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Experience Reports [clear filter]
Monday, August 3
 

10:45

Thank God it's Open Friday (Corinna Baldauf)
Abstract:
What if people in your company shared their knowledge? What if you could turn drab meetings into high energy sessions? What if you could gather everyone you needed to discuss a problem without hassle and breaking their flow? What if you could try out new technologies easily?
What would you be willing to do to gain the above? We reach it by investing 10% of our time to hold an Open Space every other Friday. We're still thrilled with the results!
Come to this experience report if you'd like to know what challenges we faced and what benefits we reap now.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Inspire people to introduce slack time and give Open Space a try:
  • * Present a possible solution to the "No one in a Scrum team ever has time to work on tasks they think are important, if PO doesn't offer them to pick for sprint" problem
  • * Show a failed and a successful implementation of slack time
  • * Highlight the benefits of slack and recurring Open Spaces
  • My learnings from the 5 year journey toward slack:
  • * Slack time is great: positive energy; improved flow of information; benefits of tweaks that no PO would ever have prioritized but are supernice once you have them; further education - we employees train each other in new technologies ("Vagrant 101"), old technologies ("Show me your best bash trick") and the occasional unrelated topic ("Gardening") - In short it's a big staple in the "learning organization" endeavour
  • * We needed a little more structure (=Open Space) to reap the benefits. Our first unstructured attempt (just a "free" day) tanked pretty badly and wasn't even motivating
  • * Giving slack to everyone, not just devs improved communication and collaboration immensely. Got a problem? Probably only until next OF
  • * A lot less meetings - Many regular meetings to groom upcoming epics as well as ad-hoc meetings (eg to figure out an occasional but persistent bug) have become high energy Open Space sessions with only those people who are actually interested
  • My main takeaway is that for us the benefits of everyone being available on the same day every other week far outweighs the costs of that day. Instead of "Oh no, I potentially need people from 6 different teams to solve this, whenever will I catch them?" (Never!), today it's just "No problem, I'll just pitch a session next Friday" (Problem as good as solved).
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Corinna Baldauf

Corinna Baldauf

Developer, sipgate
Corinna Baldauf has filled every Scrum role there is and is happiest as a developer. She's interested in lean, agile, systems thinking, communication, leadership & UX. Her best known contribution to the agile community is Retromat (plans-for-retrospectives.com). She hopes that one... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 10:45 - 11:15
Potomac 4

11:30

'Exploring your Congenital Agility' or 'Why I brought my Mother to Agile 2015' (Caleb Brown)
Abstract:
What does spinning yarn, knitting, and weaving have to do with Agile? Why would a guy willingly choose to do a joint talk with his Mother at a major convention? Simply put: they were major contributors to his Agile understanding, decades before the term Agile even existed. In this talk you will hear a family history of Agility and be challenged to explore your own Congenital Agility along with notions you may hold as "Common Sense". This personal exploration will help you to thrive in that often frustrating pursuit of bringing those around you to an understanding of Agility and help you to better cope with the stresses and frustrations that seem to demoralize too many Agile coaches and champions today.
Learning Outcomes:
  • To come to an understanding of how your personal history, going back to childhood, has affected you in ways you may not even understand when it comes to your Agile thinking, and equip with you a tool to help you cope with the stresses involved in bringing Agile to folks who seem to be frustratingly resistant to the idea.
Attachments:

Speakers
CB

Caleb Brown

Collabnet


Monday August 3, 2015 11:30 - 12:00
Potomac 4

14:00

Going All In: Lessons Learned in Agile IT at Harvard Business Publishing (Elizabeth Ross)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Harvard Business Publishing is a subsidiary of the Harvard Business School. We spend a lot of time focused on promoting good management, learning best practices, and we're not afraid to undertake experiments and innovative practices to improve an organization. In 2014, the Enterprise Information Technology department went "all in" with agile for the 40+ person organization in a full-scale reorganization. It included everyone from the interns at the help desk to the CIO. The experience report will cover the goals of the change, choosing the best methods for each of the six, new cross-functional teams (both Kanban and Scrum are used), the efforts to train the teams and the stakeholders, the change from line managers to practice leads, and how we went about living into the agile principles. It will focus particularly on the challenges for the senior management team as we are playing too, including adopting a method, organizing a team, holding retrospectives, and doing a daily stand-up at the board.
Focusing on the senior management team is to share the experience that is often overlooked: how change has to happen at the senior management level as well and the best way to do it is to live it, along with everyone else. I will cover:
(1) The challenge of working with Human Resources to adopt new performance management methods (and finding ones that strike the balance between the agile principles of the team collectively and HR's requirement for individual performance).
(2) Learning to identify the real most valuable work for the management team (not just the work that we're comfortable putting on the board) and being open and honest in our report outs to the organization, and
(3) Maneuvering through the political challenges of creating Advisory Groups of internal customers and teaching stakeholders to think in terms of value instead of what's in progress, doing away with the traditional IT PM and replacing them with Product Owner/Business Analysts.
Learning Outcomes:
  • (1) Share the experience of the agile transformation (1 year in) with the focus on what management has to do.
  • (2) Share what we did, what mistakes were made, and how we learned from them.
  • (3) Discuss some of the specific challenging decisions such as: teams picking their own methods within the agile frame work; championing the change throughout the organization and particular struggles in areas around performance management/HR, and resetting expectations with our stakeholders.
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Ross

Elizabeth Ross

Director, IT Business Systems, Harvard Business Publishing


Monday August 3, 2015 14:00 - 14:30
Potomac 4

14:45

How fudge candies catalysed feedback and engagement? Case study of successful experiment. (Krzysztof Czajka)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
This is a story about building appreciation and feedforward culture in the organization.
I am going to talk about a bottom-up experiment based on Jurgen Appelo's Merit Money, conduced in the biggest e-commerce company in Poland - Allegro Group. It is a story about learning throughout an Agile experiment to get the most out of it. Primarily the experiment was intended to challenge the existing bonus system based on forced ranking. It turned into appreciation and feedback system with some sweets involved. We will start from what needs this experiment was intended to address and see what were the obstacles in the beginning. Then see why and how it developed and what were the final outcomes of it. Then an interesting insight on how the participants liked it. Then an attempt to analyse the entire experiment and why we were sure it will be a success way before it was launched company-wide. At the end participants will see what the experiment finally turned into and how it is working in the company at the moment.
Do you feel your team could be more engaged in their work? Get inspired by this simple game, in which there are several instant feedback loops, fun, gambling and sweet prizes.
Oh, I forgot... and you'll find an answer on why we call it Fudge Candies.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Agile people: What you should consider when introducing similar kudos-like system? How to say thank you “like a real man”?
  • Managers: How to build engaged teams based on frequent internal feedback? What you should avoid?
  • Agile Coaches/SMs: Will see a feedback system example, which help build energized teams and incorporate frequent feedback from product owners.
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Krzysztof Czajka

Krzysztof Czajka

Scrum Master, Allegro Group
Advocate of lean process in organizations. Fascinated by human behaviour in thinking organizations.


Monday August 3, 2015 14:45 - 15:15
Potomac 4

15:45

Liven Up Agile Learning with Code Jams (Sondra Ashmore, Jodi Jones)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
One of the biggest challenges for organizations who would like to start adopting more Agile methodologies is helping their staff (and leadership) get past the uncertainty of working in a new way and embracing cultural changes. Leaders direct them to classes, books, blogs, and conferences and yet they still are not sure what steps they need to take first or what success will look like for them. Failing fast and frequently does not sound like a positive proposition to them. After all, most leaders expect them to try it out for the first time on a project that will have a direct impact on their yearly rating and salary.
What if they could try it out on a real project that benefits their business, encourages innovation, while also providing a safe environment? Sound too good to be true . . . it’s not. At the Principal Financial Group we introduced Agile methods by introducing code jams (similar in nature to hackathons) both company wide and on individual teams that were one to three days in duration. The code jams provided a platform for them to try out some of the basic Agile methods such as Scrum, XP, and Kanban that ultimately gave them a better understanding of the terminology and value that the new methods provided.
In this session we will share how you can use code jams as an Agile education tool in your organization. We will share our lessons learned on selling the idea of code jams to upper management, describe the anatomy of a code jam, and provide ideas on how to sprinkle Agile learning opportunities into these fun and innovative events.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Introducing Agile methods in your organization in a fun and approachable format
  • Action learning
  • Encouraging Agile adoption in a traditional Waterfall organization
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Sondra Ashmore

Sondra Ashmore

IT Assistant Director, Principal Financial Group
avatar for Jodi Jones

Jodi Jones

Assistant Director - IT, Principal Financial Group


Monday August 3, 2015 15:45 - 16:15
Potomac 4

16:30

99 Problems but a Coach Ain't One (Susan Evans)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Life as an agile coach is never dull with growing, shrinking, international, self-managed and completely brand new teams, to backlog management, code deployment, production support, and old school executives that want one throat to choke. It can be overwhelming to check one issue off the list yet feel that you have 99 more to address. It can feel like you are fighting a losing battle and no longer have the ability to influence anymore.
In this session, I’ll cover how I had to coach myself to see that I was making a difference and accept that a passionate agile coach was NOT one of the problems. I’ll also provide insight into how I handled some difficult and frustrating situations and ultimately used the agile principle of inspecting my job satisfaction and making adjustments for the better.
Learning Outcomes:
  • You’ll learn:
  • • When you are overwhelmed by the backlog of process things to improve, make a list of the improvements that have been made to see how far you’ve come.
  • • When you aren’t able to influence anymore, understand why and know that you can’t do it alone. Ask for help.
  • • When you don’t want to go to work anymore, write your job satisfaction acceptance criteria and strive to find an environment that meets it.
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Susan Evans

Susan Evans

Product & Agile Consultant, VersionOne
Agile is tough and I thrive on coaching teams who are getting bumps and scraps along the way by mending their wounds and encouraging them to continue on. I’ve experienced agile failing fast but I’ve also experienced lots of inspecting and adapting that lead to success. As a consultant... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 16:30 - 17:00
Potomac 4
 
Tuesday, August 4
 

09:00

Strategies for adopting Test Driven Development in operations (Ranjib Dey)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Operations has traditionally been the most interrupt driven part of any IT organization. But as cloud adoption kicks in, DevOps and infrastructure as a code brings in paradigm shift in IT operations, importance of code quality and other mainstream software development practices becoming integral part of IT operations. In this presentation I would share my experience on how we have successfully introduced agile methodologies in our operation team. How we have ensured our core business requirements (like high availability, scalability) were bolstered by introducing software development practices like test driven design, sprint planning, story based iterative development etc. I'll also talk about how unplanned activities like outage, newly discovered software vulnerability affect these workflows, and what can be done at the team organization level to minimize these effects. What safety nets need to be built to bolster teams confidence (and happiness :-) ), while we grow rapidly both in people side as well as in infrastructure side.

Key Learning:
  • When introducing new practices, start small.
  • Form a small but quality software part that reflect the usage of TDD techniques and let your peers, junior explore it, realize the benefit of it, before making it a convention.
  • Reduce adoption cost. Experience practitioner should pick up the high risk items first
  • Adopt and mix agile methodologies with the current practices incrementally, as and when the team feels comfortable with rather than enforcing a strict documented procedure (like ITIL).
  • Its almost always that something will fail, we cant avoid failure, but we can reduce the risk by shipping changes incrementally.
Learning Outcomes:
  • - how to adopt automated testing practices in operations team
  • - how to model and deliver strategic objectives in interrupt driven teams (like operations)
  • - how to ensure continuous learning in ever changing technological/tools landscape
  • - how to use better collaboration and communication techniques to ramp up new hires, junior candidates
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Ranjib Dey

Ranjib Dey

Operations Engineer, PagerDuty
is a system administrator at PagerDuty, a hosted alert dispatch service.Along with rest of the operations team, Ranjib tries to design, deploy and maintainsystems that can withstand major outages. Before joining PagerDuty, Ranjib worked at Google, ThoughtWorks etc.In past Ranjib built... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 09:00 - 09:30
Potomac 4

09:45

Data Driven Portfolio Planning: Implementing the Rally ORCA tool (Deanna Miller, Micah Schwanitz)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
This session is for those involved in road map, resource and budget planning and will appeal to marketing, PMO and IT/engineering communities who desire to increase the predictability of their delivery success. Join us as we take you through a crash course of our journey in driving change all the way up to our executive levels by offering simple and transparent views of the business demand and engineering capacity and enabling easy what-if analysis. These what-if planning scenarios enabled us to show real-time results of business value that could be delivered by increasing/decreasing demand and capacity. We took the emotion out of the difficult investment decisions, created a new focus on the highest value initiatives, and even indirectly helped our scrum teams deliver quality by making it non-negotiable.
Learning Outcomes:
  • -High-level overview of ORCA capabilities.
  • -Continuous planning over multiple time horizons.
  • -Impact to the organization - transparency, trust, teamwork.
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Deanna Miller

Deanna Miller

Senior Agile Manager, Elekta / IMPAC Medical Systems


Tuesday August 4, 2015 09:45 - 10:15
Potomac 4

10:45

User group dying? Time to build a state-wide learning network! (Mark Kilby, Stephanie Davis)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Is your user group struggling or are you trying to figure out how to even start a user group in your area? Find out how three agile user groups in Florida struggled to start and keep going and then turned things around by banding together. Within two years, we now have three thriving agile user groups that collaborate on everything from local user group development, statewide events and even launching other user groups! We’ll talk about some of the different challenges these groups faced, some of the different ways they overcame those obstacles, and how we built a state-wide learning network: AgileFlorida.com

Learning Outcomes:


  • How to avoid some common pitfalls to start and maintain a local agile user group

  • How to reach out to other user groups in your state for mutual benefit (whether they are an agile user group or not)

  • How to build a learning network that can collaborate on multiple types of agile events for mutual benefit.

  • How to share a common vision but have each user group in your learning network operate differently





Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Davis @iamagile

Stephanie Davis @iamagile

Agile Leadership Director, Valpak / Cox Target Media
Stephanie Stewart is Director of Agile Leadership at Valpak, a Cox Target Media company. As Director of Agile Leadership, she is responsible for championing, governing, scaling, and measuring the Agile framework within IT and across the enterprise. Stephanie leads the team of Agile... Read More →
avatar for Mark Kilby

Mark Kilby

Agile Coach, Sonatype
With over two decades of experience in agile principles and practices, Mark Kilby has cultivated more distributed and dispersed teams than collocated teams. He has consulted with organizations across many industries and coached teams, leaders, and organizations internally. Mark... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 10:45 - 11:15
Potomac 4

11:30

Talk Ain't Easy - Round-the-World Agile Without *ANY* Talk (Gerard Meszaros)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Face to Face Communication is one of the core values of Agile yet here we are building an SaaS product with a 5 person team in 5 time zones spread around the world using agile and we never talk to each other! Come see how we rescued a a small 5-year-old SaaS product that was suffering from an existential crisis by adopting agile practices and innovative communication techniques using free or low-cost SaaS tools .
The original developer had built a complex system that met the business needs but after 4+ years had lost interest in the product. As a result the flow of new functionality had slowed to a dribble and the business people in Australia and New Zealand were very frustrated! The technical architecture was quite complex as it used many frameworks but had no documentation and very few (and very complex) unit tests. There were half a dozen servers doing various things and the build and deployment processes were all manual. As a result, we were in severe danger of being unable to support the product. We had to find someone to take over support and enhancement of the application and we had a lot to learn. Being a very small company with everyone only involved a few hours per day, we couldn't afford the cost or risk of hiring a full time developer. We've had some ups and downs with outsourcing the development work to people in India and Romania but we have now restored the regular flow of value to our customers. This required evolving a highly distributed agile process with each person located on a different sub-continent. We embraced key agile practices including User Stories, ATDD, CI, Unit Testing, Database Refactoring and Automated Deployment (not quite CD, yet!) We build on cloud-based SaaS technologies whenever possible to maximize value and minimize build cost. And we learned how to work as a cloud-based team with good collaboration and communication using cloud-based tools without ever talking face-to-face.
Learning Outcomes:
  • * Adopting Agile doesn't have to be expensive.
  • * Distributed development challenges can be overcome using low-cost (or even free!) SaaS tools.
  • * There is an amazing variety of SaaS tools available to choose from (Good news: don't have to build; Bad news: Have to choose from many options)
  • * Avoid analysis paralysis; Just pick something "good enough" and start running with it
  • * Voice communcation is highly overrated - Poor communications links and accents can make it useless
  • * "Good-enough" communication is better than no communication; good chat tools are key;
  • * Supplement with Multimedia (quick screen shots, mock-ups, interactive prototypes, etc)
  • * People will adjust behaviour to optimize the situation; many of us make ourselves available in non-core hours to answer developer questions quickly
  • * Start with small improvement features that affect small parts of the code; learn as you go
  • * Plan on things to take longer than you expected and don't despair when they take even longer; everyone is learning lots and will get faster over time
  • * Be prepared to get the wrong people off the bus! (Our first attempt at outsourcing was a dismal failure; we had to rewrite all the developers code; we should have fired him a lot sooner.)
  • * Focus on quality, productivity will come later.
Attachments:

Speakers
GM

Gerard Meszaros

Solution Frameworks Inc.
Gerard Meszaros is an independent software development consultant and trainer with 30+ years experience in software and over a decade of experience in agile methods. He is an expert in test automation patterns, refactoring of software and tests, and design for testability and has... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:30 - 12:00
Potomac 4

14:00

The Agile Architect: Our Experience in Discovering A Successful Pattern (Chris Edwards, Sean Dunn)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
The role of "Architect" is sometimes frowned upon in the Agile community as a central command-and-control authority who bottlenecks decisions and limits team empowerment. Or at least, that is what we thought. Follow the real-life journey of our teams as we discovered how the role of an architect is compatible with Agile principles. We will explore our failures, and eventual discovery on how the role brings can bring an immense amount of value to the organization and the teams, especially on large, multi-team projects.
This talk relates our experiences in integrating an architect role with several teams at IHS Inc. Faced with the challenge of scaling several teams working on the same product, we quickly discovered the need to exchange technical information between the teams. How were we to maintain an appropriate level of technical consistency while remaining true to Agile principles? We explicitly wanted to avoid an authoritative architect role, but struggled to find an alternate model. After initial failures, we eventually learned the important relationship between leadership and architecture. Ultimately, we discovered a successful pattern for an architect role that preserves emergent design and team empowerment while maintaining minimally sufficient technical consistency.
Our organization is comprised of approximately 40 people on 6-7 teams developing 3 separate products. Between 3-5 teams are working simultaneously on the Harmony Enterprise project. The challenges of this project are the focus of the presentation.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Our initial approach of the architect was to be a “scout” that did investigations and provided a stream of information to the teams. We encountered several issues with this approach:
  • - Communication would breakdown. Info would be misunderstood or missed. This often became the "architect's fault" for not communicating enough information.
  • - Different teams had different design values, and thus there was friction between the teams who had different expectations of the designs coming out of other teams. We could not yet engage in meaningful, objective design discussions. Again, this became perceived by the teams as "the architect's fault".
  • - We learned quickly that we were "wrong" about our architectural approach. This was an agile victory because we discovered it early, but it was not well received by the teams who perceived someone else's mistake as causing them more work.
  • We value consitency in several areas (Coding standard, design values, architectural approach), but we failed to engage the teams in decision making process. Through one-on-one conversations with Scrum Masters, we developed a "Design scrum-of-scrums", in which the Architect facilitated a daily 30-minute meeting with representatives from each team ("Design Quarterbacks"). His goal is not necessarily to provide answers, but to guide the conversations so the teams are considering all the right things and reaching a decision that they can buy-into. Previously the Architect would be responsible for doing research and prototyping, but now acts as the role of Coach while the teams take on this responsibility.
  • Our experience with this approach as proved very positive.
  • - Relationships between teams has improved which has results in much more communication.
  • - Problems with designs are discovered much quicker, because the teams have more information
  • - A common mental model (“Conceptual Integrity”) exists across teams, which results in reduced rework.
Attachments:

Speakers
SD

Sean Dunn

Agile Coach, IHS Inc.
Sean has been passionate about Agile methodologies since 2008. He is experienced in the energy and defense industries and has successfully applied Agile methodologies in a variety of settings. With over 13 years of military experience, Sean is very interested in the relationships... Read More →
avatar for Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards

Principal Software Engineer, IHS Inc.
Chris Edwards, P.Eng. Chris is a software manager with IHS Inc. IHS is a global company with over 8000 employees that provides information and analytics to multiple industries,including energy, automotive, electronics, aerospace and chemicals. Chris has had a variety of roles including... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 14:00 - 14:30
Potomac 4

14:45

8 Years Agile - From Startup ScrumMaster to Agile Coaching Group at a company of 500. (Heidi Helfand)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
As a startup, we felt so strongly about XP and Scrum that we implemented them from a rather command and control perspective. Team dissatisfaction emerged. We dramatically changed our approach. What resulted was the development of a culture based on autonomy, team building and trust. We grew from having a dedicated ScrumMaster into a group of Internal coaches supporting self-organizing teams that choose how they work. In this experience report I will share the ScrumMaster's perspective in particular, and how we organize our Internal Agile Coaching Group.

Learning Outcomes:


  • -Participants will…

  • -see why you might hire a ScrumMaster at a startup to remove company level impediments beyond engineering

  • -be exposed to the concept of Anzeneering and focusing on the needs and feelings of the team as a guiding force

  • -understand the value of retrospectives and qualitative research for guiding the evolution of Agile at a company

  • -gain an awareness of different schools of professional coaching for application in team building

  • -get an example of how an internal agile coaching group with a professional coaching approach is structured





Speakers
avatar for HEIDI HELFAND

HEIDI HELFAND

Director of Engineering, Procore Technologies
Heidi Helfand is Director of Engineering Excellence at Procore Technologies, creators of cloud-based construction software. Heidi was on the “first team” at ExpertCity, Inc. (acquired by Citrix) where they invented GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar and AppFolio, Inc., a SAAS... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 14:45 - 15:15
Potomac 4

15:45

Facing Fake-To-Fake: Lessons Learned from Distributed Scrum (Vincent Tietz)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Agile and distribution is not a contradiction. The agile principles seem to compensate the risks in distributed development scenarios. This is what the Saxonia Systems AG has learned from numerous distributed projects. With the introduction of agile methods, we seem work significantly better. But, why? This presentation analyzes the main risks in distributed setups and shows how agile principles have impact on the team collaboration and motivation. We show what we have learned from past projects and what we have done to support distributed teams. Finally, we provide an overview about the four pillars of distributed and agile software development: 1) the distributed project room, 2) the tools, 3) the adopted processes and roles, and 4) the motivated team. Finally, we show how these aspects result in our concept ETEO (“Ein Team – Ein Office” which is german and means “one team – one office”) which boosts distributed teams.
The distributed project room consists of a digital scrum board, a high definition video conferencing system which is always on and a general room setup for working and meeting periods. Today, collaboration tools for code review, video chat, screen sharing, synchronized boards and others, support many tasks within a distributed scrum team. Further, we identified additional skills for team members and especially the Scrum Master. As the title suggests, the face-to-face communication is limited which might be experienced as non-natural or "faked". Therefore, we introduced tools to improve awareness and expressiveness of each team member. Finally, the whole team needs to reflect their working culture and should be supported by specialized coaching tools. Continuously, the implementation of the agile principles need to be reviewed to keep the team efficient and motivated. Ignoring at least one of these facts, may lead to dangerous and unpredictable projects, wherein the team needs to invest much time to find out how to work distributed and efficient.
Learning Outcomes:
  • challenges and pitfalls when implementing distributed agile
  • setup of a distributed project room,
  • required tool classes and tool examples,
  • adopted processes and team roles and
  • tools to improve awareness and expressiveness for a truthful team communication
Attachments:

Speakers
VT

Vincent Tietz

Saxonia Systems AG


Tuesday August 4, 2015 15:45 - 16:15
Potomac 4

16:30

One Step at a Time Towards One Bug a Month (Csaba Patkos)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
I believe great programmers can create unique software in a way it was never done before. This is a story about me joining a team and how we
came a long way from a traditional development process to an agile one. We will contemplate on the events and decisions that led from chaos to
order and from strict rules to a happy workplace. A place where a complete enterprise storage solution is made with almost no bugs found in
production, thanks to a team ever open to change and continuous learning.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding of change in agile.
  • Ideas about how to implement Scrum or Lean practices in a not yet agile environment.
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Csaba Patkós

Csaba Patkós

Software Engineering Team Lead, Syneto
Really good technology must help us from our grumpy morning wakeup until we fell asleep at night. This is why I go to work every day. By being the lead software developer at Syneto I contribute to the building of the next generation storage devices, and hopefully a technologically... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 16:30 - 17:00
Potomac 4
 
Wednesday, August 5
 

10:45

National Geographic: How To Implement Agile Processes In A 127 year old Magazine Tradition (Constance Miller)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
What do you get when you mix a magazine that's 127 years old, some Agile training, a small team of designers, programmers, producers, photo editors, and a scrum master, and tell them to build mobile-first? You get a transformation. National Geographic magazine's digital designs were deeply rooted in the magazine, as were many of the processes, but it was time for a change. Here's how the digital team at National Geographic went through the transition from print-first to mobile-first, the ups and downs, and the continued learning of how to work together in a collaborative, transparent, and iterative way.

Learning Outcomes:


  • Steps to take when considering implementing an Agile framework

  • How to evangelize Agile processes in your organization

  • Ways to support staff while pulling them through the transition to Agile

  • How to be consistent and strong when getting push back from existing staff

  • How humor and humility go a long way when working with a group in transition





Speakers
CM

Constance Miller

Digital Media, National Geographic


Wednesday August 5, 2015 10:45 - 11:15
Potomac 4

11:30

Rebooting Agile @ GE Transportation (Jesse Fewell, Julie Wenzel)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
What do you do when your Agile journey isn't going where you'd hoped? GE Transportation had been on a multi-year Agile journey, but recently challenged itself with hard questions: Are we getting what we want? What if we turned everything upside down? What if we leverage our maintenance burden to increase innovation? What if labor capitalization increased our transparency? What if going offshore actually increased our collaboration? Come hear the honest story of the largest builder of railroad equipment leverage impediments into improvements.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand why you might reboot an Agile program
  • Understand ideas for generating executive buy-in BEFORE making changes
  • Understand ideas for overcoming both known impediments and unexpected surprises
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Fewell

Jesse Fewell

Agile Coach & Trainer, JesseFewell.com
Jesse Fewell is a writer, coach, and trainer in the world of management and innovation. From Boston to Bangalore, he's helped startups and conglomerates alike catapult to breakthrough results. His adventures are written down in "Can You Hear Me Now", his handbook for remote teams... Read More →
JW

Julie Wenzel

IT Program Manager, General Electric Transportation
I am a recent graduation of GE's prestigious Information Technology Leadership Program (ITLP) where I successfully completed four six-month rotational assignments in data modeling with SAS solutions, supply chain, finance enterprise standards, and in global signaling. I am a result... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:30 - 12:00
Potomac 4

14:00

Lessons learned from testing a mission critical and complex system (Melanie Hopwood)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
In this Agile software development environment, are you working on legacy software that has an impact on our nation's security? Or are you asking yourself how can I do test driven development with such a huge legacy code base? Would it take you forever and a day to test everything in your system? We have felt these pains and have some suggestions on how to utilize user data, metrics and risk planning to resolve these hard questions.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Ideas on how to automate test scenarios that involve sensors
  • How to create test scenarios to ensure performance of an aging code base
  • How to maximize the value from exploratory testing of a complex system
  • How to best integrate live data into automated testing for complex scenarios
  • How to establish criteria to gain consensus of an appropriate level of testing on a complex system
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Melanie Hopwood

Melanie Hopwood

QA Advocate, Asynchrony
3 years experience working with an experienced Agile team developing software for support of first responders


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30
Potomac 4

14:45

Organization and Business Agility: Managing the Portfolio Backlog in Large Organizations (Ken Power)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Working in a multi-team, multi-program, multi-product environment brings several challenges. One of those is providing a smooth flow of work to teams, and incorporating their feedback, while staying responsive to the needs of the business in a changing environment. This Experience Report documents several years’ experience working in such environments. The focus of this Experience Report is specifically on managing the portfolio backlog, not the full scope of what could be considered under a portfolio management strategy and implementation. We have found that getting the portfolio backlog management strategy right is a key element in the success of the overall portfolio management approach.
It sounds like it should be straightforward: create a list of all the work the organization has to do, get the right people together, prioritize the work, make changes as needed. The reality proves to be far from obvious. The attempt to provide a portfolio backlog approach brings the organization’s agility into sharp focus. Those business units that make it work effectively find that having an approach for managing the portfolio of work contributes to overall organization responsiveness.
This Experience Report will share several lessons learned, and highlight some pitfalls to avoid, when designing your own portfolio backlog management approach.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Challenges and lessons drawn from several years of implementing portfolio backlog management approaches in multiple business units
  • Definitions that we use
  • Useful practices
  • Value of portfolio management
  • Relationship between managing the portfolio backlog, and the work done by teams
  • Relationship between product managers and product owners
  • Metrics
  • Visibility and transparency
  • Flow of work
  • Explicit investment in different area: features, capabilities, architecture and more
  • Rolling roadmaps, and how to communicate the portfolio to customers
  • The role of continuous planning
  • The portfolio backlog management meeting
  • The portfolio leadership team
  • Collaborating with customers and other stakeholders
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Ken Power

Ken Power

Software Engineering Leader, https://kenpower.dev/
Ken Power has held multiple positions in large technology organizations. His current responsibilities include leading global, large-scale engineering organization transformations. He has been working with agile and lean methods since 1999. He holds patents in virtualization and network... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:45 - 15:15
Potomac 4

15:45

Can you be remotely agile? (Mark Kilby)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Can you mix distribute open source culture with agile and lean principles? Sonatype is a unique company of open source leaders that produces software development support tools for companies that are struggling to keep track of their usage and risks of open source software components. Come hear how this startup has successfully used Scrum with completely distributed teams spread across multiple time zones. Find out what pre-conditions exist, principles we’re discovering, practices we use and continuing challenges we face as we coordinate the work of multiple teams across an open source product line with everyone working from a home-based office.

Learning Outcomes:


  • * What are possible pre-conditions for a successful completely distributed agile team?

  • * What are emerging principles for completely distributed agile teams?

  • * What practices work well for completely distributed agile teams across multiple time zones?





Speakers
avatar for Mark Kilby

Mark Kilby

Agile Coach, Sonatype
With over two decades of experience in agile principles and practices, Mark Kilby has cultivated more distributed and dispersed teams than collocated teams. He has consulted with organizations across many industries and coached teams, leaders, and organizations internally. Mark... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:45 - 16:15
Potomac 4

16:30

Lean Sales Up - Making value since the pre-sale stage (Jorge Silva)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
The process of pre-sales can be painful, long and expensive.
It’s the first negotiation stage. You have to convince the prospect that you are the best
option. And we have to adjust the customer’s always-high expectations. And therefore,
this leads to over estimation, lies about times and deadlines, and a lot of non-healthy
behaviors that get the relationship dirty at the beginning.

However, there is always a way to improve and to get a balance, where both the
customer and the provider feel confortable, satisfied and secure.
In this report experience, we will explore how to merge the delicate and costly sales
process with the agile/lean principles.
We will reflect about how to identify what really adds value to the proposal or contract.
Since this is an experience report, we will stand in real experiences and real examples,
which will go with every concept, idea and thought mention in this report. So this is no
theory on practice, but theory from practice.
The goal is to show how to start adding value from the ground-zero stage. The idea is to
generate value from the conception of the product/project. Eliminate waste as the lean
thinking predicates.
To meet our goal, we will share our experience in several sales processes, talking
mainly about these topics:
• How to manage time request
• How to generate trust through transparency
• How to give flexibility and empowerment to the customer
• How to revert the "fix feature oriented” thought to a more time box approach.
• How to educate the customer with some agile concepts and practices.
• How to become a partner with the customer, and stop being a provider
Learning Outcomes:
  • Audience could take lot of tips, tools and ideas sprung from real experiences. It most important, it will be able to start using it easily in their daily work.


Speakers
avatar for Jorge Silva

Jorge Silva

Co-Founder, 10Pines
I'm a software developer who has more than 10 years in the field. In the last 5 years Im leading a company that is strongly based on the agile principles. Lately we had participated in several bids, generating time for reflection and to improve our sales skills. In particular, bids... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 17:00
Potomac 4
 
Thursday, August 6
 

09:00

Hardened Agility: Deploying Agile at a Defense Contractor (Joe Gariano)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
Are government contracts too rigid for agile? Is agile too undisciplined for a large defense contractor?
I have faced many of the challenges of applying agile in the defense industry. In my career at General Dynamics, I've spent years using agile methods in the development of government encryption products, I've consulted with a variety of engineering teams wanting to increase their agility, and I've led an agile initiative within our internal IT department. In this experience report, I will identify some of the contractual and cultural obstacles to agile that we've encountered, and will summarize the process and tool framework that we've evolved to address those obstacles. Agile practitioners in the defense industry will learn how we solved some familiar problems. And those outside of defense may be surprised at the innovations borne out of this environment.
Learning Outcomes:
  • What some of the fundamental challenges are to applying agile in the defense industry (both contractually and culturally)
  • How certain formal processes and tools can be integrated into agile in a smart way to make it more compelling in the defense industry without sacrificing agile values
  • How certain defense industry practices might benefit agile outside of the defense industry
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Joe Gariano

Joe Gariano

Project Manager, Agile Champion, General Dynamics Mission Systems


Thursday August 6, 2015 09:00 - 09:30
Potomac 4

09:45

From Scrum to Kanban - A Team's Journey (Aki Namioka)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
In the summer of 2014, my team made the decision to transition from Scrum to Kanban. After practicing Scrum for 2+ years, we found that as the nature of our business was changing, our practices weren't holding up. My company, Marchex, had decided to move my team away from working on our Free411 product, to a new Search related product. Directory Assistance was not a growing business, and it was clear that Mobile Search Advertising had huge growth potential.
In the world of new product development, we found our priorities and backlog were changing much more rapidly and our 2 week sprints plans were becoming problematic. In response, we started looking at Kanban as a paradigm that would help us accommodate a more fluid backlog. With guidance from another team that was successfully using Kanban, we embarked on our journey. We took a number of steps to help make the transition as smooth as possible, and by the end of the summer we had completed our transition to Kanban. I will discuss the factors that led us to make the transition, the steps we took to make the transition as smooth as possible, and a summary of best practices and lessons learned.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Factors that led to transition
  • Process of transitioning from Scrum to Kanban
  • Lessons learned, during transition from Scrum to Kanban
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Aki Namioka

Aki Namioka

Sr. Program Manager, Marchex
After several years of practicing Waterfall + OOAD, I was introduced to XP in 2001 at the OOPSLA conference. I have been an Agile practitioner ever since. My Agile experience has taken me through XP, Scrum, and Kanban.


Thursday August 6, 2015 09:45 - 10:15
Potomac 4

10:45

An Agile Triple Play: Business Process Re-Engineering meets SOA meets Large Scale Agile (Denis Doelling, Edward Goldgehn)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
This experience report will address the volatility, challenges and solutions implemented within a Fortune 500 Order to Delivery manufacturing program with the goal of re-engineering and aligning global business processes with Web-services and Service Oriented Architecture. The program utilizes large scale agile to manage multi-year planning of incremental releases with delivery of quantifiable business value in each release.
Initially, IT led the program by starting work on initial set of requirements using a waterfall approach. After transitioning to a large scale agile framework and increasing the involvement of the Business, the program continued to attempt delivery using large batches of work driven by annual funding cycles and led to limited delivery of value and significant technical debt. Instead, the program required an iterative and collaborative approach between Business and IT that delivered business value through incremental implementation and adoption of the new technology and processes.
The report will present the techniques used to help put the Business in the driver’s seat of the program through the development of a backlog using the TOGAF SOA Referential Architecture with Large-Scale Agile to define an series of incremental releases. The report will also describe an Agile Design and Elaboration (ADE) framework that was implemented to ensure traceability between the business process design and the production release of business capabilities. This framework facilitates collaborative dialogue between all stakeholders and reinforces an iterative Large-Scale Agile Delivery Lifecycle process. Finally, the report will identify challenges to some of the commonly held agile approaches, such as feature/story authoring and vertical slicing of work when developing business-centric services using a SOA framework for Enterprise modernization.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Techniques used to help the business in incremental developing and defining a multi-year production release strategy that will implement the future state of the re-engineered business process.
  • Techniques used to guide the collaborative development of a multi-year production release strategy that will incrementally deliver value.
  • Techniques used to drive the development of an architectural roadmap to support a multi-year production release strategy while balancing team driven design with intentional Service Oriented Architecture using a large-scale Agile practices framework.


Speakers
avatar for Denis Doelling

Denis Doelling

Agile coach, Cognizant Technology Solution
For many years I have been working in an agile manner and helping project teams and clients to do the same regardless of the maturity of their practices. I would like to discuss how others have approached the adoption of Agile thinking in organizations and how to deal with the cultural... Read More →
avatar for Edward Goldgehn

Edward Goldgehn

Associate Director - Principal Architect, Cognizant Technology Solutions
Mr. Goldgehn has more than 25 years of solutions architecture, pre-sales technical consulting, business process management and re-engineering, content management and technical project management experience in a wide variety of industries. Mr. Goldgehn has extensive expertise in the... Read More →



Thursday August 6, 2015 10:45 - 11:15
Potomac 4

11:30

Mob Programming – My first team (Jason Kerney)
Limited Capacity seats available

Abstract:
As I became a member of the first real team I have ever worked on, the lessons I learned were not the ones I expected. I was the newest member of the first fully functional Mob Programming group. I got to see how good practices led by kindness, consideration, and respect allowed us to produce bug free code and happy partners. I will talk about the tools and practices we employ to be a team focused on individuals, and then illustrate how that focus keeps us one of the most successful teams I have ever seen.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Gain insight into what Mob-Programming is
  • Discover tools that might help you explore a whole-team approach
  • Understand that there is no magic bullet
  • How Mob-Programming Differs from Pair Programming
  • How Mob-Programming affected me
Attachments:

Speakers
avatar for Jason Kerney

Jason Kerney

Agile Technical Coach, Some Company
I am a programmer, coach, father, husband and friend. I care deeply about the industry of software development and the communities surrounding it. I love to play with programming languages, yet consider it the greatest accomplishment when we address the humanness that software ultimately... Read More →


Thursday August 6, 2015 11:30 - 12:00
Potomac 4