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Q&A with Rohit Ratan Mani

Updated: Jan 30

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Sandi Mamoli, Management Consultant.

How could you describe your career path in few words? 

I would describe my career path as evolving. I have always been curious to explore and put my learning into practice. I started my career as a developer moving on to work as a traditional Project Manager. Even as a PM, I have always believed in collaborating with individuals and teams to build a safe collaborative environment where they can excel. This mindset helped me to move on from a Project Manager role to become an Agile coach. Over a period of 18 years, I have collaborated with individuals, teams, middle management, and leaders, helping them achieve their goals and become a better version of themselves.  

These days I work as a consultant helping my clients in product development, OKR creation and management, leadership coaching, and team coaching. I also like to support the agile community by providing mentoring and training around Agile Coaching. 

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

Historically agile practices have been more for a software or product development team/s. Organisations have understood the importance of going beyond engineering teams and use agile practices across business. Agile practices beyond the software teams are helping organisations become more resilient towards VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex and Adaptive) environment.  

I have been working in Lifesciences R&D for last few years, and I am seeing use of agile practice beyond software world which is helping the organisation to become agile and more receptive to complex and uncertain world of Lifesciences. Agile practices have brought teams closer and helped them collaborate and become a better version of themselves. Agile practices have helped balance the technical and process practices which has helped in improving quality and delivery effectiveness. Every team has a purpose, and the focus is more on outcomes then achieving individual outputs. 



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

Agile transformation is a journey where a team or organisation moves to a new way of working which brings them closer to their goals. This journey continues towards the next set of goals for their transformation.  

I have been part of multiple such agile transformation journey where teams and organisation have moved on to become a better version of themselves. One of them was to build a learning organisation where product teams can share their learnings and reduce duplication of work and result in bringing agility across different product teams. This was one of the concerns that resulted from scaling of the product teams. As communities were developing there was lots of dependency and redundant work that continued across product teams. As a coach, we worked on building communities of interest and brought different engagement points across the flow of work which resulted in better communication and engagement across product teams. 

This engagement stood out for me as my approach was to simplify the complex flow. And rather than introducing more overhead practices, simple approaches and involving the teams resulted in sustainable transformation. 



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

Agile practices will continue to generate interest as it helps individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve their goals. In this continuously changing market, organisations will need to adapt, and the true spirit of agility will help them achieve that. Over the years, organisations have struggled to live up to the agile principles which has led to the distorted opinion about agile. 

With time, more agile practices are emerging which meets specific system constraints of an organisation, and it is confusing for anyone to understand which one will work out for them. One of the biggest challenges in using any practice is it being considered as a silver bullet to resolve problems. This is where you need experienced agile practitioners to mentor and coach leaders to understand about agile practices. As a coach, I try to help build internal capabilities in an organisation, armed with skills to pick agile practices that can help them within their system constraints. 

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