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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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MD Specification by Example: Mastering Agile Testing
Nate Oster, CodeSquads, LLC
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 8:30am

On agile teams, testers can struggle to keep up with the pace of development if they continue employing a waterfall verification process―finding bugs after development. Nate Oster challenges you to question waterfall assumptions and replace a “test last” mentality with “specification by example.” Practice “test first” by writing executable specifications for a new feature before development begins. Learn to switch from tests as verification to tests as specification and guide development with concrete examples written in the language of your business. Start by joining a team for a humorous simulation of real-world issues and experience. Learn how specification by example helps build quality in instead of trying to test defects out. Progress to increasingly more realistic scenarios and practice the art of specifying intent with table-based and given-when-then formats. These paper-based simulations give you meaningful practice specifying concrete examples and will change the way you think about writing tests and collaborating as a team. This is not a tools session—no laptops required.

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ME Build Product Backlogs with Test-Driven Thinking―and More SOLD OUT NEW
David Hussman, DevJam
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 8:30am

Many product backlogs of user stories are nothing more than glorified to-do lists. Teams have lost the idea of prioritizing real business value and focus instead only on finishing stories and accumulating story points. Join David Hussman as he drives a stake into the heart of lame backlogs and breathes new life into product design with pragmatic UX and test-driven thinking. Using real-world examples, David shares his experiences and teaches tools you can use to fuse centered-product thinking with end-to-end testing. These techniques include: developing test-driven user experiences, improving product discovery (backlog grooming) sessions with testing talk, adding story clarity with examples and tests, validating requirements with tests, connecting program teams by decomposing product ideas into small testable stories, and recomposing them to validate product level learning. Because we learn by doing and questioning as we go, show up ready to work. This session is for testers, developers, product owners, and anyone else interested in improving their product thinking and product backlog. Bring your failing product backlog stories for discussion, too.

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MF Get the Requirements Right―the First Time
Tim Lister, Atlantic Systems Guild, Inc.
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 8:30am

One group—customers, users, and business—need a software system to help them work more efficiently or make more money, but they don’t know how to build it. Another group—software developers and testers—know how to build the system, but they don’t know what it is supposed to do. Bridging this gap is where requirements—the work products describing the system accurately and concisely while at the same time not missing important customer and user needs—are essential. To get the requirements right the first time, you need strategy, tactics, and a practical process for discovering the real requirements—which may not turn out to be what the users think they need. Tim Lister presents a strategy to get accurate and explicit requirements, tactics to efficiently develop these requirements, and a process to keep everything glued together when tackling a large, complex job. Take back an 85-page, annotated requirements specification template to help get your requirements right—the first time.

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TB Great Product Design with User Story Mapping NEW
Jeff Patton, Jeff Patton & Associates
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

A story map is a simple model, built from index cards or sticky notes, which helps the people who make it envision a customer’s experience with their product. Jeff Patton explains that within a design process story maps are a core practice focused on understanding and building empathy with customers and users, and then identifying and testing solutions to improve the customer’s experience with your product or service. The design process and story mapping can identify completely new product opportunities or improve the existing product experience. Join Jeff to learn how to map your customer’s and user’s experience today and then how to deliberately improve that experience. Use empathy maps, persona sketches, archetypes and stereotypes, story mapping, and design studio concepts to speed your design work. Since all solution ideas are speculative, learn how to validate solutions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. In the end, discover an essential design process that allows you to identify and validate innovative product solutions.

This is a hands-on workshop. Come prepared to learn.

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Concurrent Sessions

AT2 The Business Analyst Role on Agile Projects
Brian Watson, VersionOne
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:00am

Agile—a single word that sparked unprecedented confusion in the technology world. When it went agile, did your organization throw out your business analyst team? Have they banned all requirements documentation? Are teams struggling to see the big picture? Brian Watson has encountered each of these scenarios. Brian reveals the facts and busts the myths about requirements, documentation, teamwork, and the role of the business analyst in an agile environment. The relationship between the product owner and the team often develops through the activities normally associated with business analysts. Learn how this relationship grows through identifying and building a minimum viable product, see which Agile Manifesto principles are critical to business analysts, uncover the truth behind the cost of extensive documentation, determine how to use just enough documentation to be successful, and find out how to harness your business analysis skills to navigate the stormy waters of an agile transformation.

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AT5 The Art of Storytelling: User Story Smells and Anti-Patterns
Fadi Stephan, Excella Consulting
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:30am

Agilists employ user stories to capture requirements and drive the planning process for iterative and incremental delivery of software. Traditionalists with experience in “big requirements up front” often struggle with the brevity of user stories and how to best communicate requirements. Fadi Stephan explains the basic concepts of user stories, explores the benefits of employing user stories to represent customer requirements, and discusses the attributes of a good user story. He takes a deep dive into common anti-patterns and mistakes that teams make when writing user stories so you can learn to identify and avoid these mistakes. Along the way, determine the right size for a user story, learn how to properly split a user story, and discover different boundaries for prioritizing stories. Understand when a story is ready for development—and how to decompose a story that is not ready. Leave with new insights on how to write effective user stories.

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AT8 User Stories: From Fuzzy to Razor Sharp
Phil Ricci, Agile-Now
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 1:30pm

User stories are the basis for products built using agile development. User stories are relatively short, comprised of enough information to start the development process, and designed to initiate further conversation about details. Short doesn’t necessarily mean useful. Ambiguous stories are “mysteries wrapped in an enigma”—potentially leading us to develop the wrong product. Phil Ricci explores ways to turn fuzzy user stories into sharply focused stories from their inception. That involves addressing questions of Are we talking with the right people? and Are we asking the right questions? Phil shares a four-step process—Review Description, Clarify User Role, Check for Discrepancies, Critically Review Acceptance Criteria—that sharpens the stories. Setting up a story maintenance schedule sponsored by the Product Owner with guidance from the ScrumMaster ensures that stories remain useful throughout their lifetime.

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