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Adopting Agile Practices


MC Agile Program Management: Networks, Not Hierarchies NEW
Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
Mon, 11/11/2013 - 8:30am

When you think of program management, do you think of big lumbering organizational beasts that add little value, and people demanding “When will you be done?” or “Can we add this feature before the desired release date?” Agile program management encourages small-world networks of collaborative teams that can solve problems and deliver features fast. That requires the entire program be agile and lean—using small batch sizes, integrating continuously, having short iterations, and tracking cycle time so you can coordinate across the organization.

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MN An Introduction to SAFe: The Scaled Agile Framework NEW
Ken Pugh, Net Objectives
Mon, 11/11/2013 - 1:00pm

Many organizations have achieved agility at the team level only to be unable to achieve it across teams. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) provides both a vision and method for how to achieve this. SAFe is the first documented framework that can be used to scale agile throughout an organization. It is a combination of lean, kanban, and Scrum—lean to provide a context for an organization, kanban to manage the flow of projects, and Scrum to provide agile at the team level. Beginning with an introduction to lean and kanban, Ken Pugh explains why they are required for agile at scale.

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MQ Six Free Ideas to Improve Agile Success
Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova
Mon, 11/11/2013 - 1:00pm

Free? Is anything free these days? Based on her experience working with organizational leaders and her research into what drives organizational performance, Pollyanna Pixton shares six ideas—and the keys to their effective implementation—to help assure the success of your agile teams. As a bonus, her suggestions won’t cost you a thing. Pollyanna’s first free idea is how to create a culture of trust—the keystone of open collaboration—within your team and organization. The second free idea is about ownership—how to give it and not take it back.

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Concurrent Sessions

AW1 The Mindset of Managing Uncertainty: The Key to Agile Success
Ahmed Sidky, SCG Inc.
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 10:15am

The speed of global change and the advancement of technology will continue to increase the uncertainty in our work. Those with an Agile Mindset can manage uncertainty through continuous value-based discovery; those with a Fixed Mindset try to “freeze” things early to decrease uncertainty. Unfortunately, many people never switch their mindset and are doing agile while not being agile. Ahmed Sidky explains that your mindset is at the heart of your day-to-day challenges as you try to manage uncertainty more effectively.

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AW7 Adopt Before You Adapt: Learning Principles through Practice
Steve Berczuk, Fitbit, Inc.
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 2:15pm

Although agile principles sound simple, adopting agile is often extremely difficult. Some teams adopting agile start by making changes and tweaks to prescribed processes—bad! Steve Berczuk explains how following the recommended practices of your chosen agile method for a time will help you internalize the process and leverage the experiences of those who developed the method. Through experience, Steve has discovered that premature customization can lead to more problems and eventually to failure.

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AW10 I Thought YOU Were Flying the Plane: Preventing Projects from Falling Out of the Sky
Steve Adolph, WSA Consulting
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 3:45pm

One of the most cherished concepts of the Agile Manifesto is valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Within this idea is the implicit assumption that individuals innately know how to interact. Dramatic lessons from aviation suggest otherwise. During the mid-1960s the frequent crashes of perfectly good aircraft alarmed the world’s airlines. Investigators discovered nothing lacking in the pilot’s “stick and rudder” skills; these accidents were the result of the flight crew’s inability to work as a team.

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AT1 Large Agile Transformations: A Roadmap for Lasting Change
Ole Jepsen, goAgile
Jenni Jepsen, goAgile
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 10:15am

Agile methods have gained the attention of leaders as a way to speed time to market and increase motivation. Businesses are looking to agile as a way to achieve organizational change so teams deliver more value faster, and where people’s pride and joy of work are enhanced. However, we know from extensive experience that agile practices by themselves will not lead to this kind of an organizational transformation. What does it take?

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AT3 Using Non-Violent Communication Skills for Managing Team Conflict
Pat Arcady, FreeStanding Agility
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 10:15am

“Going agile” has transformed thousands of workplaces into groups of self-directed teams, more engaged and increasingly more productive. Knowledge workers report increased job satisfaction, strong team identity, and camaraderie. One of the secrets of high performing teams is their ability to manage conflict in ways that support team cohesion, deepen trust, and reinforce commitment to team greatness. Agile practices value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Sounds great on paper!  How do you live that?

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AT6 Speed Grooming Requirements with SAFe
André Dhondt, Rally Software Development
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 2:15pm

Want your sprint/iteration planning to take less than fifteen minutes (excluding tasking)? The key is in the story writing we do during backlog grooming. Although the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has little to say about story writing, this "speed grooming" practice makes iteration planning a breeze, and better software comes out of the process. André Dhondt shares stories of real-world agile teams using this technique and how they've moved to a customer-empathy mindset. How does it work?

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AT9 Lessons from Busting Organizational Silos
Tricia Broderick, Santeon Group
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 3:45pm

We’ve all heard of the evils that can result from organizational silos—bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and the “us vs. them” mentality. Perhaps you’ve been a victim. As Tricia Broderick repeatedly experienced value from busting individual project team silos, she naturally wanted to expand her busting across the entire organization. Not surprisingly, this turned out to be anything but simple. What surprised her was how many challenges resulted from falling victim to both faulty logic and prior successes, including halting a team’s progress out of concerns of sub-optimization.

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AT11 Step Away from the Waterfall: Using Agile for COTS Implementations
Jason Fair, Genesis Consulting
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 3:45pm

Have you wondered how to deliver your COTS projects quicker and realize their business value sooner? How do you remove all of the “ceremony” and “waste” of the implementation process, while maintaining the integrity of the delivered COTS package? Commonly, traditional waterfall project methodologies are used to implement comprehensive COTS projects. However, many of these implementations finish late and over budget. Stakeholders are often disappointed at the quality of the delivered product and the reduced or delayed realization of benefits.

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