Subramaniyan Venkataraman, popularly known to his friends and colleagues as Subbu, is Vice President, Software Engineering at CA Technologies. He heads the Engineering team for the Agile Management Business Unit, based out of the India Technology Center, Hyderabad.
Subbu has about 30 years of experience in the IT industry in both India and the U.S. This includes several leadership roles across companies like CA Technologies, Sierra Atlantic Software Services (now part of Hitachi) & Wipro Technologies.
Subbu is an engineering graduate in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Sri Venkateswara University and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Telecommunications from ALTTC, India.
His diverse interest areas include Business Agility, Agile at Scale, Service Management, integration and automation in Cloud Technologies, Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Application Integration, Enterprise Analytics & Master Data Management. His hobbies include reading, traveling and teaching.
How CA Technologies Transformed using Kanban and Agile?
CA Technologies, a US $4 Billion plus, Independent Software vendor provides robust solutions to Global 2000 enterprises in their Digitalization journey. While we have a 40+ year history of rich and deep solutions meeting varied needs of our customers, in the last 7-8 years, we had embarked on an Agile journey to be able to sense and respond to disruptions in the marketplace arising due to a variety of factors like the rise of Cloud/SAAS, Mobile First solutions, changing customer needs, etc.
Our Agile Transformation journey was a company-wide transformation involving not just product development but other functions like marketing, services, support, internal IT, etc, with strong Executive Management buy-in and drive. Such a large transformation encompassed multiple change management areas including awareness, education, enablement, governance, tools and systems support.
We used our powerful and easy-to-use Portfolio-level agile management tool, CA Agile Central, to help hundreds of scrum teams across multiple business units and product lines, spread across multiple continents to be able to collaboratively plan, execute, track and manage their respective projects. Different value stream participants used different lean process constructs like Kanban boards, flows, program boards, etc as appropriate for their work. But all of these inside Agile Central with the creed of getting the right information at the right level and the right time.
This presentation will talk about how we planned and executed our Agile Transformation journey, the critical role played by Agile Central in this journey, our lessons learned through this journey, challenges faced so far and our outlook going forward.
Lean Agile adoption at enterprise scale posits the use of appropriate light-weight, easy to use tools and aids like Kanban boards, visual Program Increment boards, collaboration tools, etc to help large, geographically distributed (or collocated) teams to plan, collaborate and track progress and outcomes.
In CA too, different teams used different sets of tools as appropriate for them. Like our IT teams heavily used Kanban boards to identify, list, plan and track progress and status of different key tasks and activities to ensure planned outcomes. The Product development teams, on the other hand used different visualization capabilities provided within a portfolio-level agility tool like Agile Central for identifying, planning, organizing, tracking and managing stories, tasks and dependencies across different scrum teams. Even within product development teams, some teams like architecture runway teams were using Kanban boards very heavily for their work amongst themselves.
- Key considerations while planning and executing Enterprise-Scale Agile Transformation
- Importance and impact of right tool sets for teams to use across the organization for planning, organizing, tracking and managing the flow of work across teams and across team members within teams
- Importance of taking a ‘horses for courses’ approach to help deliver key planned outcomes
- Where to use Kanban boards and what benefits can be derived
- Lessons learned in our transformation journey so far.