Project Management

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Diversity without Disclosure: Rethinking Our Norms
Slideshow

Organizational diversity isn't just about the attributes we can see. Every team has members with a near-infinite spectrum of needs, some of which we know about and a lot more we probably don't (and might never). How do we create a safe, accommodating space for things we aren’t aware of? It's possible. For our teams to reflect the diversity of our worlds, HR policies are necessary but not sufficient. Our teams can and should take concrete steps, large and small, to make ourselves more welcoming. You're probably doing some of them already, so let's talk about what works and how we can scale it out. From stairs, ramps, and elevators to menu planning to planking and wall sits during meetings, Cheryl Hammond discusses how to rethink our norms, retire our assumptions, ask the right questions without prying, and create space for our teammates to self-accommodate.

Cheryl Hammond
Agile DevOps West Nontechnical Managers Leading Technical Teams
Slideshow

Technology is complicated and changes every day. Even leaders with a technical background and deep understanding of tools and processes have trouble keeping up, and it’s virtually impossible to be an expert on every single aspect of a product. How can you help your team if you have no idea what anyone is talking about? Engineers and developers have all experienced the frustration and difficulties of being led by someone deemed “nontechnical,” from promising a customer unrealistic deadlines or solutions to a lack of trust and a complete breakdown in communication. Victoria Guido will explore how to avoid these pitfalls by creating a culture of learning, forming a cross-functional team, and playing to your strengths. Start by removing the boundary between “technical” and “nontechnical” and being specific about the skill sets, history, and experience all your team members are bringing to the table.

Victoria Guido
STAREAST Creative Trespassing: Sneak More Imagination into Your Work and Get More Done
Slideshow

After years of smuggling creativity into the corporate sector without getting busted, Tania Katan has learned that we don’t need to be in a job that is distinctly creative in order to be distinctly creative in our job. In fact, no matter how tedious the task or how buttoned-up the office environment, we can all learn to conjure imagination anywhere, anytime, by choosing to stand out rather than fit in. Join Tania for some hilarious stories, wacky exercises for flexing your creative muscles, and engaging ideas like “Fire Hierarchy” and “Transform the Norm.” You will leave with tools and strategies for taking more creative risks, leading with more imagination, and embracing obstacles as an opportunity to accelerate growth, and you’ll gain the ability to find inspiration where others see only limitations.

Tania Katan
Agile DevOps East Agile Leadership Conversations in the Fishbowl
Slideshow

It can be lonely at the top. Trying to find other leaders who are having the same problem and issues you have and are willing to take a few minutes and help solve problems is really hard. One solution that Bob Galen has found works well is the "fishbowl" conversation. The fishbowl activity is also great for keeping a focused conversation while in a large group of people. At any time, only a few people have a conversation—the fish in the fishbowl. The remaining people are listeners—the ones watching the fishbowl. The caveat is that the listeners can join the discussion at any moment. In this session, Bob will facilitate this technique while you and the other attendees bring real leadership problems for all participants to learn from each other.

Bob Galen
Agile DevOps East Agile Distributed Teams: Oxymoron or Viable Option?
Slideshow

Many surveys indicate that more teams work in distributed environments. But agile approaches work best when people collocate, huddle around a problem, and closely collaborate on the best solutions that will deliver value. Is collocation the only option these days? Does distributed always imply “dysfunctional”? Does technology help or hinder? Maybe the problem is how we think about the working environment. Mark Kilby will share key principles of successful distributed agile teams that help define better working environments. Understand how the principles apply to different types of distributed teams, and discover how agile practices change in distributed teams and how they may vary from team to team. You'll take back ways to assess your current distributed team environment and generate ideas for improvement.

Mark Kilby
Agile DevOps East User Stories Are like Onions: Let's Peel Away the Layers
Slideshow

In the world of agile product development, user stories are like onions ... and no, that doesn’t mean they stink or they make you cry (although they have been known to do both). Writing user stories is still one of the hardest crafts in agile product development today. We all know that a good user story can be the difference between a low-performing Scrum team and a high-performing one. Katrina Thacker will introduce the "onion pattern" as a paradigm for creating great user stories, and she will lead you through a series of hands-on exercises to practice applying the pattern. In this interactive session you’ll learn a new approach to user story creation and practice peeling back those user story layers in a way that promotes collaboration, co-creation, and understanding and sets up your teams and product for success.

Katrina Thacker
Agile DevOps East Service Virtualization: How to Test More by Testing Less
Slideshow

Agile teams tend to struggle in getting development and testing in sync. Many teams run minified waterfalls, where testers get working code a few days before the end of the sprint—and tools usually can't help. But service virtualization is one of those rare tools that can make a huge impact and accelerate software delivery by limiting the dependencies needed for testing. Join Paul Merrill to get an introductory demonstration of service virtualization with a freely available, open source tool. Learn the five modes of service virtualization: capture, simulate, spy, synthesize, and modify. Return to your workplace with one more tool in your tool chest. Paul will walk through a common scenario for service virtualization and teach you how you can test more, faster, by testing less!

Paul Merrill
Agile DevOps East Create the Self-Directed Team of Your Dreams
Slideshow

You've read dozens of books on agile and hundreds of articles, but no one actually told you how to build the team of your dreams. Josh Anderson brings the real-world experience of growing a team from zero engineers to thirty while shipping five products—and he did it is less than a year. Learn how to build a team from scratch or transform your existing team into a mystical self-directed team, and understand how leadership operates in a world of self-directed teams. You'll be able to take these lessons home and hire, grow, and support self-directed teams, then start changing the world.

Josh Anderson
Agile DevOps East I Got a Fever, and the Only Prescription Is More Feedback
Slideshow

The Second City, an improvisational comedy club that launched the careers of comedians such as Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell, has delivered a successful product to audiences nightly for almost sixty years. How do they do it? By recognizing the power of feedback. Brian Eno, a pioneer in the music industry who produced albums for U2 and Coldplay, relies on a feedback generation system to ensure the best performances of the bands he works with. Likewise, the lean startup movement has uncovered a similar pattern of organizations that thrive on experimentation and learning. John Krewson will describe what it means to be a feedback-based organization.

John Krewson
Agile DevOps East The Introvert's Survival Guide to Agile
Slideshow

Open work areas, a focus on collaboration and conversations, and group events that seem to require verbal fluency ... It may feel like the agile ecosystem is designed with extroverts in mind. But science tells us that introverts make up almost half of the workforce, and they may struggle to be productive in an agile environments. In fact, introverts might even shy away from agile opportunities because of the radical collaboration it requires. In this interactive session, Julee Everett will teach you to recognize the traits of an extrovert and an introvert through self-identification. Building on that discussion, you will identify common prejudices and personal biases, then move into busting myths about introverts. Explore how introverts can thrive as leaders by studying lessons from modern, well-known introverted leaders.

Julee Bellomo Everett

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