There is a lot of research and implementations going on in the field of Artificial intelligence and Bots. Chatbots especially, have gained a lot of traction in the recent years and there is a significant increase in the adoption levels. Chat Bot is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual method that helps mimic a human speech.

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According to Gartner, by year 2030 up to 80% of routine work that includes a bulk of human hours expended across PPM disciplines could be eliminated as a result of collaboration between humans and smart machines.

Was wondering if Agile Bots can be designed by building some intelligence to substitute much of the routine work that helps teams to self-manage and self-organise much more effectively!

If Agile Bots can substitute the operational day to day activities, then imagine how the team environment could be transformed to be much more responsive and productive.

I have been using data and trends from ALM tools like Rally/Version One to back me up during my conversations around teams health and progess. I think some of these routine activities could be substituted with “Intelligent Bots” using AI and Chat Bot technology.

Here is the list of things that could be done by “Agile Bots”, these are just random thoughts, haven’t got a chance to implement though.-

Let’s consider an agile team- Scrum or Kanban as an example. Bots may be categorized into the following themes –

  • Operational– Responsible for assisting the team in their day to day operational stuff
  • Futuristic– Responsible for predicting the team trends and appraising them on timely basis that allows the team to self-reflect and course correct.

And here goes my “Agile Bot” Wish List

  • Work update Bot – How about having the Bot update ALM tools like Rally/VersionOne/Jira for my work. This would save all the effort expended in sending reminders and requesting teams to update Rally.
  • Readiness Bot– How about having the bot check the ALM tool if the Product Owner has prioritised the backlog and is ready for the sprint planning. If not, the Bot needs to talk to the PO and trace him until it gets done.
  • Acceptance Bot– As soon as backlog items are marked as complete in ALM tool, Bot could start communicating with the product for early acceptance.
  • Spider Bot– Whenever Bot detects more than two backlog items in progress for any team member, they could raise an anti pattern signal of “Stop Starting Start finishing”
  • Intellect Bot- Based on the data feed from ALM tool and team members proficiency forte, bots could raise alarming signs for symptoms such as module heroes, palindrome syndromers, bloated estimaters etc.
  • Planning Bot– Based on the priorities predefined by the Product, Bot could place the stories in the priority order into the sprints based on the team capacity.
  • Insights Bot– Based on the amount of work the team pulled into the sprints and progress made, Bot could raise an alert/warning signal similar to “running late by x%” to all relevant stakeholders including the team.
  • Reflection Bot– Based on the retrospective data and trends, Bot could signal team incase it detects team is committing the same mistakes/anti patterns.
  • Empathy Bot- Bot would use data analytics to track the number of clicks, trends and patterns to capture the pain and pleasure points of users. Bots would trace which features are used maximum by users, and based on this data Bots could automatically say which feature is of important to customers. This would reduce the human bias in prioritizing the features.
  • Release Planning Bot– With the team historical data, and team average capacity, Bot would automatically place the backlogs in the release for the sprints. They can use team historical trend to find out how much of time was spent on Tech Debt, Support, Adhoc versus Enhancements and accordingly create buckets and assign backlog items.
  • Estimation Bot– How about a Bot estimate the work items taking into consideration the historical trends that include variables like effort, complexity and risk.
  • Predictor Bot- Based on the current state from ALM tool, how about the Bot predicting and warning the team about the possible completion of a sprint and guiding the team on best practices like- Stop Starting and Start finishing, Tasks less than a day so that meaningful completion happens in a day etc.
  • Team Maturity Bot- When Bot is fed with team maturity assessment matrix, it could automatically sense where the team stands and constantly remind what it needs to do to advance to the next level.
  • …..