentation of an ideal society in communism which reads “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Continue reading “Perhaps you need a bit more Waterfall – 8 DON’Ts in Agile Transformation”

Roles of the Scrum Master in Titansoft (Singapore)

Ask any Titaner what exactly does a Scrum Master in Titansoft do. And the majority (more than 80%) would answer, “a Scrum Master is a facilitator.” Probe deeper, and you’d get “…of Scrum events!” (Never let it be said that Titaners miss the obvious) Well, as with many things in life such as the tragic case of a Hawaiian pizza with only one measly slice of pineapple, that answer is 100% correct and yet, it is not the full picture. Let me share with you a brief overview of what it is exactly that Scrum Masters do in Titansoft.

Facilitate Scrum events as required

Yes, Scrum Masters facilitate the events in a sprint. Their main responsibility is to be actively “idle” – once the ball has started rolling, to know when to take a step back and let the discussion continue organically. Not all events require the presence of a Scrum Master. Without a Scrum Master, Scrum team members (such as a product developer or product owner) can proceed to take the place of facilitator in sprint planning, product backlog refinement and sprint review.

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We came, we interned, we created the Titansoft Training System!

Daily stand up after daily stand up, sprint after sprint, and now we’re at the end of our internship! Time sure did past pretty quickly, doesn’t it? Flashback to day 1 when we were asked to set our internship expectation, and now in the blink of an eye (or a few more) we have completed the TTS – Titansoft Training System! It is designed to manage the company’s internal and external trainings for all employees, with which administrators can create and assign different kinds of courses to users and users can self-initiate courses.

TTS 1

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Principles for an Agile Workspace

Promoting collaboration, creativity, and productivity…

…Led by modern agile workspace solutions. Well thought out open offices with design principles aligned to inspire a strong and happy work culture are the new “perfectly kept show house” of the tech world, from the silicon valley to Singapore.

Ample Opportunities for Chance Engagements and Meetings

Yesterday’s water cooler meetings are today’s bean bag area – modern day companies are turning towards the strategic placement of furniture to create social spaces encouraging interaction and engagement (not to mention the chance to do away with that particular, plastic barrel eyesore in a beautifully designed space). People can congregate for quick chats around a bar top table in the pantry, or have spontaneous discussions in the bean bag area, with the casual environment constructed to inspire creative brainstorming. Private areas for quick discussions, or breakout areas, are scattered around the workplace to allow for more privacy or focused collaborative team work. Individuals and interaction over processes and tools, as one of the main values of the Agile Manifesto, highlights the importance of interaction between different members of the team to spur creativity.

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A long corridor to encourage spontaneous conversations that no one can run away from.

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3 Things that Happen After You Cross The 1-Year Mark as the Best Tech Company to Work For : Titansoft Edition

It is that time of every relationship, when the honeymoon period has passed and you are left examining reality after the dampening of the initial excitement. Titansoft is celebrating the one year anniversary of our Best Tech Company to Work for Award.

In the spirit of our Agile work practices, we are taking a retrospective look at the year past and examining how we can look forward to many more anniversaries of being a best tech company to work for. Here are what we have gone through after winning the award.

  1. A Surge of Pride Alongside a Growth in “Thick-Skinness”

We have all been there. When your Facebook status first changes to “in a relationship”, the outpouring of attention from friends and that random congratulating comment from someone you once met at some party and never again in real life just reinforces your sense of being in an awesome place in life.

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Turns out it is pretty much the same with a Best Tech Company to Work For Award. We started attracting more attention from the public, receiving inquiries from other companies to share our practices and Titaners pretty much brought the physical award everywhere they went, to sponsored conferences and campus recruitment events. As a conversation starter, they say. Exactly what your friend said when she made exaggerated hand movements to show off that shiny ring.

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Agile Transformation: Work Practices Differences Part 1

Typing “Agile Development” into Google search brings up 123,000,000 results. Sift through the first 5 pages, spend 3.5 hours reading through webpages that all seem to be the exact same copy of each other with cosmetic edits, or worse, websites that say the exact opposite, and be nowhere nearer to understanding what an agile transformation is. Been there done that.

We have tried, and we have failed, and this is what we have learnt – to save you all that computer eye strain, mouse fatigue etc. 🙂

Speaking to Titaners across teams, we bring you the differences in work practices after our Agile transformation, broken down into the main areas of:

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