Here is today’s episode of the “Campfire Talks with Herbie”.
Venkatesh “Venky” Krishnamurthy
Name (and Company/Affiliation if desired)
Venkatesh Krishnamurthy A.K.A Venky :-)
Who are you?
Great question and might take an entire life to answer. I have two parts. One a philosophical kind of answer and the second one what others might find useful.
Philosophical answer: My answer has changed drastically over the years. I used to believe in soul and Karma during my younger years. However, as I am getting older, many of those things doesn’t make any sense anymore. I am possibly a species just like others on this earth and with an additional thinking power. The Society has created a structure, meanings, goals, etc and trying to learn to live as much as I can.
More useful answer: I have a computer science and engineering background. After my engineering in India, I moved to US to work as a software programmer. Over the years, lived in France, UK and currently settled in Australia. I have over 20+ years of experience playing different roles and working on various types of challenges. I have morphed from being a programmer, Software Architect to Organisational consultant.
The popular methods like Scrum, XP, Kanban and Large-Scale Scrum(LeSS) has been my turf over the years. In the recent past, I am digging deeper into Systems Thinking and Applied Complexity as well.
How did you get involved with Agile, Coaching, Organizational Performance? Are you making a living in this sector?
First time I heard Agile was in 2001. I used to work as a consultant with Ellacoya Networks in East coast of US. One day, my boss invited all of us to the eXtreme Programming version of the Daily Stand up and in addition, wanted us to follow the coding practices recommended by XP. JUnit used to be still in it’s V1.0 stage and as a programmer, I enjoyed doing unit testing and applying TDD kind of concepts.
However, the major impact happened when I met Craig Larman at Valtech India during 2003. Craig, is one of the inventors of LeSS.
In those days, Craig was doing a lot of experiments, and I was lucky to be there with him getting coached and deeply involved in those experiments. I got a first hand knowledge of applicability of Systems Thinking, Lean Thinking, TOC, Queuing Theory in scaling Scrum. Basically, I saw the play of various ideas in transforming the organisations.
I continued my journey as a Scrum Master and a technology architect for many years. Sometime during 2011, my passion became apparent to fully embrace the process and organisational consultancy.
I have worked as a delivery coach, independent consultant and trainer. Nowadays, I am trying to bring various schools of thoughts to improve the adaptiveness and value delivery to my employers and clients.
Over the course of years, I have expanded my knowledge and horizon trying to learn from great masters across the globe.
Even though there are knowledgeable people out there, but there are only a handful who can impart and share their knowledge to help others grow as well.
How did you discover TameFlow? And are you or will you use it professionally?
I came across Tameflow a couple of years ago while researching a subject. Tameflow has great ideas and even though I may not be an expert in Tameflow, a lot of ideas overlap with LeSS, especially the Operational and Information.
Especially, I am keen to learn more about Psychological Flow.
Give us a typical day in your life! And what makes you happy at the end of that day?
My day starts at 7 AM. I have my smoothie which I would have prepared the previous night in the fridge. I have Kale, Spinach, Bitter Melon, Apple, Ginger Smoothie first thing in the morning. After a gap of 20 minutes, I have my first coffee. I have played around with several coffee makers and now I am in love with Aeropress.
My routine for gym and work out has changed a bit due to COVID lockdown.
I start my work by checking Slack messages, emails, etc. Since we are all working from home due to lockdown, most of the communication is through video conferencing. So, I am in front of the computer pretty much all day in calls.
I have lunch between 12 and 1 PM. My second coffee at 2 or 2.30 PM.
I do some intermittent exercises over the day whenever I have a break between meetings.
My apple watch reminds me to breathe once in a while. So, I ensure not to miss it. After 5 PM, I go for a walk and ensure I walk a couple of KMs. I finish my dinner at 6.30 PM. After dinner, I call my friends and family overseas. We also have a daily ritual of watching something interesting as a family together.
After putting my son to bed, it is my personal time to read books, articles and have chamomile or any other relaxing tea before hitting the bed.
I am a late bird :-)
What’s the most important skills, insight you’ve developed while getting involved with this industry? What were the greatest challenges on your path? And rewards?
There is a lot of information and noise out there. One needs to build skill to identify the quality information. Everything is based on relationships. You may not get whatever you want and its ok to make peace with it, prioritise life. The right people will know your worth and they will reach out to you. It doesn’t matter what you know. It is all about who you know :-) To succeed in organisational consulting, one needs to synchronise the communication and soft skills to work with the decision makers. People will still judge you based on the colour, accent, etc. It is a normal human tendency and one needs to accept it. There are a lot of good people out there as well. Surround yourself with such good people and focus on improving the foundational knowledge.
What do you want to learn from a community of peers, like the one on the TameFlow Community site? What is your TameFlow Community handle or how else can other TameFlow enthusiasts reach out to you?
We all have different experiences, ideas, contexts in life. In a complex environment, we need to bring the ideas together from various walks of life to help the organisations. They can reach me on my email: venky at agileworld.com.au or LinkedIn
How do you see your future? And does TameFlow have a role there? And what do you believe about the future of TameFlow?
I am currently focussing on learning various ideas from Systems Thinking and Applied complexity. As I am exploring more, there is more to learn.
Regarding the future of TameFlow, it is hard to say. The market doesn’t make decisions based on what we perceive as right or wrong. The industry decides what helps individuals to put the bread on the table. :-)
What question(s)/topics about TameFlow would you like to propose to Steve?
LeSS is a product Development frame work and the TameFlow looks at an organisational level. I am curious to learn about the operational flow and its relatedness to the concept of flow in Kanban. The financial flow and its relation to beyond budgeting. Last but not least, the psychological flow.
If you found the topics in the “Campfire Talks with Herbie” interesting, there is much more to learn about them in the Tame your Work Flow, How Dr. Goldratt of “The Goal” would apply the Theory of Constraints to rethink knowledge-work management book.
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