What Effective Agile Contracts Look Like

The Agile Manifesto has been around for over 16 years. That seems like enough time for organizations to adapt to Agile processes and get the hang of writing Agile contracts. Yet, when it comes time for US Federal Agencies to enter into a contract about Agile work processes and deliverables, we're still seeing Waterfall language persist.

If we want to see Agile software development contracts that are truly aligned for the best interests of all parties involved, there are a few steps that we need to take. Learn what these steps are in this presentation.

 

 
7 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 1 comment visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  1. Intro
  2. Why Contract Structure Matters
  3. Waterfall Contracts for Agile Delivery
    • Current State of Majority Contracts
    • Challenges
  4. Structure of Agile Contracts
  5. Benefits of Agile Contract
  6. Q&A

Learning Outcome

  • Shortcomings of current contracts used for Agile Services
  • Ways to restructure contracts for Agile Services

Target Audience

Government employees, federal Contracts Officer, federal IT service providers

Prerequisite

None

schedule Submitted 2 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Jennifer Hinton
    By Jennifer Hinton  ~  1 day ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Manjit, 

    Thanks for the submission. The outline/structure give a sense of what might be discussed in the session. For the reviewers, it would be helpful to see more detail on what insights you intend to share in order to meet the learning outcomes.

    -Jennifer


  • 45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Imagine you were hired to provide consulting assistance for a new team just starting out with Kanban. The team has been struggling with their implementation and is looking forward to your expert guidance, support, and advice. It’s your first day and you just walked into the team room to look at their board. You want to make smart observations and thoughtful interpretations so you can have meaningful conversations with the team members. The team starts assembling in the team room for the daily standup and you plan on making some comments afterwards.

    What comments would you make? What thoughtful questions would you ask?

    This interactive presentation provides a detailed look at how to interpret and thoughtfully observe Kanban Boards to better understand the work of your teams. We will start with an overview of the Lean Kanban Method and then proceed through a series of interactive exercises that give you an opportunity to review and interpret various Kanban boards. The exercises will increase your understanding of Kanban systems and provide opportunities to practice interpreting various board setups so you can have thoughtful and meaningful conversations with your teams.

  • Liked Brandon Carlson
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brandon Carlson - From Continuous Delivery To Continuous Compliance

    Brandon Carlson
    Brandon Carlson
    IT Nerd
    Lean TECHniques
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Continuous Delivery (CD) and regulatory compliance are two critically important ingredients in today’s connected organizations. CD enables you to move quickly and respond to change in an era where change is increasing at an exponential rate with no sign of slowing down. Regulatory compliance ensures that your organization takes the appropriate steps to follow applicable laws and appear to require adding burdensome processes and controls to your software development lifecycle. While they appear to be at odds with one another at first, they actually complement each other well. While maintaining, analyzing, confirming, and reporting on the status of required information security, compliance, and privacy controls can be difficult, integrating these tasks within your CD pipeline is easier than you think. Using examples from real-world projects in organizations just like yours, Brandon explains how to integrate compliance and reporting into your CD pipeline using tools you already know such as pair programming, Jenkins, Chef, Metasploit, and others, leading you to the regulatory promised land known as “Continuous Compliance”.

  • Liked Daniel Davis
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Davis - So You Want To Go Faster?

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How frequently does a good agile team deploy to production? Not every team is capable of deploying "on every commit". What does it take for a team to even start deploying at the end of each sprint, or each week, or each day?

    Most companies don't realize that deploying more frequently often requires both significant technical change as well as cultural change. In this talk, I'll guide you through what it takes to deploy more frequently, both from the technical side of setting up pipelines as well as the organizational side of removing red tape. I'll draw on the unique challenges that teams must overcome at each step of the way, from deploying once a month all the way down to full continuous delivery. If your team has been struggling to go faster, come see how you can change to get there. And if you already are at full continuous delivery, come see how to go even faster than that!

  • Liked PHILLIP MANKETO
    keyboard_arrow_down

    PHILLIP MANKETO - Building Strong Foundations…. Underwriting Fannie Mae’s Agile Transformation

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Advanced

    Over the course of the last two and one-half years, Fannie Mae has worked aggressively to transform itself from a heavily silo’d and firmly entrenched command and control culture, following a gated workflow, with long release cycles, to an Agile organization.  Today, Fannie Mae is a more dynamic value oriented organization that is responsive to stakeholders, focused on achieving greater efficiency by enabling fast-feedback loops, as well as using empirical data to optimize mature and persistent agile values and practices.  

     

    Within the larger context of the transformation to enterprise agility, this Experience Report will focus on the case for change, Fannie Mae’s journey and the corresponding challenges, benefits and key learnings realized.  Our conclusion, while it is important to build bridges with business stakeholders, mature agile teams, leverage automation and embrace the values and principles of the agile manifesto… a successful and longstanding transformation is dependent upon the unrelenting focus on changing the ecosystem supporting the organization’s change at the outset.

  • Liked Amber King
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Amber King - Culture, Collaboration, & Creativity: How to Keep Your Corporate Innovation Lab Relevant

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Innovation Labs often don’t create the impact they’ve promised and many eventually fail. Capital One’s Innovation Lab, founded in 2011, has evolved to stay relevant throughout the years. In this session, Amber King, Senior Manager of Accelerator Operations talks about how the Labs' operating model has changed over the years, the details of how the Lab's new accelerator model works, how we incorporate Lean Start-up, Design Thinking, Google Design Sprints, Scrum, and Kanban techniques on our teams and what has triggered the need to reinvent the Labs' model in order to continue to push for disruptive innovation.

  • Liked Gene Gotimer
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gene Gotimer - Experiences Bringing Continuous Delivery to a DoD Project

    Gene Gotimer
    Gene Gotimer
    Technical Manager
    Coveros, Inc.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

    Not every continuous delivery initiative starts with someone saying "drop everything. Let's do DevOps." Sometimes you have grow your practice incrementally. And sometimes, you don’t set out to grow a practice at all-- you are just fixing problems with your process, trying to make things better.

    I'll walk through a case study of how our team worked on an exemplar project for the Department of Defense to show that agile could work in a decidedly waterfall culture. I’ll also discuss techniques and tools we used to bring a DevOps mindset and continuous delivery practices into an environment that wasn't already Agile.

    I'll talk about how we were able to start in development, where we had the most control, with a "let's starting being Agile" initiative and working on "why is continuous integration important?" From there, we tackled one problem after another, each time making the release a little easier and a little less risky. We incrementally brought our practices through other environments until the project was confidently delivering working, QA-tested, security-tested releases that were ready for production every two weeks. I’ll discuss the journey we took and the tools we used to get to build quality into our product, our releases, and our release process.

  • Liked Gene Gotimer
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gene Gotimer - Which Development Metrics Should I Watch?

    Gene Gotimer
    Gene Gotimer
    Technical Manager
    Coveros, Inc.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    W. Edwards Deming noted that “people with targets and jobs dependent upon meeting them will probably meet the targets – even if they have to destroy the enterprise to do it.” While metrics can be a great tool for evaluating performance and software quality, becoming beholden to reaching metrics goals, especially the wrong ones, can be detrimental to the project. Each team needs to take care and understand what targets are appropriate for their project. They also need to consider the current and desired states of the source code and product and the capabilities and constraints of the team.

    As one of the lead architects working with a huge codebase on a government project, I often have the opportunity to influence the teams around me into watching or ignoring various metrics. I will walk through some measures that are available to most projects and discuss what they really mean, various misconceptions about their meaning, the tools that can be used to collect them, and how you can use them to help your team. I’ll discuss experiences and lessons learned (often the hard way) about using the wrong metrics and the damage they can do.

  • Liked Dan Neumann
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dan Neumann - Agile is the new Black

    Dan Neumann
    Dan Neumann
    Agile Coach
    AgileThought
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    It seems like "Agile" goes with everything these days; government projects, not-for-profit initiatives, scaled agile, startups, etc., etc.. This session will explore agility, management, and product lessons using excerpts from the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black to illustrate these concepts. This light-hearted, yet valuable, session will take you inside the confines of Litchfield Penitentiary and expose you to the lives of the women who are incarcerated there. We'll use a series of vignettes from the show to highlight lessons in agility. No prior knowledge of the series Orange is the New Black is required for you to enjoy and benefit from this session.

    Participants will leave with a handout that contains reminders and tips based on the scenarios we cover in the session.

  • Liked Mike Cottmeyer
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mike Cottmeyer - Agile Transformations Explained

    Mike Cottmeyer
    Mike Cottmeyer
    CEO & President
    LeadingAgile
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Leading a large-scale agile transformation isn’t about adopting a new set of attitudes, processes, and behaviors at the team level… it’s about helping your company deliver faster to market, and developing the ability to respond to a rapidly-changing competitive landscape. First and foremost, it’s about achieving business agility. Business agility comes from people having clarity of purpose, a willingness to be held accountable, and the ability to achieve measurable outcomes. Unfortunately, almost everything in modern organizations gets in the way of teams acting with any sort of autonomy. In most companies, achieving business agility requires significant organizational change.
    Agile transformation necessitates a fundamental rethinking of how your company organizes for delivery, how it delivers value to its customers, and how it plans and measures outcomes. Agile transformation is about building enabling structures, aligning the flow of work, and measuring for outcomes based progress. It's about breaking dependencies. The reality is that this kind of change can only be led from the top. This talk will explore how executives can define an idealized end-state for the transformation, build a fiscally responsible iterative and incremental plan to realize that end-state, as well as techniques for tracking progress and managing change.

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Richard Cheng - How do I know if I have the right Product Owner?

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    Principal
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Is your Product Owner available to the team, empowered to make decisions, knowledgeable in their business domain, engaged in the product and leading the way for delivery of value? This session does a deep dive in the these ideas.
The session starts with a brief Seinfeld video to demonstrate the importance of Product Ownership. The session then discusses 5 key attributes to look for in a Product Owner:

    1. Bandwidth
    2. Power

    3. Knowledge
    4. Interest
    5. Vision

    After that discussion, we will have an interactive exercise to identify what a Product Owner does day to day. The debrief will identify the balance a Product Owner must have between working with stakeholders, end users, customers AND working with the Scrum team AND product backlog refinement.

    The session concludes with the presenter sharing a Product Owner persona sheet. This persona sheet measures product owners across the 5 attributes mentioned above and presents a narrative on their core strengths and risks.

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Richard Cheng - Group Hug: Implementing Agile Across Multiple Teams

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    Principal
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    The patterns for implementing Scrum at the team levels have largely been set, but what about dealing with Agile and Scrum across multiple teams. Is the answer just magical words like scaling, or SAFe, or LeSS? What are the core concepts and successful patterns? Is it just one big group hug?

    In this session, we will explore core concepts around implementing Agile concepts across multiple teams. The session starts with a simulation that explores distributing people across teams (which will actually NOT involve any hugging). From there, this session dives into:

    • Prioritization across multiple teams
    • Product Ownership across multiple teams
    • Dependencies and team alignment
    • Communities of Practice
    • Communication and collaboration across teams
    • The role of managers
    • A quick look at scaling methods

    Coming out of this session, attendees will have an understanding of core concepts and fundamental helpful practices in implementing Agile concepts across multiple teams.

  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brian Sjoberg - Let's Sharpen Your Agile Ax ... It's Story Splitting Time

    Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    Agile Coach
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Do you want to write great User Stories (a.k.a. small features that are part of a product) that provide the vehicle for conversation and confirmation that we build the right thing? Do you struggle with completing stories (of business value) that are potentially shippable within a fraction of an iteration/sprint? During this session we will do a quick refresher on User Story formatting to include Acceptance Criteria. The reason for the refresher is that over the last few years, despite people using User Stories, I have experienced their usage far from the intended purpose.

    After the refresher, we will learn at least 2 techniques for splitting stories in this interactive workshop.

  • Liked Julie Wyman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Julie Wyman - Multitasking is Evil

    Julie Wyman
    Julie Wyman
    Agile Coach
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    10 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    For a long time multitasking has been considered a must-have skill when, in fact, it makes us less productive and more prone to error. But even with plenty of studies and papers supporting that idea, it can be hard to convince managers and stakeholders that we should be taking on less at a time. In this lightning talk, we'll run through one very quick, lightweight simulation (Multitasking is Evil) you can use to help make that case and show that lowering work in progress is the way to go!

  • Liked Julie Wyman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Julie Wyman - Managing Resistance: How the Kanban Method Supports Lasting Change

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    “Going Agile” is a big cultural change for most organizations and it’s significance, impact, and the effort required for successful implementation can often be underestimated. There are many benefits to be gained by adopting a more Agile approach, including quicker feedback loops, more focus on value, and higher levels of collaboration. However, for Agile to succeed in the long-term it’s essential to set expectations up front and to balance the amount of change with the amount of disruption it will cause. In this session, we will look at how David Anderson intentionally built change management principles into his Kanban Methodology and explore other change management techniques the Agile community can leverage when helping organizations transition to Agile.

  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brian Sjoberg - Understanding the Whole System, Not Just a Part

    45 mins
    Tutorial
    Beginner

    Are your solutions to recurring issues having only minor improvements? Are some of these solutions actually making things worse in the long run? When answering yes to these, typically, we are trying to solve the issues with too narrow a view. Oddly we think we are addressing it at sufficient level but usually not. In order to see the entire picture we need a common language that will enable us to understand an entire complex adaptive system (e.g. organizations, teams, individuals). Join us as we learn a language called System Modeling (aka. Causal Loop Diagrams).

    With this language we will be able to have rich dialogue to gain a full understanding of the entire complex adaptive system so that we can create solutions at the fundamental level and not the symptomatic level. Addressing system issues at the fundamental level will significantly improve the system. Symptomatic solutions may give the appearance of improvement in the short term but typically make things worse in the long run. Unfortunately we usually pick the symptomatic solutions because they seem obvious and we don't realize the long term impacts because of feedback delays that could take weeks, months or even years to realize.

  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brian Sjoberg - Why Are We Going So Slow? ... Time to Get Your Productivity Game On!

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Are you struggling with delivering a potentially releasable working product every iteration? Ever wonder what one of biggest reasons we have difficulty getting things done at the individual, team and organizational level are? Do you keep doing something even though you know it reduces your productivity and lowers quality? We are going to run an exercise that highlights one of the major culprits that you have all experienced and probably continue to experience. The exercise will likely ignite a little (or big) fire in your belly that will help you become more productive and improve the quality of your work. From this, we will discuss ways to improve this at the individual, team and organization levels.

  • Chris Li
    Chris Li
    Founder
    SparkPlug Agility
    schedule 3 weeks ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Have you spent a lot of energy and time with your teams focusing on estimation? Do you feel that everyone isn't quite on the same page? There are many challenges on teams who wish to work with an agile mindset, and negative patterns around estimation can have quite the impact on productivity and team morale.

    In this workshop, participants will revisit what a Product Backlog Item represents and exactly what an estimate represents. Using this as a foundation, session participants will learn about four distinct parts of a pattern that repeats itself in organizations who may not have a strong handle on these concepts. The workshop concludes with a lightweight estimation exercise that participants can take back to their organization.

    Having a better understanding of estimation is helpful, and having a simple yet powerful game to compare items relatively to one another will help break your teams of the pattern of misunderstanding the point of backlog item estimation.

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    So you are considering getting a coach to help you in your transition to Agile. Or perhaps you are an Agile practitioner considering becoming an Agile coach. What do these Agile coaches do? What makes them different?

    This session will enter the foyer of the house that describes what coaches do and considerations one can have when they think about coaching (including hiring one). Prepare to be challenged and to learn a bit of what it takes to be or work with a coach; it has little to do with courses or certifications, though they may help. In covering what coaches do, one can now begin to think along the lines of what the skills one may need to improve.

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Losing good people during your transformation? Getting more resistance than you expected? You may be producing unwanted reactions in the way you are leading your people through change. If you want your Agile transformation firing on all cylinders without the harmful side-effects, people at all levels need to become Catalysts.

    Catalytic leaders help lead continual improvement - change. How can we do that? How can anyone be a leader? This workshop will mix presentation with exercises to help you understand practical things you can do to lead change effectively.

  • Liked Beth Hatter
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Beth Hatter - Addressing Growing Pains - Scaling Culture when Scaling Agile

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Having substantial experience working with larger agile programs in the Federal government, it has been challenging at times to support an agile culture when scaling across multiple teams. Having several teams means agile practices often have to change slightly from team level practices, which sometimes mean the team practices have to change or shift focus to fit within the larger enterprise. There is a need for teams to maintain their own style and approach while sharing common language and some processes and understandings across several teams.

    In this talk, I will cover how teams have successfully developed and maintained individual identities and culture while working within a larger group of teams and the shared culture that comes from that environment. This talk will examine how I have used team kickoff training, such as SAFe for Teams, and early coaching opportunities to create the shared thoughts and behaviors to build an agile culture.

    If you are a scrum master working across teams, or a leader trying to scale your agile adoption to multiple teams, I will provide practical tips for developing not just team culture, but larger scaled culture.