Why & How Zensar won the ‘Agile Community of the year 2015’ Award?

10 Jul

Many Congratulation to Zensar for winning the coveted “Agile Community of the year 2015” at India Agile Awards 2015.

India Agile Awards 2015 recognized companies and practitioners who have created Agile programs that defines the future of product development, services and support. Executives leading IT at these companies was recognized among their peers at the India Agile Awards ceremony which took place at India Agile Week at Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru on Friday, 19 June 2015.

As an Agile community builder and chair of India Agile Week, held every year in June across 5 cities in India at the same week, I was really looking forward to who finally wins the coveted trophy…and man Zensar won it hands down and how.

Aile comunity of the year1

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The journey of the Zensar Agile community has its roots in the past. It all started with an initiative to deliver service in an unorthodox way. Soon this initiative gained pace and started to grow across organization. The only thing not in place was a centralized knowledge repository, resulting in iterative reinvention of wheels, lack of proper agile communication, setting up of challenge registers, initiating best practices for process & services. Which was not only hampering deliverables but also causing trouble for clients & in turn for us. Soon the problem started to scale with points like associate fallouts; lack of best practices etc. adding to the woes in turn causing traction in growth across businesses.

With the objective of overcoming the shortfalls a core group was constituted. The core group took cognizance of situation and figured out immediate shortfalls to address variety in service offerings of agile methodology stack, best practices for process and services using various tools were the key points missing. On the way to answer this riddle, people came along & soon the group got transformed in to a community.

Community took the onus to provide answers to several unattained question from the past viz. lack of platform for agile initiatives, best practice implementation, business development in agile, establishing agile delivery, branding and networking for agile, agile training & certifications.



The whole initiative was started with the vision of achieving core objectives of competency building in agile across organization, while standardization of process and services. The specified goal can only be achieved by providing answers to underlying but much more trivial questions like:
a. Defining enterprise wide agile service definition & quality metrics.
b. Forming a centralized knowledge repository.
c. Agile evolution of all associates.
d. Proactive enhancement of agile offerings with superior coverage of Agile stack for new business accusations.
e. Indigenous development of agile assessment tools with bespoke consulting services.



As the organization started to grow in agile, new challenges started to surface. To overcome the coming challenges a core group of enthusiastic agile practitioner was formed. The role of this group was to find answers for the present challenges & proactively prepare a process to tackle new challenges from the learning of the past. Soon a challenge register was constituted based on the past experiences which proved to be the first step towards our goals.
As many of the associate in the organization were unaware of agile and its terminology, an AGILE gallery walk was organized. The sole purpose of this event is to increase the understanding of associates about agile and its processes. More than 500 associates availed the benefit making agile gallery walk a success. Which paved the way to the formation of agile community. With community getting formed the first thing to come on board was setting a platform not only on ground but also in virtual world. Setting up a community page on Zensar internal portal and having a common DL list where people can send their queries and seek answers to them, enabled a 24*7 connectivity for all . Community provided a platform to encourage new minds towards taking up certifications & trainings.
Community undertook several events like monthly scrum masters meetings, internal and external seminars on various current and upcoming topics in agile.
The community gradually started to seek answers to present challenges and is helping in develop a strong knowledge base.


The best part of agile initiative is that it is fuelled by people’s passion and not by material stuffs. As everything in terms of technology was already there in place, the only requirement was that of like-minded peoples. This got resolved because of community.

Most of activities are done voluntarily by the people who are sharing the interest of learning new in agile.

Apart from inevitable expenses incurred while conducting gallery walks and seminars coming approx. INR 10,000 and Books worth INR 5000.


  1. Exponential growth of community not only in term of size but also in term of intellectual property with measurable outcomes. Translating into increased businesses in the tune of $35million.
  2. The community till date has trained 800+ associates, 75 + scrum masters are also associated with it.
  3. Community helped in setting up agile project guidelines, challenge register & best practices for various methodologies under Agile stack.
  4. Several audits on the lines of maturity, delivery, best practice implementation undertaken by the community helped in improving customer satisfaction index.
  5. Increased happy customers with delivery excellence.
  6. The initiative helped in garnering interest across organization and especially in support functions.
  7. Agile communities various efforts on conducting seminars, training & certifications helped in achieving improved deliverables in terms of quality, timely delivery & helped improve team collaboration.
  8. The community is associated with several external communities like Indian Enthusiastic Scrum Community, Spin Etc.
  9. Indigenous assessment tool was created from inputs and experiences gathered from within the organization.

Nominees for the “Agile community of the year 2015” were-

agile community nominations

Dr Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies said, “The Zensar Agile community represents the confluence of expertise, capabilities and enterprise focused on setting new standards for delivering excellence to customers. This award bears testimony to the hard work put in by the team towards creating new business opportunities and helping customers achieve definite business outcomes with continuous innovation.”

Prameela Kalive, Executive Vice President, Strategic Services and Location Head (Pune) said, “It is an honour to win this industry wide recognition. The Agile community in Zensar started small, but today it has grown to a group of 800+ associates who have created an Agile centre of excellence for our customers. We are constantly focused on building capabilities and exploring new ways of offering better solutions aimed at providing high delivery standards to our customers. This award is an affirmation of our business transformation approach with technology expertise leading the way.”

Additionally, three teams from Zensar also qualified at the Agile Olympiad, an initiative of India Agile Week (IAW 2015) and UNICOM to run India’s most prestigious Corporate Quiz on Agile Methodology.



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