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Understanding Dojos - IT Revolution DevOps Enterprise Forum

With excerpts from Getting Started with Dojos: A Dojo Handbook from IT Revolution

Why organizations undertake transformations?

Many enterprises are undertaking large scale transformations to build new capabilities they need to adapt to changing world. Many of these transformations center around four key outcomes.

  1. Operating Model: Moving from projects to products

  2. Culture: Enabling a highly-empowered and collaborative workforce

  3. Technology practices: Growing Agile & DevOps ways of working

  4. Technology architecture: Moving to modern platforms and technologies

What is a Dojo?

“Dojo” means “place of the way” in Japanese. The Dojo, in our context, is a space that is designed to host an immersive learning experience where full-stack teams come to learn modern engineering, product, and Agile practices.

The work process within the Dojo is typically comprised of hyper sprints, a common pattern of two-and-a-half-day sprints over twelve sprint cycles (i.e., six weeks).

A Dojo is not a way of accelerating delivery of existing projects. When a team enters the Dojo, their priority is to learn together and leverage new technology and new ways of working.

What are expected outcomes of a Dojo?

  • Graduates become evangelists for modern practices and Dojo concepts. Stories are powerful change agents

  • Accelerating or shortening transformation time, including scaling the transformation across the organization, and improving organizational learning and change

  • Improvements in time to value

    1. Optimize effort around high-value work

    2. Learn to build and deliver in small increments

    3. Automate end to end delivery process

How can you optimize the power of Dojo?

When Dojo becomes nexus of learning and immersion for

  1. Agile Principles

    1. Incremental delivery

    2. Continuous feedback and improvement

    3. Working on high priority items

  2. Product Development

    1. Product Orientation: Generally reflects a team that is funded long-term to solve, create, and build against a business need. The team creates value by continually addressing and delivering solutions to those needs.

    2. Product Management: Is the practice and discipline of managing and translating the business needs into that which can be developed and delivered by the product team.

  3. Technology Adoption: Automated release management, artifact management, and application monitoring are all examples of new tools or technologies that teams must learn to use.

What all is needed to create a Dojo?

  1. Can be driven through a centralized group with chargeback model or can be outsourced to a consulting firm.

  2. Create a dojo in high traffic area. Open, inspiring and fun.

  3. Team tables that optimize collaboration

  4. Whiteboards to foster collaboration and visualization of ideas

  5. Open space to enable inter-team collaboration

  6. A communication and collaboration hub

  7. Information radiators

  8. Dojo Coaches - One coach for Agile and Product. One Coach for Technology.

  9. Dojo operations manager

  10. SME

What are characteristics of team which are part of Dojo?

• Full-stack, multidisciplinary team; “two-pizza” team

• In-person (additional options for when this isn’t feasible are discussed later in the paper)

• Are able to commit at least six hours a day, investment for four to eight consecutive weeks

• Committed to learning

• Combine Agile, product, and technology

What is the overall cycle of Dojo?

  1. Consult

  2. Charter

  3. Experience

  4. Release

What are different formats of Dojo?

There are different types of formats of Dojo depending on learning outcomes.

  1. Challenge

  2. FlashBuild

  3. Workshops

  4. Leader workshops

What are few industry examples of Dojo?

  1. Delta Airlines: A 30 point questions needed to ship the software quickly and with low failure rates. Team has their own objectives and discovery phase before going to Dojo. Definition of Ready and Definition of Done.

  2. Target: Optional learning experience with Charter. At least one learning goal and one real-work deliverable.

  3. John Deere: Real work backlog item is worked upon.Stability and frequent delivery are two areas for each project.

Dojo Scenario 1:

Moving to Git.

Dojo Scenario 2:

Product Based Org.

Ref: Getting Started with Dojos: A Dojo Handbook from IT Revolution

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