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Agile Leadership Summit

Agile Leadership Summit—Leading Agile Culture Change

Thursday, June 5 • 5:30pm–7:30pm and Friday, June 6 • 8:30am–3:30pm

(Additional registration is required to attend)   

Pollyanna Pixton,
Summit Chair

“We can’t do agile until the culture changes” is an often-heard lament from teams that want to adopt agile methods. The culture must move from plan- and schedule-driven—and this transition is not easy. In the Agile Leadership Summit, leaders who have achieved—or are in the process of achieving—this culture change share their challenges, successes, and struggles.

The Agile Leadership Summit is your chance to join your peers and agile industry veterans—Peter Saddington, principal, Action & Influence, Inc., and executive editor, Agile Scout; Brian Lawrence,  IT director, TriZetto Provider Solutions; and Christopher Harrison, lead, Global Agile Adoption, Pitney Bowes—to explore the unique challenges facing software development leaders as they transform organizations to support agile methods. Hear what’s working—and not working—for them, and share your experiences, frustrations, and successes.

During the Welcome Reception on Thursday evening (June 5), Matt Barcomb, vice president of product development, Taxware, kicks off the gathering and shares his keys to leading agile transformation through environmental change. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your agile leadership issues which will become the basis for the Summit’s interactive sessions on Friday.

Friday, in the Think Tank Session, work together in small groups to discuss your challenges and brainstorm solutions. Over lunch, speakers address your questions in a panel discussion. Join in the speaker-led roundtable sessions (new this year) to work on your specific challenges in small group collaboration. The conversation does not end when the Summit adjourns. Informal discussions will continue around the pool into the evening.

Share your experiences with the speakers and other delegates during the networking breaks. You’ll have ample time to form a network of resources you can rely on for years to come.


The Agile Leadership Summit is a perfect opportunity for you to:

  • Meet and network with other leaders in the industry
  • Participate in insightful and informative sessions focusing on agile adoption leadership issues
  • Join in the “think tank” discussion with leaders in the trenches
  • Develop new ideas and action plans for culture change within your organization

5:30pm–7:30pm • Summit Kick-Off Reception (Think Tank Issues Identified for Discussion on Friday)

6:00pm–6:30pm • Leading Complex Adaptive Systems through Environment Design

  Matt Barcomb, vice president of product development, Taxware

Many agile transformations suffer due to lack of leadership support or significant cultural inertia. However, this should not be surprising. When we dig deeper, we often find that little below the surface has changed. When leaders begin to see their organizations as complex adaptive systems, their role as a leader needs to change in order to add value. The future of leadership lies in environment design. Matt Barcomb shares his experiences, challenges, and insights as he works to continuously adapt the design of his organization's environment―from reporting structures and organizational forms to rebalancing authority with accountability and even revisiting classic issues such as linking performance with compensation plans. Join Matt to hear his lessons learned and to discover new ideas for you to try in your organization.




Matt Barcomb (@mattbarcomb) is passionate about cultivating sustainable, adaptive organizations; enjoys being out-of-doors; loves punning; and thrives on guiding organizations toward balanced, holistic, self-organizing cultures. Matt has spent time as a programmer, team manager, college instructor, organizational design consultant, executive in product development, and in the military. He believes that individuals and their interactions continue to be the most challenging issues facing businesses today. As such, Matt has dedicated a substantial amount of time and energy to find ways to make the business-software universe a better place to work, play, and do business. Matt resides in Boston and shares his musings on his blog.

7:30am–8:30am • Registration and Breakfast

8:30am–8:45am • Welcome

8:45am–9:30amGrowing High Performance Teams through Mentoring

  Peter Saddington, principal, Action & Influence, Inc., and executive editor, Agile Scout

Did you know that more than half of Nobel Prize winners were apprenticed by other Nobel laureates? To grow organizations and teams to peak performance, you must take servant leadership to its logical conclusion―intentionally mentoring and growing others. This is a time-tested and practiced art. As a volunteer life coach, marriage counselor, and organizational consultant, Peter Saddington is passionate about this art and shares how you can help your teams achieve the next level of performance. Even though it is a long, tough road, the benefits are worth the struggle. We’ll talk about mentoring and how to get started, the six areas of a mentor relationship, and six tips for mentors.


Peter Saddington cofounded a successful organizational design consultancy and has been integral in multimillion dollar agile transformation projects with some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies, including Cisco, T-Mobile, Capital One, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Primedia, and Cbeyond. Peter is a sought-after speaker at many industry events and is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). He holds three master’s degrees, one in counseling, and provides life-coaching services in addition to his consultancy.

9:30am–10:15am • Leading the Evolution beyond Scrum

  Brian Lawrence, IT director, TriZetto Provider Solutions

Within software development and especially within the agile community, process is important. Adopting Scrum, a popular agile process, though more prescriptive than most, is a good way to embark on an agile transformation. However, process is a two-edged sword. Religiously sticking to a single process can stifle innovation and growth. Brian Lawrence shares several ways the teams at TriZetto Provider Solutions have evolved beyond by-the-book Scrum as these teams have matured. As leaders, we should coach our teams through this evolution. Brian discusses the reasons why these are improvements and what we as leaders can do to encourage and enable our teams to move beyond basic Scrum. Specific areas of focus include the delivery team and other roles, product owners, human resources, estimation, releases, backlogs, moving to kanban, and some of the myths of agile


An IT director at St. Louis-based TriZetto Provider Solutions, Brian Lawrence is responsible for several agile and kanban product development teams, as well as application architecture. Brian has been a process junkie since the days of Edward Yourdon’s Structured Analysis. During his career, Brian has taken development organizations through several methodology transformations, including the Rational Unified Process, Essential Unified Process, and agile. He loves process improvement and looking at ways to develop software better, faster, and cheaper. Brian’s current passion is looking at ways to manage within the agile environment.

10:15am–10:45am • Networking Break

10:45am–11:45am • Think Tank Discussion: Solutions to Top Issues in Roundtables

11:45am–12:15pm • Networking Lunch Buffet (Grab & Go)

12:15pm–1:15pm • PanelAdvice for Leaders: Leading Culture Change

1:15pm–2:00pm • Agile Culture: Take the Next Step

  Christopher Harrison, Global Agile Lead, Pitney Bowes

Organizations can make the mistake of looking at agile adoption as something that only their delivery teams need to do and thus focus only on the process changes that need to take place there. Agile adoption is not limited to changing a few processes―just reducing the delivery mechanism that provides value to stakeholders. While process change is an effective and important step to take, agile adoption is more about a mindset and culture change throughout the entire organization. The success of agile adoption is highly dependent on the leaders of the organization. Join Christopher Harrison as he shares his experiences and journey of changing culture in a large organization, stepping through both his successes and failures.


An inspiring leader, engineering manager, and agile lead for Pitney Bowes, Christopher Harrison has been responsible for teams delivering a market-leading global enterprise asset infrastructure management system called Confirm, working on the product for eleven years. As lead for Global Agile Adoption within Pitney Bowes, Christopher has focused on culture change, building a learning culture, and growing high performing software delivery teams with a client-focused mindset. He currently supports an engineering organization of 1,200 and is building collaborative bridges between the various departments at Pitney Bowes.

2:00pm–2:30pm • Networking Break

2:30pm–3:15pm • Speaker Round Tables

3:15pm–3:30pm • Wrap Up and Ongoing Informal Discussion with Speakers and Attendees