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Agile Development Practices 2009

Pre-conference Tutorials

Go To:   Monday  |  Tuesday  


Tutorials for Tuesday, November 10, 2009 —  8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Agile Release Planning, Metrics, and Retrospectives
Michael Mah, QSM Associates
How do you compare the productivity and quality you achieve with agile practices with that of traditional waterfall projects? Join Michael Mah to learn about both agile and waterfall metrics and how these metrics behave in real projects. Learn how to use your own data to move from sketches on a whiteboard to create agile project trends on productivity, time-to-market, and defect rates. Using recent, real-world case studies, Michael offers a practical, expert view of Agile measurement, showing you these metrics in action on retrospectives and release estimation and planning. In hands-on exercises, learn how to replicate these techniques to make your own comparisons for time, cost, and quality. Working in pairs, calculate productivity metrics using the templates Michael employs in his consulting practice. You can leverage these new metrics to make the case for changing to more agile practices and creating realistic project commitments in your organization. Take back new ways for communicating to key decision makers the value of implementing agile development practices.
Learn more about Michael Mah  
Advanced Agile Project Management 
Jim Highsmith, Cutter Consortium
Agile project management and development practices have expanded into organizations worldwide at an astonishing rate. Some companies have gone from thinking of agile as a software development method to viewing agility as an organizational imperative. Jim Highsmith explores topics that will help your organization—at the team, department, or enterprise level—think of agile in this new and vital way. Effective agile integration focuses on six key areas in which agile concepts and practices must be integrated into the enterprise—organization, process, culture, governance, alignment, and performance. Learn how to create a path for your organization that enhances its ability to deliver successful agile projects. Discover powerful ways to help your organization fully embrace the agile ethic. Learn how to overcome issues—project governance, performance measurement, release planning, and scaling up and out—that can prevent your becoming a successful agile organization. Through interactive discussions and Q&A sessions, you’ll learn from others and share your knowledge and experiences with agile projects and practices.
Learn more about Jim Highsmith  
Tutorials for Tuesday, November 10, 2009 —  8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. 
Better Decisions Through Collaboration
Jean Tabaka, Rally Software Development
Join Jean Tabaka for an exploration of better decision making through collaboration and facilitation. In this exercise-packed session, learn and apply facilitation tools and techniques that support a collaborative mode of decision making for the planning, daily interactions, and reviews especially useful for agile software development project teams. Jean leads you in evaluating collaboration versus command-and-control leadership styles, collaborative decision-making, and the facilitation techniques vital for effective planning and directing collaborative meetings and interactions. Working in small teams, facilitate decisions through a series of exercises. Practice helping teams gather insights and arrive at decisions without taking over and making the decisions yourself! It is all about making better, more insightful decisions that enable high-performing teams. Be prepared to be on your feet, be challenged, and watch your skills grow!
Learn more about Jean Tabaka  
Prioritizing Your Product Backlog 
Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat Software
A fundamental premise in all agile development is that work will be done in priority order. Yet, very little advice is provided to product owners about how to prioritize a product backlog. Regardless of how fast your agile team is, how brilliant your technical solutions are, or how many automated tests you run continuously, nothing matters if you’re working on the wrong features. Mike Cohn examines both financial and non-financial methods of prioritizing product backlog items. Mike describes techniques—relative weighting, theme screening, theme scoring, Kano analysis, impact estimation—and financial measures such as return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and discounted cash flow. Not only are these techniques helpful for prioritizing product backlog items, they also can be used for prioritizing ideas for entire projects. The techniques are easy and the concepts are powerful. Take back practical knowledge about how to apply these straightforward techniques to prioritizing your product backlog.
 Learn more about Mike Cohn  
Writing Effective Use Cases in the Agile Age   
Alistair Cockburn, Humans and Technology, Inc.
Based on his award-winning book recognized as the industry standard, Alistair Cockburn shows you how to write use cases that are short, effective, and elegant. A good use case has a main success scenario, plus scenario extensions that cover situations that may arise along the way. What makes a use case great? It is the writer’s understanding of the scope of action, alertness to the level of the goal in each step, clear movement of information and responsibility between actors, the use of goal-oriented verbs, and a story line that ties the steps to a goal of the primary user. When these guidelines are applied, even complex use cases become short and simple enough for lay people to understand and critique. Learn the critical but often unstated ground rules about scope, goal level, and actors. Discover how to collect and simplify use cases, and how to slice them for agile development.
Learn more about Alistair Cockburn  
Agile Chartering: Inspiring, Aligning, and Evaluating Project Communities 
Joshua Kerievsky, Industrial Logic, Inc.
Having a vision for your product or project is not enough. All project participants must be aligned with essential organizational objectives, inspired to achieve great things, and evaluated on whether or not their work is successful. But, what is “success”? Agile teams need "connective tissue" between executive management’s vision for a product and how everyone engaged in development and delivery defines success. Without a clear charter, it's possible to be "agile" and build well-tested software that fails to meet key organizational and customer needs—a technical success but a business failure. Joshua Kerievsky has been helping groups craft and evaluate agile project charters since 2001. He explores what agile chartering is, how to do it, the pitfalls to avoid, and shares his real-world experiences from the trenches. Learn chartering through hands-on experience by producing elements of a charter as you discover the best ways to conduct chartering in your organization.
Learn more about Joshua Kerievsky  
Techniques for Measuring Team Velocity
Rob Myers, Agile Institute
The velocity metric is often misunderstood and unintentionally misused by both management and development. Developers worry they're being evaluated based on this number. Managers want to know how it can be increased. How a team defines velocity—explicitly or implicitly— affects the team’s ability to meet delivery commitments. Velocity must be rigorously defined and consistent; otherwise planning efforts quickly unravel. Rob Myers clarifies velocity—its definition and use. Rob explores velocity as a realistic planning tool, offers various ways to measure velocity, and presents simple analogies that make it understandable. Learn effective ways to obtain consistent estimates, discuss approaches to planning iterations and releases, and track your progress. Realistic, group exercises explore and reinforce these analogies including playing the “Team Estimation Game” and talking briefly about Planning Poker®. Learn what to do about vacations, meetings, sick days, and surprises, and what to do if the answer to "Are we on schedule?" is "No."
Learn more about Rob Myers  
Tutorials for Tuesday, November 10, 2009 —  1:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Pragmatic Thinking and Learning
Andy Hunt, The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC
Software development happens in your head—not in an editor, IDE, or design tool. We’re well educated on how to work with software and hardware, but what about wetware—our brains? Join Andy Hunt for a look at how the brain really works (hint: it’s a dual processor, shared bus design) and how to use the best tool for the job by learning to think differently about thinking. Andy looks at the importance of context and the role of expert intuition in software development. Learn to take advantage of pole-bridging and integration thinking. Compare different laterally-specialized functions, including synthesis vs. analysis and sequential processing vs. pattern-matching. Discover the one simple habit that separates the genius from the “wanna-be.” Andy helps you discover how to learn more deliberately by managing your knowledge portfolio. Explore practical learning techniques, including mind maps, reading techniques, and situational feedback that help you cope with the torrent of new information that assaults each of us.
Learn more about Andy Hunt  
The Beginner's Mind: Keeping Your Agile Adoption Fresh
Jean Tabaka, Rally Software Development
Join Jean Tabaka on a journey that gives you insight into how the best agile teams truly engage and adapt. Using interactive exercises to investigate the notion of "Beginner’s Mind" versus "Expert Mind", Jean invites you to embrace an agile adoption approach that keeps your mind in the present, open to new ideas, and always curious. She “opens the agile kimono” by sharing experiences of teams that have successfully adopted Beginner’s Mind and teams that unfortunately embraced Expert Mind. Jean challenges you about your team’s decision styles, agile practices, and notions of best practices—any of which can inadvertently invite the damaging blinders of Expert Mind. She invites discussion within small groups about how Expert Mind practices actually impede agile maturity and keep teams from gelling. Finally, Jean invites you to create and share a set of Beginner’s Mind practices with other participants in a quiet reflection of how to stay fresh. Bring your experiences and curiosity—and expect to be surprised!
Learn more about Jean Tabaka  
Fearless Change: Introducing New Ideas
Linda Rising, Independent Consultant
Those who attend conferences or read books and articles discover new ideas they want to bring into their organizations—but they often struggle when trying to implement those changes. Unfortunately, those introducing change are not always welcomed with open arms. Linda Rising offers proven change management strategies to help you become a more successful agent of change in your organization. Learn how to plant effective seeds of change and what forces drive or block change in your organization. In addition to using these approaches to change your organization, you can use them to become a more effective person. Come and discuss your organizational and personal change challenges. Linda shows how the lessons from her book, Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, can help you succeed. Learn how to overcome adversity to change and to celebrate your improvement successes along with your organization’s newfound practices.
Learn more about Linda Rising  
Agile Estimating and Planning
Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat Software
Planning is important for all projects, especially agile ones. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen many worthless plans and are tempted to throw out planning altogether. Regretfully, too many teams today view planning as something to be avoided, and too many organizations view plans as something to hold against their development teams. But don’t give up yet! With the right type of agile estimating and planning, you can create an accurate and useful project plan that looks six to nine months in the future. Join Mike Cohn to learn new skills that will help you create reliable plans that improve decision-making and break the cycle of poor estimates and failed expectations. Leave with a solid understanding of and experience in agile planning as you learn new approaches to estimating—unit-less points, ideal time, and more. Practice estimating with the popular Planning Poker® technique and see how these techniques work on fixed-price and fixed-scope projects. With Mike and the other participants, you’ll explore techniques that dramatically increase your project’s chances of on-time completion.
Learn more about Mike Cohn  
Blending Kanban and Extreme Programming 
Joshua Kerievsky, Industrial Logic, Inc.
Extreme Programming (XP) ignited the agile movement ten years ago by offering a simple, minimalistic approach to software development. More recently, Kanban has emerged to provide a simple, minimalistic approach to software development management. What happens when you blend Kanban with XP?  You get one heck of an agile process! Joshua Kerievsky explains how his team has spent the past few years adjusting XP principles to fit Kanban and adjusting Kanban to fit XP. Joshua describes the waste he often found in traditional XP practices, the formalities in Kanban that did not provide much value, and how the blended version of Kanban and XP has helped his team practice an ultra-lean, dependable, agile development approach. Explore with Joshua how you can install and implement a blend of Kanban and XP today rather than start with ten-year-old agile processes and slowly evolve to the newer, leaner methods now in demand.
Learn more about Joshua Kerievsky  

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