May 30, 2018

Session Descriptions 2017

NOTE: Following Red Hat Agile Day, links to the recorded sessions will be added at the bottom of each session description.

Key Note:
Steve Denning

What’s Next For Agile: Strategic Agility

While most organizations implementing Agile management are still preoccupied with upgrading existing products and services through cost reductions, time savings or quality enhancements for existing customers (i.e. operational Agility), they need to realize that the major financial gains from Agile management will flow from the practices of Strategic Agility, that is, generating innovations that create entirely new markets and that turn non-customers into customers. Strategic Agility is the next frontier of Agile management. Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, strategic agility is about creating a new market and dominating it. The profit margins are bigger, and the value to society is often bigger.

The session will describe what’s involved in achieving strategic agility, including a playbook for systematically generating market-creating innovations and the necessary shift in culture that is required.

Core Track #1:
Laura Smyrl

Language of Agile: Things Making Me Crazy

In this interactive discussion, we examine some of the components of agile that involve language and can be very challenging. What does “I’m almost done” mean? What do we we hear from our scrum mates that makes us smile – and what makes us confused? Bring your own frustrations with agile communication to the table and we’ll collaborate together.

Advanced Track #1:
Bob Galen and Josh Anderson

The “Meta-Cast” Comes Alive

Since 2011, Bob Galen and Josh Anderson have been recording the Meta-Cast podcast. It’s an agile focused discussion that has literally covered every agile topic in its seven years and over 120 episodes. The podcast reaches listeners on virtually every continent and has received numerous accolades from listeners and fellow podcasters alike. In this session, Bob and Josh will bringing the Meta-cast to you, a live audience. The podcast will be recorded and streamed live. We will gather your most challenging, interesting, and potentially exasperating agile questions and challenges. Then we’ll answer each of them with our collaborative and fun style. This session will prove to be fun, insightful, and driven by YOUR needs. So please, join the Meta-cast and try to “stump the chumps” or simply get some free coaching towards your greatest challenges.

Core Track #2
Ken Pugh

Better Software through Collaboration

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. The origin of many items living in our defect tracking systems can be traced to the difficulty of performing these initial activities. Ken Pugh introduces acceptance test-driven development (ATDD) / Behavior Driven Development (BDD), explains why it works, and outlines the different roles team members play in the process. ATDD/BDD has proven to dramatically increase productivity and reduce delays in development by decreasing re-work. Ken shows how acceptance tests created during requirement analysis decrease ambiguity, increase scenario coverage, help with effort estimation, and act as a measurement of quality.

Advanced Track #2
Catherine Louis

5 Cognitive Biases Affecting Product Development

Are you having a difficult time finding female engineers to join your teams? Are you currently working on a project which seems to be going nowhere? Have you ever engaged in what you thought was customer-driven work only to later discover it was stakeholder-driven? When it comes to designing products or software that people use, or when trying to uncover precisely what’s wrong with our workplace, studying the decisions we make is critical. Surprise! Many of our decisions are not made consciously. Examining five common unconscious biases seen in development, Catherine Louis helps us explore the unconscious decisions we make. She presents a hands-on exercise which focuses on the affinity bias. Only when we successfully move from an unconscious to a conscious bias can we begin to tackle the sticky problems—and find those female engineers to join our teams.

Core/Advanced Track  #3
Matt Hicks

How Technology is Ending the Debate on Agile

The ability to adapt and innovate quickly is needed for survival in business. Evolutions with technologies like containers are allowing development teams to move faster.  This is paramount as they must keep pace with the speed of change in the market. Those that can adapt will win and Agile is the thing that connects the technology enablers to the market opportunity.


Core Track #4
Dean Peters

Five Things I Learned About Lean MVP as a Professional Opera Singer

Sometimes we get stuck. Whether it’s creating personas, crafting user stories, or stitching them all together deliver a minimal viable product, sometimes we need to approach the build-measure-learn cycle from a fresh perspective. By exploring some of what goes behind putting on musical and opera productions, I’ll introduce some fun and useful research and development practices and techniques that can infuse new life into bogged-down software development efforts to deliver to the right product in a Lean, Agile setting. Time permitting, I may even sing a verse of my Gilbert & Sullivan cover “I am the very model of an agile product manager.”

Advanced Track #4
Christopher Curley

Detecting and Improving an Innovative Attitude in Teams

This session will introduce Agile team members to the idea of Dramatism: in a nutshell, the tools we use to communicate in fiction and nonfiction are exactly the same. The knowledge we use to categorize and analyze fiction, therefore, is equally useful in analyzing communication within and across teams. These tools provide the Scrum Master or Agile Coach with data from observation they can apply to not only detect functional or dysfunctional attitudes, but to apply those observations to generalized frameworks that suggest actions that will address or improve a team’s attitude toward innovation. The difference between “Turning Toward Agile” and “Turning Away from Waterfall,” and why this is critical to innovation Markov Chains: The probabilistic mathematics of “Turning Toward” and “Turning Against” Detecting “Turning Toward” and “Turning Against” in key moments when team members are trying to be understood (how to listen for and understand these critical, strategic moments when innovators are trying to be understood) A Framework for taking action: Coaching from a dysfunctional attitude to an innovative attitude; and, maintaining an Innovative Attitude, once you have one (Revisiting the Markov Chain and introducing the practical application of Dramatism).