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Q&A with Archana Joshi

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Archana Joshi, IT Strategy and IT Sustainability Leader.

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

I consider myself an explorer when it comes to my career. Throughout my professional journey, I've always been intrigued by what lies ahead on the horizon and how to practically implement emerging concepts. It all began back in the year 2000 when I started my career as a developer, working with C and Java for a telecom equipment manufacturer. I often reflect on those early years as the foundation of my engineering knowledge. We had a rigorous routine with daily sanity test suites and a robust branching strategy, coupled with continuous code check-ins. Additionally, we were responsible for crafting automated deployment scripts for various environments.

Later on, I transitioned into roles focused on Business Analysis and Project Management. My first encounter with Agile practices occurred in 2007 when I embarked on my Agile journey as a Scrum master for a major financial services client in the wealth advisory sector. It was a sizable team of around 50 engineers. During this period, Agile adoption was still in its early stages, primarily implemented at the team level. I vividly recall engaging in discussions with fellow Agilists about how to effectively implement Scrum in situations involving multiple Agile teams spread across different geographical locations, as well as maintaining an integrated product backlog at the program level.

Subsequently, I continued to progress in my career, taking on the role of an Agile Coach and eventually leading large-scale enterprise transformations. While I've ventured into various areas such as DevOps, Automation, Metaverse, Web3 and more recently, GenAI, Agile has remained a constant companion throughout my journey. I firmly believe that once you embrace Agile principles, they stay with you, influencing your work, both consciously and subconsciously, in your day-to-day activities.

How do you think agile practices have transformed companies over the past two years?

Looking back at the past two years, I can see some clear macro trends that have had a significant influence on the decisions made by companies. First and foremost, there was the pandemic, which has led to a substantial shift towards digital transformation. Secondly, there has been some turbulence in the economy, and tightening of the global economy and financial conditions.

These trends have led to certain consequences, and companies are increasingly interested in finding solutions to better address their consumers' needs. This shift is all about ensuring that we invest in the right initiatives while also recognizing the importance of stopping investments in areas that don't provide added value. Agile practices, with their core principles of continuous collaboration, prioritization, and built-in feedback mechanisms, have proven to be effective in achieving these goals. To aid in this transformation, companies have embraced Agile thinking not just in execution but also on how we fund and invest initiatives.

Consequently, over the past two years, I've noticed that companies that initially adopted Agile practices in IT have started to apply these principles and practices more broadly across their entire organization e.g. how we invest and fund different strategic initiatives. Governments, nonprofit organizations, and various entities, in addition to profit-driven enterprises, have recognized the value of Agile practices in fostering adaptability and responsiveness.

What successful cases of agile transformations have you had the opportunity to observe that have particularly stood out to you?

My experience with Agile transformations has indeed been a roller coaster ride. Let me share two specific cases that I've been directly involved in. The first one revolved around an Agile transformation in a European telecom services company, while the second took place in a US-based insurance company. The scale of these transformations was quite substantial, impacting nearly 3000 people in the first case and close to 10,000 people in the second.

When I reflect on both of these cases, I can pinpoint several common factors that played a pivotal role in the success of these transformations. Firstly, there was early recognition among the leadership of these companies that Agile transformations go beyond merely adopting a set of practices; they entail a fundamental shift in how teams and individuals operate.

Secondly, there was a holistic approach to these transformations, encompassing not only Agile practices but also engineering practices such as continuous integration, automated testing, and deployments from the very outset. This integrated approach ensured that Agile principles were seamlessly integrated into the broader technical landscape.

Additionally, there was a clear appreciation at the highest levels of the organization regarding the impact of Agile methodologies on team dynamics and individual performance. As a result, HR teams played a significant role in shaping the performance management criteria and cultural frameworks for teams embracing Agile practices. This level of involvement from HR ensured that Agile values were embedded into the very fabric of the organization, facilitating a smoother and more successful transformation process.

Will agile practices continue to generate interest? What challenges do you see in the context of deploying these practices?

The Agile Manifesto made its debut in the year 2000, and it's been nearly two decades since its inception. The adoption of Agile practices has steadily grown over the years. According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the market for USS Enterprise Transformation Services is projected to reach USD 18 billion by 2026, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.9% from 2019 to 2026. It's evident that Agile is here to stay, and its influence continues to expand.

However, what's equally important is the way Agile has evolved over the past two years. Today, we're witnessing a more advanced approach to Agile implementation. It's not just about team-level discussions anymore; it's also about integrating engineering & AI practices into Agile methodologies. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on how to make Agile sustainable in the long run. While many organizations enthusiastically embrace Agile at the outset, sustaining the required discipline and commitment can be an ongoing struggle.

Brief profile:

Archana Joshi is an industry leader in IT Strategy and IT Sustainability space. Archana has overall 22+ years of industry experience in IT Services with companies like LTIMindtree, Cognizant and Wipro working across various geographies and industries. She is Community Leader of EcoITCon – India’s first community dedicated to fostering dialogue around Sustainable IT. She has experience of leading  digital transformations in the space of New Ways of Working using Agile and DevOps. Archana has also focused on identifying new investment areas for future organizational growth like Metaverse, Web3, GreenIT and GenAI. She is a frequent speaker in industry forums and was also recognized as Top 10 Women Tech Leaders in India, 2021. Archana can be reached at

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