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Tuesday, August 4


Our business pipeline is broken (Salah Elleithy, George Dinwiddie)
Limited Capacity seats available

Your delivery team may be focused on continuously tuning their CI/CD pipeline but who is focusing on the business pipeline?
If your delivery team is not always producing new functionality at the rate you want, the bottleneck might not be in the way they’re working. Imagine a software development factory that can’t get the raw materials it needs in time to keep production humming.
The Theory of Constraints (ToC) adopts the idiom of “a chain is no stronger than its weakest link”. Delivery teams need the right requirements (chunks of work) at the right time.
“What?” you say. “I’m already working as hard as I can to provide them with complete requirements specifications.” I believe you. Salah and George can help you notice some issues that might have escaped your attention. And they can help you address those issues in ways that may save you some work.
Questions that may be helpful to consider are:
  • What makes it so challenging to provide the information the delivery team needs at the time they need it?
  • What causes our business pipeline to be broken? In manufacturing, identifying bottlenecks may be obvious but what about knowledge work?!
  • What’s hidden that could cause delays and create a state of learned helplessness?
This presentation will explore the challenges that stems from the discovery and explore ideas to consider for building a healthy business pipeline. At the end of this session, you will be able to identify the bottlenecks using the drum buffer rope and learn about the 3 amigos and clarification through examples (acceptance scenarios) and techniques to alleviate the bottlenecks.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Define what the business pipeline is
  • Introduce the drum buffer rope (DBR) that’s derived from the theory of constraints (TOC) as a possible solution
  • Identify the challenges with the business pipeline
  • Ideas on how to fix the business pipeline.

avatar for George Dinwiddie

George Dinwiddie

Grand Poobah and Jack of All Trades, iDIA Computing, LLC
George Dinwiddie helps organizations develop software more effectively. He brings decades of development experience from electronic hardware and embedded firmware to business information technology. He helps organizations, managers, and teams solve the problems they face by providing... Read More →
avatar for Salah Elleithy

Salah Elleithy

Agile Coach, SparkAgility
I am a Leadership, Co-Active, Agile Coach and Learning Facilitator on a mission to spark courageous curiosity with a twist of play. I help individuals, teams and leaders learn faster and become better one day at a time. I am also passionate about helping individuals, teams and leaders... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 10:45 - 12:00
National Harbor 4/5


Agile Contracts: Blast Off to the Zone of Collaborative Systems Building (Drew Jemilo)
Limited Capacity seats available

Agile has moved far beyond commercial software into the world’s largest enterprises and government agencies. We have scaling methods which can help launch vehicles into the atmosphere and beyond, yet traditional contract mindsets have put a drag on escape velocity. But there’s good news! We have agile explorers discovering the next frontier of contract agility. Join us for this session and enter the new era!
Fixed requirements, big up-front design, and gated processes have been the norm. The rationale seemed logical in the past. It would not make sense to award a contract or commit to a major development investment without knowing what the system is supposed to do, how much it costs, and when it will be completed. We assumed that complex systems could be fully defined before they were built, that requirements and solutions would not change, and that we could build it right the first time.
Traditional models exist:
  • Fixed Price (also known as Firm Fixed Fee/FFF)
  • Time and Materials (also known as Cost Plus Firm Fixed Fee)
But Lean-Agile approaches are gaining momentum:
  • Variable cost with price ceilings
  • Variable scope driven by vision and backlogs
  • Innovation in timeboxes to explore and exploit new opportunities
  • Fixed quality based on sound technical practices, with “good enough” defined up front
We need to balance what is fixed and what is variable to achieve the intent of the system.
  • The Zone of False Expectations – Here, we believe we can define up front what is needed and that we can build it right the first time. For complex systems, we live in a zone of false expectations if we choose a pure Fixed Price or Time and Materials contract. Implementations can crash and burn.
  • The Zone of Innovation and Exploration – Here, you can use a Time and Materials model which operates within a timebox and high level scope reflecting the intent of the innovation and exploration. Undreamed ideas can soar.
  • The Zone of Collaborative Systems Building – This is the zone most enterprises strive for. A hybrid contract based on context can be our launch pad.
To enter this zone, we need a contracting model which supports realistic outcomes, balances non-negotiables, and builds trusting relationships. An agile guidance system will align procurement officers, lawyers, business sponsors, and project managers for contract agility!
Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify traditional contract constructs and communicate how they inhibit agility
  • Explain emerging Lean-Agile approaches to contracts in the private and public sectors
  • Understand and explain the "Three Zones of System Intent" model to provide a conceptual contract framework
  • Know how to apply the "Three Zones" model to balance Fixed Priced and Time and Materials terms
  • Identify additional contract terms to enable collaborative systems building
  • Gather the tools to change traditional mindsets which inhibit Agile Contracts

avatar for Drew Jemilo

Drew Jemilo

CTO, Scaled Agile, Inc.
Drew is an enterprise Agile consultant, a principal contributor to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), and a Scaled Agile Academy instructor. After starting his career at Anderson Consulting in the late 80s and early 90s, he moved to Van Kampen Funds, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 15:45 - 17:00
National Harbor 8
Thursday, August 6


What's my MVP? (Jeffrey Morgan, Ardita Karaj)
Limited Capacity seats available

Are you having trouble finding a small Minimum Viable Product? You've heard about delivering in small, incremental releases, you've tried to chisel out a small slice out of the big product you have to deliver, but what you get is not viable and there's no incremental thinking around releases. Why is this so?
Join Ardi and Cheezy for this session where they will give you some tips and tricks on how to create your first MVP and then look down the road for future ones. They will give some examples from their experiences and challenges when dealing with teams that believe MVP does not apply to them.
You will leave this session with some ideas on how to prepare the strategy for your MVPs, how to work with your team to find your small product that is viable and still delivers value, and understand how to organize your efforts to deliver the product incrementally.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand what a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is.
  • Be able to identify a MVP in a larger release.
  • Learn how to apply "MVP" thinking to other areas of the workplace - not just software development.
  • Take home some tools that will help you uncover MVPs in their own context.

avatar for Ardita Karaj

Ardita Karaj

Agile Coach, EPAM Canada
Ardita is a passionate Agile coach, trainer, change agent and consultant in the Toronto area. She brings more than 15 years of software development experience from different commercial and public organizations. Over the past few years her focus has been on process improvement for... Read More →
avatar for Jeffrey "Cheezy" Morgan

Jeffrey "Cheezy" Morgan

Continuous Delivery Coach, Tango
Jeff been helping companies improve the way they build software since the early days of Agile. His emphasis on Continuous Delivery has fostered new technical and collaborative techniques that help teams deliver high quality software every day. He is driven by Lean values and principles... Read More →

Thursday August 6, 2015 14:00 - 15:15
Potomac 1/2/3