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Collaboration Culture & Teams [clear filter]
Monday, August 3


Drive: How we used Daniel Pink’s work to create a happier, more motivated workplace (David Mole)
Limited Capacity seats available

Are you inspired and happy in your work? Do you feel motivated to give your best every single day? Inspired by Daniel Pink, we delved into the research of what actually motivates people and can now tell you the intriguing story of what we learned and how we were able to create a significantly happier, more productive, motivated workplace by focusing on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose - the key concepts made famous by the book Drive (and the associated TED talk and online video clips).
Through a combination of research, coaching and lots of trial and error we made a range of changes to the way we worked and to our environment. Proudly, we were able to significantly increase happiness and in turn directly impact the productivity of our Agile teams (although the happiness spread into the wider workplace too!). Of course not everything worked and you will hear about the strategies that triumphed and those that (sometimes spectacularly) flopped! After hearing this talk, you will not only be able to understand what we did and why but you will also take away techniques and ideas for experiments that you can try for yourself.
Debunking stubborn workplace myths along the way, we can also demonstrate exactly what happens to an organisation when you focus on happiness and motivation as your key measures and all the other KPI’s take a backseat. Importantly this is about much more than the theory, yes we will cover that along the way, but we will also tell the story of how we have been able to strategically improve happiness and productivity at one of New Zealand’s largest organisations.
Learning Outcomes:
  • The audience will:
  • - Understand the key concepts which sit behind happiness and motivation at work
  • - Understand why old fashioned thinking and myths no longer apply in the modern workplace
  • - Take away ideas and techniques for measuring happiness and understand which ones may be most applicable at their organisation.
  • - Identify and understand the overlap between happiness, motivation and Agile the principles.
  • - Understand the link between happiness and productivity with strategies for influencing both.
  • - Hear a real story of how this work has been applied at one of New Zealand's most well known businesses.

avatar for David Mole

David Mole

Agile Coach, Nomad8
After speaking about Self-Selecting teams at last year's conference, this year I will be speaking about how we used Daniel Pink's work around Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose to create happier more motivated teams. @Molio https://nz.linkedin.com/in/davidmole

Monday August 3, 2015 15:45 - 17:00
National Harbor 13
Tuesday, August 4


Being Agile: Having the Mind-set that Delivers (Gil Broza)
Limited Capacity seats available

Are you excited about adopting Agile? Have you put in place the roles, artifacts, meetings, tools, lingo, and teams? Are you then realizing the promised benefits -- happy customers, quality product, reliable delivery teams, faster releases?
Would you honestly answer "yes"? Or would your answer really be "only some of the benefits," "inconsistently," or "we did, initially"? If so, you're not alone. In most organizations, these results are due to an Agile implementation that is mechanical, rigid, and driven by tools and so-called "best practices." But Agile is much more than a process; it’s first and foremost a mind-set that permeates your actions. Without the mind-set, you cannot achieve and sustain great results.
In this talk, Gil Broza will guide you through the values, beliefs, and principles that define Agile thinking. You’ll learn how to choose Agile-minded methods, process, and practices for your needs and context. And with the deep understanding of what makes Agile work, you’ll be able to support mindful implementation and the necessary culture change.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Gain clarity on the values, beliefs, and principles that define Agile thinking
  • Learn how to choose Agile-minded methods, process, and practices for your needs and context
  • Support mindful implementation and the necessary culture change

avatar for Gil Broza

Gil Broza

Agile Mindset Coach and Trainer, 3P Vantage, Inc.
Gil Broza can help you increase organizational agility and team performance with minimal risk and thrashing. Dozens of companies seeking transformations, makeovers, or improvements have relied on his pragmatic, modern, and respectful support for customizing Agile in their contexts... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 09:00 - 10:15
National Harbor 10/11


Retrospectives: Moving From A Subjective To An Objective World (Prateek Singh)
Limited Capacity seats available

Traditionally Agile teams run retrospectives to facilitate learning, development, collaboration and improvement of the team. Teams have tried multiple different formats to get the right outcomes. Issues of all sorts seem to pop up many times - lack of participation, finger pointing, irrelevant topics, lack of prioritization of issues. Are these or similar problems hindering the effectiveness of your retrospectives? What format of retrospective can best promote the culture of collective vision and collaboration in your team? How can we get the best outcomes fro the team by having the most collaborative retrospectives? Recently numerous teams have moved to objective retrospectives from a completely subjective form of retrospective as a solution. Objective retrospectives use the team’s data to conduct the retrospective, to create talking points and to see the effects of action items taken by the team since the last retrospective. We will go over examples of patterns seen in metrics and graphs to assist with identification of talking points and examples of resultant action items. We will also do a deeper dive into facilitation of techniques for facilitating both subjective and objective retrospectives. We will also talk through figuring out the best format to choose for
Learning Outcomes:
  • Attendees are expected to learn which retrospective techniques work best for teams of different maturity levels. They will be able to pick up subtleties of different types of subjective retrospectives. They will be guided towards the best formats of retrospectives for the particular nuances of their team. They will gain a generic knowledge of how to look at scatterplots and Cumulative Flow Diagrams and deduce information from these. Examples of patterns to look for and the lessons that have been learned by other teams when they have looked at these patterns will also be presented as a starting guide to Objective retrospectives. This would help attendees both conduct and participate effectively in whichever style of retrospective the team chooses. The target audience is the leaders of teams that are looking for effective retrospective styles, with participants of these retrospectives being a secondary audience.

avatar for Prateek Singh

Prateek Singh

Principal Agile Coach, Ultimate Software
Prateek has been leading and working on agile teams for the past 10 years. Starting with XP, then Scrum and now working in a Kanban system, Prateek has gained a breadth and depth of knowledge regarding agile techniques, practices and implementation principles. Prateek is currently... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 14:00 - 15:15
National Harbor 4/5


Scaling the Social Fabric of Agility (Eric Willeke)
Limited Capacity seats available

Congratulations! You've received incredible benefit from adopting agile approaches with your teams, and you're exploring and implementing tools to expand those benefits to ever-larger efforts involving more people, bigger goals, and much higher cost and impact for your company. This is the moment when every group needs to struggle with one of the most important challenges: How do we sustain and grow the social dynamics that have made agile successful? Agile processes, regardless of approach, are successful because of changes in how people work together, and failure to address this challenge early typically results in a "big dump process model", rarely resulting in meaningful, sustained change to the organization.
This talk explains six collaboration-focused perspectives and tactics that are consistently found valuable when focusing multiple agile teams on a single larger outcome. The collaboration techniques covered include one shared goal, two axes of engagement, three steering councils, the new gang of four, fist of five, and the six supporting roles. Designing your team of teams considering these six techniques will accelerate your improvement journey and improve your likelihood of successfully implementing any scaling model at the program level. These patterns are extracted from experiences helping launch and evolve programs using multiple scaling approaches (including SAFe, multi-team Scrum, and scaled kanban approaches) across a variety of companies and industries (more than 20 different agile programs of 50-150 people).
Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognize the human element of SAFe release trains
  • Seed the social structures that drive real agility
  • Amplify individual excellence across the release train
  • Reduce risk of SAFe being a “big dumb framework”

avatar for Eric Willeke

Eric Willeke

Founder and Principal, Elevate.to
Improving business outcomes through agility and helping everybody sleep better at night.

Tuesday August 4, 2015 15:45 - 17:00
National Harbor 13
Wednesday, August 5


Stop “Going Agile”! The three conversations you need to have before you start. (Heather Fleming)
Limited Capacity seats available

All too often, companies set out with the mission to “go agile” before truly understanding what that means. Business managers are quick to jump on the agile bandwagon, believing that “going agile” will magically make projects happen faster. Teams are getting certified in Scrum as if it’s a silver bullet that will suddenly make everyone more productive. Inevitably, cracks begin to show, and expectations are missed--leaving everyone involved questioning the value of “going agile” altogether.
There is a better way! The truth is that going agile will result in more productive teams and faster delivery of projects--but only if everyone can agree on the rules of the game.
Come hear Heather Fleming and Justin Riservato from Gilt discuss why gaining consensus on the principles of Agile is more important than implementing a process, and learn how having these three conversations can save you from an agile disaster:
  • “But when will you be done?” Why getting rid of the concept of deadlines is the most important (and most difficult) conversation when going agile.
  • “This is my top priority, but I can’t meet with you until next week.” What to do when your business partner can’t (or won’t) be a full member of the team.
  • “I just want to code. Why do I have to be in all these meetings?” Why implementing Scrum is not the first step to going agile.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Setting up the conversations necessary to have before you "Go Agile"
  • Making sure all departments have the same understanding for what to expect.
  • Solving common problems when going agile or implementing scrum.
  • Setting up a winning experiment to rally people to your agile cause.

avatar for Heather Fleming

Heather Fleming

Senior Director, PMO, Gilt
As Senior Director of the Program Management Organization at Gilt, Heather Fleming oversees the execution of strategic technology initiatives across the companys 170-member tech team. Her chief aim: to challenge the status quo of project management best practices by continually experimenting... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 10:45 - 12:00
National Harbor 8


The Agile BA: For an Agile team...you complete me! (Robert Woods)
Limited Capacity seats available

Business Analysts assigned to assist Agile teams or working directly on an Agile team may find themselves either torn in many directions or struggling to see where they fit in. Business Analysts considering Agile as professional growth may be hesitant due to rumors they've heard about struggles for Agile BA’s and the nightmares of going from a strict Waterfall environment to an Agile one. Robert Woods from MATRIX will help attendees tackle head on some of the rumors and myths surrounding the Agile BA and very common struggles a Business Analyst may encounter with Agile teams. Attendees will see how the Business Analyst role is actually critical to the Agile team's overall success. We will answer questions such as:
• What is the role for an Agile BA?
• How can I help my Agile team with compliance and documentation needs?
• Why is my Waterfall experience not a bad thing?
• How will Agile improve my overall collaboration on business requirements?
• How does my job as an Agile BA create real business value?
• Where are my opportunities for professional growth on an Agile team?
Attendees will walk away with practical ways they can become active leaders for their teams, achieve professional growth and help bridge the Business and IT Alignment gap so many organizations strive for!
Learning Outcomes:
  • • The critical role an Agile BA brings to their team and organization
  • • Dispelling rumors around Agile documentation
  • • How a BA with Waterfall experience brings value to an Agile team
  • • How Agile has helped BA's improve how they elicit requirements and features
  • • How successful Agile Business Analysts have created professional improvement and growth opportunities for themselves.

avatar for Robert Woods

Robert Woods

Director National Agile Practice, MATRIX
Robert Woods serves as Director of the National Agile Practice at MATRIX. He has been in IT for over 20 years serving in such roles as Sr. Systems and Networking Engineer, Project Manager, Program Manager, and Agile Coach. Robert has spent years working with organizations on collaborative... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 15:15
Potomac 5/6
Thursday, August 6


OFFENSIVE BODY LANGUAGE - Using Body Language to Augment your Message (Chuck Suscheck)
Limited Capacity seats available

One of the principles of agile is to use face to face, high bandwidth communication. Body language is a big part of face to face communication. It can be used to communicate better, to convey confidence, and to make people comfortable This presentation is about the applying the unspoken communication of body language – in the context of agile teams.
This presentation addresses using use body language to enhance your message and how to avoid contradictory body language. Most people know how to read body language to one degree or another and man trainings have been given on how to read body language. This presentation is different – it focuses on how to contort, control, and move your body to make body language work for you and send a better, more powerful message. It also addresses applications of new research that indicates body postures can induce certain mindsets.
Learning Outcomes:
  • The learner will see body language as a tool for better communication from the standpoint of managing body language rather than reading others.
  • The learner will understand common subconscious body language mistakes and be more conscious of them when communicating with others.
  • The learner will understand that body language leads to behavior, not always follows behavior.
  • The learner will be able to use techniques to model body language and thereby induce a desired mindset.
  • The learner will understand gender specific body language and ways that the different genders can use body language to communicate with social etiquette.
  • The learner will understand culturally specific body languages and ways that different cultures may interpret western body language.

avatar for Chuck Suscheck

Chuck Suscheck

Professional Trainer, scrum.org
Dr. Charles Suscheck specializes in agile software development methodologies, and project management. He is one the few people in the world certified to teach the entire scrum.org curriculum. He has over 25 years of professional experience in information technology, beginning his... Read More →

Thursday August 6, 2015 09:00 - 10:15
Chesapeake 4/5/6


A Sense of Place: Unlocking Team Collaboration with Creative Workspaces (Jorgen Hesselberg, Cindy Coleman)
Limited Capacity seats available

The world of work is changing before our eyes. Agile has highlighted the need for intense communication and collaboration, yet our work contexts are becoming more global, multi dimensional and diverse than ever before. This requires a different set of work patterns - to support a culture of innovation, how people connect, and teams' capacity to disrupt. But what does this look like, exactly? What is the design language and the physical real estate implications of tomorrow's workplace? We'll discuss concrete ways to help alleviate some of the pains while amplifying the opportunities inherent in today's work environment and provide examples of how leading concerns are addressing the challenges. Heavy on visual illustrations, examples and performance impacts, this talk is relevant for any organization considering a move to a high-performing, collaborative workspace.
Learning Outcomes:
  • - Recognize how demographic, social, technological trends mesh to affect the needs and wants of our people and their work environments
  • - Understand how workspace design can amplify the strengths and dampen the challenges of a highly diverse, sometimes distributed work environment
  • - Be able to articulate the financial impact and productivity effect of effective workspaces

Thursday August 6, 2015 14:00 - 15:15
National Harbor 13


Freedom to work (Hadi Hariri)
Limited Capacity seats available

Three people founded JetBrains over 15 years ago. Today, with nearly 600 people, we have multiple award-winning products and offices in many locations around the world. Yet despite the growth we’re still rooted on our key core values: hiring good people and giving them the freedom to work.
At JetBrains we don’t have open floor plans. People need their private space. We don’t have working hours or timesheets. People come and go as they please. We don’t ask for reports and we certainly don’t micromanage. There’s pretty much no hierarchy and the idea of command and control is non-existent. Leadership is born out of respect from peers.
But as with everything, there are also challenges. In this talk we're going to look at the pros and the issues, and how we face some of these.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Provide experience on how we cope with:
  • Remote work and teams spread across multiple offices
  • How to deal with meetings (or lack of them) when people come and go as they please
  • How to deal with lack of process
  • The challenges of providing this kind of freedom
  • Keeping communication going as a company becomes large

avatar for Hadi Hariri

Hadi Hariri

Developer Advocate, JetBrains
Developer and creator of many things OSS, his passions includes Web Development and Software Architecture. Has authored a couple of books, a few courses and has been speaking at industry events for nearly 15 years. Currently at JetBrains leading the Developer Advocacy team. Spends... Read More →

Thursday August 6, 2015 15:45 - 17:00
National Harbor 4/5
Friday, August 7


Does this FizzGood? Improve velocity, predictability & agility by asking a simple question (Jon Terry, Daniel Norton)
Limited Capacity seats available

LeanKit's founding team had a strong Lean-Agile background from previous careers. So, in the early days of the company, we just instinctively did things in a Lean way with as few formal processes as any startup. But, like any growing company, we eventually did have to start clearly defining how we do things. And like anyone, we were tempted to become more bureaucratic - with lots of scheduling, coordination, meetings and estimates.
Instead, we developed our FSGD (Frequent Small Good Decoupled) approach. This LeanKit way of working has provided our teams with a simple yardstick for making effective decisions without a lot of cross team scheduling and coordination. It has simplified abstract Agile concepts into something everyone easily understands and cheerfully applies on a daily basis.
FSGD isn't a replacement for Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc. We strongly believe in and spend lots of time teaching our teams about Lean and Agile principles, tools, and techniques. But FSGD distills what we think are the key decision making elements of those methods into something everyone can remember.
We have seen significant improvements in our delivery speed across multiple teams since rolling out the FSGD approach. We'll share those results with the audience and help you get started learning to do what Fizz-Good.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Our goal for the session is to help other teams gain the same benefit that we have. We hope attendees can go home right away and apply the simple FSGD approach to their work.

avatar for Daniel Norton

Daniel Norton

Chief Mobile Officer, LeanKit
Daniel Norton is a founder at LeanKit where he leads several development teams. His previous engagements include native mobile app development with a small software consultancy and technical leadership at a large healthcare provider. Daniel is a polyglot with a passion for mastering... Read More →
avatar for Jon Terry

Jon Terry

Chief Evangelist, Lean-Agile Strategy, Planview
Jon Terry is Chief Evangelist, Lean-Agile Strategy for Planview, a market leading provider of portfolio management, agile management, collaboration, and ideation software. Before that Jon was co-CEO and co-founder of LeanKit, which pioneered the application of Kanban in knowledge... Read More →

Friday August 7, 2015 09:00 - 10:15
Potomac 4