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MG Agile Estimation and Planning: Scrum, Kanban, and Beyond
David Hussman, DevJam
Mon, 11/09/2015 - 8:30am

If you are new to agile methods—or trying to improve your estimation and planning skills—this session is for you. David Hussman brings years of experience coaching teams on how to employ XP, lean, Scrum, and kanban. He advises teams to obtain the estimating skills they need from these approaches rather than following a prescribed process. From start to finish, David focuses on learning from estimates as you learn to estimate. He covers skills and techniques from story point estimating delivered within iterations to planning without estimates by delivering a continuous flow of value. Going beyond the simple mechanics of estimation and planning, David explores agile techniques to enable continuous learning and ways to prevent sprint planning sessions from becoming empty rituals. Join David and your peers to practice your agile estimation and planning techniques so they can become powerful tools within your project.

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Concurrent Sessions

AW7 Product Backlog Refinement: Grooming Your User Stories
Becky Moshenek, ANCILE Solutions
Wed, 11/11/2015 - 1:30pm

The Scrum Guide describes Product Backlog Refinement as “the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog.” New and even experienced agile teams often underestimate the importance of well-groomed stories and find the process of reviewing numerous stories, breaking them down, and estimating the work chaotic and cumbersome. As this happens, teams push problems downstream into sprint planning meetings—or worse, into the sprint. Becky Moshenek shares how, working with the Product Owner, they create stories for backlog items to be reviewed. The stories include a link to the actual item, tasks outlining how and what to review, and a deadline for a future refinement meeting. These become refinement stories that are assigned to team members and brought into a sprint for an allotted ten percent of their time. Coordinating the team’s effort around backlog refinement in this way has cut meeting times, increased team involvement, produced more polished items, and made for a happier team.

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AW11 Smart Agile at Scale: ASK the Right Questions
Steve Spearman, Swift Ascent, LLC
Richard Dolman, agile42
Wed, 11/11/2015 - 2:45pm

Agile at scale continues to be a hot topic as more large organizations begin their transformation. Many frameworks are available, including SAFe, DAD, LeSS, Enterprise Scrum, and Nexus. Scaling agile across the enterprise is very challenging; even understanding the options is complex. How can you pick one? Do you need to pick just one? Or pick at all? The right answer depends on your unique situation. Smart scaling with the Agile Scaling Knowledgebase (ASK) 2.0 provides a way to compare different approaches, going beyond the more “popular” frameworks to include new, emerging ones. Steve Spearman and Richard Dolman explore the evolution of popular approaches and discuss how you can make the best decision to fit your company and your project. Join the conversation, share your experiences, and learn from others. Get to know ASK as a valuable tool to help you and your organization explore the topic of agile scaling within the context of your organization’s specific needs.

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AT11 Rejuvenate Your Scrum Implementation: From Good to Great
Denise Dantzler, Werner Enterprises
Thu, 11/12/2015 - 1:30pm

After implementing Scrum, some organizations slowly stray away from the basics that made their implementation successful. They loosen up Scrum practices, lose sight of core roles and responsibilities, and succumb to their muscle memory of how things were done before. Teams have little accountability and fail the transparency test. Denise Dantzler reminds us of the roles and responsibilities of the ScrumMaster, Product Owner, team member, leadership team, organization, Scrum coach, and stakeholders. She then identifies and discusses pitfalls, and recommended actions in each role to rejuvenate a Scrum implementation. Denise explores overall process improvement opportunities for Scrum implementations, including mid-sprint poker, release planning, and the importance of a Sprint Zero. Learn the critical adjustments you and your organization can make to remain successful over the long haul with Scrum.

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AT15 From Waterfall to Agile: A ScrumMaster’s View
Andrew Montcrieff, Veritas
Thu, 11/12/2015 - 3:00pm

In less than one year, a leading software company's product team transitioned from a twenty-five year history of waterfall development to using agile methodologies. They had produced software the old-fashioned way—sequentially, firmly entrenched in the process and procedure of pure waterfall. Long release cycles, a mature code base, and an ingrained development model prevented their rapid response to the needs of their customers. The “rush for the finish line” left schedules and deadlines shredded, quality and development staff exhausted, and management frustrated. Andrew Montcrieff describes the processes, challenges, and lessons learned while moving from waterfall to agile. He provides insight on how they dealt with the problems encountered along the way. Andrew will make you feel more comfortable with moving a legacy waterfall product to a more predictable, reliable, agile methodology-driven product by learning what to expect and how to deal with the obstacles you’ll likely encounter along the way.

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