Saturday, February 20, 2016

How Osmotic Communication Works For NearShore Team

#SridharPeddisetty #Agile #Scrum #Strategy #Osmotic #Communication #Strategy #AgileTraining #AgileBestPractices #NearShore 
To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others  -Tony Robbins

What is Osmotic Communication?

Osmotic Communication is a term coined by Alistair Cockburn and the definition is: "Osmotic communication means that information flows into the background hearing of members of the team, so that they pick up relevant information as though by osmosis. This is normally accomplished by seating them in the same room. Then, when one person asks a question, others in the room can either tune in or tune out, contributing to the discussion or continuing with their work"

What is a NearShore Team?

A NearShore team provides services to the client from a country, which is having proximity in terms of time zone and geographic location to client's country. Its a virtual team providing quality services to the client by overlapping for more time with the client by working in similar time zone, collaborating in realtime. 

How Osmotic Communication Works For NearShore Team?

In my earlier post Active Listening Is Key For A Successful Delivery, I had shared how in Agile, requirements and solutions evolve through communication and collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams. Also in another post Everyone's Perspective Is Key In Retrospectives, I had shared how the best teamwork comes from the team members who are working independently but toward one goal in unison and working in an environment where everyone’s perspective is encouraged, heard and respected.

Looking at the above illustration, its understandable that NearShore team cannot have the benefits of a face-face white boarding or in person conversations, but now with robust communication mediums including tools available, the communication gaps are shortened. Below are examples of few collaboration tools, which bridges the communication gaps working with virtual teams. 
  1. Skype
  2. RealTimeBoard
  3. Jira
  4. Confluence
  5. MindMeister
Using the advantages of NearShore time zone proximity, virtual team works realtime with onsite team and using collaboration tools like Skype for communication. For instance, group chats in Skype provides the perfect opportunity for the onsite teams and virtual teams to have a real time discussion and Osmotic communication is possible with the inputs shared by random team members instead of relying on 1:1 communication. It does not work in all situations but group chats go a long way in facilitating Osmotic communication in which a Scrum Master or a Product Owner operating from onsite could be seeking an answer from a remote developer but the remote QA member could chip in, if the person has same or better understanding. In another example, say a remote developer has a question on specific feature and posts the question to PO or stakeholder in group chat. Response of which could not only benefit the developer but also the remote QA, who in turn use the information in creating more specific test scenarios or automation scripts. Another major advantage of tool group chat is archiving of the communication for future reference, which is something that is not possible for a collocated team when having in person communication instead.  


Osmotic communication keeps the cost of communications low while keeping the feedback rate high. This in turn, helps keep the overall cost of quality low as while working with NearShore team, its evident for the client that the requirements are disseminated faster and errors are corrected quickly. With strong delivery management best practices, frequent face time with client, NearShore virtual teams can take the advantages of Osmotic communication. 
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

What Is The 'Shark' In Your Fish Tank Today?

#SridharPeddisetty #Motivational #Inspirational #Leadership #Management #Agile #ProjectManagement 
The Japanese have always loved fresh fish but the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish and if the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh. To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea and freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish and they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price and so fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan. How did they manage? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!
Many of us are living in a pond, which is making us most of the time, tired and dull. We basically are in need of a ‘shark', which is the new challenge that is necessary to keep us alive and kicking. In my earlier post 5 Tips For You To Run Faster Than Somebody Today, I had shared how important it is to not only keep pace with current disruptive phase but to run faster with combination of your experience and knowledge.
As shared in the post Only If You Knew How Much You Actually Know, mantra for your success is your ability to understand the potential of the wisdom you have gained by correlating the knowledge gained in all your experience and using that wisdom to come out of your comfort zone and challenge the status quo.


To summarize, discover your shark and put it in your fish tank today to keep you alive, energized and fresh. As I had shared in the post Positive Attitude Defines Your Successful Career, we mostly underestimate the power of choice we make everyday and its worth reminding ourselves so often that its our positive attitude towards every aspect of life, which is what makes it a successful journey.
PS: Above was a WhatsApp forward so source is unknown but the message is worth sharing.
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

An Agilist Needs More Than Training To Succeed

#SridharPeddisetty #Agile #Scrum #Strategy #Organizational Strategy #AgileTraining #AgileBestPractices

After his return from Rome, Will couldn’t find his luggage in the airport baggage area. He went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that his bags hadn’t shown up on the carousel. She smiled and told him not to worry because they were trained professionals and he was in good hands. Then she asked Will, “Has your plane arrived yet?”
The most essential part of Agile transformation besides the Org. change champion, is proper training and in this post the intent is not to undermine the importance of training. Agile based trainings or certifications provide you possibly the knowledge about Agile but not necessarily the wisdom needed to apply it successfully. Implementing Agile in any Organization requires more than just knowing the terms or ceremonies. It requires changing the mindset of people and working on making changes to the legacy processes and tools.
In my experience, most of the trainings do not cover on what exactly Agile Manifesto meant by uncovering better ways of developing software. So here is my attempt of dissecting what is included in the Manifesto. 
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools - You need to develop a self performing team that owns collective responsibility but then for them to be successful, communication has to be transparent. You cannot be a ‘self performing’ team without bringing in the transparency using processes and tools. Scrum ceremonies (Sprint planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospection) provides you the discipline to be transparent but we need to ensure that the transparency in communication & collective responsibility is flowing across the OrganizationIn my earlier post Trust your Team But Make Sure to Verify, I had shared that trusting your self performing team is important but its essential to verify that team is performing to its optimal level as a unit and not showing just individual brilliances, which can be counter productive for the end results.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation - In order to develop a ‘working software’, project team and stakeholders should have ashared understanding of the project objectives or goals. We do not need to spend a lot of effort to create an accurate or comprehensive project charter but what we need is a good understanding of the vision, which is shared. Agile based SDLC of building potentially shippable products incrementally in short periods of time is one of the most tangible changes and benefits, which an Agile process provides. But again, its important to remain focused on the shared vision. Have enough documentation to serve the architecture, design, delivery, user acceptance and deployment of a working product in short iterative/incremental cycles. 
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation - In my earlier post Minimum Marketable Features: An Agile Essential, I had shared that Organizations no longer compete on product or service but they compete on experience of faster to market with quality results. It is an organization's ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly, which gives it the ultimate competitive advantage. Traditionally, the negotiations with customer were happening upfront at the start of a project with more energy spent on trying to be safe in terms of scope of work, cost & schedule. With a practical Agile approach, a trusting collaboration can be fostered between the customer and project team in which discovery, questioning, learning and adjusting with shorter feedback loops during the course of the project will have a better chance of delivering a product, which provides the customer with a competitive advantage than a contract that is signed early in the lifecycle and is difficult to change.
  • Responding to change over following a plan - Planning is important because if you don’t know where you are heading, any road would take you there. But having said that, experience has taught us well that creating elaborate project plans does not guarantee success of a project. Also we understand that in this disruptive era, its not pragmatic to freeze product requirements, priorities and timelines. Change is the only constant factor in a SDLC and we should plan enough to be receptive to changeAgile creates an opportunity for increased customer satisfaction and return on investment by handling change effectively with more robust feedback loops, which accommodates changing requirements to generate higher-value products. Bottom line is to plan continually rather than plan once and follow it to the core. 


To summarize, getting trained in Agile does not necessarily mean that we have started thinking ‘Agile’. After training, work in your Org towards bringing in changes including predictable delivery by taking small steps in developing an environment, which fosters a collaboration culture with a shared vision across the Org. 
If you want something talked about, ask a theorist and if you want something done, ask a practitioner!
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