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Software Ownership Transfer: Evolving Knowledge Transfer for the Agile World

Book Description

Organizations invest immense amounts of time, resources, and attention in their software projects. But all too often, when it's time to transfer the finished project to new "owners," they settle for the most superficial classroom training, documentation, and code walkthroughs. These conventional approaches to knowledge transfer often fail, dramatically reducing the value of new systems in production. You can do much better - and Software Ownership Transfer will show you how.

This is the first practical, hands-on guide to knowledge transfer in today's agile environments. Using a realistic, large-scale case study, ThoughtWorks expert Vinod Sankaranarayanan shows how to elevate knowledge transfer from "necessary evil" to an activity full of agility and innovation, and bring together multiple organizations and cultures to make ownership transfer work.

Sankaranarayanan explains why mere documentation of error reports and processes isn't enough, and shows how to successfully craft a knowledge transfer program that's more substantive and effective. Along the way, he offers guidance on overcoming the commercial compromises and personal tensions often associated with transferring systems to new ownership; and on transforming mere "knowledge transfer" into something much better: "taking ownership."

Table of Contents

  1. About This E-Book
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Praise for Software Ownership Transfer
  5. Dedication Page
  6. Contents
  7. Figure List
  8. Preface
    1. Who Can Make These Ideas Work?
    2. How to Read This Book
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. About the Author
  11. Introduction
  12. Chapter 1. The Challenge with Knowledge Transfers
    1. Post Takeover
      1. Contracting
      2. Timing
      3. Scope
    2. True Cost of Transfer
    3. Practical World
      1. Competing Priorities
      2. Rebadging
      3. The Evolving Nature of the Program
      4. Politics
    4. Things to Know and Do
  13. Chapter 2. Ownership Transfer: Bringing Home a Child
    1. Ownership Is More than Experience and Expertise
      1. Investment
      2. Empowerment
    2. Building Ownership Takes Time
      1. Action
    3. How Do You Recognize Ownership?
    4. Things to Know and Do
  14. Chapter 3. The Approach
    1. Visualize the To-Be State
    2. Things to Know and Do
  15. Chapter 4. The Program
    1. Purpose of the Program
    2. Orbits of Influence
    3. Cost of the Program
    4. The Scope
    5. Timeline
    6. Program Structure and Governance
    7. Risks
      1. An Imperfect World
      2. Team Retention
      3. Effectiveness and Assimilation
      4. Management and Measurement
      5. Motivation
      6. Production Issues
      7. Miscellaneous
    8. Things to Know and Do
  16. Chapter 5. Being Agile
    1. Pairing Interaction and Collaboration
    2. Tools
    3. Be Agile and Build Ownership
    4. Code Comfort: Working Code over Documentation
    5. The Product Principle
    6. On Change
    7. Things to Know and Do
  17. Chapter 6. Culture
    1. Power Distance
    2. Cross-Organizational Cultures
    3. Team Culture and Process
    4. Retrospective Culture
    5. Iteration Planning Culture
    6. How Distance Impacts Culture
    7. Capacity and Culture
    8. Culture and Ownership
    9. The Politics of Culture
    10. “Not Invented Here” Syndrome
    11. Culture in the Trenches—Pairing
    12. Culture of Toil
    13. Culture of Documentation
    14. Ownership Is Taken
    15. Pulling Them Together
    16. Things to Know and Do
  18. Chapter 7. Engineering
    1. Transforming the Factory
    2. Automating Quality
    3. Versioning
    4. Transformation through Ownership Transfer
    5. Things to Know and Do
  19. Chapter 8. Infrastructure
    1. Ship the Shop
    2. There Is Software in Infrastructure, Too
    3. Engineering and Infrastructure
    4. Distributed Hardware
    5. The Infrastructure Team
    6. Things to Know and Do
  20. Chapter 9. Continuous Business
    1. The Float
    2. Releases
      1. Releases Are Must-Haves
    3. Business Value
      1. What Not to Transfer
      2. Business Stakeholder Management
      3. Comfort through Continuous Business
    4. Business Continuity
      1. Production Support
      2. Team Ramp-Downs
    5. Ownership Transfer Must End as a Non-Event
    6. Things to Know and Do
  21. Chapter 10. Executing Ownership Transfer
    1. The Process of Transfer
    2. Pairing
    3. Tracking Ownership Transfer
    4. Teaming
    5. Remote Pairing Checklist
    6. Retrospectives
    7. Ownership Transfer of BAs and QAs
    8. Transferring Hardware
    9. Colocation
    10. Changing Equations
    11. A Layered Experience
    12. Things to Know and Do
  22. Chapter 11. Process
    1. Team Interdependencies
    2. Team Structure Changes
    3. Inceptions and Project Ownership
    4. Skill Sets
    5. Showcases
    6. Project Execution
    7. Defects
    8. Release Process
    9. Team Size Changes
    10. Conway’s Law
    11. The Definition of Done
    12. Production Support
    13. DevOps Communication
    14. Costing
    15. Governance
    16. Things to Know and Do
  23. Chapter 12. Measuring Ownership Transfer
    1. Purpose of the Transfer
    2. Releases
    3. Functional Projects
    4. Incumbent Team Ramp-Down
    5. Things to Know and Do
  24. Chapter 13. The Three Bridges
    1. Duration of Ownership Transfer
    2. Functionality
      1. Domain Appreciation
      2. Cross-Domain Experience
      3. Being a User
    3. Skill
      1. Contextual Ambidexterity
      2. Quality Analysis Skills
      3. Skill for the Future
    4. Agile Fluency
      1. Teams Operating at Different Levels
    5. Things to Know and Do
  25. Chapter 14. Putting It Together
    1. Change Management
    2. Individual
      1. Reskilling
      2. Recalibrating Expectations
      3. Team Interactions
    3. Team
      1. Resistance to Change
      2. Team Restructure
    4. Organization
      1. Wide Impact
      2. Outsourcing
    5. Global Village
      1. National Culture
    6. Things to Know and Do
  26. Chapter 15. Conclusion
    1. The Lean Agile March
    2. Incentives
    3. Start Early
    4. Sign-Off
    5. Things to Know and Do
  27. Chapter 16. Epilogue
  28. Bibliography
  29. Glossary
  30. Index