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Creating Program Alignment: The Product Wall Release Planning Workshop

Multi-team Release Planning, as it is often executed, fails to bring alignment beyond one-time inter-team coordination. This hands-on session teaches the techniques and exercises for a Product Wall Release Planning Workshop. The Product Wall Release Planning Workshop brings together all the elements of business needs, user experience, value proposition, dependency resolution, risk mitigation and user story planning. By combining various Agile collaboration techniques in a guided sequence, your multi-team Release Planning can create alignment through learning together and building together a clear path to success, from the release vision all the way to Sprint Backlogs.

Alan Dayley brings more than 25 years of software engineering experience to his Agile Coaching practice. Agile Coach, CSM, CSPO, CSP. Alan works to strengthen the people side of creative work. Alan loves to help people learn and create innovation in their life. Besides Agile coaching, he spreads this passion as a founding member of the Phoenix Scrum User Group and speaker coach for the Ignite Phoenix series of events.

The DNA of an Innovative Product Owner

The best Product Owners have several key characteristics in common. In this presentation, I’ll look at the 6 basic elements that make up the DNA of a great Product Owner.

Engaged • Available • Decisive • Empowered • Knowledgeable • Foresightful

What’s more, certain characteristics combinations yield hybrid characteristics, much like an eloquent speaker endowed with charisma can make a powerful politician.

• Engagement + Availability = Trust

• Decisiveness + Empowerment = Leadership

• Knowledge + Foresight = Vision

In order to be an Innovative PO, I believe you need these 6 traits. This session will help understand the impacts of these traits not being there and how we could counteract them so as to bolster our PO’s DNA.

Anu Smalley has delivered around 50 + presentations over the course of the past 4 years. Topics have ranged from Enterprise Agility, Agility Basics, Scrum, Story Writing, Story Mapping, Product Owner 101, change and transformation for audiences from 20-100.

Kanban at Scale – This Siemens Healthcare Case Study

The presentation will describe the one of the world’s largest Kanban implementations. It will show how Kanban augmented existing agile practices in large scale development and it will examine the achieved benefits of “flow” as demonstrated by real project data. The presentation will show how the Kanban method was implemented across the teams and led to very significant improvements in operational efficiency, predictability and quality as well as improving employee morale. A key focus of the talk will emphasize metrics associated with Kanban which provide a high degree of transparency and are highly actionable. It will also discuss how HS was able to replace estimation with historical data using Monte-Carlo modelling simulation.

Bennet Vallet has been at Siemens Health Services (now Cerner HS) for over 25 years and where he currently leads the Agile Center of Competency. Bennet has been involved in leading agile transformations since 2005. In addition to his current management responsibilities, Bennet is the agile strategist on the company’s product development excellence team, chartered to drive key improvement initiatives with respect to people, process and infrastructure.

Daniel Vacanti is a 20-year software industry veteran who has spent most of the last 15 years focusing on Lean and Agile practices. In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work. He managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year, and has been conducting Kanban training, coaching, and consulting ever since. Daniel regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.

Tales From the Trenches: Transforming Teams to Kanban and Scrumban

Especially in environments where interruptions are rife, sometimes our teams seem to flail about during iterations and sprints. They’re unable to complete the work they commit to and end up splitting backlog items multiple times. This can kill morale – and eventually your team. In this Tales from the Trenches session, we’ll talk about a real-world example of taking a team from Scrum (where they consistently missed commitments) to a Kanban-based model where everyone felt they were making progress and meeting commitments – especially our customer! And we’ll discuss ideas for you to explore with your teams.

Bill DeVoe has been an agile practitioner, trainer, and coach for over 15 years. He has a diverse corporate background and has introduced and adapted agile processes with everything from Fortune 10 companies to small startups. He knows what it’s like to be working in agile shops as a developer in the trenches, a manager, and product owner. He owns Artemis Agile Consulting, a Denver-based company that provides training, coaching, and consulting.

STATIK: Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban

Kanban is a seemingly simple method, but implementing change of any kind is deceptively challenging. STATIK is a 7-step framework for implementing Kanban in organization, based on systems thinking principles and the evolutionary approach to change. I will introduce the framework and the subtle but critical considerations I have learned for making this approach succeed. Participants will also be able to learn from each other about success and challenges they’ve faced in their Kanban journey.

Brad Swanson is an Enterprise Agile Coach at agile42. He was an early adopter of eXtreme Programming in 1999, and is now a Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) and Trainer (CST). Brad has led Agile transformations at many large and small companies in the USA, Europe and Asia, and has spoken at conferences worldwide, including Agile201x, Scrum Gatherings, Agile Development Conference West & East, and AgilePalooza. He is also past President of Agile Denver.

Ever Feel Like You’re Leading the Undead? How Healthy are Your Teams, Really?

Do you sometimes feel that your teams aren’t really gelling together, that there are certain unspoken internal problems – that they are in a sense, “undead?” Being part of an “undead” team can be extremely demoralizing and can lead to severe productivity issues. We need to somehow put the life back into teams, help them build a sense of unity and lead them to a more fulfilling sense of purpose.

In this session we’ll look at the symptoms of an “undead” team and what those teams should check at the door in order to become “living” again. We’ll then explore several techniques around how to measure the team’s health, build a growth plan and implement sustainable practices to become a truly healthy and ultimately, high-performing team.

Bryan Tew is a highly dynamic Agile coach, trainer and leader and is the Training Director for Agile Transformation, Inc. He is passionate about helping organizations transform their processes and people to deliver immediate value and exceed customer expectations through building high-performing teams and implementing proven Agile and Lean methods.

Bryan has held several IT roles, is a PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) and holds an MBA degree from BYU.

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See

You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. And you know what it means – pictures convey so much more about people or an idea you’re trying to describe than you could ever hope to with words. So why is it in knowledge work, that some of the most important information and conversations are captured and conveyed with words alone? Whether these words are text in a document or hidden in a tool, we’re settling for less. Our work pleads for visualizations.

Chris will share how using visualization has improved agile projects over the past 10 years. His experiences working with large and small teams in a variety of industries has shown that although people implement popular tools, but don’t know how to leverage them.

Chris will show real examples of visualization methods that you can use to make better decisions and help teams develop a shared understanding. He will give you a 6-step checklist to evaluate and employ visual controls in your context.

Chris Shinkle is the Director of Innovation at Software Engineering Professionals (SEP). Since 1997, Chris has been a thought leader and initiator of new ideas and continuous improvement. He introduced and led SEP’s adoption of Agile software development practices in 2004 as well as the adoption of Lean and Kanban in 2007. Chris’ dedication to Agile and Lean software systems led to his induction as an inaugural member of Lean Systems Society Fellowship and a 2012 Brickell Key Award nominee.

Bowling Game Kata Two Ways

The Bowling Game kata is a programming exercise developed by Robert Martin to teach Test-Driven Development. Like a martial arts form, programmers do the kata exercise every day for a number of weeks until it becomes second nature. However, katas also make for a terrific lab environment for developers learning something new. Since the developer knows a solution inside and out, she is free to concentrate on the new aspect of the problem.

In this talk, I will demonstrate the Bowling Game kata in three ways: in its original form in Java and then the audience can choose either a functional approach using LINQ from C# or as a SOA service using Node.js. Then, I’ll lead a discussion of the differences between the two approaches. Please feel free to follow along on your laptop.

Chuck Durfee is a development manager in the Denver area who has a passion for agile and lean software delivery. He has coached teams and organizations on using Scrum and Kanban to deliver quality rapidly since 2004. Chuck enjoys games, both as a pastime and particularly as a teaching tool. He hosts the Agile Chuck Wagon podcast ( through his consultancy Durfweb and is also a board member of Agile Denver.

It’s Only a Button: Breaking Down Technically Complex Stories

We’ve all had user stories that appear simple on the surface, but hide a mountain of work in supporting systems underneath. These stories can be very difficult for the Product Owner to break down into smaller stories and that’s where the team can lend a helping hand. This session will look at a number of technically complex examples including logins, searches, and data migrations that can be problematic for teams to deconstruct and we will discuss how these can be delivered in small, incremental, and valuable releases. We will also discuss challenges and pitfalls that can occur in breaking down these stories. Attendees are encouraged to share their own examples for the group to try to break down.

Daniel Lynn is an agile coach based out of the Denver area who has a decade of experience in working with agile development teams. Much of Daniel’s efforts in Agile are focused on cultivating team alignment and engagement.

Why Size Doesn’t Matter

In this session I want to dispel one of the most popular myths about what is required when limiting Work In Progress (WIP). I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the statement, “Our team can’t limit WIP, because that requires all work items to be of the same size.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is getting all items to be the same size not necessary to achieve flow, but, in many contexts, trying to similarly size work items is at best a premature optimization and at worst an unnecessary one. This session will discuss some reasons why work item size does not matter and will introduce some more fruitful improvements to focus on when addressing the very real problems of an unpredictable process.

Daniel Vacanti is a 20-year software industry veteran who has spent most of the last 15 years focusing on Lean and Agile practices. In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work. He managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year, and has been conducting Kanban training, coaching, and consulting ever since. Daniel regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.

You Have Scrum Teams, So What? Create Value, Not Just Process

If you’ve successfully formed Agile teams and are interested in implementing a consistent Agile approach across one or more programs or departments AND are struggling to achieve consistent strategy across departments and alignment from portfolio to program and team, then you won’t want to miss this session. We will examine 2 key areas of business agility that address value and not just a ceremony or process:

• Build it right

• Build the right thing

Taking an Agile approach to development helps ensure you are actually building products that your customers care about and delivering them faster cadence – ultimately impacting the bottom line. That’s value.

Doug Dockery is a successful solutions Architect and enterprise Agile coach with extensive experience in leading Agile transformations, working with the Fortune 100 to adopt Agility at scale. He is a Certified Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Consultant (SPC), a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and a Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Doug is Rally Software’s Strategic Solutions Architect and is a subject matter expert and senior advisor on topics related to scaling Agility across entire organizations.

Selenium Test Automation Accelerator for Agile

Most people who work with Agile know that automating system testing is essential, but they also realize that it is very easy to fail in doing so.

Learn how SLI’s BPTSelenium framework helps to avid common pitfalls of test automation, accelerate time to market and eliminate the cost and complexity of test automation.

SLI’s BPTSelenium is a test management tool that allows customers to get the benefit of implementing efficient and cost effective automation through a role-based methodology that enables SMEs to create Scriptless automated tests using re-usable business components.

Igor Gershovich is a Director at SLI Global Solutions, a trusted partner for software testing, IV&V and certification testing. Igor has spent the last 15 years working in the high tech industry with a particular focus on test automation and load and performance testing for complex, transaction and data-intensive information systems. He is a frequent presenter at both domestic and international professional groups and conferences on topics relating to advanced testing methods and techniques.

Benefiting from Conflict – Building Antifragile Relationships and Teams

Antifragile relationships provide the foundation & freedom for teams to benefit from conflict and be more successful! We should be moving beyond strong relationships to antifragile relationships, which benefit from adversity! We will explore this concept by learning about and practicing a number of tools you can use with teams you are on or working with (scrum teams to leadership teams).

Tap into practices to continue moving your relationships to a more antifragile position to improve your results and success.We will explore a number of common issues contributing to team conflict and practice building a team alliance and a plan for potential conflict in advance.

Jake Calabrese is an agile trainer, agile coach, and systems coach with Agile For All. He has over 20 years of experience business and IT in a variety of roles and organizations. Jake is active with the agile community and volunteers at, facilitates, and speaks at agile conferences and user group meetings. He launched the Agile Safari cartoon series to help people laugh and learn about agility. As one of only a few Organization & Relationship Systems Certified Coaches (ORSCC) in the agile community, Jake is helping introduce new coaching styles and approaches to help people, teams, and organizations excel. He also has an alphabet soup of other certifications including a CSP, CSM, CSPO, PMP, & CBAP.

Aligning Performance Reviews Activities to agile values using Collaborative Games

Agile teams thrive in environments where they are provided with autonomy to enable self-organization & receive advocacy from leadership to adopt agile practices. These ingredients are frequently impacted when Human Resources requires that everyone complete individual performance reviews. We’ll discuss how traditional performance reviews techniques compromise agile values. We’ll then present alternative methods better aligned to agile values using visual collaboration games that help team members collaboratively identify challenges and ways to improve. We’ll conclude with how use of collaborative games within performance review activities provides higher fidelity feedback in less time while fostering trust & respect amongst staff.

Jason Tice is an agile coach & mentor at Asynchrony specializing in the use of serious games to create environments conducive to whole-team learning, collaboration and complex problem solving. Jason enjoys helping teams and team members identify their limitations, determine ways to improve, safely test new ideas, and ultimately overcome their limitations. Jason volunteers to help plan the annual AgileGames conference held in Boston, MA and is a frequent host on the “ThisAgileLife” podcast.

A Quantum Physicist and an Agile Executive Walk into a Bar: Empathy in a Disordered World

Woe to you agile executive in this world of disruption, chaos, non-local causes, unknown unknowns. You are expected to tend to create agile success for and with your teams. But who is watching over you and the toll this adoption takes on you? It is enough to drive one to drink. But if you happen to be walking into the bar with a quantum physicist, you are in luck. Our physicist can help you let go of the Newtonian view of the world. Here, Jean Tabaka takes us on the journey of the agile executive struggling to succeed in a business world that embraces cause-and-effect structures. We’ll explore what life can be like for these executives and how to get there via 12 valuable success practices.

Jean Tabaka has been in the Agile community since 1998. She has accumulated bumps and bruises in a variety of contexts along the way. She has counseled teams, programs, divisions, and large organizations worldwide on failure patterns as well as success patterns. Though coming from a technical background, Jean now sees humaneness as our number one barrier to agile success. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from the Johns Hopkins University.

The Complete Programmer: Training is Much More than Code

To grow the pool of effective programmers, we need to shape facets of professional practice beyond codecraft and dive into thought patterns, ecosystems, professional behavior, and more. Joe will present a systematic approach to skill assessment and training for apprentice programmers.

Joe Gee is the Master Craftsman for the Rocky Mountain Programmers Guild developing new apprentice training models. Joe coached and led agile teams for the last 15 years building compilers, big data analysis, financial software, and hardware controllers.

Advanced JavaScript unit testing

Lots of applications have a substantial part written in JavaScript, which has a quite a few concepts where it differs from traditional back-end programming languages like C# or Ruby. This fast-paced talk will show best practices for unit testing code involving 7 of those concepts: asynchronous code with callbacks and with promises, timers, Ajax requests, DOM manipulation, responsive design with CSS media queries, cross browser compatibility, ad leak detection. The live demonstrations will use browser-based code and Node.js with different testing frameworks, including Mocha, Sinon, Jasmine and Karma. You will get most value out of this talk if you already have some JavaScript experience or unit testing experience.

Lars Thorup is an agile engineering coach and software developer focusing on JavaScript, C#, TDD and continuous integration. Lars works for clients in the US and in Denmark, and is currently travelling the world.

Build Your Agile Testing Skill Sets

In agile development, the whole cross-functional team shares responsibility for quality, and for making sure all necessary testing gets done. Testers bring many specialized skills to their agile teams, from domain knowledge to exploratory testing techniques. In this workshop, we’ll look at how to involve the whole team in testing, how to transfer testing skills to team members in all roles, and how testers can add to their own testing toolboxes. By trying these ideas in the workshop, you will find it easier to bring these skill-building ideas back to your organizations.

Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (Addison-Wesley 2014), Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009), and other books. She’s worked as a tester on agile teams since 2000 and has been recognized for her leadership in the agile testing community. For more about Lisa’s work, visit,, and follow @lisacrispin on Twitter.

How to host an Agile Camp: use an unconference to get everyone invested in Agile

In 2013, most product development teams at Return Path were Agile, but the business teams were mystified. What was a sprint, what is the goal of quarterly planning, and what are these points we keep talking about? While we met with individual business teams, it was clear we needed an organizational Agile introduction. Meredith and William decided to host “Agile Camp,” a three day Agile unconference for anyone and everyone at Return Path. They will share how they created Agile Camp, got the organization buzzing, and the impacts it’s had. Come learn how to plan your own Agile Camp with materials to get you started. Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Agile enthusiasts can all be Camp Counselors. Learn more at

Meredith Wells is a Senior Product Manager at Return Path. She is a Certified Product Owner, and Certified SAFe Product Manager. With experience ranging from startups to Fortune 50s, Meredith helps product teams solve customer problems.

William Kammersell is a Product Manager at Return Path. He has also been a Product Owner, Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Developer over his career on a wide range of projects.

The Quest for Continuous Delivery at Pluralsight

Continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment. These may seem like unreachable goals in your current situation. Maybe you’re doing weekly or even monthly coordinated releases. At Pluralsight we deploy multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day. We’re not perfect and we’re constantly working to improve our system, but I’ll share an experience report of where we currently are and where we’re going.

Mike Clement: “I’m a husband, father of four and currently a Senior Software Craftsman at Pluralsight. I’ve worked at, Microsoft, Caselle and a few other small companies. I am a founding member and organizer of the Utah Software Craftsmanship group ( I am an organizer of Agile Roots 2015. I blog at and you can find me on twitter at @mdclement.”

Collaboration Games – Using games to work better, improve communication and have fun at work!

In this presentation, we’ll discuss how playing games at work can help Agile teams learn how to work better together. These games can help us think about things in a different light, can engage our minds in different ways, and can often lead us to try different things than we otherwise would have (games can be a powerful tool in breaking through silent resistance).

AND–the biggest benefit of all–we’ll be energized and excited after we (gasp!) have fun in a meeting!

Games played and/or discussed will include:

The Marshmallow Challenge Pair Drawing Petals Around the Rose Silent Musical Chairs Visual Telephone (and maybe one or two others)

Come join and have a little fun while you’re here!

Mike Huett has been a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach for over 6 years, focused mainly in the Financial Services industry. He especially loves that individuals and interactions are valued over processes and tools, and believes that a focus on these individuals and their interactions can help teams make the jump from average/good to great/outstanding. Of late, he has focused on using games to help individuals learn better ways to interact with each other–and, to have fun in the process!

Ally or Adversary? The 3 mistakes IT leaders make that stop them cultivating strategic relationships

“Difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else.” – John Kotter, HBS

Organizational lines are becoming blurred, the successful IT leader needs to collaborate across boundaries, to inspire and lead others at all levels in the company. The ability to develop strategic relationships across the organization and industry differentiates the outstanding leader from the average.

This interactive session focuses on the ‘how’ of successful business. If you can’t get your team aligned to deliver results, your success is in jeopardy. You will learn how to identify your critical stakeholders, diagnose the health of those relationships and identify the steps to leverage Ally relationships and manage Adversary relationships.

Morag Barrett is the author of Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships & CEO of SkyeTeam, an international leadership development firm. She draws from a deep & unique operational skill set. Her 25 year career includes 15 years in finance, as well as developing leaders across Europe, America & Asia. Morag understands the challenges of running a business as well as the complexities of leading & managing the people that are part of that business.

Eric Spencer is a senior HR leader with extensive technology experience. He’s designed & delivered human resources and leadership programs of varying complexity for organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100. Prior to joining SkyeTeam, Eric served in leadership capacities at P3 Group, 3C Network, Local Matters, and Level 3 Communications. He brings a rich set of human resources and training and development experiences to each presentation.

Statline’s journey from Waterfall to Agile: learn how we transformed and pivoted our practices!

Come and learn how we at Statline transformed our practices to agile. You’ll learn about our challenges and how we solved them… and how you can too!

Newsha Makooi is the Director of Software Development and IT at Statline – a local nonprofit organization serving the organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation community. StatLine was the MHA 2014 Give Back recipient. Newsha has over 20 years of experience in IT, software development, consulting, delivery and services in various industries and fields. He is a certified Scrum Master.

Sara Wells is a Senior Business Analyst and Product Owner at Statline, a division of MTF. She is currently leading a team of Business Analysts and QA Specialists that support our custom software application DonorTrac Plus. Sara has a passion for the organ and tissue donation industry that saves and enhances lives.

Bret Knoll is the DBA and .Net Application Architect at Statline, A Division of MTF. He currently leads the development team on several product lines including Web and Windows development.

Lean UX: Want to get better at the Lean discipline of “Deliver Fast”?

Don’t waste time building the wrong product. Learn how the potent LeanUX combination of applying Lean, Design Thinking and agile development to user experience design (UXD) can transform your approach to building the right product for your customers, and help you do it as fast as possible. LeanUX practices such as hypothesis statements, personas, minimum viable products (MVPs), frequent experimentation, low-fidelity prototyping, and collaborative discovery enable you to validate design ideas with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn. In this session you’ll learn how LeanUX enables fast and frequent customer feedback, practice LeanUX techniques, and identify ways to incorporate LeanUX into your work.

Paul Rayner is a agile design coach with over 25 years of development experience. He coaches teams towards excellence in software design, helping them focus and enjoy delivering sustainable value to their customers. He trains and coaches agile teams, specializing in DDD and BDD. Paul is a popular conference speaker both locally and internationally, founding and organizing the DDD Denver meetup group. He tweets with an Australian accent at @ThePaulRayner and blogs at

Developing Coaching Competencies: Engage with peers and an expert panel to improve your coaching

“Agile leaders seeking to improve their influence with teams and organizational change, come explore coaching skills, techniques, focus and learning paths including Scrum Alliance CSC and ICAgile certifications with your peers and experts.

We will explore the competencies of agile coaching, share coaching techniques with peers, learn of ways to develop your coaching skills, and experiences from an expert panel of coaches. This is a workshop format, so come prepared to both learn and share.

Pete Behrens is a leadership and organizational agility coach guiding enterprise agile transformations for over 15 years. In addition, he created the Certified Scrum Coaching (CSC) Program in the Scrum Alliance and has been assisting the development of the Enterprise Agile Coaching Track for ICAgile.

Pete with share the workshop facilitation with Steve Spearman, Manoj Vadakkan, and one TBD coach to provide a balanced and diverse coaching experience, approach and focus.

Past, Present and Future of Agile

After several years helping teams across Adobe transform towards various levels of agility, Peter observed some clear factors that make Agile thrive and some that will kill it dead. To understand why these factors are so critical, he will help the attendees step back and look at where Agile came from, how it fits into a much broader evolutionary trend for how organizations work together, and how those trends are pointing us to an exciting future that both includes and improves on our current understanding of Agile.

Attendees will learn how to get better traction with transformation at their organization by clearly focusing their communication of its benefits when interacting with leaders and colleagues who often have differing perspectives on what is most important.

Peter Green led a grass roots Agile transformation at Adobe from 2005 to 2015, starting with his own team, Adobe Audition. His influence includes the teams behind such software flagships as Photoshop, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro, as well as dozens of internal IT and platform technology teams and groups like marketing and globalization. His work was a major factor enabling Adobe product teams through the critical business transition from perpetual desktop products to the subscription-based service, Creative Cloud. His hands-on Scrum and Agile training and coaching at all levels of the organization including executives, helped lay the groundwork to shift teams from two-year product cycles to frequent delivery of high-quality software and services. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), instructional designer, coach, facilitator, and a popular speaker at Tech, Agile, and Scrum conferences.

Backlog Refinement – The Rodney Dangerfield of Scrum Ceremonies

I tell ya’ sometimes it seems like Backlog Refinement just doesn’t get any respect!

Are your Sprint Planning sessions painful and unproductive? Does your team feel like they just can’t afford to do backlog refinement collaboratively as a team?

Backlog Refinement may be the 2nd most important activity (after the Retro) for enabling team improvement. But too often, new Scrum teams neglect it only to struggle establishing a sustainable pace, predictability, stakeholder engagement or collective ownership.

Join this session to learn common sense practices and techniques, and why it’s the conversation that matters, making Backlog Refinement a must-do, indispensable team activity.

Richard Dolman is Enterprise Agile Coach at agile42. He is an Agile pragmatist, coach, trainer, practitioner, evangelist, explorer and learner…

Why Agile Is Failing In Large Enterprises And What You Can Do About It

Agile works… We get it. You don’t have to sell people on the underlying principles anymore. That said, many large scale transformation efforts are struggling and many have failed. Many organizations are on their 2nd or 3rd attempt and can’t figure out why things aren’t working.

The underlying problem is that most large organizations weren’t built to be agile. Our challenge then is to figure out how to safely and pragmatically begin refactoring your company into the kind of organization that can adopt agile and sustain transformation at scale. Refactoring an enterprise takes careful planning and commitment. It must be done in a way that demonstrates value early and preserves your ability to make and meet near term commitments.

Richard Hensley joins LeadingAgile after a long successful career at McKesson, where he demonstrated the ability to scale lean and agile to the enterprise through continuous improvement, repeatability, and transparent measurement resulting in delivery of on time, on budget and value based business capabilities.

Resistance to Change Doesn’t Exist

Ever proposed a change but had people you need on board resist your proposed change? It’s easy to explain this by saying, “People are just resistant to change.” But people make changes all the time. So why do some changes see fierce resistance, and what can you do about it? In this session, you’ll learn how to overcome resistance to change and even how to use resistance to make your proposal better. With this approach, you’ll often find that your strongest opponents become your biggest supporters.

Richard Lawrence is co-owner of Agile For All. He trains and coaches teams and organizations to become happier and more productive. He draws on a diverse background in software development, engineering, antropology, and political science. Richard is one of a handful of Certified Scrum Coaches and is a certified trainer of the accelerated learning method, Training from the Back of the Room. His book Behavior-Driven Development with Cucumber is due out from Addison-Wesley later this year.

When Scrum Meets Lean – Taking Software Engineering to the Next Level

As software development has been revolutionized by agile processes, moving the focus from the technology to the people running it, improving the development process is one of the best investments any tech company can make. Scott Brown will touch on why working smart with agile processes is the future of successful software development. He will also provide a roadmap to help attendees navigate different agile methodologies, using a real-life case study to illustrate how combining Scrum and Lean pull systems can result in the most effective agile teams – and the most effective software development process.

Scott Brown oversees all things engineering at Media Temple, a Los Angeles-based company providing premium web hosting and cloud services. Since joining the company in December 2013, he has been spearheading software engineering, architecture, quality assurance and operational support of cloud servers for all of its shared hosting, dedicated hosting and virtual dedicated hosting products. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing and riding his Harley Davidson through the Colorado Mountains.

Customer Collaboration Tools to Amp Up your Team’s Design & Innovation Practices

Ever wonder why your customer’s do what they do when using your product? This experiential workshop explores ways to understand your customer’s actions and behaviors in a deeper way so that your team taps into innovative ideas that lead to great products. You’ll be introduced to Stanford’s Radical Collaboration process for producing creative solutions to even the most complex challenges.

Shelly Darnutzer is a skilled Technology Leadership Coach with over 25 years working directly in the technology world, as a top performing engineering manager and Agile project manager and as a certified professional leadership coach. Since 2007, she has coached directors, managers and influential employees at all levels. She works with highly skilled, technically proficient employees who need to tap into stronger collaboration and communication skills.

“What’s my job, now that we’re Agile?” Servant Leadership for Functional Managers

We ask Scrum Masters to be servant leaders, but shouldn’t managers be servant leaders as well? Servant leadership in the context of the Agile principles provides a path for traditional Engineering and QA managers to become leaders. Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches need to truly understand servant leadership in order to help managers on their journey from managing to leading. This hands-on workshop (with individual, paired, and table activities) will help participants take servant leadership from a buzzword to a guiding principle. Drawing on the writings of Robert Greenleaf and true servant leaders, the participants will work through their challenges to define the job description of today’s functional managers in tomorrow’s agile world.

[Shyam Kumar’s bio is forthcoming]

Scaling Agile: A Tale of Two Transformations

Transforming organizations to apply Agile concepts is often a tricky endeavor full of blockers from seemingly all directions. Those that embrace the change reap the rewards such as higher productivity, improved customer relations, better quality, and increased morale. Those that execute “Agile in Name Only” get frustrated and don’t achieve the outcomes desired.

Challenges and outcomes from two separate transformation initiatives will be shared. Both organizations invested heavily to introduce and scale Agile across an enterprise. One organization excelled – the other did not.

The approach and outcomes will be compared, so that you can learn from direct field experiences techniques that worked and those that didn’t.

Steve Martin is a Lead Agile Consultant at SolutionsIQ with over 20 years experience helping companies deliver exceptional results. He trains and coaches companies to apply Agile and Lean Startup concepts, and helps them scale Agile across their enterprise. Steve has worked in many industries and partners with organizations at all levels, from the Executive Suite to Teams.

Human Engineering: Successfully Managing Development Teams

It’s common practice to “promote” the strongest developer on a team into a management role. That’s a really, really bad idea.

Promotion from individual contributor to management is not a promotion. It is a career change. And it leaves a gap as you give up coding. But when you think about this, you’re still in engineering. Engineering is building something. Managers build teams and careers. This is people engineering.

In this presentation Steve will draw on his recent experiences transitioning from developer to manager to director and explain how to successfully navigate this path. He will detail tools, techniques and highlight common mistakes that development managers (and their managers!) should be aware of.

Steve Neely is a Director of Software Engineering at Rally Software. His interests include: software craftsmanship, Agile methodologies, Agile leadership, DevOps, continuous delivery, distributed systems, internet technologies, mobile and pervasive computing, informatics and data management. Steve likes to move fast and break things.

Agile Craftsmanship and Technical Excellence, How to Get There

In order to pay continuous attention to technical excellence and good design, a Craftsman needs to have a certain set of skills, and to develop those skills over time. We will spend this time discussing a micro-certification approach to identifying and developing these skills. Also how to tell when a craftsman is ready to progress from apprentice to journeyman, or even from journeyman to master.

Steve Ropa has more than 23 years of experience in software development and 15 years of experience working with agile methods. Steve is passionate about bridging the gap between the business and technology and nurturing the change in the nature of development. He has supported clients across multiple industry verticals including: telecommunications, network security, entertainment and education. A frequent presenter at agile events, he is also a member of Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance.

Agile Quality Assurance: The Long Ugly Tale of How We Got Better

Hear the story of how a $300 million healthcare company used Agile to turn around a struggling project for its next generation product. Told from the perspective of a developer turned QA manager turned Agile coach, the presentation outlines a 3 year transition from a Scrum-But shop to a mature Agile company focusing on customer value and product quality. This tale has many ups and downs, and details the issues the team encountered and their attempts to resolve them. We’ll cover all the bases, from product ownership, development, QA, automation, hardware, regulatory compliance, and more. If you want to hear a real world adventure in Agile QA that wasn’t always pretty (but has a happy ending), then this session is for you.

Tommy Norman is the Agile Practice Lead at the Holland Square Group in Nashville, TN. For over 20 years he has been helping clients build solutions using both Agile and traditional approaches as a CSM/ CSP, PSM I, and a Microsoft MVP. Tommy is the coordinator for the Agile Nashville User Group, a contributor to, as well as a frequent speaker at national events. He blogs about Agile and ALM at and rambles about most everything on Twitter as @tommynorman.

Agile Project Forecasting: A Statistical Approach to Achieve Maximum Benefit from Minimum Data

With a few key pieces of information, throughput and backlog size, forecasts can be used for project viability assessment and adjustment. With additional data (stories per feature), forecasts can be generated before a backlog is completely defined. This is key to providing forecasts early in the agile project lifecycle.

Forecasts provide management with information enabling tactical decisions to modify scope or delivery dates and align with product delivery goals. Forecasts were assessed to revise delivery dates and / or scope for several projects to meet delivery expectations. Ongoing tracking of project burndown, backlog size, and forecasted completion helped to ensure timely delivery of each of these projects.

Wade Scherer is a Scrum Master and Lean / Agile Coach with Wade coaches teams to achieve their potential using agile and lean techniques. Wade has been involved in software development his entire career and eagerly applies his knowledge at the management and team levels to promote agile organizational behavior.


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April 3rd, 2015 — Denver, CO

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