Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Follow the Money: How to Talk to Executives about Agile

When agile transformations fail, many agilists blame their executives for not caring about or understanding agile. However, few people focus on the different languages that IT and business people speak, and the different outcomes that both sides desire. Rather than blaming each other, what is needed is more empathy for the results that others care about and more understanding of the languages that others speak. Steven Granese will share his stories from working with executives while leading their agile transformations. He will describe how to explain agile using the language of executives: business outcomes and financial results. You will leave with a new appreciation for communicating with executives. Get ready to realize that you've been advocating for and evangelizing agile all wrong!

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Steven Granese
Agile DevOps West ScrumMasters: The Struggle Is Real

Are you a new ScrumMaster who is trying to figure out what the heck to do each day? Or have you been a ScrumMaster for a little while now but still find it difficult to set aside time to continue to grow your team’s knowledge of agile best practices? Do you struggle to improve the team dynamic or the relationship with your product owner because you are too busy removing roadblocks all day? These situations have become all too familiar. Courtney Wilkinson knows because she has successfully overcome many herself. As a former ScrumMaster and current agile coach, Courtney can tell you the struggle is real. Regardless of what you have been told, you don’t have to solve every roadblock alone. Join Courtney as she shares some tactical techniques, including a list of four specific questions you can teach your team, to combat these roadblocks in your day-to-day work.

Courtney Wilkinson
Agile DevOps West Reality-Driven Testing in Agile Projects

Many agile teams rework previously deployed stories, even after plenty of in-sprint testing. Even well-groomed, refined stories, framed with typical, alternate, and error scenarios and gracefully described in well-formed Gherkin, continue to encounter all sorts of bugs. Software engineering consultant Rob Sabourin sees rework in over 20 percent of deployed stories, but he can show you how agile teams can drive rework down dramatically, often achieving near-zero rework after a story is done. Rob teaches teams to identify and implement relevant testing activities above and beyond those derived from well-formed requirements. He seeks out testing ideas relevant to what is really being changed in the technological solution, finds ideas based on what the user actually does in the workplace, and discovers rich test ideas based on the target environments.

Robert Sabourin
Agile DevOps West The Hard Part of Every Agile Transformation

When it comes to an agile transformation, going through the motions of adopting a new set of attitudes, processes, and behaviors at the team level is easy. The hard part is building the enabling structures that allow agile to thrive, aligning the flow of work, measuring progress based on outcomes, and achieving communicable results that will resonate with stakeholders. This talk will cover the hard part. Mike Cottmeyer will explore the economic rationale behind going agile, considerations that will drive your organization’s change approach, what the fundamentals of an agile ecosystem look like, and the organizational patterns, governance models, and metrics necessary to establish that ecosystem.

Mike Cottmeyer
Agile DevOps West Exhaustion Is Not a Status Symbol

We set out to transform the world of work with agile, yet we've heard the Scrum sprint cycle described as a “hamster wheel,” an endless conveyor belt of backlog and sprint reviews that developers cannot escape. Join Melissa Boggs in a discussion about the pitfalls of a competitive culture and how we in the Scrum community, even with the best of intentions, could be accidentally responsible for continuing to spin the hamster wheel. Hero culture has been discussed before, but have we addressed our own potential culpability in creating it? We need to make sure that the principles and practices of Scrum are being used for good, not for evil. We'll explore the dangers of exhaustion as a status symbol—for our organizational culture, our teams, and ourselves.

Melissa Boggs
Agile DevOps West Iterative versus Incremental: How Your Backlog Makes or Breaks Agility

Agile is an incremental and iterative approach to delivering value to our customers. But too often, we assume that both approaches are fundamentally equivalent. However, there is a crucial difference, and getting the balance wrong frequently results in projects and teams that are AINO—agile in name only—often without even realizing it! Mathias Eifert will discuss how to differentiate between incremental and iterative approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and why you really need both. He will explore how iterative thinking shapes the core of agile practices, helps us manage today’s complex challenges, and is a prerequisite to moving your mindset from “doing” agile to truly being agile. Mathias will highlight the practical implications of each approach by discussing real-world scenarios, highlighting common agile antipatterns, and re-examining familiar story-slicing patterns.

Mathias Eifert
Agile DevOps West Postmodern Testing

If you want to speed up delivery while maintaining quality, this is the talk for you. Jason’s move from Microsoft to Google’s agile and DevOps-driven world was a shock. Today’s agile teams have ten times more builds, ten times faster releases, ten times fewer testers, ten times quicker bug fixing speed, and … similar or worse software quality. Jason shares his lessons learned from being a tester on high-quality teams such as Google Chrome and Search. Jason also has experience managing software quality in the roles of director of engineering, director of product, and now startup CEO. He combined his useful experiences from the past with knowledge of the latest technologies and practices into an agile and DevOps-focused framework called Postmodern Quality. Join the conversation and get an early peek into the next wave of ensuring software quality in an agile world.

Jason Arbon
Agile DevOps West Leadership in the Age of Agile

Do you want to grow your organization’s ability to respond to market opportunities, competitive pressures, or opportunities for innovation? Then join Ryan Ripley as he explores how leadership in an agile world has sparked a change in the way we show up as leaders and managers in our organizations. We’ll discuss how leaders enable agile to thrive and grow, while keeping a laser focus on delivering value to customers and stakeholders. Ryan will address your questions and give you practical tips and ideas that you can start using tomorrow. Join us and learn what professional agile leadership means to you and your organization.

Ryan Ripley
Agile DevOps West The Lord of the Rings: DevOps Edition

Modern software delivery involves lean principles, DevOps practices, and of course tools. Implementing those elements in harmony will necessitate a change in how teams operate—more specifically, it will require a change in how managers think about teams. If teams truly want to leverage the power of DevOps and become high-performing, how should leaders think about team construction? Using comical analogous reasoning, Joseph Ours will discuss the fellowship in The Lord of the Rings, the roles, the mission, and the skills team to extrapolate what can be learned. Joseph will take artistic license every now and then in order to make a point—because hobbits and IT are not a common analogy—but it will apply to leadership lessons he learned by analyzing each team member and their role.

Joseph Ours
Agile DevOps West Case Study: An Engineering-Focused, Scaled Agile Rollout at Standard & Poor's

A large company moves to agile, but when the going gets tough, they abandon all their agile processes and revert to old ways—which are now a combination of Scrum and waterfall—and delivery is worse than before they started. Usually, what happens next is the CTO gets removed, and the new CTO comes in and proclaims again that we are all moving to agile to re-energize the organization, and they start their transformation once more. Have you seen this movie before? The agile transformation for Standard & Poor's played out this way twice, but finally, the third time was the charm—their last transformation was successful. But why was this time different, what makes them think it will stick, and how do they know as they continue to grow that they won’t revert to old ways again?

Stan Guzik


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