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Johanna Rothman

Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.

Known as the “Pragmatic Manager,”Johanna Rothman helps organizational leaders identify problems and risks in their product development and recognize potential “gotchas,” seize opportunities, and remove impediments. Johanna is the technical editor for and is author of Manage Your Job Search, Hiring Geeks That Fit, Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, the 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, and Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. She is currently writing a book about agile program management. In addition, Johanna writes columns for and, and blogs on, and

Speaker Presentations
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
What Do Agile Managers Do?

The Agile Manifesto makes no mention of management. So does that mean that we don’t need managers? No. We need managers, but what they do changes in an agile organization. In an agile organization, where managers no longer define and monitor daily tactical project tasks, we need them more than ever as organizational leaders―setting strategy, managing the organization-wide project portfolio, removing organizational obstacles, building trusting relationships with the staff, coaching, providing feedback, assisting with career development, leading the hiring decisions and process, and building the capacity of the organization. Do you know how to perform this work? In this experiential session, Johanna Rothman invites you to experience part of the day of an agile manager. Feel what it is like to set strategy, manage the project portfolio, remove obstacles, provide feedback, and build the capacity of the organization. This is a simulation-based tutorial. Come prepared to experience and debrief to learn.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Congruent Coaching: Choosing the Right Approach

We have opportunities to coach people all the time. Much of what we think of as coaching is actually undercover training. Real coaching is richer—offering support while exploring options. In this interactive session, Johanna Rothman invites you to experience coaching, regardless of your position in the organization. Teaching is just one type of coaching. You have many other options, depending on your coaching stance. You may select a counselor’s stance if you are managing up or a partner’s stance if you are a peer. You might even select a reflective observer’s stance or a technical advisor’s stance, depending on the situation. Explore what to do when you see opportunities for coaching but you haven’t been asked to coach. Bring your coaching concerns, whether you are coaching onsite, or coaching at a distance, or coaching one-on-one, or coaching teams. Let’s learn and build our coaching skills together.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 2:15pm
Improving the Team
At Least Five Tips for Improving Your Geographically Distributed Agile Team

About half of all agile projects either have team members who are dispersed or are part of large programs where the teams are remote from each other. That makes agile, with its real-time communications rituals, quite difficult. How do you build effective collaborative and autonomous feature teams when they are geographically separated and have different cultural beliefs? Johanna Rothman shares tips on building respect across time zones, how project charters can help create team norms, when to have—and not have—real-time rituals, and how to share data across time zones. Johanna Rothman discusses how to know when a yes means yes, no, or maybe, regardless of whether you are a north-south team, or an east-west team, or both. Because this is an interactive session, you can share practices you’ve found to be effective. Let’s learn from each other and build our knowledge of how to make geographically distributed agile teams work.