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Below find information on the featured keynotes at 2013 Agile Development Conference East.

Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 8:30am - 9:30am

Even today, to the detriment of agile success, most organizational cultures remain delivery date-driven—resulting in delivery teams that are not focused on creating value for the customer. So how can we redirect stakeholders, the business, and the project team to concentrate on delivering the greatest value rather than simply meeting dates? Pollyanna Pixton describes the tools she has used in collaboration sessions to help all stakeholders and team members begin the process of adopting customer-centric agile methods. These tools include laying out an end-to-end customer journey, forming reusable decision filters to help prioritize backlogs, converting features into actionable user stories, and developing a solid process for making group decisions and communicating those decisions. Pollyanna shares questions that product owners and managers can use to define the problem while making sure they don't solve the problem prematurely. After all, that is the responsibility of the delivery team.

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Payson Hall, Catalysis Group, Inc.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:45pm - 1:45pm

Is a project’s fate preordained? Does a project’s past suggest its likely future? Can anything be done to influence that future when the current signs aren’t promising? Payson Hall has participated in and reviewed many projects during his thirty-year career in software development. Without claiming mystical or magical powers, Payson shares problem symptoms he has observed and discusses strategies for isolating and correcting them. He helps you learn to identify “problem seeds” that can grow into larger issues over time. For example, when a task exceeds its planned duration, questions that might help identify the cause include: Are the people assigned to the task working on something else? Has the schedule shifted the task into holidays, training, or vacations? Are tasks blocked awaiting information, materials, or approvals? Was the work clearly defined to begin with? Payson introduces a diagnostic framework that helps you determine the next steps in an investigation to identify root causes of project issues you observe and to formulate possible remedies.

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Kevlin Henney, Independent Consultant
Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 8:30am - 9:30am

More than two decades ago, Richard P. Gabriel proposed the idea that “Worse Is Better” to explain why some things that are designed to be pure and perfect are eclipsed by solutions that are compromised and imperfect. This is not simply an observation that things should be better but are not, or that flawed and ill-considered solutions sometimes win out over those created with intention. Rather, many solutions that are narrow and incomplete work out better than those seen as comprehensive and complete. Whether programming languages, operating systems, or development practices, we find many examples in software development, some more provocative and surprising than others—Unix, Linux, C, COM, the web, the Wiki, incremental development, and TDD, to name but a few. The Worse Is Better philosophy pre-dates and anticipates agile development, but some of its finer points are still overlooked by agile and fragile projects everywhere. As Kevlin Henney revisits the original premise and question, he shares examples that can teach us new and surprising things.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 12:45pm - 1:45pm

When she was little, Iris Classon was told that if you plan to go from 0 to 100 in a short period of time, you need a very good plan. So Iris made grand plans, but they all failed to deliver on her dreams and aspirations. So, when she decided to make a drastic career change from clinical nutritionist to computer programmer without ever having seen a line of code, she decided not having a plan would be her plan—embracing unpredictability and uncertainty instead of fighting it. Iris shares how she went from dietitian to programmer in less than a year, with an intriguing approach to agile learning and personal development. Iris shares the approach she used, contributors to and key players in her success, and the science behind it—how the human mind can help learning and break boundaries. Iris provides you with practical advice on learning, facts on how the mind works, and most importantly, proves that anything is possible—with enough passion and knowledge.

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