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Agile

Continuous Improvement: Clarity Before Speed

Scrum Expert - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:45
Learn which building blocks help you to create the culture of systematic improvement in a software development organization and a Scrum team. This talk discusses how the Deming cycle – Plan-Do-Check-Act has been applied concretely in an R&D organization to ensure that the operational development is done systematically. The practices have been evolving during couple of years and the talk will also share the lessons learned from this journey. How are you planning your improvement actions? How are they recorded? Are you following their progress? Do you know whether they are giving you the expected results? Are the improvement initiatives taking you to the right direction? In overall, how is your team managing the continuous improvement? Continuous improvement is one of the cornerstones of the Lean and agile methodologies (e.g. Kaizen & retrospective practices). Even though the basic idea is quite clear, it is often forgotten that it requires real effort to implement this as part of the everyday work. It is also essential to see the relation between the continuous improvement and the bigger picture. There is an increasing pressure to speed up the release cycles and to achieve continuous delivery mode which requires deliberate actions. This transformation is neither done with one shot. Thus a systematic way to improve the way of working is needed to make the continuous delivery successful. The talk is targeted to people who are interested to enhance their continuous improvement practices or are interested to hear concrete experiences from a large scale organization. [...]
Categories: Agile

How the Product Manager and the Product Owner Role Are Different

Scrum Expert - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 18:28
The notion of product is important in Scrum. Many qualify it as a product development approach rather than a project management framework. The product owner role is responsible that the production of the Scrum team meets the requirements of the customers and deliver value for the organization. This role is often compared to the role of product manager. In his article “Mapping the Product Manager Role to the Product Owner Role”, Sriramasundararajan Rajagopalan discusses if a product manager is the same as a product owner. Sriramasundararajan Rajagopalan starts his article by presenting the responsibilities of the product manager in the product development activities based on the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) approach. The same matrix is build for the product owner. The conclusion of these two analyses is that Scrum adds much more accountability to the product owner role compared to the product manager role. Sriramasundararajan Rajagopalan think that there is a conflict between the main focus of the product manager that is on market research and product strategies and the requirements of the product owner role that need to collaborate heavily with the Scrum team. How can the same person have enough time perform successfully these two activities, especially in organizations where the product manager not only manages one product but a suite of products within a product portfolio? The conclusion of the article is that “It is evident that the traditional product manager may be pressed to manage the expectations of the external client and address the questions [...]
Categories: Agile

Agilia, Olomouc, Czech Republic, March 27-31 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 08:00
Agilia is the Central European Conference taking place in Olomouc (Czech Republic) that discusses Agile approaches. Local and international Scrum experts and Agile professionals from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Europe and overseas will provide ideas and inspiration, speeches, case studies and workshops. In the agenda of the Agilia conference you can find topics like “Valuable Agile Retrospectives”, “Clash of Cultures: What Agile Managers Can Do to Survive”, “Enterprise Product Ownership – Field Experiences”, “Leading an Agile Transformation at Scale”, “The Heart of the Team: From the Battle Field to Barbados”, “Creating Winning Teams”, “The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development”, “Facilitation for Agilists and Scrum Masters”, “How Mindfulness Enables Agile Teams to Create Better Solutions?”, “Practical Tools to improve LEAN and Agile processes”, “Value Planning in a Lean and Agile Way for Managers”, “Nuggets for your Continuous Improvement Journey”, “Retrospective – On a three year large scale agile adoption”, “Agility for the whole organization”, “You are messing up with people’s lives – From burnout to #NoEstimates”, “How to Write Effective Requirements in an Agile Environment”. Web site: http://agiliaconference.com/ Location for the Agilia conference: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Categories: Agile

AgileEE Agile Eastern Europe, Kiev, Ukraine, April 7-8 2017

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:20
The AgileEE Agile Eastern Europe conference is a two-days event dedicated to promote Agile software development and Scrum project management in Ukraine and the Eastern European countries. It features Agile experts from all over the world, with well-known industry professionals from the US, Canada and Western Europe. In the agenda of the AgileEE Agile Eastern Europe conference you can find topics like “Test-Driven Development effectiveness – beyond anecdotal evidence”, “Focused Agile Coaching: co-create, capture and share your coaching vision”, “Achieving agility in strategy execution”, “Paint out the story point. Agile estimations and metrics in 90 minutes”, “Why do you scale: because you really need or because you don’t know how to organize without scaling?”, “Impact Mapping – creating software that matters”, “Retrospective Doctor: making Retrospectives better & more fun”, “Program/Portfolio Management in the Fields and the Tools to Organize It”, “Agile for Distributed and Remote Teams: Lessons Learned”, “Better planning with #NoEstimates”. Web site: http://agileee.org/ Location for the AgileEE Agile Eastern Europe conference: Ramada Hotel, 103, Stolichnoe Shosse, Kiev, Ukraine
Categories: Agile

AgileIndy, Indianapolis, May 12 2017

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:00
The AgileIndy Conference is a one-day event focuses on bringing Agile and Scrum thought leaders and practitioners from around the USA to Indianapolis for a great learning and networking experience. In the agenda of the AgileIndy conference you can find topics like “Agile Cross-Pollination: Growing Agile Adoption at Farm Credit Mid-America”, “Cultivating Agile Requirements”, “Secrets of Agile Estimation: Myths, Math, and Methods”, “Case Study: We Don’t Know Anything About Agile, but Let’s Give it a Try!”, “Framework-Driven Product Management”, “The Show Must Go On: Agile Leadership Lessons Learned from a Life in the Theatre”, “Coaching for Success – Practical Solutions for Building a High-Performance Organization”, “Emotional Intelligence for Agile Teams”. Web site: http://agileindy.org/conference/ Location for the AgileIndy conference: JW Marriott Downtown Indianapolis, 10 S West St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Categories: Agile

Make Them Grow

Scrum Expert - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 16:16
There might exist some lonely standalone software developers that create software without any other person involved, but my guess is that there are not many of them. Communication is an essential skill in software development, testing and project management… and life. As feedback is a key communication tool, I was therefore very interested when I stumble on this book about feedback written by an Agile coach. “Make Them Grow by Giving Feedback People Apply” is not a long book to read, but it deals in a very pragmatic way about the important topic of feedback, both about positive and negative behaviors. As being Agile seems the “way to go” for most software development teams, the values of courage, trust and honesty will all be supported by putting in practice the advice contained in this book. After reading it, I think that it goes way beyond the software development part of our life. You can give it also to your partners and teenagers. You will have a good communication moment by just starting to have a conversation about it. Which bring us back to Agile, where conversations are one the main tool. Reference: Make Them Grow by Giving Feedback People Apply, Michal Nowostawski, CreateSpace, ISBN-13: 978-1539744153 Quotes Think about the results you can achieve by giving people a simple feedback on their contribution to the development of the company. It is relatively easy to do, but if you want to do it even more effectively, read this book to the end. [...]
Categories: Agile

Scandinavian Agile, Finland, Helsinki, March 2 2017

Scrum Expert - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 08:15
The Scandinavian Agile Conference is a two-day event organized by Agile Finland and focused on Agile software development and Scrum project management. It takes place in Helsinki and discusses Agile organizations, state of the art in programming practices and Agile coaching. In the agenda of the Scandinavian Agile conference you could find topics like “Risky Business”, “How kanban saved a Salvation Army hospital in Indonesia”, “Refactoring Orgs – How to drive change where it is least expected”, “Traditional leadership myths – and how to break them”, “Cynefin for test planning – Cynefin to the rescue for those times when test strategy is decoupled from context”, “Flow and Experimentation: How Unity Ads Grows Software”, “The IT Risk Manager – Managing Risk using Real Options”, “Transforming the software development industry”, “Clarity before speed: Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) applied in practice”, “The best companies are led by dreams. In the future at least.”, “Stop scaling… Start growing an agile organization!”, “NAPA Agile Story: From Zero to Hero in Two Years”, Web site: http://scan-agile.org/ Location for the Scandinavian Agile conference: Wanha Satama, Pikku Satamakatu 3-5, 00161 Helsinki, Finland
Categories: Agile

Socrates Canaries, Gran Canaria, Spain, April 6-9 2017

Scrum Expert - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 08:00
Socrates Canaries is the Spanish stage of the International Software Craftsmanship Gathering, a series of events for open-minded software developers who want to improve their craft and the software industry as a whole. The local Software Craftsmanship community in the Canary Islands organizes it. The agenda of the Socrates Canaries International Software Craftsmanship Gathering follows the rules of the open conference where the participants create themselves the schedule of the event. Proposals are presented during the event itself in the mornings, and voted by the participants right after. This event is not a hackaton and it’s not about a particular technology, a library or a programming language. It is more about methods, practices, values, principles, and professionalism. Web site: https://www.socracan.com/ Location for the Socrates Canaries International Software Craftsmanship Gathering conference: NH Imperial Playa, Calle Ferreras, 1, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
Categories: Agile

Scaling Agile with the Theory of Constraints

Scrum Expert - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:13
Lear how to use the Theory of Constraints to scale Agile and Scrum development teams. The Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor (i.e. constraint) that stands in the way of achieving a goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor. While implementing Scrum and shortening Time To Market in large financial institution we were slowed down because of obstacles in planning and analysis. I came with the idea to use Theory of Constraints which helped us to calculate real TTM and gave us hints how to release faster and cheaper. Now they’re ready to change direction anytime and do releases more often. This presentation is suitable for people in organizations trying to lower workload of releases. Video producer: http://swanseacon.co.uk/
Categories: Agile

Switching From Scrum to Kanban

Scrum Expert - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 18:11
Scrum and Kaban are two Agile approaches that could be used in software development, depending also on the context of the software development tools. In his blog post “Ditching Scrum for Kanban — The best decision we’ve made as a team”, Grant Ammons shares some thought on why he successfully changed it process from a Scrum to a Kanban perspective. The software development team managed by Grant Ammons first decided to start using Scrum to implement more discipline in its process. Scrum brought some benefits to the team as they start writing light specs and more cooperating with a product manager. The team liked the stand-ups and grooming sessions that kept everyone aligned on the work. The retrospectives also helped adapting the process to the team needs and improving it. However, there were soon also some issues with Scrum. The main one was that it was very hard to plan two weeks of work accurately . The team was mainly overestimating the amount of work it could achieve, which lead to carrying over tasks from the previous sprint to the current one. This was hurting the morale. This is why the team switched to Kaban and removed the sprint goals. This improved the morale and didn’t hurt the team capacity to deliver. Grant Ammons wrote as a main point “It turns out that cramming to make sprint deadlines was not the major motivating factor to get work done.” The conclusion of the blog post is that “Kanban works well for our team [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile Projects Summit, Warsaw, Poland, March 28 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 14:15
Agile Projects Summit is a one-day conference organized by the APMG International and the Agile Business Consortium in Warsaw, Poland. It aims to explore the benefits and challenges of adopting Agile practices for project management, change and development initiatives. In the agenda of Agile Projects Summit you can find topics like “Business Agility – The E.ON Experience”, “Agile approach for EPL system implementation in the Office of Electronic Communications”, “Agile Projects and Programmes”. It will also feature keynote presentations and roundtable discussions that will discuss the benefits of Agile Project Management, Agile vs traditional project management, Agile and organizational culture, Scaling Agile, Popular Agile techniques including MoSCoW prioritization and Kanban. Web site: https://www.agilebusiness.org/pl/node/585 Location for the Agile Projects Summit conference: Novotel Warszawa Centrum ul Marszalkowska 94/98 Warsaw, 00-510, Poland
Categories: Agile

ACE! Conference on Lean and Agile Software Development, Krakow, Poland, May 11-12 2017

Scrum Expert - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 09:00
The ACE! Conference on Lean and Agile Software Development is a two-day conference that brings together in Krakow (Poland) some of the best-known Agile, Scrum and lean practitioners in Europe and abroad. It is the guaranty of a great networking experience for agile software development practitioners that will come away with new ideas and enthusiasm. In the agenda of the ACE! Conference on Lean and Agile Software Development you can find topics like “Antipatterns for Diversity”, “The systemic Scrum Master”, “UX is team work”, “From Lean Startup to an Innovation Organization”, “How to facilitate a product backlog refinement session”, “Corporate environment, agile design and user experience”, “Execute a non-reactionary UX strategy”, “Selfish Accessibility”, “Remote User Testing”, “Designing to Learn: Creating Effective MVPs”, “Growing Your Discovery Mindset”, “Agile Architecture from the Trenches”, “Managing Stars”, “Your code smells too! Time to deodorize”, “Problem-solving techniques for groups”, “Being Agile to become Customer centric”. Web site: http://aceconf.com/ Location for the ACE! Conference on Lean and Agile Software Development: Efekt Express Hotel, ul. Opolska 14 31-323 KrakĂłw
Categories: Agile

Becoming a Product Samurai

Scrum Expert - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 14:32
With Agile practices becoming more and more common, the call for Product Leadership has never been louder. Product owners are drowning in feature alignment and internal stakeholder discussions, slowed by technical and organizational complexity, crippled by a risk-averse company culture and focused on internal risks rather than market outcome. Long ago the Samurai learned that Agility in itself is not enough. Leadership comes from an unwavering vision, clear values and relentless exercise of martial practices (kata). What can we learn from them? What kata’s apply to Product Leadership? How can me make sure that we wield the sword of Agility in such a way that we don’t just make products right, but make the right products? This lightweight talk will offer practical solutions and insights on how to become a better Product Owner, Product Manager or anyone responsible for setting out a Product Strategy. Based on my personal experience as Product Manager, Director, Coach, Teacher (and martial artist). For it is our responsibility to save the world of crappy products and lead our teams like the Samurai. Video producer: http://topconf.com/
Categories: Agile

Reasons Why Scrum Can Fail

Scrum Expert - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 16:38
If Scrum and Agile approaches are supposed to increase the chances of success for software development projects, not all the projects that want to use Scrum are successful. In this article, John Yorke shares his opinion on why Agile projects might fail because of the confusion between the roles (ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Developer) of a Scrum Team and the required Agile mindsets. Author : John Yorke, Agile Coach, WWT Asynchrony Labs, http://www.asynchrony.com/ I should start out by saying that I am a big fan of Scrum. I think those that devised the framework possessed an agile mindset but also were mindful of human nature. They created a framework that had built-in checks and balances and solutions to many of the most common problems. They also had an understanding of system level thinking – I’ll come back to that later. The core of the system though are the key roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner and Development Team. This triad is what makes Scrum so successful (when it works) and in my opinion it is the absence of this triad that is the root cause of the majority of the unsuccessful adoptions. It’s All About the Mindset However, I don’t think it is the role that defines this triad but the perceived mindset behind the role.  For example, having a team that possesses a strong member with an Agile mindset, along with the knowledge and skills to support it and the opportunity to focus on it all help achieve a proper mindset. Furthermore, [...]
Categories: Agile

Ron Jeffries to Keynote at Agile Alliance Technical Conference 2017

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 18:29
The Agile Alliance has announced the program for the Agile Alliance Technical Conference that will be held April 19 – 21 in Boston, Massachusetts. This event will focus on new advances, new challenges and new directions in Agile Software Development as applied to today’s technical work. The Agile Alliance Technical Conference will feature keynotes by Ron Jeffries, (RonJeffries.com), Chet Hendrickson, (HendricksonXP) and Dr. Anita Sengupta (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). The three-day conference is built around three themes: Core Technical Practices, Team Technical Practices, and Technical Practices at the Organizational Level. It will explore topics such as new and updated core development practices; integration of user experience (UX) principles; advances in testing practices and automation; the evolution of tools and techniques that bridge development, deployment and operations; and the growing importance of Big Data across the entire spectrum of activities. Learn more about this conference on https://www.agilealliance.org/agile-alliance-technical-conference-2017/
Categories: Agile

Back to the Heart of Agile

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 14:30
“Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of Agile.” The Heart of Agile is a fresh look at Agile that strips away a lot of the cruft that has built up over recent years. Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect, Improve. Alistair Cockburn goes over the addition of kokoro onto the shu-ha-ri sequence, and its implications for agile. Following the heart of agile talk, Alistair Cockburn answers questions from the audience using the unusual form of answering with stories. They are more fun to listen to, and often more illuminating. Video producer: http://www.adventureswithagile.com
Categories: Agile

Modifying the Definition of Done

Scrum Expert - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 17:17
Having a good Definition of Done (DoD) might be one of the most important technical asset of a Scrum team. This makes the difference between delivering at the end of the sprint fully completed business features or half-baked software. In his blog post “Changing the Definition of Done”, Ken Rubin discusses the situation where a Scrum team might want to change an existing Definition of Done. Ken Rubin starts with the case of a Scrum team that wanted to remove one check from its Definition of Done, because of technical problems that would have prevented them to deliver any results at the end of the sprint. There might always be some issues that could prevent a Scrum team to respect all the items listed in its Definition of Done. Thus the team could be catch the bad habit of taking shortcuts every time it meet a difficulty and Ken Rubin is against weakening the DoD during the sprint. If the issue isn’t considered a major one, you can always do a sprint review, but you have to fully inform the stakeholder of the items are not fully “done”. There is however no problems to make the DoD stronger if the team can do it without jeopardizing the delivery of software. In all cases, Ken Rubin recommends to change to the Definition of Done between the Scrum sprints. His conclusion is that “The definition of done is an important list of criterion that a Scrum team uses to determine if the [...]
Categories: Agile

Mile High Agile, Denver, USA, May 22-23 2017

Scrum Expert - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 13:00
Mile High Agile is a one-day conference is produced by volunteers from Agile Denver that provides an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences in Agile software development for agile novices, intermediates and experts, technical professionals, team leaders, managers, executives, and organizational change leaders. In the agenda of the Mile High Agile conference, you can find topics like “Creating Program Alignment: The Product Wall Release Planning Workshop”, “The DNA of an Innovative Product Owner”, “Kanban at Scale – This Siemens Healthcare Case Study”, “Tales From the Trenches: Transforming Teams to Kanban and Scrumban”, “STATIK: Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban”, “You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See”. Web site: http://milehighagile.org/ Location for the Mile High Agile Denver conference: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202 USA
Categories: Agile

ConnectALL 2.6.1 for VersionOne Released

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 18:13
Go2Group has released ConnectALL 2.6.1 for VersionOne. The VersionOne adapter in ConnectALL lets you efficiently manage all levels of enterprise agile project management. You can integrate VersionOne projects with other agile tools to enhance collaboration and optimize your agile project management. Each team can work on the application of its choice and all data between agile tools flows bi-directionally. ConnectALL integrates the most popular Application Lifecycle Management tools using a “configuration, not coding” approach. ConnectALL allows integrating VersionOne with ServiceNow, JIRA and HPE ALM. For agile development teams using JIRA and VersionOne, ConnectALL transforms JIRA issues into workitems (defects or stories) in VersionOne. Using this integration, an organization can manage and triage issues reported by customers and promote them to VersionOne for prioritization, estimation, planning, and implementation. When the work is completed in VersionOne, the integration updates JIRA to reflect the resolved status. The testing team identifies a defect in HPE ALM. The defect is replicated to a VersionOne project as a new defect by ConnectALL. As the development team starts to debug, all the updates are synced back to the defect in HPE ALM. Upon completion of development, the defect is resolved.
Categories: Agile

A Step By Step Guide to Agile By Stealth

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:46
Resistance to change is part of the human condition and overcoming this resistance is part of adopting Agile & Scrum and changing the way delivery teams work together. A large part of the prevailing certified methods are about tackling this problem in a variety of ways. How successful these methods are depends on many things and not least the starting conditions and senior leadership support. Without this kind of safety net creativity is called for and Tony Heap talks here about his experiences with a less head on approach to influencing things. One thing Tony noticed about agile is that it’s difficult to really understand it unless you’ve actually done it. This makes it tricky to *sell* agile – especially to people who are used to a plan-driven (waterfall) approach. In other words pretty much everyone who hasn’t already gone agile. From experience, agile delivery is just too different from waterfall for some folk to jump in head first. It is, however, possible to take people on a journey from waterfall towards agile delivery that doesn’t involve too much of a leap of faith. This presentation describes a step-by-step strategy that can be used with some success. Video producer: http://www.agileyorkshire.org/
Categories: Agile