Agile methodologies originated with and gained recognition from software development projects. With an enviable track record of success, more and more organizations are adopting Agile as the standard approach to managing all types of projects.

You rarely hear about the enviable track record of success managing Business Intelligence projects so you may find yourself thinking about using Agile on your next BI project. Once you decide to try Agile, it can be tough to know where to start. In this presentation, we will focus on the first major step in getting started: Assess the Current State.

Before you embark on implementing Agile, a crucial path to success starts with knowing where you are today and where you want Agile to take you. The group will identify what we think are the biggest BI challenges. We will go through a provisional maturity model to determine what questions to ask and will discuss how those challenges may or may not be addressed by taking steps to increase your organization's Agile BI maturity.

 
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  • Dot voting on biggest challenges on BI projects (to be used throughout the discussion)
  • Define Agile BI to get everyone on the same page
  • Interactive discussion using a provisional Agile BI maturity model to assess current state
    • Major focus on what questions to ask to assess current state and to determine areas to improve
    • Discuss how Agile helps/does not help address the biggest challenges on BI projects

Learning Outcome

How Agile can be used on a BI project to mitigate some of the biggest risks and challenges faced on BI projects

Target Audience

People with a basic understanding of Agile on software development projects who are interested in learning how Agile applies to a different type of project and specifically how to use Agile to get value out of data

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Sara... the Organizing Members have completed their review of the proposed sessions.  While we believe you have submitted a compelling proposal that would have interest among conference participants, the session proposal would likely fall BELOW THE LINE for 60 minute presentations.  However, the session proposal would likely be ABOVE THE LINE as a 30 minute presentation.  Would you be open to revising the presentation to fit the 30 minute format or do you believe the proposed session requires the full 60 minutes to provide the value intended?  My thanks in advance for your consideration and response. 

    • Sara Handel
      By Sara Handel  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi George, I can certainly revise the presentation to fit into the 30 minute format. I will update the proposal to reflect the 30 minute time allotment. Please let me know if there is anything else you need me to modify.


  • Liked Wyn Van Devanter
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A Thin Automation Framework for Managable Automated Acceptance Testing

    Wyn Van Devanter
    Wyn Van Devanter
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Demonstration
    Intermediate
    Automated Acceptance Tests (AAT) can provide huge value, and can automate time-consuming tasks like regression testing, but aren't easy to scale.  Have you tried implementing them only to abandon them later?  Are they fragile?  Do they give a lot of false positives?  Do they take more time to write than the value you're getting out of them?  These are common problems with automated acceptance testing, but there are ways to mitigate these issues.  One great way is to create a very thin automation framework that helps you write the tests faster while reducing the fragility.  Wyn will walk through writing a thin automation framework, illustrating a test-driven approach that yields a framework appropriate for the software being tested.  The resulting tests are very clean and readable, and they become faster and faster to write as the framework evolves.  He will use C# and Selenium but the concepts are applicable to other languages and browser automation frameworks.  He will also illustrate simple approaches that reduce the fragility and maintenance costs of the tests.  Participants will come away knowing how to get started on an automation framework that will be easy to understand and maintain, and that should scale as much as needed.  
  • Liked Katy Saulpaugh
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Pushback: Change is hard. Changing to Agile is Harder.

    Katy Saulpaugh
    Katy Saulpaugh
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Adopting Agile enables an organization or team to fundamentally change their operating ethos, empower team members and improve project outcomes - and yet those advocating that organization change to Agile are repeatedly confronted with “Agile pushback,” because it “will be too hard,” or say, because “it has always been done this way.”

    How can you use Change Management to help organizations embrace change and make successful Agile adoption?  The key to overcoming the Agile pushback and successfully adopting Agile is the intentional engagement of the 4Cs of Change management – Coaching, Commitment Culture and Communication.

    • COACHING: Using change management as a tool to deepen relationships that help you and the organization leads understand the steeped organizational concerns. This will simultaneously address the core concerns and pushback and while formulating Agile champions.
    • COMMITMENT: Engaging the team will increase commitment to the shift to Agile through a clearly defined mutual understanding of the opportunity of Agile.
    • CULTURE: Aversion to organization change of any size is often rooted in individual concern -- using change management to provide the organization that the change will not be easy but the outcomes will benefit reduce the self-concern and helping the culture understand the4 Agile will empower the culture
    • COMMUNICATION: Agile implementation, like Change Management, is based on intentional communication that clearly articulates roles and expectations – eliminating waste and inefficiency.

     

    Katy Saulpaugh shares her experience, successes and challenges when helping government and nongovernment organizations eliminate Agile pushback and increase Agile adoption. Katy will share case studies from both the public and private sector providing attendees with concepts, methods and change management tools that defeat Agile pushback and easily transfer to a current project or a future Agile adoption.

  • Liked Stephen Ritchie
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The Mystery behind Self-organizing Teams

    Stephen Ritchie
    Stephen Ritchie
    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    One of the 12 principles of the Agile manifesto states that “The best architecture, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” What does this mean? And how do we get there?

    Self-organizing teams do not form overnight. Simply coming in after training and telling the team that we are now Agile so self-organize results in chaos. Come to this session to learn how to overcome the challenges of building a self-organizing team. Learn the ingredients of a self-organizing team and how to gradually evolve a team into a self-organizing team. Leave with a 5 step guide to fostering self-organization.

  • Liked Stephen Ritchie
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lightweight Documentation: An Agile Approach

    Stephen Ritchie
    Stephen Ritchie
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    One of the values of the Agile manifesto is working software over comprehensive documentation. However many agile teams think that now we are Agile we don’t need to document. Come to this session to learn about lightweight documentation and how to strike a sensible balance between working software and documentation. Learn which documents are necessary and which documents you can do without as well. Learn about JIT lightweight alternatives to our tradition documentation set. Leave with specific techniques to evaluate the value of each document along with recommended alternatives.

  • Liked Stephanie Vineyard
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Making Testable Requirements a Reality: Challenges Faced by an Agile Team and How we Overcame Them

    Stephanie Vineyard
    Stephanie Vineyard
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Case Study
    Beginner

    For a team new to Agile practices, writing clear, concise requirements and acceptance criteria can be daunting. Add to that the additional challenge of automatically testing those criteria. Does your team struggle to manage bugs? As a business analyst or product owner, do you find yourself clarifying user stories and acceptance criteria for the team?

     

    Working software is only as good as the requirements are at identifying the end customer’s needs and having code that executes against those requirements.

     

    This talk will be a case study of the challenges faced by a team new to Agile writing testable requirements and how we overcame them. Attendees will leave with strategies to improve their requirements and acceptance criteria for automated testing.

  • Liked Andy Bacon
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Project Managers - Oxymoron?

    Andy Bacon
    Andy Bacon
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The role of project manager is viewed by many Agilists as an oxymoron, and students fresh out of a CSM course will certainly tell you that there is no project manager on a Scrum team.  Why then do organizations that claim to "do Agile" or even "be Agile" continue to have roles for these old school command and control relics?  Why are companies hiring and government RFPs asking for "Agile Project Managers?"  Do project managers have a place in an Agile environment?  This session will explore this topic through interactive discussions on defining what an Agile project manager is, project managers as Scrum Masters or Product Owners, and common pitfalls of adding a PM into the mix.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Techniques for Keeping Distributed Retrospectives Effective and Fun

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Are you working in a distributed team and feel like your retrospectives are failing to deliver meaningful results? Are you spending less and less time on them? Are your retrospectives becoming boring dull and uninspiring? Retrospectives are a key mechanism for continuous improvement. This is especially true with non-collocated teams that deal with additional impediments and barriers due to communication difficulties. Come to this session to reverse this trend and learn new tools and techniques to conduct distributed team wide retrospectives that keep everyone engaged and result in effective discussion and follow-up action items and continuous improvement.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The Art of Storytelling

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Agilists employ user stories as a way to capture user 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. In this presentation, Fadi explains the benefits of using user stories to represent customer requirements. After explaining the basic concepts, he quickly progresses to discuss attributes of a good user story along with different techniques for user role modeling. Fadi shows you how to manage risk and dependencies by properly sizing user stories. Learn what size is the right size and how to deal with constraints, assumptions, and non-functional requirements. Understand the different criteria used to decide when to split or merge stories. Discover different boundaries for prioritizing stories. Leave with new insights on how to write effective user stories.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Managing Technical Debt

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Is your team constantly missing delivery dates? Is the velocity decreasing from sprint to sprint while the development costs are rising? Are customers complaining about the increasing number of bugs and the long time it takes to add new features? These are all signs that you are mired in technical debt and probably on your way to bankruptcy or a complete system rewrite. Technical debt is inevitable, whether intentional or unintentional. However, not managing technical debt can paralyze your organization. Fadi Stephan expands on the technical debt metaphor and introduces a technical debt management plan that enables executives and teams to make prudent decisions on code quality and technical debt. Come learn how to measure the quality of your code base and determine the amount of your debt.

  • Liked Doguhan Uluca
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile done right: Streamlined JavaScript and Node.JS

    Doguhan Uluca
    Doguhan Uluca
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Agile development is difficult. Teams can often miss their delivery goals; the unsustainable pace of development can result in fatigue; and technological bottlenecks can make it impossible to deliver a high quality end product. When done right Agile can enable your team to deliver a sustainable and consistent forward flow of features. To achieve this goal you must use technologies that discourages skill silos, are easy to work with and allow for the straightforward application of Agile Engineering Best Practices. JavaScript and Node.JS are the perfect set of technologies that can organically grow within your organization and existing code base utilizing a RESTful architecture. The web is the OS of this decade, and JavaScript is its native language. Creating a technology strategy that effectively utilizes JavaScript is essential to unlocking the full potential of your team and allowing for greater flexibility and reduced risk.

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile at the Office of Personnel Management: The USAJOBS Product Owner's Perspective

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The USAJOBS program was a highly visible, time sensitive program, with potentially high government dollar value. To effectively execute the project, the USAJOBS program decided on an Agile approach and in this approach, government program managers were identified to be Agile Product Owners. This session features the experiences, thoughts, and challenges facing the Agile Product Owners on USAJOBS. Key thoughts from this session include:

     

    1. The differences between Project Management and Product Management 

    2. Shifting from big up front planning to responsible up front planning combined with just in time planning 

    3. Managing Product Owner bandwidth expectations 

    4. The impact of Agile from a Product Owners view

     

    The session is hosted by the former USAJOBS Product Owner along with an Agile Coach.  The session will explore Product Ownership and Agility on Federal Programs.

    Bios:

    Alesia Booth grew up in Federal human resources - her first job was with the National Institutes of Health payroll office at 16 years old. Since then, she's managed websites, document libraries, corporate recruitment programs, staffing systems and hiring reform process change management activities. Which is she ended up at USAJOBS. Since then, Alesia moved to Department of the Treasury to be the program manager of the HR Line of Business CareerConnector product for classification and staffing. At Treasury, she continues concentrate on solving multiple agency recruitment challenges to bring the best and brightest talent into the Federal workforce. Additionally, she worked with Treasury Enterprise Business Solutions as a champion of Agile development and recruitment data standardization Government-wide. Alesia is now back at OPM leading OPM's USAStaffing efforts.

     

    Richard Cheng, Principal Consultant at Excella Consulting, provides consulting services to commercial and federal clients in the Washington, DC area. Richard coaches, mentors, and trains clients on understanding and implementing Agile and Scrum. He also leads Excella’s Agile Center of Excellence.  A graduate of Virginia Tech, Richard has authored several publications on project management, presented at Agile and PMI sponsored industry events, is a member of Mensa, and holds certifications including Certified Scrum Training (CST), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) and Project Management Professional (PMP).  Richard is a founder and on the executive committee of the Agile Defense Adoption Proponents Team (ADAPT).

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A Roadmap for (Agile) Engineering Best Practices – What Every Non-Technical Person Needs to Know

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Summary: Presenting a roadmap explaining engineering best practices, why it’s needed, supporting tools, level of effort to implement, and sequence for implementing.

    21st Century IT development requires building quality into our development practices yet many software teams fail to implement technical practices that are necessary for long term success. Practices like automated builds, automated tests, automated deployments, continuous integration, and continuous delivery are now considered essential for the success of any software development project. Without these practices, the quality of software goes downhill and teams can no longer sustain their initial high levels of productivity.

     

    However, understanding and implementing the practices can seem daunting.  This session presents an easy to understand roadmap for implementing engineering best practices.  The roadmap explains what the practices are, the tools that support the practices, a recommended sequence to implement, and effort to implement.

     

    Though this topic is about engineering best practices, attendees do not have to be technical to get value from this session.  The session gives a non-technical look at a technical concept and is great for any person in the organization managing, working with, or working on IT teams/programs.

     

     

  • Liked Jeremy Kolonay
    keyboard_arrow_down

    How to Agile When You Can't Scrum - Delivering Value for the Federal Government

    Jeremy Kolonay
    Jeremy Kolonay
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    One of the most interesting aspect of working with Federal Government clients can also be one of the most challenging - no two agencies (or even groups within agencies) do things the same way.  In today's landscape, nearly everyone has heard of "Agile" but the level of understanding, adoption, and sophistication is wildly varied.  As eager and indoctrinated Agile practioners, we must learn to strike a functional balance between mandating traditional Agile dogma and the realities of Federal environments.  In this discussion, I will share five Agile principles whose applications can be tailored to drive the delivery of value even when governance seemingly does not support Agile methods.  I will also share lessons learned from implementing and using Scrum-based agile processes in various Federal enviornments to deliver value.  This session is meant to be interactive and I will actively take questions from the audience at the end.

  • Liked Shawn Faunce
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Engaging a Product Owner on a Government Contract: Challenges and Solutions

    Shawn Faunce
    Shawn Faunce
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Great systems require active, capable Product Owners.  Functional innovation is not possible without their commitment and involvement in the project.  Too often in government contracting, the Product Owner is an Absentee Owner.  Agile Development teams often seek out tools and techniques to create great systems, however too frequently what is holding them back is the lack of an engaged Product Owner. Teams in this situation must face the elephant in the room if they desire to build a system that brings positive change in efficiency, productivity, quality, usefulness, and adoption.  This talk shares solutions I have used for challenges I see again and again on government contracts.

    The talk begins with some introductory material on the problem, its causes, what I mean by functional innovation, and why this is required to build great systems.  I describe four challenges with Product Owner engagement that are not unique to government contracting, but that I see recurring on projects: committing staff, procurement practices, role ambiguity, and absentee ownership.

  • Liked Rob Farris
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Crossing the Bridge, from Waterfall to Agile

    Rob Farris
    Rob Farris
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    In this session we will explore making the transition from following a traditional waterfall process to an Agile process and discuss the challenges in making the change. Having the initial discussions of “What needs to happen?” and “How to get started?” are common places where organizations stumble.   Applying Lean principles and finding that first candidate project that can provide value is a challenge to many organizations. Many organizations can become easily confused and overwhelmed on where, when and most importantly how to start an Agile project.

    Transforming an organization from traditional, long standing waterfall practices while simultaneously eliminating the myths, and raising the value of using Agile can be a daunting task. Aligning business with the IT organization to focus delivering ‘value’ is key to the success of an Agile deployment. Often these organizations will rely on implementing tools to build an Agile process and miss the opportunity to continuously improve the organization.

    This session will discuss the challenges of making the transition to Agile and provide a strategy of how to start using Lean principles to begin the business transformation to become a Lean, Mean, Value driven machine.

  • Liked Joshua Seckel
    keyboard_arrow_down

    No defects in a government setting? What does that really mean?

    Joshua Seckel
    Joshua Seckel
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    We have heard a lot about no defects or zero defects, but is that reasonable or achievable in the government context?  How else can each sprint be deployable? Or how can you get to true flow with each story deployed to production?

     This session will explore how to get to a no defects posture across all of the tests required in a government setting. 

    We will look at the various types of testing:

    Unit, Functional, Integration, Security, 508, System, User Acceptance, etc 

    We will look at what defects mean and how (or if) they should be tracked

    We will look at what potential impediments from government organziations may exist in reaching a no defect state of software delivery

    We will look at what tools and techniques can be used successfully in the government setting to address the impediments and achieve no defects in released software

  • Liked Dave Chesebrough
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Considerations for Agile Adoption at the Team, Project, and Organizational Levels

    Dave Chesebrough
    Dave Chesebrough
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Panel
    Advanced

    Change is hard. For any organization, team, or individual, the ability to change is difficult even when the desire for the change exists. Some studies have revealed that even when people know they need to change, even at the risk of their lives, it is still difficult to adopt new practices and behaviors.  Knowing this, what are organizations and project teams doing to make agile adoption easier and how are they supporting the teams and the individual new to this way of developing software products and systems?

    Through a roundtable discussion with representatives from industry and government, we will share with you our experiences with Agile on Federal government projects and programs, the challenges we faced, lessons learned, and different activities we performed as we went through an agile transition. The intent is that our experiences will provide you with ideas that you can take back to your organization and teams to support your agile journey.

    The panelists will share their experiences in bringing agile to their own organizations as well to their government clients.  Topics to be addressed include:

    • What makes adoption easier?
    • Challenges faced and tactics to overcome them.
    • Lessons learned from a broad spectrum of successful, and unsuccessful, adoptions of agile methods in acquisition.

    Moderator:

    Dave Chesebrough, President, Association for Enterprise Information

    Panelists:

    Dr. Suzette Johnson, PMP, CSP, CSC, Certified (Agile) Scrum Coach, NGIS Technical Fellow and Chair of the Northrop Grumman Agile CoP.  Suzzette leads development of agile practices across programs serving government customers, including DoD and Federal Health IT. 

    Robin Yeman, Agile Transition Lead / SME, at Lockheed Martin where she defines Agile Strategy across capability areas at IS&GS; identifies and implements metrics to ensure results of strategy and enable course correction; develops Agile SMEs to support strategic consulting for program start-up, transition for waterfall, release planning, and execution; teaches and educates all levels at LM to allow LMCO to better meet customer needs; certifies large teams in the Scaled Agile Framework; and provides support in developing Performance Measurement Baseline and Agile EVM.

    Jerome (Jerry) Frese, Program Management Analyst at the Internal Revenue Service, is the organizer of an Inter-Agency Seminar whose purpose is to bring federal SDLC practitioners together so they can establish a network, learn about and share best practices and collaborate on new and innovative ways to support projects. Through the series of nine seminars he has worked with 33 other Government agencies fostering the implementation of agile in Federal IT. In his own agency, he brings 40 years of software development experience to his job the Senior Methodologist at the IRS.    

    James Barclay, Senior Systems Engineer, NGA Architecture & Engineering Group National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

  • Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    3 mins
    Talk
    Beginner
    “Being agile” seems easy on paper. At the beginning, everyone will be on board with the adoption. But, as time goes on, things will begin to smell funny. Some will say “we need more documentation” or “we need to do big design up front.”  Others will mention that “we need to do more planning” or ask “why does it matter if the sprint takes longer than two weeks?” Eventually, you’ll begin to hear, “that’s not my job”, and then you’re on the verge of losing everyone.
     
    In this presentation we will identify some of these common smells and help prioritize which smells to tackle first. We will then talk about how to help remove those smells so that everyone can reap the benefits of truly becoming agile.
  • Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Beginner
    As experienced Agilists, we’ve all come to understand complex concepts such as time boxes, just-in-time planning and retrospectives. And, even if we haven’t, we’ve successfully gotten away with pretending that we understand exactly what each of these things mean! But, what happens when you have to explain one of these concepts to someone that is new to Agile? Can we simply provide these eager people with a textbook definition and assume that they get it?
     
    Similarly, a mindset shift to the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto can be difficult for anyone to comprehend. When we talk about individuals and interactions over processes and tools, among many other catchy phrases, what does that really mean? How do we explain this to experienced Agilists, not to mention people that are just embarking on their Agile journey?
     
    Games can expedite the understanding of these concepts and mindset shifts. They help create individual “aha” moments that can really move a person to embrace Agile. In this presentation we will identify some of these complex concepts and talk about various games that can be used to help convey these difficult to understand concepts.  In the end, you can add these games to your toolkit and use them to help teach your teams and others in your organization.
  • Joshua Seckel
    Joshua Seckel
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Retrospectives are great! They result in great process changes for a team to adopt to become more efficient.

    But how do you determine when the process change adopted by one team should become part of the overall recommended practice for the organization?  What worked in one team very well might not be helpful or effective on another team, and at the same time, the organization needs to take advantage of the innovation happening at individual team levels and adopt the best ones as recommendations.

     

    This talk will look at a more formal method of tracking the effectiveness of specific retrospective improvements and how to decide when to make team process changes into organizational recommendations. This will show how to us Bayesian Statistics to track the effectiveness of specific process improvements and setting threshholds for organizational wide recommendations can lead to a good process for organizational process improvement based on team successes.

     

    Specifically, we will look at how to set up the process at the organziational level and the team level:

          What processes need to be agreed to?

          What changes in governance need to be agreed to?

          How to decide when to make recommendations?

          What changes should be made at the team retrospective level?

    I will also discuss how this experiment is working and what we have learned from trying to adopt this methodology.

     

    This method should be very helpful within organzations with high oversight and governance, such as the government, to allow for continuous process innovation while still maintaining concurrence from those bodies.