Toronto Agile Conference 2018
Tue, Oct 30
Timezone: America/New_York (EST)
Registration - 75 mins
Introductions - 15 mins
Jenn Limm [Delivering Happiness: how and enduring culture of happiness drives business results] - 60 mins
Conference Orientation - 15 mins
Coffee Break - 15 mins
Dave Dame / Aaron Sampson, PMI-ACP, ITILv3, SMC - Your Proxy is Killing Your Product...One Delay at a Time
A supported Product Owner has the power to prioritize. An empowered Product Owner has the power to say 'No'!
The Product Owner is the most underutilized and unsupported role in large organizations that are trying to increase their speed to market. Product Owners are only business people playing a 'weekend dad' to the team or they are merely only writing requirements for the team.
Companies that are successful in delivering products to market empower the Product Owner. The Product Owner has one leg in Product Management and the other leg with the Scrum Team. The empowered Product Owner engages the business, customers, engineering, design, sales groups as stakeholders. They are empowered to optimize value by creating vision and context to enable teams to deliver products people want to buy and are technically sound to maintain and scale.
In this workshop, we will help you unleash this opportunity and guide you in understanding the role of an empowered Product Owner.
Mike Bowler - Brain talk: More effective conversations through clean language
Clean language is an easy to use technique for getting deeper and more effective conversations. It leverages our understanding of how the brain actually stores and accesses information to get past superficial conversations quickly so that we can get into the core of the problem faster.
In this workshop, you will learn some theory and then will get hands-on practice with the techniques that you can immediately take away and start using.
Useful for anyone facilitating retrospectives or understanding product needs or collecting feedback from others, all things that agile leaders have to do.
Derek W. Wade - Space Pirates! "Elite" Leadership Lessons From the Future
Abstract (280 chars)
What if you could organize and motivate people to double their highest-expected productivity goals? Lessons from a large, distributed, volunteer group of online video gamers offer practical 21st-century guidance for your workplace. Even if you aren't a gamer. Or a space pirate.
What if you could gather and motivate people to double even their highest-expected productivity goal? What if you had no authority over those people -- if they were all volunteers?
The future of leadership is emerging to guide 21st-century organizations beyond the small, cross-functional, green-field software development teams of the 1990s. Agile enterprises must respond to emerging markets, provide unity of purpose to workers with conflicting motivations, and foster order when change is the only constant. Agile leadership must cope with distributed teams, "gig economy," diverse skill-sets, and the impact to morale of unexpected changes. But the measure of success is still delivery to the market: volume, quality, reliability.
Early in 2017, a group of several hundred independent players of the online futuristic video game Elite:Dangerous faced all the above organizational challenges yet still managed unprecedented delivery to their market. And they did it despite the "me first" culture of online games.We'll explore the structural, social, and cognitive factors which enabled this large distributed team of casual volunteers to deliver twice as much as their nearest competition. And we'll uncover how to amplify those factors in your own workplace.
You'll learn the powerful effects of making individual contributions visible, expanding the scope of your regular team synchronizations, having a loose leadership hierarchy, and encouraging diffusion of innovation. And you'll see how community engagement is an essential quality of a servant leadership culture. This is a compelling story about leadership that's relatable to anyone regardless of their interest in or experience with Agile, online gaming, or space pirates.
thomasjeffrey / Adeeb Dhanani - Creating Shared Understanding At High Complexity through Story Mapping, Spec By Example and Domain Driven Design
Shared understanding is a pre-requisite to success for any agile teams. Many Agile teams rely on User Stories to help them get consensus on what to deliver, and what done looks like. Stories are a great practice for agile teams, but as the complexity of the problem or solution they are building increases, they often need more. Agile teams can face serious churn in the story writing process as complexity increase. Different team members can have completely different understandings of the meaning of key business and solution concepts. Often the same concepts end up being discussed over and over again, significantly slowing down story exploration. Even worse, different stakeholders end up having ambiguous and even conflicting understanding of the solution.
During this session, we will discuss how we have integrated story exploration practices such as Story Mapping, Story Grooming, and Spec by Example, with the Domain Driven Design method, with the goal to promote the creation of a ubiquitous language and share understanding of both the solution and business domain. We will show how various teams have leveraged light weight, informal tools to enable both technical and non technical stakeholders to execute in a highly aligned way, and dramatically decrease churn and rework as a result.
A key part of this session will be taking the audience through an integrated example that show cases how one can elaborate on an idea through progressive refinement of Stories and CRC Card based domain driven models in parallel. We will showcase how Story Maps can be refined through creation of an initial Domain Driven Model expressed through Class Responsibility Cards. We will illustrate how to connect story grooming and refinement of domain models in order to create a precise business and solution language. We will illustrate how domain model walkthroughs can be used to battle test your stories against your domain model, validating key assumptions before coding starts. We will also showcase how both story grooming and domain driven design can be done directly in code, and how this approach dovetails perfectly into test driven development.
Ellen Grove - Making our Mark: Drawing Together to Enhance Collaboration
Co-creating drawings helps teams enhance their systems thinking abilities by really seeing the big picture. A group of people talking around a whiteboard is an effective way to share ideas across a team. Imagine how much richer the conversation is when everyone on the team has a marker in their hand and is actively contributing! Graphic visualization is an important tool for talking about new ideas, generating insights and developing shared understanding. In a team context, drawing is a thinking tool rather than an artistic endeavour. When everyone participates in creating drawings, all team members can see how things fit together and what mental models are at play in defining the situation. And, by drawing together, the team is collaboratively creating meaningful records that are being validated and updated.
Come along on a visual adventure into how teams can collaboratively visualize ideas and make sure that everyone at the table has a voice. In this workshop, we will warm up with some basic doodling skills practice. No drawing experience is required to take part in this session: if you can hold a marker, we can teach you the skills needed to put your ideas on paper. Together we'll consider the ways that collaborative drawing can be used to enhance group work, and we will share practical activities that you can take back to use with your team for setting the stage, gathering information, and sharing stories.
Naresh Jain - Dark Side of Collaboration
On Agile teams, collaboration is the way of life. Our leaders want their team members to work closely with each other, have shared goals and even think as one entity. Why? Because we believe that collaboration leads to happier, more productive teams that can build innovative products/services.
It's strange that companies use the word collaboration very tightly with innovation. Collaboration is based on consensus building, which rarely leads to visionary or revolutionary products/services. Innovative/disruptive concepts require people to independently test out divergent ideas without getting caught up in collaborative boardroom meetings.
In this presentation, Naresh Jain explores the scary, unspoken side of collaboration and explains in what context, collaboration can be extremely important; and when it can get in the way or be a total waste of time.
Rehana Rajwani - The Learning mindset - you've been Bazzinga'D!
Are you afraid of trying new things because you don't want to risk failure? Do you create an environment where your peers, direct reports or children are afraid of failure? If you answered yes to any of those, you're brave!
Come join me in exploring ways to become stronger at experimenting and learning and creating environments where others can too!
We all know that Agile will fail without a Learning mindset. But, what does it mean to have a learning or growth mindset? I will explore some learnings by Carol Dweck and David Colcleugh and some of my own personal experiences around how the growth mindset has impacted my life and the lives of people around me.
Mary Aquilina / Jeremy Bailey - The success and failures of Project Renegade at FreshBooks: A Kaizen Event gone wrong.
Kaizen Events can bring people together from all levels of your company to tackle particularly knotty problems. Leaders or Agile Coaches can use them to help create and support a culture of learning by developing skills and emergent leadership. They are usually five-day-long events that include problem definition, research, data collection, brainstorming and solutioning, resulting in a plan.
In this session, not only will we tell you what a Kaizen Event is, but also show how an experienced leader or practitioner can put one together, and still get it wrong. We’ll share our learnings from our first Kaizen Event at FreshBooks, so that that you can avoid some of our mistakes. We’ll cover what a Kaizen event is, how you can benefit, and how to organize one. We’ll also share details like logistics, success metrics, messaging, problem solving and solutioning tools. Most importantly, we’ll be telling you what worked and what didn’t, so that you can successfully run your own Kaizen Event.
Timothy Ludikar - Agile Glue: Creating a Culture of Dev Ops
As a company undergoes an agile transformation, the pressure from the business builds to show a product that is evolving to meet the needs of its users. Features need to be developed as fast as possible and ensure feedback is received to allow the product to grow. All too frequently do we see companies implement an agile framework without considering the development, deployment, and maintenance of the application. Businesses become concerned about moving quickly and start to implement shortcuts that impact the applications ability to be agile. Changes to security and data laws begin to affect the development of features or bug fixes significantly.
It is very common for companies to create a DevOps department or task an individual as a DevOps Specialist, this only adds another dependency to the development process and does not add to the overall agility of the application.
Successful rapid delivery has been to instill a culture of DevOps throughout the agile process. Ensuring the right requirements and deployment plans are established and enabling the team to make architectural decisions throughout the development process. Creating a team-oriented DevOps culture includes:
- Planning deployment-related tasks throughout the agile lifecycle.
- Ensuring privacy and security by design.
- Building architecture as code to enable developers to leverage essential cloud infrastructure.
- Establishing consistency of configurations across development, staging, and production environments.
- Implementing event streams for data analytic capture and application logging.
A finely tuned DevOps culture removes blockers from the development process as the team is empowered to build from a full stack perspective, and not just from the technology silo. Promoting immutable environments through configuration reduces dependency on tracking environment changes and allows cross environment consistency; this reduces scaling issues and deployment knowledge being maintained by one team or department. Application-wide event logging is a feature that requires input from all members of the group, from product owner to operations, that help monitor the stability and resiliency of the application; but is not a feature that can be implemented efficiently without a strong DevOps minded culture.
Creating a DevOps culture throughout the organization provides the support an agile team needs to deliver rapid, iterative software; this allows the team to develop software with minimal technical challenges in the future. Implementing the right culture removes the individual task of DevOps and empowers the team to deliver consistently. Enabling your team to understand the impact of a feature on releases, recognizing the consequences of not following best-practices on the ability to deploy software and the importance of production-like environments all play an integral part in delivering an application your customers want.
Gohar Saleem - Going on a Gemba Walk - One of the most underutilized leadership arsenal in (Agile) organizations
I call ‘Gemba walk’ the power power walk (power in the sense of its affectiveness). Gemba walk is one of the most underutilized leadership technique in corporations today. In this talk, I will cover the power of Gemba Walk, how it can be used to effectively solve problems and more importantly identify waste in the processes and systematically eliminate them. Gemba walk done right can result in significant improvements in teams’ efficiency and productivity. Additionally, its proper use instills a continuous improvement culture in the organization. I will share my experiences of helping executives and senior management with Gemba Walks from companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, TD and RBC where I have recently been coaching large teams.
Rupali Buchake / Abhishek Rathore - Psychological Safety – A key to unlock High Performance
Every organization wants to have high Performing teams. Organizations are ready to invest in tools and processes, but an important factor missed is the 'People'.
This session will uncover the importance and benefits of Psychological Safety in building high performing team.
It will be an interactive session to help the audience to share their experiences and ideas.
Eric Landes - Quality is Job One - Ensuring automation in your teams quality process
To increase the speed of delivery, your team needs test automation! Eric walks through scenarios to help increase your test automation. Scenarion 1 - Helping your team jump start unit testing a legacy application, Eric shows how to start introducing test automation into your release pipeline. Scenario 2 – We hate TDD - Eric walks through a strategy to help a team resistant to Test Drive Development/Design that helps introduce this practice. Eric then takes questions on increasing test automation to improve pipeline quality
Lee Elliott - How to #FAIL at Agile
“Are we Agile yet?”, “Of course we are agile, we stand up every day”, “We have a hybrid Waterfall/Agile technique”. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
After several years at multiple organizations it is interesting to find the same mistakes being made over and over again. This talk will discuss the various ways that your company can fail at agile and what you can do about it.
Pawel Mysliwiec - Lead with CARE - simple framework to create, foster and enable meaningful connections
Pressured by results, overwhelmed by schedules to meet and expectations to live up to we so often lack to recognize the power of meaningful human connections around us. Still, when we recall some of the leaders that created the most lasting change in our professional and personal lives, there are a few common traits that seem to be part of their behavior.
I have lived and practiced various roles in my life and career, and derived a simple way of reminding myself on how to create more meaningful connections for more powerful impact on the human level. In this talk I will present for the first time what has driven my teaching, coaching and leading along these years.
CARE stands for curiosity, authenticity, respect and empathy. And it represents care, genuine and uninterested, for people around us- colleagues, relatives, managers and reports. In an illustrated way I will tell stories about how this simple framework can change the impact of your leadership and foster a stronger engagement for anything you stand for.
Brian Sjoberg - Let's Sharpen Your Agile Ax ... It's Story Splitting Time
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 3 techniques for splitting stories in this interactive workshop.
Tanvir Ahmed - Agile for Data Analytics: Where Business meets Science and Software Development
Every Business is betting big on Data Science and making it an essential part of the enterprise's decision making mechanism whether it is marketing, risk analysis, fraud prevention, cyber threat management or even investment choices.
However, the surprising trend we observe is that, organizations are taking old school sequential and silo-ed approach to organize and deliver data driven business decisions despite Data mining being very iterative and non-linear in nature.
As a result, the time between a derived insight and the organization’s time to action can create large gaps that breed a paradigm of striking oil without knowing how to monetize it. That causes the data driven insights to become useless; as it is too late to execute, or need to rebuild the models to find relevant insights. However, with agile principles that favors incremental changes driven by small cross-functional empowered teams; data science can truly be the driver for building insight driven organizations.
In this session, we will discuss the need for enterprises to embrace agile principles for their data analytics work and share the story of how we transformed a Data Analytics endeavor at a Big Canadian organization.
Matt Dominici - Self Organizing for Fun And Profit
- Have an already successful company
- Read “Agile At Scale” article in latest HBR
- "Go Agile" (Pay large sums of $ to a large consultancy)
Self Organizing teams are the heart of agile software development. The Agile Manifesto practically reads as if it was written by a Team who were sick of being told how to do their job… “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it…”
As in “We will figure this out, if you’d just LET US!”
But for all the leadership training and blogs about how important an ‘agile mindset’ is, most teams are simply never allowed to sufficiently self organize.
In this brief interactive session, we’ll uncover what it means to be part of a self-organized team, the boundaries of self-organization, and how Managers and Scrum Masters can exercise servant leadership by enabling teams to self-organize.
Lunch Break - 60 mins
Scott Ambler - Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)
We like to say that agile teams own their own process by choosing their way of working, their “WoW.” This of course is easier said than done because there are several aspects to WoW. First, our team needs to know how to choose the appropriate lifecycle for the situation that we face. Should we take a Scrum-based approach, a lean/Kanban-based approach, a continuous delivery approach, or an exploratory/lean startup approach? Second, what practices should the team adopt? How do they fit together? When should we apply them? Third, what artifacts should the team create? When should they be created? To what level of detail? Finally, how do we evolve our WoW as we experiment and learn?
There are several strategies that we could choose to follow when we tailor and evolve our WoW. One approach is to bootstrap our WoW, to figure it out on our own. This works, but it is a very slow and expensive strategy in practice. Another approach is to hire an agile coach, but sadly in practice the majority of coaches seem to be like professors who are only a chapter or two ahead of their students. Or we could take a more disciplined, streamlined approach and leverage the experiences of the thousands of teams who have already struggled through the very issues that our team currently faces. In this talk you’ll discover how to develop your WoW without starting from scratch and without having to rely on the limited experience and knowledge of “agile coaches.”
Martin Aziz - "When do you need it by?" Business-Agility Metrics in an Agile World
“When will it be done?” is a question asked in just about every business I’ve encountered, Agile or otherwise. In this metrics-focused session we will explore why that question is so hard to answer and whether it is even the right question to ask.
We will explore current thinking about measurement in knowledge work fields. How every business needs to identify their own appropriate metrics to measure for their own business challenges and goals. While metrics are always unique for each individual business context, we will identify 4 metric categories identified from the Fit for Purpose framework.
To connect these concepts to your Agile organization we explore going past looking at measurement as a team phenomena and connect this to the level of services or value streams.
Digging further we continue to examine questions around measuring and predicting delivery times. We contrast prediction approaches using deterministic methods vs probabilistic methods. And consider multiple sources of variability that make predictions challenging and often impossible.
We conclude by considering more appropriate questions to replace “When will it be done?” Rather asking “When do we need it” followed by “and so, when should start?”
Gaël Rebmann / Barbara Schultz - Gam'Inception: learn how to build serious games by playing serious games
Gam'Inception is a game made of games to learn how to create games... Sounds funnier than dreams in dreams in dreams, don't you think Mr. Nolan?
By playing three serious games, attendees will learn why serious games are a very efficient way to discover new concepts, mechanisms or tools and that everyone is able to build her/his own ones:
- Attendees will have to face me in a drawing duel. Be prepared, I'm almost as good with pens than with ASCII art:
( • ̮ •)
( . • . )
(... • .. )
- Then, they will travel in time, to Venice, the city of Doges, for a mix of Game of the Goose, a game book and an escape game
- Finally, they will participate to Top Chef (at least my version of the show...) and will find their own recipes to cook their own games
The workshop is almost entirely interactive and requires no prior knowledge about serious games (you don't even need to know what a serious game is). At the end of the session, attendees will have learned:
- how a serious game is structured
- which steps are essential to building a serious game
- which steps are 'nice to have' when they build a serious game
- that they are way more qualified to build their own serious games than they thought
- how efficient a serious game is to learn new things
- how highly corruptible I am
Note that I always try to co-present with Leonardo DiCaprio but, sometimes, he is too busy to come ;-)
I hosted it successfully several times in Europe (Agile France, Agile Tour Paris, Xebicon and smaller events) last year so the structure is solid.
Slides, in French, are available here. The workshop (and its slides) will, of course, be in English with the possibility for attendees to ask me anything in French if they are more comfortable with this language
- Attendees will have to face me in a drawing duel. Be prepared, I'm almost as good with pens than with ASCII art:
Dave Sharrock - From Good to Great Product Ownership, or why experience is not enoughProduct Owners plant the seeds for excellent agile delivery teams. Great POs know how to plant the best seeds, seeds that the team can swarm around and deliver quickly, that provide rapid feedback and learning, and that morph towards excellent customer experiences. In some situations we need a good PO, in others we need a great PO. The trick is to know the difference. Join me on a journey of discovery working with contemporary examples to find out how to be a great PO or a good PO, and why you might, at different times, want to be both.We look at two key dimensions that determine whether you need good PO or a great PO, and how to tell the difference. First, what problem is the PO trying to solve? Are you rolling out changes to a mature product or battling to enter an emerging field? Are you scaling rapidly or slowly? Second, how is the PO making decisions about their backlog. Give a PO a project requirements document and a timeline, and what’s a PO to do? Even the best and most experienced POs will struggle to deliver an exciting customer experience that captures the heart of the customer.Through the workshop, you will learn a simple model for identifying great POs based not on PO experience, but on how the PO makes decisions about their backlog. The best POs know how to combine data and stakeholder input to best effect.Finally, we consider the product problems you are trying to solve, the pace of change, and how this effects the PO - good to great - you want for your product.
Gillian Lee / Courtney Kurysh - Team Health Checks for the Rest of Us
Want to experience a health check that you can use with your teams the day after this session? Join in this workshop where you will get hands on experience with Spotify's Health Check model and hear an experience report of applying it to 10+ teams.
Evaluate what aspects of this model are relevant to your context and goals. Hear about what factors contributed to our success and what potential pitfalls to watch out for.
Take the guessing out of what to improve on teams and how to measure it.
toddcharron - Change My View: Moral Foundations Theory and You
Anyone who doesn't agree with me is wrong and not just wrong, but morally repugnant and evil.
What do you think? Is it really likely that everyone that disagrees with you is somehow a monster? Or perhaps it's something else...
Over the last few years we've seen a lot of viewpoint polarization. But why does this happen? And what does this tell us about our approaches to Agile?
In this session we'll look at Moral Foundations Theory and how what we value and hold dear can influence our views on an issue.
We'll also play a game developed at the Agile Games conference based on this framework that will challenge you to take yourself out of your normal comfort zone and see the world from another perspective.
Raj Mudhar - The Five Habits of Highly Effective Agile Organizations
It's the classic leader's lament. Driving organizational performance in a way that delivers on business outcomes while engaging employees.
Organizations have been deploying Scrum, SAFe, DAD, and a host of other practices in the hope of achieving better business outcomes. We all know that practices alone don't generate the kind of powerful results you need to succeed. The missing ingredient? We hear the word culture a lot. But it is really about operating norms, or habits and behaviors. What I've observed through dozens of transformations within my company and clients are 5 habits that the leading organizations all possess. When these 5 habits are ingrained, the practices fall into place, and performance starts to rocket.
In this session you'll learn the habits, and why they drive performance. You' also learn about the key questions you can start asking to encourage the habits to take hold in your team, or more broadly, in your organization. The path to performance is paved by changes in behaviors that are reinforced daily. Asking the right questions at the right time can be a powerful way to nudge behaviors in the right direction.
Having said that, it's not enough to create the conditions for new habits to form. Countless studies, including famous ones by Wolfram Schultz, neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, have shown that a cue and reward on their own aren't enough to create a lasting habit. Only when your brain starts to anticipate a reward will the habit become automatic.
Abeer Rahman - Getting started with Site Reliability Engineering (SRE): A guide to improving systems reliability at production
It’s 3:32am. Your phone goes off. You take a peak, you see a few text messages and a missed call all within the last 10 minutes. Oh boy, looks like it’s another incident in production…
This is a dreaded scenario that many of us have gone through, whether you are a developer, an incident manager, an executive, or part of an operations team supporting customer-facing production systems.
Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a term coined by Google that focuses on improving reliability of systems. It’s a collection of techniques and processes to help increase effectiveness of production systems in an effort to minimize outages and to reduce the time to restore a system when there is an outage.
Lots of organizations are adopting SRE principles and are getting good results. It ties well with any organization going through Agile adoption, as the similar thinking of culture change and guided-process enablement can be applied on the operations side.
In this talk, I present some key SRE concepts along with my experience at enabling SREs that can be implemented at various software organizations. We will look at both technical and organizational changes that should be adopted to increase operational efficiency, ultimately benefiting for global optimizations - such as minimize downtime, improve systems architecture & infrastructure.
Whether you are a seasoned technical manager, an architect, an operations engineer or even a developer, the tools and techniques presented in this session can help you to start re-shaping your technology operations to enable better systems reliability… and reduce those dreaded 3am calls!
Sunny Dhillon / Hugo Medeiros - Spice up your scrum with improv!!
Have you ever been part of a great team? A team where you loved to come to work every day, a team that encouraged to accomplish goals that you felt were nearly impossible?
Have you ever been on a team from hell? A team with constant conflict, disagreements and fear of speaking the truth?
In his book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, Peter Lencioni refers to trust as a foundational and key ingredient to high performing teams. Exercises in this workshop will allow individuals to become more self aware and increase their vulnerability to build a stronger bond of trust.
Many principles that actors live by are the same principles that a high performing agile team should live by as well. The session is all about focusing and strengthening those key skills needed by agile teams.
Many of us think we can’t do improv. We get stuck in our head and panic, afraid we might not know what to do or say. This workshop involves highly interactive group activities that are fun and fast paced designed to help communicate effectively and think on your feet. Games are intentionally ordered to focus first on creating safety for the groups before advancing to more complex topics as collaboration and risk taking.
Improv will make you think about your team, your organisation and yourself differently, in the context of your agile environment.
Jerilyn Edginton - 5S Refactoring: Understanding Refactoring for Non-Techies
Developers are always wanting extra time to refactor their code. But we have deadlines and commitments to make - and really, what is refactoring anyway?This session aims to help non-technical team members to understand refactoring, why it's important, and why you don't have enough time not to refactor. Using Lean 5S, we're going to go through a non-technical example of what refactoring is and the types of things your teams may be doing during refactoring and the language they use.
Melissa Boggs - Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brene Brown shares her 10 Guideposts of Wholehearted Living. Number 7 on that list is “Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth”. This resonates strongly with the 8th agile principle about sustainable pace.
In the world of Scrum software development, it is all too easy to get caught up in pumping out user stories and increasing velocity sprint after sprint, but what does that type of hamster wheel mentality do to us physically, mentally, and spiritually? For that matter, what impact does it have on our products? Are we building fast things, or the right things? Are we making time to dream up big, new ideas and/or to build a cohesive team around our mission?
Work-life balance is a buzzword that we throw around, but how often does the culture of an organization support exactly the opposite? Hero culture is rewarded, and our output viewed as a measure of our worth on performance reviews. We set out to transform the world of work with agile and with Scrum, yet I’ve heard the Scrum sprint cycle described as a “hamster wheel”, an endless conveyor belt of backlog and sprint reviews that the developers cannot escape. This is not congruent with what we read in the agile values and principles.
I’m interested in inspiring a discussion about the pitfalls of a competitive exhausted culture, and how we in the Scrum community, even with the best of intentions, could be “accidentally responsible” for continuing to spin the hamster wheel. Hero culture has been discussed before, but have we addressed our own potential culpability in creating it? We need to make sure that the principles and practices of Scrum are being used for good, not for evil. It all starts with a conversation.
In this discussion, we will explore the dangers of exhaustion as a status symbol -- for our organizational culture, our teams, and ourselves. We will discuss the specific risks of inadvertently creating a competitive exhausted culture within an agile transformation, and the ways in which we can leverage the agile values and principles in order to mitigate those risks. Lastly, we will take a look inward to assess our own attitudes and views about work life balance.
Coffee Break - 15 mins
Gil Broza - How to Make Real Collaboration Possible
Collaboration is generally considered a net positive, and everyone knows it’s a key principle of Agile. Yet most Agile teams -- even those that seem to work well together -- don’t collaborate nearly enough, and thus don’t reach their full potential. It takes attention and work to make collaboration possible, let alone appealing and practical! In this interactive talk, the author of “The Human Side of Agile” explains the not-so-short list of not-so-simple factors that get in the way of real collaboration, and provides a process for determining actions that will make collaboration possible.
Fernando Cuenca - Visualizing Work: If you Can't See It, you Can't Manage It
Unlike a factory, where we can see work literally moving around, piling up waiting, being worked on, or even deteriorating with time, knowledge workers have to deal with abstract constructs that are largely invisible. Suddenly, answering questions like "what are we working on?" or "how does work get done here" can become tricky.
The basic premise that the first step towards effectively managing knowledge work is to make it visible will not come as a surprise for anyone with some familiarity with Agile. That said, there's more to effective work visualization than a 3-column board showing "To Do | In Progress | Done" columns, and visualizing work items is only the first step.
This session will explore approaches for visualizing otherwise invisible aspects of work, such as commitments, process, rules and, of course, work items, and using them to enable more effective management and collaboration.
Peter Altosaar - Changing the Definition of Done: The DevOps Evolution of Agile
Traditionally on agile teams, the "Definition of Done" has centred around the completion of feature development: coding it up and maybe adding some unit tests to prove it works. What happens to our code after that is often a mystery as we rely on Operations teams to work their magic. The advent of DevOps has seriously challenged this traditional view. Teams that embrace DevOps tools and methodologies now consider a feature Done when it is in production, serving its customers - and developers, QA, and other non-Operations people now have starring roles in getting it there. Come find out what DevOps is from both a technological and a cultural perspective, how it allows companies to deliver value even faster to their customers, and how it is the logical evolution and extension of Agile.
Majdi Haroun - Architecture Blueprints are Dead, Long live the Architecture Blueprints!
Lessons, insights, and patterns from the field. How EAs, SAs need to “Evolve” towards “Evolutionary Architecture" to drive innovation in the modern Digital Enterprise.? 5 Case studies with 5 lessons to learn.
- As the Enterprises (Small, Medium, Large, and XX Large move to being Digital, what does Enterprise Architecture look like?
- How EAs are redefining Architecture Blueprint, Roadmaps, and Reference Architecture?
- Why is Architecture more relevant and essential now than ever?
- What do EAs need to change about their: mindset, approaches, tools, models to become D-EA (not the Drugs Enforcement Agency)
- Gradual implementation does not mean gradual value realization
- Progressive Elaboration
- Practical Patterns & Lessons from the field.
- The pitfalls of doing the new things the old way.
- How to tackle learning while doing & leading.
- Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Joanne Stone - Shattering How we Hire and Build Scrum Masters
Our industry exploded with tons of newly certified scrum masters. HR folks go through 50+ applicants to find a good scrum master. New Scrum Masters are challenged gaining experience to help them get a job and/or improve their abilities. How can we help new scrum masters become great and how can we help HR find them?
Join Joanne to review new approaches to interviewing scrum masters (any scrum team member) utilizing experientially based questions. Explore how as a community we are able to grow scrum masters and agile coaches internally and externally in our companies.
Let's disrupt the way we do things traditionally - the world is changing faster than our traditions.
Sriram Natesan / Kat Lee / Monique Letterio - Business Agility: Lessons from the Trenches
Agile has been pervasive and proven to be successful for technology product development for more than two decades. Today more organizations are taking agile principles and practices and applying them outside of IT to their business as usual (BAU) activities such as marketing or strategy development. But how easy is this next generational aspect of Business Agility? Can an approach that was rooted in technology product development be successfully applied as an accelerator to achieve overall business efficiency and effectiveness?
In this session, different case studies, including a large Canadian insurance provider, will demonstrate lessons learned from organizations that have taken agile principles and practices to help them drive commercial impacts, build people and their capabilities, adoption of the right mindset and behaviors, and improve performance. Some of the questions that will be addressed:
- What does business agility mean and why does it matter?
- How can Corporate Functions such as HR, Finance, Risk and Marketing, which are often entrenched in traditional ways of working, become agile delivery centers?
- Do agile practitioners need to “stay true” to the principles and practices they originally learned for technology in order to be effective in the business?
- How should agile business teams be optimally structured to align with an enterprise agile COE?
- What can leaders learn from others’ journeys so we can determine whether agile can truly thrive outside IT and be scaled across the organization?
If you are a Business Leader who is considering next steps on enterprise agility, organizational resilience, and a culture of adaptability, attend this session to learn valuable and pragmatic insights as you begin your own agile journey.
Marie-Christine Legault - Agile is People and Business!
For anyone willing to take some risk and create a success on your own terms.
-This Agile Business presentation best represents: Experience, Exploration and Adaptation.
"This talk is centered Agile being all about People and Business - on what’s in it for you and what’s in it for your clients.
I initiated the McCafé concept at McDonald's and will share both the development stages and collaborative drivers. It’s about understanding where the real levers of power lie – with YOU.
I will step beyond Agile for IT – and show how Agile Values bring the Business and People together – I open the Kimono with the client, build the relationship and I will share with the audience:
How and What real life experiences were discovered with the McCafé launch. The presentation has useful lessons about Agile Business techniques to help participants gain insight and develop important skills with Executives and Clients. It’s a fundamental shift in mindset.
Instead of focusing on what you can sell, the focus is shifted to what your unique talents are. Discover more fulfillment in the process of uniting and practicing with your client.
Can't wait to share!!
Julianne Jones - Product-Driven Organizations: Unleashing true agility
Are you investing in Agile coaching and not seeing an improvement in your organization? Do you consider your Agile teams high-performing but not seeing measurable business outcomes? Are your Agile teams impeded by dependencies?
Building high-performing Agile teams without re-structuring the organization for effective teaming is like building a Ferrari engine and placing it inside a tractor!
Organizations today are investing heavily in Agile Transformation in pursuit of accelerating software delivery, managing changing priorities, improving product quality and realizing early return on investment. Sadly, few are realizing the benefits promised by Agile adoption.
This talk will discuss how moving from a process-driven project-based organizational design to a product-driven organizational structure will unleash the value of Agile practices and produce measurable business results. We’ll explore what a product-driven organization is and how it works to realize the value and potential promised by Agile. Further, we’ll examine the criticality of managing organizational, technical and architectural dependencies to achieving true business agility.
Want to help your organization realize the value of Agile practices and achieve true business agility? Come hear first hand how one of the world’s automotive manufacturers is transforming into a Product-Driven organization.
Dave Sharrock / Melissa Boggs - Don’t Panic: Stories of Cultural ChangeDon't underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.-- Leroy HoodYou can’t attend an agile conference these days without hearing about organizational culture. Cultural change is not optional for most organizations that want to become more agile. Agility requires a mindset that means many will have to change their traditions, habits, and behaviors.But culture is difficult to work with. It’s intimidating; We begin to panic, asking ourselves: “Why do I feel powerless to affect change in my organization? What does it say about me or my org? What does it say about the likelihood of me being able to make these positive shifts outside my team?” and ultimately we may talk ourselves out of any change at all.However, wecaninspire others to see the value in the change. Creating sustainable cultural change means creating a movement within your organization, and this is done one story, one experience at a time. Learn how to recognize your existing culture, identify the areas that require evolution, and create a movement that inspires change.
Adam Thackeray / Laurie McKenzie - DevOps - Building the Delivery Rocketship.
Transformation in a large, traditional organization is a journey. A journey of epic proportions. Success, failure and adversity are faced continuously. We will be bringing you an enlightening and raw account about how we applied DevOps practices, built a delivery rocketship and what worked well and not-so-well for us at TD Bank! Come and listen to how TD is transforming the way it works and becoming world-class in delivery.
Neil Peterson - Using Metrics as Your Compass
At the beginning of the software journey, teams often race to the finish line without thinking about the most efficient way to get there. As pressure builds from internal stakeholders for status reports, delivery dates, and team comparisons, teams throw together dashboards of questionable metrics like velocity or bugs. Poorly selected metrics can lead to teams gaming the system and “coding themselves a new minivan,” as the old tale suggests.
This session, led by Engineering Manager at Index Exchange and agile veteran, Neil Peterson, equips attendees with a detailed map of how to build a measurement strategy to ensure they sail in the right directions. From product quality to sprint analysis, or even team satisfaction, measurement is the compass for any software journey. Attendees will build their own measurement toolkit as they learn about some of the different metrics and measurement areas available to them. By combining theory with practical applications, the presentation offers a how-to guide on building a measurement strategy that results in tangible benefits. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of relevant metrics as they set sail for the open waters of team improvement.
Coffee Break - 15 mins
Michael Sahota - Ten Surprising Secrets for Delivering a High-Performance Agile Organization
Many of us dream of creating Agile Organizations. Where Agile practices and Agile mindset are reflected in the results across the whole organization. Yet the approaches that are currently used are not yielding the results we hope for. Instead there are culture challenges, resistance, leadership misalignment and mixed levels of engagement. A new approach is needed.
Learn a proven path to high-performance organizations that places culture and leadership at the centre stage. You will see how to look beyond process and scaling to understand a reliable way to introduce the Agile Mindset. Discover the common traps and blocks that prevent success and how to avoid them. Learn the “Consciously Approaching Agile” approach so that you are equipped to get deep and lasting results with Agile. Discover the new behaviours that you can demonstrate to foster organizational coherence and engagement that result in high performance.