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Agile for the Enterprise


MA An Introduction to SAFe: The Scaled Agile Framework
Al Shalloway, Net Objectives
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 8:30am

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is quickly being adopted by many large organizations that have had some success with agile at the team level but have not been able to scale up to large projects. Al Shalloway describes what SAFe is, discusses when and how to implement it, and provides a few extensions to SAFe. Al begins with a high-level, executive’s guide to SAFe that you can share with your organization’s leaders. He then covers the aspects of implementing SAFe: identifying the sequence of features to work, establishing release trains, the SAFe release planning event, SAFe’s variant of Scrum, and when to use the SAFe process. Al concludes with extensions to SAFe including creating effective teams—even when it doesn’t look possible—and implementing shared services and DevOps in SAFe using kanban. Get an introduction to SAFe, discover whether it would be useful to your organization, and identify the steps you should take to be SAFe.

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Concurrent Sessions

AW2 Leanban: The Next Generation of Agile
Al Shalloway, Net Objectives
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:30am

Al Shalloway introduces Leanban, the next major agile approach following Scrum, XP, and Kanban—and the first explicitly based on lean software development principles. While each of these earlier approaches is a manifestation of selected Lean principles, none of them were fully Lean. The result is that each approach, while valuable, is incomplete and useful in only certain situations. Al explains how Leanban is an explicit manifestation of Lean principles while incorporating what we’ve learned from previous agile methods. It encompasses culture, Lean flow, how people learn, the importance of systems thinking, technical practices, and management, providing a consistent set of principles and core set of practices. Al presents Leanban's well-defined starting points and then discusses Leanban's well-defined migration path from one practice to another as teams learn or their situation changes. Al concludes by discussing how teams currently doing XP, Scrum or Kanban can extend their current practices with Leanban.

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AW6 Extreme Agile: Managing Fully-Distributed Teams
Alan Bennett, Linaro
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 1:30pm

It is challenging—if not impossible—to find local experts in low-level Linux or specific open-source software projects. However, this isn’t a challenge with a fully-distributed organization which has this talent worldwide. So the challenge becomes how to effectively manage, motivate, and retain this talent. At Linaro, Alan Bennett is responsible for producing many of their open source products. Having successfully worked with Kanban and Scrum in the past, Alan was surprised how difficult implementing agile practices was when the workdays of most team members overlapped only an hour or less. Realizing that their sprint planning and retrospectives were not going to be sustainable, the team knew they would have to make some changes. Alan shows you how his teams effectively manage their workload, combine agile with open source software processes, and create a system that survives and thrives even with the extreme communication latencies of a fully-distributed team.

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AW7 Scaling Agile: In Theory and Practice
Bob Payne, LitheSpeed
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 2:45pm

Heated debate swirls around agile methods and how to scale them. Most of this energy is created by the perception that there exists but one true way to do agile. Einstein once said, “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they never are.” And the topic of agile at scale is the same. Bob Payne pragmatically approaches the discussion of how and when to scale agile. Not surprisingly, the theories about scaling agile methods exhibit similar properties and patterns despite all the dogma. So, why do certain patterns prevail, and how do those patterns change when confronted by the realities of practice? Tradeoffs are inevitable with the choice of how to scale agile practices. Explore the pros and cons of interlinked planning, teams of small teams, transparency, and continuous cross team integration. Let's bust some dogma and at the end of the session discuss specific scaling techniques.

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AW10 SAFe Integration Patterns: Scaling with Continuous Collaboration
Jeff Downs, Tasktop Technologies
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 4:15pm

“Going agile” at a fifty-person startup is easy; at a 5,000 person ISV it’s impressive; and in a Fortune 500 company it’s often a nightmare. At large scale, the sheer number of legacy systems, stakeholder specific tools, and governance processes can turn even a simple agile deployment into a water-scrum-fall abomination. The ability to scale agile is critical for any size organization aspiring to remain competitive in a software-driven economy. Jeff Downs leads a discussion about being agile by keeping the focus on people—rather than processes and tools—through integration. Jeff introduces several tool-agnostic integration patterns, including defect unification, agile orchestration, and supply chain integration, which are critical to any organization trying to succeed with large scale agile. Learn how these integration patterns lead to an integrated agile tool suite that breaks down the barriers between teams, puts your people in a position to continuously collaborate, and enables a scaled agile initiative.

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AW11 Agile in Government and Highly Regulated Settings
Suzanne Miller, Software Engineering Institute
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 4:15pm

Since 2009, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has been researching the adoption and application of agile and lean methods and principles in US government and other highly regulated settings (e.g., finance, healthcare) with regulatory constraints on their development lifecycles. At first, there were few of these organizations practicing agile; six years later the interest level in agile approaches to software (and systems, in some cases) development has increased tremendously. Suzanne Miller shares how agile affects areas such as management and governance, contracting, security, measurement, testing, and systems engineering. Suzanne provides insights into the constraints government organizations and regulated industries typically face when adopting agile principles, notes how changes in the regulatory environment are affecting those adopting agile, and shares both adoption risks and some of the strategies organizations are employing to address them.

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AT4 Let’s Talk Agile: Crucial Conversations with Executives
Bob Hartman, Agile For All
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:30am

Does speaking to your company’s management or executives about agile scare you half to death? If so, you aren’t alone. Bob Hartman explains the most common scenarios that trigger these fears. An interactive exercise using these scenarios gives you a baseline of insights into the causes of the fear or anxiety we experience in these situations. Bob uses these insights to help you understand the basic skills necessary to effectively communicate with people in positions of authority. He explores the importance of having empathy, understanding motivation, and using basic negotiation skills in the context of having meaningful conversations. In addition, he shares several common communication methods that fall flat when speaking to executives. Bob concludes with an exercise to ensure everyone leaves with the critical understanding of both the positive techniques to use and the negative techniques to avoid during these difficult conversations.

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AT11 Building Agile Teams in a Global Environment
Betsy Kauffman, Agile Pi
Oscar Rodriquez, Agile Pi
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 3:00pm

Many organizations use teams spread worldwide to develop valuable business applications. These organizations expect the teams to work as one harmonious unit without missing a beat—or should we say, a story point. A few organizations do it well; many not so well. Betsy Kauffman and Oscar Rodriquez share their experiences in working with globally distributed teams, discussing team models implemented in many organizations. They discuss how to transition from a model that may not be optimal (developers onshore and testing offshore) to a model where teams work together to deliver high quality working software regardless of their location. Along the way, explore “non-negotiables” and sustainable software engineering practices, i.e., DevOps and managing/maintaining solid team health, needed for building strong teams. Leave with a set of guiding principles you can implement day one that encompass agile leadership qualities, common sprint cadences, and “rules” to build strong successful teams.

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