Learn the best practices + hazards of scaling Agile from expert Tarun Sapra

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@Tarun Sapra lives and breathes Agile and Atlassian. In this article, you will discover the steps Tarun took in his career to go from Engineering student in New Delhi to Agile and Atlassian expert worldwide! Enjoy, and feel free to ask Tarun any questions you might have in the comments section below.

Describe in a few sentences your life/career leading up to now

I grew up in New Delhi, and after completing my Engineering in 2008, I started working as a Java Developer with Computer Sciences Corporation. After working at CSC for a couple of years, I realized I wanted to work in a company with a more startup-like environment with a strong focus on Agile principles. So, in 2010 I started a job at Xebia, working on Scrum teams that introduced me to concepts like Continuous Integration, Automation testing etc. Aside from working full-time as a Developer, I also helped other teams in setting up their Atlassian tools, automating tasks using python and at times writing small Jira Plugins (now called Marketplace Apps). 

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In 2013 I received an opportunity to work for Xebia Netherland on a project at eBay’s Amsterdam office. The project was all about deployment, customization, and configuration of Atlassian stack being used by eBay teams across the globe. A number of teams using the Atlassian stack across eBay grew at an exponential rate and I had the pleasure of working with some very experienced Agile coaches in rolling out the tools for the various teams. Additionally, I was really into traveling since I was new in Europe! Thus, almost every weekend I would visit a new town or a nearby country.    

I joined Luminis in 2015 and worked on some interesting projects revolving around ElasticSearch (ELK stack) and Big Data dashboards. Around mid-2016 I started working at Ingenico as an Atlassian consultant and was responsible for setting up a new Jira and Confluence instance to be used mainly by product teams across multiple geographies. I was also running internal training sessions for business and technical teams to help them best leverage the Atlassian tools. The goal here was to fully automate the software delivery lifecycle, and we also slowly incorporated Hipchat and Bitbucket as well for multiple teams.

I heard about a new team at Ingenico called “Agile Center of Excellence” (ACE) that was led by an experienced Agile coach in March 2018 which intrigued me. So, from March 2018, I joined Ingenico's ACE team as an Atlassian Architect!

When was the first time you used an Atlassian product? Which product was it, and how were you using it?

I used Jira for the first time in 2010. I was working as part of an Agile team and we were using the Greenhopper app a lot for managing our work.

What is the biggest challenge that the ACE team faces? Why is your work important to the organization?

Since the ACE team is at the center of Agile adoption and transformation for teams we face pretty complex reporting requirements. Getting Reporting right across each level of organization from top-level management right up to the Scrum (Squad) teams can be very tricky. Just to name a few examples:

  • Reports depicting velocity across sprints, squads and across Tribes
  • Roadmap and capacity planning reports across Tribes and at Program/Portfolio levels
  • Estimation reports 

We use a handful of apps from the marketplace to help us in generating these reports.

What's your #1 tip for someone who wants to scale Agile? 

Scaling Agile is difficult because while you might use the right processes, (Scrum/Kanban) at the team level and SAFe or an in-house Agile model at the organization level and the right set of tools (Atlassian). But, still, if people are not motivated enough and teams don’t trust each other than even with the right process and tools you will be far away from being Agile. I feel the most important thing for successful Agile transformation is that people should be motivated to build a high-quality product while taking pride in their workmanship and having an environment of trust and transparency in the organization.

What could Atlassian do to improve your life?

I think Atlassian already has a great community which is pretty useful for getting all Atlassian enthusiasts together under one roof. One thing I feel Atlassian could do is to improve the whole documentation/KB articles provided around migration scenarios (Cloud to Server and vice-versa) of their products. Based on the announcement I heard at Team Tour that Atlassian is forming a team to look intro making migrations easier for customers, feel that things are on the right track.   

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What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

Outside of work, I like traveling around in Europe and I really enjoy cycling in and around Amsterdam’s beautiful parks and adjoining areas.

5 comments

Erica Moss Community Manager May 14, 2018

@Tarun Sapra Love learning more about you, Tarun!

Alexey Matveev Community Champion May 14, 2018

@Tarun Sapra It is a good article. Thanks a lot!

@Tarun Sapra - great to learn more about you - it's an interesting article and story

@Tarun Sapra  Good luck and success on both personal and professional levels. Very nice article! 

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