Whether you want to learn about leadership, product, coaching or the latest hot topics, we've got you covered. What sessions should you attend? Check out the schedule to see what we have to offer. Each Session lists the speaker(s), the talk summary, and talk location.
7:00-8:00am: Registration and Breakfast
Join us for registration and breakfast on the second floor outside of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown ballrooms 1-6.
8:30-9:20am: Morning Keynote
Arie Van Bennekum
On one hand Agile has matured, on the other hand Agile is still a hype. WHAT is Agile really, WHY should you want it and most of all how do you transform YOUR organization into this Agile mindset. Arie van Bennekum, one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto will take you through all this. At the same time he will touch topics like “all those meetings”, “customer centric development” and what it takes to do it together.
Leadership, knowledge share and the positive benefits of a truly Agile environment for employees will also be on the table. Arie will take this keynote to present his views, vision, experience and best practice, all based on his transformation model IATM, the Integrated Agile™ Transformation Model. Arie created IATM based on almost 20 years of transformation experience. Overcoming paradigms, success factors, pitfalls, etc. All will be put on the table.
9:35-10:25am: Breakout Session 1
Engaging the Other Half of the Room with Liberating Structures: Do you often attend meetings or events where participation is only left to half the room while others sit quietly waiting for it to be over? As a group, we will explore the use of liberating structures as an answer to this problem. Come prepared to participate in this interactive workshop and let’s unleash the organizational super powers of the session attendees! Walk away with a new plan for facilitating effective meetings in your organization.
This is a simulation of a large product effort with a group of individuals self-organizing to form into their own set of teams? Using the individuals in the room and a mock product delivery. The demonstration will provide an outline for how to facilitate the event and a walk through of the recommended activities resulting is a set of self-selected teams. The first thing will be to examine the room set up. The best arrangement is large open space. Next we will conduct a quick ice breaker where we can learn something about each person. Then we will begin to assess the skills and knowledge in the room and assess how that fits with the product needs. The facilitator guarantees a fun time of learning a few useful techniques for any large room facilitation.
Software development is *slow*. It has nothing to do with how much time we stare into the screen, what editor we’re using, or how fast we can type. Software development is slow because we get **stuck**. Let’s talk about why **stuck** is part of the job, how it cows us into feeling like imposters, and what we can do to dispatch it more effectively and make great software quickly anyway.
In the DevOps Handbook, Gene Kim introduces the Third Way – The Technical Practices of Continual Learning. Enter the DevOps Dojo – an immersive environment where whole teams come together to learn and practice their skills while solving real business problems.
There is no doubt that Agile impacts and challenges today’s Finance organization requiring it to break outside of norms to be successful. This interactive workshop introduces simple and effective methodologies to more easily navigate the waters of Agile Finance. Participants will walk through an agile budget cycle and leave fully equipped with practical solutions. The workshop includes three phases: 1) Rough order-of-magnitude modeling to secure up-front funding for an Agile portfolio; 2) Benefit refinement methodologies (KPI driven models, direct correlation, and A/B testing) enabled
by maturing backlogs; and 3) A benefit tracking toolkit comprised of benefit roadmaps, financial scorecards, and an investment review process. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of lessons learned, recommended best practices, and Q&A. Interactivity will be built-in throughout the workshop to foster deeper learning and keep participants engaged throughout.
Whether you were a headliner, spectator or innocent bystander we’ve all witnessed projects spectacularly tank. The core values of the Agile Manifesto provide a surprisingly robust blueprint for turning projects around. In this session, we’ll walk through the why, what and how.
10:40-11:30am: Breakout Session 2
This session will take participants on a tour of the benefits and negative effects of metrics. What are the right metrics to collect and what are the wrong metrics to collect. Most of all, how the right metrics can be used in the wrong ways. How should we focus efforts on collecting metrics? Let’s not forget the real reason why we are collecting metrics.
Implementing a product roadmap in an Agile way can be tough. Roadmaps are often written as a document that isn’t easily accessible. This can lead to a variety of issues. A good agile roadmap should allow for agile practices such as daily standups and planning. They should create high visibility and transparency, operate with low overhead, and provide the right information to the right people at the right time. In this talk, Chris will share how he’s implemented a Roadmap Wall. He’ll show how to incorporate the roadmap components into a highly visible and actionable format. The roadmap wall has multiple benefits and will: – give leadership and executives visibility into how their business objectives – influence features, story backlogs, and priorities – leverage delivery teams to understand technical feasibility tradeoffs – show the options available to satisfy competing customer needs – demonstrate a clear picture of how business objectives link to customer needs – provide near real-time information for decision making To realize these benefits, we’ll need to leverage a variety of familiar tools. Chris will show you how to use a kanban system to manage business objectives and OKRs, utilize priority queues, and incorporate WIP limits. You’ll learn how using an opportunity canvas and opportunity solution tree clarifies the customer’s need when roadmapping. He’ll show you a new way to use story maps when detailing features, improving communication and planning. In the end, you’ll walk away with a new method for visualizing your product roadmap, giving your team better decision-making information.
Agile Transformation Discussion Panel – Adventurers who scale Kilimanjaro find different challenges as they traverse through multiple climates and landscapes on their journey. Companies too find similar successes and challenges as they move through the multiple phases of Agile adoption. A panel of corporate leaders, in different stages of Agile transition, will share firsthand accounts of what it takes to climb the metaphorical Agile summit. This panel includes:
Dave Hallgarth from Sallie Mae
Jon Barnett from Navient
Joe Collins from Cummins
Dave Stegner from Knowledge Services
Ian Kreitenstein from Wolters Kluwer
Leadershift is the ability and willingness to make leadership changes that will positively enhance organizational Agility and personal growth – John C Maxwell. Many organizations have been on their Agile journey and are now facing a mid-life-like crisis. Leaders & key players in many such organizations were steadfast with Agile/SAFe/Scrum training, tuned their mindset to various Agile methodologies, hired or restructured their organizations to on-board Scrum Masters, Product Owners & Coaches and successfully activated Scrum/Kanban teams & trains. And yet, we are far from graduating our teams to boldly disrupt established kingpins (Amazon/Google/Tesla/Facebook) off their market share! Join me for an informative overview on 5 ways your organization can effectively Leadershift to true Agility.
This presentation will cover how agility has been implemented in non traditional organizations like Infrastructure, Actuary, and Churches. The essence of the talk is to broaden the attendee’s thinking on when agility can be applied, using abstract concepts for how to know, and thoughts on how to implement.
11:30 pm-12:40pm: Lunch
Join us for a fabulous lunch to be served in Marriott Ballroom 1-6.
12:40-1:30pm: Afternoon Keynote
Discover the keys to a truly Agile lifestyle and the power of pushing past limiting beliefs. Learn how to apply Personal Agility in your life to achieve goals you may have never thought possible. Uncover ways to identify obstacles, visualize what’s important, and focus on what really matters.
1:45-2:35pm: Breakout Session 3
How then do we move forward when we are faced with dysfunction inside our team? As murder is frowned on by most organizations let us use behavioral science to find that our way and in doing so empower our teams and stay out of jail.
Delivering value faster is a desire of business and IT leaders, and it often looks like a win-lose proposition to achieve it. Join us to explore the dynamics of goals and the conflict they can incite through an interactive game to dive into what happens when DevOps is and isn’t in tandem with agile coaching.
This session will be co-presented with Barry Forrest; his bio: As a Principal Consultant with Improving in Dallas, Barry Forrest is a web developer, Scrum Master, and agilist. Barry loves helping make work life better for teams and leaving things in a better state than when he was introduced to the situation. Barry is also an award-winning homebrewer and an avid amateur photographer.
During this interactive session, we will introduce value stream maps, explore the potential value to creating a value stream map, and discuss approaches to utilizing value stream maps.
Value stream maps are an unheralded tool that depicts a collection of value adding activities that create an outcome or result for a customer, stakeholder or end-user. Documenting the value stream, in the form of value stream map, is often the 1st time an organization has documented and reviewed the steps required to create value.
In my role, I’m fortunate to engage with many companies to discuss their software delivery practices, especially around infrastructure, and the overwhelming majority of those companies are still using manual practices and fragile scripts to deliver innovation to customers. And those practices invariably result in lots of re-work and delay. And in today’s technology driven economy, that’s just not a recipe for success. So in this session, we’ll discuss the application stack, why it’s important to modernize that stack with code, and how that code opens up a whole new way to deliver innovation to customers utilizing a proven delivery approach from laptop to production. We’ll also talk about testing that infrastructure and the importance of implementing “compliance as code” in order to surface compliance issues not only during development but in production as well.
But it doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t do any good to have “infrastructure as code” and a pipeline that can complete in 10 minutes if it takes 3 months to get code to that pipeline due to “traditional” practices. So we’ll also talk about how teams responsible for infrastructure also need to be trained in modern work patterns in order to take advantage of those new practices and the value they offer.
We typically think of applying Agile principles and practices within the world of software development. But how might we apply these to non-software teams, such as those providing 2nd and 3rd level healthcare support services? Attention to quality and accuracy is especially critical in a healthcare system where a small error can significantly impact the health and life of a patient. Come join the discussion about some interesting challenges and successes with coaching one of the largest faith-based healthcare systems in the US. We’ll discuss techniques and approaches for challenges such as: • Working in a culture of low risk tolerance, resistance to experimenting and fear of failure • Dealing within a work environment where multi-tasking is the norm and expected • Dealing with resistors or late adopters to Agile • Addressing constant interruptions to teams from “shoulder taps” • Managing Electronic Health Records (EHR) dependencies between multiple teams The presentation will include root causes for these challenges with demonstrations of techniques and advice that can be applicable to coaching software and non-software teams.
No one changes anything serious about themselves or their organization without good reason. It is tough work to break a pattern of behavior. One of the worst organizationally is the dreaded competitive VISION, it crystallizes almost everything human beings dread about coming to work. But I am a leader and leaders lead by missionizing people – So if this is true how do I get my people, teams and organization to galvanize and reach their potential? In transformational period leaders often fail to connect to anything but an individual’s sense of survival, and so they get survivalist responses. When people’s world shifts, so does their sense of what’s valuable in their work and themselves. Asking for transformational change is asking people to embrace a new vision of themselves and their worth, that’s world altering — It needs to be generative when instead it is often mechanical and dead. Together we are going to change that.
2:50-3:40pm: Breakout Session 4
Agile is often presented as something that only works when the entire team is in the same room at the same time. I’m here to shatter that misconception by sharing success stories, along with the tools and processes that make remote agile teams work well.
How agile are we? Are we getting more agile? What are the growth opportunities? This session discusses assessment approaches and tools. Like medicine, when used incorrectly assessments can be toxic. Explore the merits, potential uses, and possible downsides of each approach.
Great! You’ve got your agile team humming, delivering useable code every 2 weeks. But there’s no business benefit until that code is running in production. Sure you could deploy every 2 weeks, but why wait for the end of a sprint? Agile wants fast feedback. Get it with Continuous Deployment!
Come and learn about the characteristics of a mature Agile team from the technical perspective. If you are an agilist who wants to connect with your Dev Team and seek a deeper understanding of what it takes to be lean and agile when delivering code, this is the talk for you!
Change happens to teams, members change and organizations change, which can have a tremendous impact on predictability and morale. Understanding and identifying signs of team dysfunction will help you determine the best strategy for team empowerment. Restarting a team by taking them back to the Scrum basics is an effective way to create a shared understanding so they can move forward together.
It is a given that projects executed in accordance with Agile philosophy are more successful than projects worked in Waterfall. But, there are sizable numbers of Agile projects, that are not successful. Why? What are some of the causes? What can we, as champions of this way of thinking do to mitigate this and help our organizations reap the most benefit from the Agile philosophy? We will examine issues from the viewpoint of the organization as well as from our own viewpoint as agile supporters. We will talk about mistrust in the organization, transformation/adoption struggles and their causes.
3:55-4:45pm: Breakout Session 5
Do you want to write great User Stories (a.k.a. small features that are part of a product) that provide the vehicle for conversation and confirmation that we build the right thing? Do you struggle with completing stories (of business value) that are potentially shippable within a fraction of an iteration/sprint? During this session we will do a quick refresher on User Story formatting to include Acceptance Criteria. The reason for the refresher is that over the last few years, despite people using User Stories, I have experienced their usage far from the intended purpose. After the refresher, we will learn at least 3 techniques for splitting stories in this interactive workshop.
You have adopted some form of Scrum, Kanban, XP, or one of the Agile scaling versions. While many classes, workshops, and certifications attempt to address the needs of team members, very few if any courses address the needs of company and product leaders. It’s hard to see what role managers serve in the new world. Lots of energy and resources are focused on getting the individual teams the resources, knowledge, and coaching they need self-organize to get the job done. Little attention and effort is invested in the managers. Yet, organizations still need to provide coaching and mentoring outside of the just Agile. Yet, is it any surprise that “middle managers” are critical to a successful agile transformation regardless of the size of the organization. Even more surprising is that many of the management models that have been taught for the past 40 years have their foundations in early 20th century manufacturing processes and have principles that are similar to the values and principles of Agile. Where those models have been effective, it has been with leaders who embed what we would now recognize as an agile culture, with complimentary agile values and practices. Only by coaching leaders, managers and team members in both good agile and good management, can we truly sustain the transformation of organizations along the path of enterprise agility. Join us as we kick start your journey by exploring Management 3.0 concepts and practices in this interactive workshop.
We have all heard of companies that have ‘gone agile’. ” We’re iterating and doing daily standups” they say, but are they really farming Agile or just maintaining a hobby garden. To truly have successful Enterprise Agile, you must make the shift from Agile Gardening to Agile Farming and learn to live off the Agile Landscape. Living off the Agile Landscape is about evolving from one small environment (ie. Garden) to scaling and system thinking (ie. Farming). To scale Agile, The Agile Landscape must be cultivated, tilled, irrigated, and fertilized. Meaning, it takes more than collaborative workspaces and morning standup meetings for an organization to live off an Agile way of being. It takes scaling agile. Scaling through establishing a Community of Practice, building a culture of validated learning across a portfolio of products, providing an atmosphere for safety, engaging areas beyond IT and include outside influencers to development team, and figuring out how to properly cultivate an organization that incentivizes people at an enterprise level to work collaboratively.
Benefits Realization is a very important topic in all organizations, particularly those that are technology-leveraged. Using data that most teams already produce, and other baseline estimates – Organizations can now generate current and predictive measurements of a team’s delivery of units of work vs units invested.
So you’re learning Agile! You get excited because you discover something and bring it to work and – POOF – someone discards your ideas like they’re useless! Or someone comes to you and wants to “coach” you about what you “should” be doing in agile/scrum/Kanban teams. How do you share your most exciting thoughts and receive the thoughts of others? Both Kat and Kathey (Kat’s inner critic) will be presenting. Join Kat/Kathey on her journey from curious newby, to “fake expert” to “Newby Thought Leader” and back again…and again. Kathey will discuss self-doubt, blame, living behind the walls of our assumptions. Using those defense mechanisms, Kat will share how she has been able to rewrite some bad internal dialogs to develop channels that have allowed her to passionately share often valuable insight with those around her, and to be recognized for doing so. She will also share her failures, and how she was able to apply them differently in subsequent exchanges. (50 min with optional facilitated networking to follow)
If you ask five people, “What is DevOps?”, you will often get five different answers, even if those people are all on the same team! This talk will answer that question, in the words of a bona fide DevOps Transformation Coach, dispel a few misconceptions about DevOps, and present a step-by-step approach for a DevOps transformation for a fictional company. We will highlight common business drivers, pain points, planning a transformational DevOps journey, and using the latest patterns and practices to achieve operational excellence.
5:00-5:30pm: Closing Remarks and Sponsor Give-Aways
Join us for closing remarks and sponsor giveaways in Marriott Ballroom 1-6.
5:30-6:30pm: Cocktail Reception
Celebrate the end of the conference with us at a cocktail reception with hor d'oeuvres in the registration area on the second floor outside of Marriott Ballroom 1-6.