Agile2019 is the largest annual global gathering of Agile practitioners.
In its 18th year, the conference is the premier international event for the advancement of Agile software development and is dedicated to furthering Agile principles and practices while providing a venue for people and ideas to flourish.
Imagine you are asked to sit in on a team’s Sprint Review and Retrospective. The team has been having difficulty forming and the Scrum Master has asked you to observe the team during these two sessions. Are you simply going to watch what’s going on or is there more you can do? Perhaps you are seeing interactions and team dynamics at play without truly realizing what you are observing. And when you do observe, are you injecting your own biases into those observations? Observation is a powerful tool for a coach, but one which we may not take advantage of to its true potential. After all, what exactly should we be observing, anyway?
By learning how to expand our observational skills in a non-biased and non-judgmental manner, we can gain a deeper understanding of team dynamics and interactions, allowing us to offer more meaningful and impactful support, coaching, and empathy. Because there are many observational aspects that pass us by, the best way to become more observant is through deliberate practice. So, let’s practice together through a series of group exercises in a fun and safe setting!
In this interactive workshop, we’ll first review some tools and tips to make you a better observer. Then we’ll divide into small groups of observers and builders. As the builders work to complete a fun task, observers will practice the observation techniques. When the builders’ challenge is complete, we’ll debrief and discuss, allowing plenty of time for observers to share their observations. We'll then switch roles, so each participant has the opportunity to practice observing. If you are looking for new ways to connect with your team, to build skills to enhance your agilist toolkit, or simply to participate in a fun and informative workshop, this session is for you!
Does your Scrum team start all its stories on Day 1 of the Sprint? Do stories sometimes carry over into the next Sprint? Or perhaps testing always gets crammed in on the last day of the Sprint? If any of these sound familiar, your team may benefit from improving its flow.
Flow metrics are commonly associated with Kanban, but can provide tremendous value to any team, including those using Scrum. In this interactive workshop, we’ll start by exploring the value of achieving a smooth flow of work versus simply achieving maximum utilization. Next, we'll introduce lead time, cycle time and throughput metrics and explain how to create and interpret a cumulative flow diagram (CFD). We'll review what each represents, discuss easy ways to collect these metrics, and show how they are similar and different from common Scrum metrics. As each metric is introduced, we will provide sample sets of metrics for you to review in small groups, practicing how to read and interpret them in order to find opportunities for team improvement. You will leave the workshop knowing how to interpret and capture all these valuable metrics, so your agile team can improve its flow!
Even experienced teams struggle to make accurate project forecasts. After all, Agile projects embrace uncertainty and welcome changing requirements over the course of development. How do you get a sense of your project timeline when you know the least you ever will about it? You can't eliminate the unknowns in a new project, but by using the Monte Carlo method for forecasting, you can work with them. This session will introduce the Monte Carlo method and how it works through the real story of how it was used on a year-long project. Attendees will learn how to use Monte Carlo to create a project forecast, and how forecasting can help manage scope and schedule releases to make a project more successful. The session will cover lessons learned that help to work with (or around) the limitations of the technique. Attendees will also get an opportunity to try out a Monte Carlo forecast for themselves using a spreadsheet they can take to their real-life projects.
After three years as a Scrum Master and Agile coach, I hit a wall coaching a team that did not want to try popular Agile engineering techniques such as TDD and pair programming. I had become a Scrum Master after four years working on the business analysis and account ownership side of things and could not speak from personal experience about engineering practices. In order to get some first-hand experience and to gain a new perspective, I chose to spend a year or two as a software developer on a Scrum team.
The experience has been eye-opening. I experienced a tremendous cognitive load working with a wide array of technologies; this pulled my attention away from many of the collaborative and process-oriented activities I cared about as a Scrum Master. I was surprised to feel strong pressure to complete work quickly, cutting corners, even when the Product Owner and Scrum Master were not asking me to. When this pressure was explicit, it usually came from my fellow developers. On the other hand, there is real joy in writing code and seeing a system do something worthwhile that it wasn't doing before. My outlook has changed tremendously and is something I want to share with anyone who works with development teams, especially Scrum Masters and other coaches. I am still enjoying my time as a developer, but I'm looking forward to returning to coaching and incorporating this experience into my approach.
When the people of an organization embark on their quest for increased agility, they are essentially begin working on the opposite side of a paradox that has been ignored. Often times, though as they take their journey, they begin experiencing the downside of now ignoring the the traditional, control-based approach and there is an outcry to revert. A dilemma is created.
What are these paradoxes? Well, the first four you encounter are described in the Agile Manifesto’s values. If one could have both sides of the “over” statements easily, we’d take them. Successfully maximizing the appropriate upsides of each side of these values while minimizing the downsides becomes a swinging pendulum to manage. This becomes key to leading others in your organization. If you are a manager, team leader, or executive trying help your organization get traction, then this session will provide some new insights into how to balance change with stability.
These four values are just the start of the paradoxes that will emerge as you take your journey. This workshop will help you use a technique called Polarity Management to help manage the upsides and downsides of this balancing act so that you can lead people effectively. Once out in the open, dilemmas created with a swing one way or another become easier to handle and perhaps can even be avoided.
When you have struggled to define a minimally viable result then you need a way to not only brainstorm ideas, but also a way to cut the unnecessary waste out. Pass on Perfection is an exercise for discovering and co-creating a solutions or products with what is minimally necessary. It mashes up Yes and… thinking for co-creation, and the essence of The Perfection Game (from the Core Protocols) for negotiation and prioritization in a collaborative round-robin game format.
This workshop will provide the opportunity to try out the exercise and give you the opportunity to co-create something you or another participant desires. We’ll share our perfection results, the learnings people had, and how we've used it to define products, teams, working agreements, Definitions of Done and Ready; including how psychological safety is created in its use.
In 2019, the conversation is no longer about whether Agile is appropriate for government, but rather how do we it, how to we do it better, what do we need to change to make it work. In this foundations session, we start by exploring Agile values, principles, and the Agile mindset. We will identify how this aligns with the compliance and governance needs of our government and where this may cause issues with those needs. From there we will review the Scrum framework, in particular, the roles, meetings and artifacts. We will address how this is implemented in an environment of Federal staffers, contractors/vendor teams, and mixed teams. We conclude with aligning the culture, processes, and leadership in government to enable agility. This includes common pitfalls, obstacles and sharing of success stories. Coming out of this session, attendees will walk away with a great shared understanding of Agile and Scrum and an understanding on how to make it work in our government agencies.