January 11, 2019

Session Descriptions 2015

Putting the “Story” back in the User Story – Bob Galen

If you’re using User Stories for your agile requirements, you’re not alone. It seems to have become the ubiquitous vehicle for communicating customer requirements to agile teams. And it works incredibly well in this regard. However, many teams are experiencing problems with it. And I don’t believe it’s the story’s fault.

You see we often forget the “conversation” part of the story, and more importantly, the story-telling part. When Kent Beck originated the idea of the User Story, this was his original intent. It was to initiate or inspire a story-level conversation between a stakeholder or customer and the team implementing something to meet their needs. It was face-to-face and interactive. It was intended to inform, but also inspire. It was also ongoing.

Join Bob Galen in this talk that brings our focus back to the original intent of the User Story; that is the story-part. We’ll explore how to tell better stories to enhance the results of your agile teams’ collaboration, understanding, and ultimately their results.

Non-standard Agile Metrics – Tim Arthur

Agile practitioners are familiar with standard measurements such as burn-ups, burn-downs, and velocity charts along with others in their toolbox. It is though, a box. What about non-standard measurements? Agile encourages innovation and a different mindset.  This presentation will reveal three non-standard measurements that prompt a new line of thinking and different ways to improve your oversight and effectiveness. You’ll be able to apply these back at the office using available data.

Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time – Cory Foy

One of the key tenets of an agile and lean approach is to do the right thing at the right time – meaning, build the most important thing just when we need it. But for Product Managers and Product Owners, it can be tricky to figure out the best way to approach this building of your product. What should you focus on? What should we be building versus buying? What is our competitive landscape look like so we know what to tackle first? In this session, Cory Foy will show you several different strategies and approaches of mapping out your direction, including Wardley Maps, the Business Model Canvas and the Purpose-Based Alignment Model. You’ll leave the session with an understanding of how to create a map of your current situation and know if the steps you are your team are taking are the right ones for where you are.

Probabilistic Decision Making – Larry Maccherone

You know “collaboration over contract negotiation’, right? However, metrics often drive a wedge between management and the team, none more so than forecasting metrics. However, when you give a probability distribution as the answer to the question, “When will we get it?” instead of a single date, an amazing transformation happens. Suddenly, the team and management start working together to manage tradeoffs and risk.

You need two things to take advantage of this paradigm shift: 1) How do you start to think probabilistically?; and 2) How do you generate a probabilistic forecast or analysis? This talk provides mindset shifts necessary for #1 and lots of worked out practical examples for #2.

The Journey Into Automation – Monica Mills

Have you ever heard the following? “We are agile, but our testing / automation team is their own SCRUM team” or “We are an integrated agile team, but we’re scrum-a-fall” or “We would automate if could, but we don’t know where to start.” The principles of agile seem simple enough, but executing well is hard.  It becomes more difficult when companies demand results. “What is the secret sauce, you scream in frustration?!?!” Reality sets in and you realize there is none. If there were, I’d be a millionaire.

There is hope! Whether you’re starting with a blank canvas and building out an automation process, implementing in a legacy environment, or want to improve what you have in place today – you can do this! At Dude Solutions, we feel we are in the 96th percentile with our agile adoption compared to other companies in the universe, including our automation execution. (NOTE: We totally made the number up, so it must be accurate!?) We are far from done, but how did we get there? I will share this journey through our automation implementation and discuss our triumphs, failures, and most importantly, our lessons learned. Through these, you can apply what works for your organization and create your own “secret sauce”.

Effectively Communicating with Acceptance Test – Ken Pugh

Defining, understanding, and agreeing on the scope of work to be done is often an area of discomfort for product managers, developers and quality assurance experts alike. Many of the items living happily in our defect tracking systems were born of the difficulty we have in performing said activities. Acceptance Testing roots out these defects by reexamining the process we use to define the work to be done and how it is tested. This session introduces acceptance testing; explains why it works; and outlines the different roles the team members play in the process. We will contrast acceptance testing with unit testing and show examples of how the process clarifies the work to be done.

Why is there so much bad Agile out there? – Betsy Koffman

How many conferences have you attended and as you are sitting around the conference lunch tables mulling over your salty marsala chicken, soggy mixed vegetables drenched in butter and glasses of sweating iced tea you strike up conversations with other conference attendees about their organizations? The conversations always start the same way “So what company are you guys from?” “We are from “XYZ or ABC Company”. “Are you guys Doing Agile?” “Yeah- I guess you can call it that- we have been trying for X years but it is more like “scrumbut”, “wagile”, or “scrumerfall”. (Everyone chuckles and nods their heads because they are all in the same boat; except for the high priced consultant who’s ears perk up).

As Agile Coaches we have seen our fair share of “bad” or highly modified agile. I mean that is job security for us Agile Coaches but it really begs the question as to why are organizations struggling so much with their agile transformations? In this highly animated presentation we will provide honest feedback as to what we have seen and why organizations are struggling to Be Agile. We will also provide a plan you can put in place to turn this journey around or if you are just getting started what you need to do to ensure success with your transformation. This presentation should be attended by both Business and Technical partners- because agile requires an “all in” commitment focused on people, process, and technology. (Hint: that is one piece of the puzzle most folks are missing!)