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People and Teams


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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MJ Continuous Testing to Drive Continuous Integration and Deployment NEW
Cory Foy, Cory Foy, LLC
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 1:00pm

Continuous integration and continuous testing are two vital agile feedback loops that lead to a continuous deployment environment. Continuous integration processes monitor source code―recompiling after every change, running smaller tests, and notifying the developer if anything goes wrong. Continuous testing (and potentially continuous deployment) monitors integration builds, installs the product in a staging environment, and runs integration tests, again looking for problems. Jared Richardson explains the ideas and then the tools needed to implement both continuous integration and continuous deployment. Jared demonstrates the open source continuous integration tool Jenkins as the center of the process. These powerful concepts ensure issues are detected within minutes of most code changes, and the developer is notified so he can fix the problem and learn from the experience. Even a partial adoption changes the cadence of a development organization and eliminates a great deal of ongoing code maintenance. Learn how to sell the idea and set up the process in your own organization.

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TD Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence SOLD OUT
James Whittaker, Microsoft
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

Every hour of every day in every country where business is conducted, the same scene plays out―dozens of well-paid people sitting in a conference room being bored senseless. Death by a thousand slides. This mind numbing, soul crushing, grotesquely expensive experience ends here and now! James Whittaker reveals the secrets to conceiving, building, and delivering a great presentation. Whatever your level of presentation skills, this tutorial will hone them. Learn how to build a compelling story from the ground up. Receive advice on how to remember and recall that story as you deliver it. Learn how to use oratory and literary instruments to make the story come alive for your audience. Do your part to put an end to bad presentations―attend this tutorial.

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TF A Product Ownership Practicum for Product Owners and ScrumMasters NEW
Bob Galen, Velocity Partners
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

Congratulations! Your boss has selected you for a Product Owner role ... or you’re a newly minted ScrumMaster trying to figure out how to play with your Product Owner ... or you’re an experienced Product Owner struggling achieve balance among your stakeholders, customers and team ... or you’re newly CSPO certified but don’t know how to be a REAL Product Owner. Well fear not. Join author and Product Owner coach Bob Galen in this fast paced, crash course in how to ROCK your new role. Explore the dynamics of user stories, product backlogs, valuation and prioritization, establishing minimal marketable deliverables, and delivering high-impact sprint reviews. Then we’ll raise the bar to talk about product ownership at scale, how to build quality into your products, and how to effectively interact with your teams. Leave this workshop with the ideas, skills, and techniques to become the Product Owner you—and your boss—envisioned you to be.

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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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TJ Coaching and Leading Agility: Tuning Agile Practices SOLD OUT
David Hussman, DevJam
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

Are you an agile practitioner who wants to take agility to the next level? Are you looking to gain real value from agile instead of simply more talk? Even though many are using agile methods, not all are seeing big returns from their investment. David Hussman shares his experiences and describes a short assessment that you can use to identify both strengths and weaknesses in your use of agile methods. Creating an assessment helps you look at the processes you are using, examine why you are using them, and determine whether they provide real value. This assessment guides you through the remainder of the tutorial, helping you tune your current processes and embrace new tools—product thinking, product delivery, team building, technical excellence, program level agility, and more. Leave with an actionable coaching plan that is measurable and contextually significant to your organization. If you want to promote real agility—or lead others to do so—come ready to think, challenge, question, listen, and learn.

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TK Essential Patterns of Mature Agile Leaders SOLD OUT
Bob Galen, Velocity Partners
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:00pm

Currently much of agile adoption—coaching, advice, techniques, and training―revolves around the agile teams. Leaders are typically ignored, marginalized, or, in the worst cases, vilified. Bob Galen contends that there is a central and important role for managers and effective leadership within agile environments. Join Bob to explore the patterns of mature agile managers and leaders—those who understand servant leadership and how to effectively support, grow, coach, and empower their agile teams in ways that increase the teams’ performance, accountability, and engagement. Investigate training and standards for agile adoption, and situations and guidelines for when to trust the team and when to step in to provide guidance and direction. Examine the leader’s role in agile at-scale and with distributed agile teams. Good leadership is central to sustaining your agile adoption; bad leadership can render it irrelevant or a failure. To inspire you and your teams, join Bob to walk the path of the good and to examine the patterns of the bad.

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TM Innovation Thinking: Evolve and Expand Your Capabilities SOLD OUT
Jennifer Bonine, tap|QA, Inc.
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:00pm

Innovation is a word frequently tossed around in organizations today. The standard cliché is “Do more with less.” People and teams want to be innovative but often struggle with how to define, prioritize, implement, and track their innovation efforts. Jennifer Bonine shares the Innovation Types model to give you new tools to evolve and expand your innovation capabilities. Find out if your innovation ideas and efforts match your team and company goals. Learn how to classify your innovation and improvement efforts as core (to the business) or context (essential but non-revenue generating). With this data, you can better decide how much of your effort should be spent on core versus context activities. Take away new tools for classifying innovation and mapping your activities and your team’s priorities to their importance and value. With Jennifer’s guidance you’ll evolve and expand your innovation capabilities on the spot.

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Concurrent Sessions

BW1 Seven Deadly Habits of Ineffective Software Leaders
Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:30am

As if releasing a quality software project on time were not difficult enough, poor management of planning, people, and process issues can be deadly to a project. Presenting a series of anti-pattern case studies, Ken Whitaker describes the most common deadly habits—along with ways to avoid them. These seven killer habits include mishandling employee incentives; making key decisions by consensus; ignoring proven processes; delegating absolute control to a project manager; taking too long to negotiate a project’s scope; releasing an “almost tested” product to market; and hiring someone who is not quite qualified—but liked by everyone. Whether you are an experienced manager struggling with some of these issues or a new software manager, take away invaluable tips and techniques for correcting these habits—or better yet, for avoiding them altogether. As a bonus, every delegate receives a copy of Ken’s full-color Seven Deadly Habits comic.

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BW7 What’s In a Name? The Metaphorical Power in Our Ideas
Andy Palmer, RiverGlide
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 1:30pm

Why is naming things so difficult? Look in any reasonably sized code base, and you’ll see—in abundance!— crimes against naming. The Spring framework has a class AbstractSingletonProxyFactoryBean—and there are many worse examples. We in the computer industry tend to name things by what they do, rather than why they do it, and thus rob ourselves of the opportunity to tell an interesting and intriguing story. Andy Palmer says it hasn’t always been this way. In the early days of computing, names were rich with metaphor. Names, that today are synonymous with the concepts, were once compelling and novel stories. Terms such as Desktop, File, and Folder all had analogues in the physical world, and this helped people come to grips with the new concepts. Andy gives some examples of metaphors from the early days of computing, discusses some more modern examples, gives reasons why we might choose to program in this way, and suggests some ways in which we can improve our ability to tell a story through our code.

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BW13 Get the Most from Your Cross Functional Team: The Project Manager’s View
Julie Gardiner, Hitachi Consulting
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 4:15pm

Jerry Weinberg once said, “No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem.” In the past, the challenges for any team leader, regardless of specialty, were the same when it came down to people issues. Now, with the popularity of agile and its cross-functional teams, we have another factor to consider in addition to the people―their different specialties. How can our leadership help us achieve great results and a happy agile team? Join Julie Gardiner as she presents a communication-style model that can be used to help motivate every member of the team and minimize personality/specialty clashes. Julie shows you how to apply this model to other assessments—such as Myers-Briggs, Belbin, and DISC—and shares experiences using the model. If you're a newly appointed team lead, ScrumMaster, or you just want to get the most out of your team (cross-functional or dedicated specialists), then this session is for you.

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BT1 Creating a Culture of Trust
Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:00am

In our personal and business lives, many of us know leaders who foster environments of incredible creativity, innovation, and ideas—while other leaders fail. So, how do the top leaders get it right? Going beyond the basics, Pollyanna Pixton explores with you the ways that the best leaders create “safety nets” that allow people to discover and try new possibilities, help people fail early, and correct faster. Removing fear and engendering trust make the team and organization more creative and productive as they spend less energy protecting themselves and the status quo. Pollyanna shares the tools you, as a leader, need to develop open environments based on trust—the first step in collaboration across the enterprise. Learn to step forward and do the right thing without breaking trust. Find out what to do to foster trust through team measurements, protect team boundaries, build team confidence without taking away their ownership, create transparency, and what to do when there is broken trust in the team.

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BT5 The Art of People: Facilitation, Leadership, and Team Dynamics
Robert Woods, MATRIX Resources
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:30am

Some of the greatest products come from great teams with exceptional leaders who know how to servant-lead, create influence (rather than exacting authority), and precisely when to get out of the way. Teams are asked to be self-empowered, change on the fly, and think for themselves. And then they’re inevitably told exactly how they have to do all of those things—or else. Poor leadership can make or break not only a great team but a great product and a great organization. As part of this highly interactive session, Robert Woods highlights leadership and facilitation skills such as focused observation, communication styles, conflict avoidance (as opposed to conflict resolution), influence over authority, and active listening. Robert explains that the impact we make on individuals is often much more about what we don't do rather than what we do. It’s called The Art of People―and it’s one we can all master.

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K4 Shaping the Future of Agile Software Development
Christin Wiedemann, Professional Quality Assurance, Ltd.
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 4:15pm

Software development needs to continuously re-invent itself to take full advantage of new and evolving technology trends—and to keep up with user expectations. Are our agile approaches evolving as quickly as the new technologies, or are we being left behind as we use the same methods and techniques of a decade ago? Christin Wiedemann says that the future of agile development is ours to shape, and in shaping it we must be willing to question our habits and overturn today’s conventions. We must create a collaborative environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Christin shares what she means by innovation and why the future of agile depends on innovation. She explores ideas around brainstorming and collaboration, and discusses the importance of having the creativity and courage to investigate new approaches. Christin says we must continuously challenge and question methods, techniques, and core beliefs. Discover new insights that can change how you view the future of agile.

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