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Project Management


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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TE Eight Steps to Kanban
Ken Pugh, Net Objectives
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

 Transitioning to agile can be difficult—often downright wrenching—for teams, so many organizations are turning to kanban instead. Kanban, which involves just-in-time software delivery, offers a more gradual transition to agile and is adaptable to many company cultures and environments. With kanban, developers pull work from a queue—taking care not to exceed a threshold for simultaneous tasks—while making progress visible to all. Ken Pugh shares eight steps to adopt kanban in your team and organization. Ken begins with a value stream map of existing processes to establish an initial kanban board, providing transparency into the state of the current workflow. Another step establishes explicit policies to define workflow changes and engender project visibility. Because you can easily expand kanban to cover many parts of development, another step is to increase stakeholder involvement in the process. Join this interactive session to practice these key steps with hands-on exercises and take away an initial plan for implementing kanban in your organization.

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TG Agile Boot Camp for Project Managers
Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

For a project manager, successfully transitioning from traditional project management to a more agile approach can be difficult due to the staggering learning curve. Using a combination of case studies, exercises, and best practices identified in the PMBOK® Guide, Ken Whitaker gets you up to speed on the essential fundamentals you need to effectively facilitate and lead Scrum-based agile projects. Learn ways to avoid being yet another project failure statistic, how to make better tradeoffs using a simple technique based on a design hierarchy, and adopt innovative ways to better collaborate with product management to focus on what’s really important to the customer. To become an effective leader, discover how to size up and then help your team rise up in their hierarchy of needs while adapting your leadership style to effectively communicate with stakeholders. This workshop is designed to give you practical tools to help you lead and motivate your team to deliver projects on time, every time.

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TH Risk Management: Project Management for Grown-Ups
Tim Lister, Atlantic Systems Guild, Inc.
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

Many organizations are childlike. They blithely plan the project as if nothing will go wrong. And then, when something does go wrong, they are shocked and dismayed. Risk management is not just worrying about your project, and it is not about running away from risk. Risk management for software projects is all about when you make decisions and when you take action. How do you deal with uncertainty? When do you decide to deal with a risk while it is still just a risk, and when do you decide to wait to see if the risk does turn into a problem and manage it then? When done with utmost skill and to its greatest advantage, risk management starts before a project is even born. Tim Lister presents the advantages—and the dangers—of practicing risk management like a grown-up. Tim offers a process for you to consider tailoring for your organization and discusses how your organization can grow up.

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TP Principles and Practices of Lean Software Development SOLD OUT NEW
Al Shalloway, Net Objectives
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:00pm

Lean software development has often been described as “better, faster, cheaper” and focusing on “eliminating waste,” but those are misnomers. Going after speed improvement and waste elimination can actually reduce the benefits you might otherwise get from lean. Al Shalloway describes what lean software development really is and why you should be incorporating it into your development efforts—whether you use Scrum, kanban, or SAFe. Al explains the mindset, principles, and practices of lean. Its foundations are systems thinking, a relentless focus on time, and an understanding that complex systems require holistic solutions. Employing lean principles, you optimize the whole, eliminate delays, improve collaboration, deliver value quickly, create effective ecosystems for development, push decisions to the people doing the work, and build integrity in. Lean practices include small batches, cross-functional teams, implementing pull, and managing work in process. Al will describe how to use lean—no matter where you are in your development process.

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Concurrent Sessions

AW3 Forging a Path to Paradise: Replace Retrospectives with PRO-spectives
Jay Packlick, Improving Enterprises
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:30am

A cornerstone principle of the Agile Manifesto is periodic reflection on how to be more effective. So it's a bit ironic that retrospectives, widely practiced as a way to improve performance, are so ineffective. Teams often produce few, if any, significant improvements. Why is this? What can teams do instead to produce better results? Jay Packlick suggests that “Journey to Paradise Island” is a powerful exercise that introduces the practice of PRO-spectives―a forward-facing approach to continuous improvement that helps teams create and focus on achieving a compelling vision of their own creation. Unlike retrospectives which tend to be backward facing and reactive, producing  superficial responses to transient problems, PRO-spectives begin with the end in mind. They incorporate the goal-focused power of the Toyota Kata model of improvement. Join Jay to learn how your teams can create their own Paradise Island, discover just how far they are from it, and determine the best course to get there.

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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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AW8 Be Fast on Your Feet: Kick Back and WATCH the Board
Steve Dempsen, Capital Group
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 2:45pm

Have limited time monitoring complex projects? Need to be fast on your feet during your teams’ standups? It’s a daunting task to keep track of the current work in flight. Steve Dempsen shares a mnemonic technique―WATCH—to help you think of and articulate critical questions to ask on the fly. For story cards remember W―Where is the card? Where should it be? A―What is the average time for a story this size? Are we on schedule? T―What is the status of testing? Test coverage and complexity? C―Is the story complete? consistent? And H―Is help needed? Who should we turn to? With limited time and complex subjects, ScrumMasters can use each letter in WATCH to quickly help their teams remain aware of the key aspects of development and remain focused on delivering effective solutions.

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AT1 The Joy of Work: People Performance and Innovation in Agile Development
Sanjiv Augustine, LitheSpeed
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:00am

Do you find your work exciting and fulfilling? Is your agile team rewarded for finding better ways to work and innovating? Even though many organizations have adopted agile approaches at a project level, few have effectively aligned their HR processes with agile values or made finding better ways of working a truly rewarding and exciting proposition. With a new generation of employees who are as interested in purpose as in profit, it is imperative that we revisit schemes like the annual review and recognize its limitations, and the damage it causes to individual morale and team productivity. Join Sanjiv Augustine to explore the subject of creating a holistic performance management system that not only adheres to agile principles but also actively promotes individual drive and team innovation. Learn how de-link merit pay from feedback, the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and how to create a “flow state” on your agile teams to enhance performance and spark innovation.

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