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Agile Development Practices 2009

Pre-conference Tutorials

Go To:   Monday  |  Tuesday  


Tutorials for Monday, November 9, 2009 — 8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Running Successful Agile Projects: The Crystal Clear Approach 
Alistair Cockburn, Humans and Technology, Inc.
Crystal Clear, the lightest member of the Crystal family of methodologies, is not a straightjacket set of development-specific rules and techniques. Rather, it is a reminder of what makes projects successful. Crystal Clear’s intent is to be as light, as un-intrusive, and yet as success-oriented as any defined methodology can be. Alistair Cockburn introduces the Crystal model with its seven properties of highly successful project teams, key ways to understand the rules of managing software development projects, core reflection and improvement techniques, and lots of fun with interactive exercises to anchor key insights. Alistair describes how to use the seven properties as a checklist for the team and to understand where the team needs to focus its attention. The key to success is having the team adapt Crystal Clear’s core insights to their project at the beginning and to continue to revisit those principles regularly as the project unfolds. Take back a bag full of new tools to assess and improve your current practices and processes.
Learn more about Alistair Cockburn  
Writing Great User Stories 
Jean Tabaka, Rally Software Development
User Stories, a lightweight requirements documentation approach used within Scrum, offers agile teams an efficient way to communicate software features among the team, plan iterations, and more. In this highly interactive session, Jean Tabaka leads participants through a series of simulations based on the life of a user story. Jean first sets the context in the Scrum framework—the roles of those who create user stories and the responsibility of each for identifying and elaborating user stories. Then, the real work (fun) begins! You’ll work in small teams applying and reinforcing what you have just learned. Each team first writes a set of user stories based on a Product Owner’s definition, gathering acceptance criteria as it goes. Once prioritized, the teams size the stories’ development effort and discuss their experiences. Practice determining the tasks and effort necessary to complete user stories to meet their acceptance criteria. To end the tutorial, teams debrief the class on their work. Come and be part of the fun in this exercise-driven, on-your-feet class!
Learn more about Jean Tabaka  
Principles and Practices of Lean Agile Development
Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
As the popularity of agile development spreads, more and more companies are discovering that simply breaking down projects into small iterations is not sufficient. Agile methods require changes in management, analysis, architecture, design, testing, quality assurance, and project management. Team-focused agile methods prove to be insufficient for many organizations when attempting to spread agile beyond a few pilot projects. Given the substantial adjustments required, where can you look for guidance in this transition? Alan Shalloway explains how lean-thinking can take agile beyond the team and into the enterprise. By examining the entire value stream—from concept to consumption—Alan shares proven techniques to eliminate waste, shorten time to market, raise the quality of your product, and lower overall development costs. These lean principles not only help agile teams perform better but also enable agility to spread more easily. Discover how lean principles are the foundation of many agile methods.
Learn more about Alan Shalloway  
Tutorials for Monday, November 9, 2009 — 8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Getting Agile with Scrum
Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat Software
Since its origin on Japanese product development projects in the 1980s, Scrum has become recognized as one of the best project management frameworks for handling rapidly changing development projects. With more than 60,000 Certified ScrumMasters, Scrum is one of the leading agile software development successes. It is especially valuable for product development projects with significant technology uncertainty or evolving requirements. Through teaching, interactive discussions, and hands-on exercises, Mike Cohn explains the basics you need to know to get started with Scrum. Learn about the key aspects of Scrum, including product and sprint backlogs, the sprint planning meeting, activities that occur during sprints, the sprint review, conducting a sprint retrospective, measuring and monitoring progress, and scaling Scrum to work with large and distributed teams. Learn the roles and responsibilities of the ScrumMaster, the product owner, and each member of the Scrum team. Equally suited for managers, programmers, testers, product managers, and anyone else interested in improving product delivery, this tutorial will help you and your team in your quest for “getting agile.”
Learn more about Mike Cohn  
Becoming an Agile Coach: Practical and Provocative Techniques 
Lyssa Adkins, Cricketwing
You’ve learned the principles and practices of agile. Your teams are agile—as far as the basics go.  Now you’re ready to take the next step in your personal development as an agile coach. Join Lyssa Adkins in this experiential class, which offers skills essential for coaching agile teams. Lyssa shares practical and provocative techniques from the world of professional coaching, facilitation, collaboration, and conflict management. She demonstrates—and you’ll practice in small groups—what it means to apply the “coach approach” to agile teams. Learn how to create the environment for continuous improvement right from the beginning and discover the key points that ensure the product owner, customer, stakeholders, and coach are all doing their parts to support the team. Recognize when to coach the whole team and when to coach individuals. Come ready to learn and make a personal commitment to become a great agile coach. Take away exercises and tools you and your team can use immediately, and start on the path to become that agile coach who creates astonishing results.
 Learn more about Lyssa Adkins  
Leading Successful Projects in Challenging Environments 
Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova
There’s no doubt about it—agile has gone mainstream. Short delivery iterations give organizations the means to incorporate change safely, reach go/no-go decisions early, and discover realistic team velocities. Managers can better determine if market windows can be reached—thus placing successful products in customers’ hands. What if the ground beneath the project team is changing rapidly even as it is trying to make progress? Pollyanna Pixton shares a collaboration model and iterative delivery process to help you succeed, even in unstable conditions. Pollyanna shares her ideas on creating an open environment, identifying the talent the team needs, managing risks, and creating team ownership to ensure great results. Among the skills you need are a collaborative, transparent leadership style, an approach to positively influence outcomes, and collaborative communication. From there, you need to know when to stand back and let things happen. Leave with some keys to successfully lead agile project teams—even in the midst of chaos.
Learn more about Pollyanna Pixton  
The Bridge to Agility for Traditional Project Managers
Michele Sliger, Sliger Consulting
Traditional software project managers are feeling left behind by new agile software development practices. This is your opportunity to bridge agile development concepts by relating these new approaches to practices with which you are already familiar—the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Learn about agile frameworks and the meaning of value-driven development, Scrum, XP, lean methods, and more. Michele Sliger maps PMI’s PMBOK Guide® knowledge areas to the corresponding agile development practices. This mapping includes answers to questions such as how to manage risk, what happens to change control, what project plans look like, and whether or not scope creep has any meaning in agile projects. Michele describes how to redefine project managers’ traditional jobs into a new—and more important—role in agile development.
Learn more about Michele Sliger  
Agile Product Planning: Building Strong Backlogs
David Hussman, DevJam
Valuable deliveries start with smart and meaningful product planning. David Hussman examines how to create backlogs that have real value, describing the tools and techniques that successful agile communities employ. He shows you how to identify all stakeholders and how to work with them to continuously extract value. You’ll learn the practice of “chartering,” a powerful way to start meaningful discussions around the core values of the product and project. Then, David shows how developing personas can launch rich discussions about who will receive product value and how. Using the charter and personas, you’ll practice creating story maps that mine valuable user experience and connection a collection of user stories in a way that is meaningful and valuable to the organization. David explores other practices that make backlogs strong: architectural spikes, user interface design, other cross-cutting concerns, and more. Leave with a rich understanding of backlogs and ways to keep them strong over the life of your project.
Learn more about David Hussman  
Tutorials for Monday, November 9, 2009 — 1:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
ADAPTing to Agile: A Guide to Transitioning
Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat Software
Transitioning to an agile development process is unlike most transitions development organizations make. Often, transitions begin when a strong, visionary leader plants a stake in the ground and says, “Let’s take our organization there.” Other transitions start with a lone team thinking, “Who cares what management thinks, let’s do this.” The problem in transitioning to agile is that neither of these approaches is likely to lead to the long-term, sustainable change you want. Mike Cohn describes how you can iterate toward more agility by combining a senior-level “guiding coalition” with multiple “action teams.” Along the way, you will learn the acronym ADAPT to describe the five steps necessary for any successful agile transition: Awareness, Desire, Ability, Promote, and Transfer. Explore the real role of leaders and managers in guiding self-organizing teams toward agility. Take back proven patterns for getting started—Start Small, Stealth Mode, Going All In, Public Displays of Agility, Impending Doom, and more. Leave knowing what you must—and must not—do to succeed with agile in your organization and team.
Learn more about Mike Cohn  
Tuning and Improving Your Agility: Getting More Done 
David Hussman, DevJam
If you consider yourself an experienced agile practitioner and you’re looking to improve your skills, this tutorial is for you. David Hussman presents tools for evaluating your team’s agility and use of various agile practices. David teaches tools used by successful agile communities who have learned to value of continually evolving their practices as well as experiences with communities who lost sight of the underlying value practices provide and chose to over focus on mechanics. David’s approaches tuning your agility in four essential areas: growing community and vision, planning products, incrementally delivery of value, and the deeper challenges around continuous improvement. Join the party and learn how to get more done with your existing processes as well as learn new techniques and tools which draw from the core agile tenets, the source of on-going success and ever-increasing agility.
Learn more about David Hussman  
Practicing ScrumBut: Ensuring Project Failures 
Mitch Lacey, Mitch Lacey & Associates, Inc.
Scrum appears deceptively simple, but an effective implementation is complicated. Scrum’s rules are simple to understand, but organizations often ignore basic Scrum principles claiming they are “different” and don’t need to “follow all the rules.” Listen for the phrase, “We do Scrum, but …” One of the most common examples is, “We do Scrum, but we hold our daily stand-up meetings only once a week.” The purpose of the daily meeting is to allow the team to sync daily, track their prior day’s progress, update their daily plan, and identify impediments. Pushing this off to a once-a-week meeting clouds status, hides difficulties, and causes problems to persist longer, slowing the team and delaying the project. Inevitably, it will be the “but” that prevents the organization from achieving its greatest productivity. Mitch Lacey describes common ScrumButs and ways to extinguish them from your team and organization. In this interactive session, you’ll have a chance to share your own ScrumButs and explore ways to fix them when you return to the office.
Learn more about Mitch Lacey  
User-Centered Agile Software Development 
Jeff Patton, Independent Consultant
Many agile processes focus on building more functionality faster and as a result overlook characteristics such as "easy to use," "desirable," and "meets my goals as a user." Jeff Patton presents the essentials of creating a truly user-centric agile process—one that helps you gain insight into your users’ true needs, allowing you to leverage them and create useful, usable, and desirable software products. In short practice sessions, Jeff walks you through building pragmatic user personas and writing user stories that describe the user's experience. Explore how to ideate user interface concepts and quickly identify solutions that deliver the desired functionality. Learn how to assess and improve usability, and discover how design esthetics contribute to overall user satisfaction. Come away with new ways to integrate users into the development process—with the goal of delivering software that will wow your users, product owners, and all stakeholders.  
Learn more about Jeff Patton  
Release Planning: A Strategy for Success 
Dan Rawsthorne, Danube Technologies
One of the primary responsibilities of the product owner and project teams is release planning. Stakeholders want, need, and deserve to know what they'll be getting—and when. How do you do this in an agile environment? Although many find it tempting to create a release plan as a series of sprint plans, this is a mistake. It violates the lean principle of "minimal inventory" and will most likely be wrong—the same as with traditional project planning. Release planning is actually the development of a release strategy that is refined and adjusted throughout the process. A release strategy defines capabilities (not stories) and often includes a game plan for "spending" story points (or effort or money) to produce the most value. Dan Rawsthorne presents "rules of thumb" for developing a release strategy and spending game plan. You’ll practice using these rules during a guided exercise, walk through an example release, and learn how to monitor and measure the release plan along the way.
Learn more about Dan Rawsthorne  

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