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Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Agile Leadership

Our Journey to Agile in the Microsoft Developer Division Prior Year Content

This is the story about the Microsoft Developer Division and their two-year journey to agile—from shipping every three years to shipping every three weeks. In the old days, long stabilization phases were part of its DNA. Managers were rewarded for micromanagement. Commitments were made months in advance. Maintaining the appearance of meeting commitments was valued over transparency. Gregg Boer shares how this organization within Microsoft transitioned to one that values agile principles—controlling technical debt, enabling teams, eliminating bogus commitments, and rewarding transparency. When applying agile to such a large, traditional organization, the key to success is allowing autonomy at the team level, while ensuring alignment with the organization. Gregg shares successes as well as colossal failures. Learn how management sets direction while teams own their own backlog, how communication up and down can be transparent and healthy, and other lessons on their journey to agile.

1.00 PMI® PDU
Gregg Boer
Gregg Boer, Microsoft

Gregg Boer is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft with 25 years of experience in software. Over his career, Gregg has worked as a Project Manager, Program Manager, Requirements Lead, Software Engineer, Analyst, QA Lead, and Software Designer. Most of his experience is focused on leading small to medium software development teams (10-15 people). Over the years Gregg believes he has made many mistakes, learned many lessons, and worked with many smart people to develop great software. He loves the software industry, and considers himself a lucky man to have been a part of it for so long. Gregg joined Microsoft in 2005 because he believed in the vision of Team Foundation Server. He truly believes that the right set of collaborative tools could help make the lives of software engineers better. Most recently at Microsoft, Gregg is working on the team developing a set of world-class Agile Tools built on top of the TFS Platform.

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