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dsmAgile

Discuss. Discover. Learn.

Friday, September 12th 2014

Des Moines Public Library
1000 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA

SPEAKERS





Tim Andersen

Tim has worked in software development in several industries including financial, fundraising, insurance, and telecommunications. He has played several roles including Agile Coach, Tech Lead, Software Developer, Database Administrator, and Business Analyst. His real passion is to work with people to understand their context and help them introduce incremental improvements to get better at software development. Tim is currently an Embedded XP Coach for Lean TECHniques, Inc. and is consulting with Principal Financial Group.

Prior to his work with Lean TECHniques, Tim was a Software Developer and Tech Lead at Iowa Student Loan immersed in a culture of Extreme Programming where he learned many valuable skills including Test-Driven Development, Pair Programming, Refactoring, and Continuous Integration. While at Iowa Student Loan, Tim was interviewed by Gojko Adzic and his story is featured as a case-study in the book Specification by Example.

Conferences Tim has presented at include the Agile 2009 conference (Chicago), Code Freeze 2010 (Twin Cities), and Agile Day Twin Cities 2011. He has also presented at the Central Iowa Java User Group and has been the leader of the Agile Iowa user group (2007-2012).


Ryan Bergman

Ryan Bergman is a software architect and programmer for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale Iowa. He has worked as a professional technologist in the Des Moines area for the last 15 years. You can catch Ryan later this summer at the Agile 2014 conference in Orlando where he will be presenting on Continuous Delivery.


Brandon Carlson

A self-proclaimed nerd, Brandon Carlson works for Lean TECHniques, Inc., an IT consultancy that helps teams deliver high-value, high-quality products to market. Since starting his career in 1995, Brandon has been blessed with nearly 20 years of experience to remind him how much more there is to learn. Passionate about elevating the performance of the IT industry, he has helped numerous organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies improve their product development and delivery systems. Brandon’s current interests include behavioral psychology and professionalism in the world of software development. He can be reached on Twitter and pretty much everywhere else on the web as “bcarlso”.


Jeffrey Davidson

Jeffrey Davidson has been in management and consulting for almost two decades with a focus on building world-class teams. During his career, Jeffrey has served in Executive, Operational, Administrative, and IT management roles across different industries, including retail, telecommunication, and travel industries. His consulting and coaching experience has focused on operational excellence, software development, and organizational transformation. For the past five years, Jeffrey has championed agile transformation programs to bring transparency and efficiency to IT departments and development teams.

Mr. Davidson is a recognized expert and sought after speaker in agile methodologies. An engaging presenter, he is often found at conferences and professional associations across North America and Europe. Jeffrey’s ability to blend strategic thinking, powerful questions, and technical experience makes him a desired coach when companies want to turn theoretical knowledge into real-world application.


David Hussman

David teaches and coaches product discovery through iterative delivery. He has spent the last 10 years coaching agility, Lean practices and producing products for companies of all sizes around the world. For each engagement, David’s coaching is non-dogmatic, well-grounded, challenging and pragmatic. By focusing on really getting to know a project community, David seeds self-discovery and avoids falling into the expert trap of simply telling people what they “should do". David spends most of his time pairing around code and tests, creating product ideas and roadmaps, and helping leadership teams pragmatically introduce the type of agility that fosters innovation and creates a competitive edge. David owns and guides DevJam (www.devjam.com), a composition of mentors who blend technology, people, and processes to create better products in competitive cycles.


Todd Little

Todd Little is Vice President of Product Development for IHS. He has been involved in most aspects of software development with a focus on commercial software applications for oil and gas exploration and production.

He is a co-author of the Declaration of Interdependence for Agile Leadership and a founding member and past President of the Agile Leadership Network. He has served on the Board of Directors of both the Agile Alliance and the Agile Leadership Network.

Todd is a co-author of the book “Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility,” Addison Wesley. Todd has written several articles for IEEE Software and posts all his publications and presentations on his website www.toddlittleweb.com.


Kent McDonald

Kent J. McDonald uncovers better ways of delivering value by doing it and helping others do it. His more than 15 years of experience include work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, nonprofit, and automotive. He is active in the business analysis and agile software development communities helping people share stories about what does and does not work. He shares those stories at beyondrequirements.com, techwell.com, and projectconnections.com in addition to presenting at and helping organize several local and international conferences.

Kent is VP of Product Development for B2T Training and is writing his second book Beyond Requirements: Analysis with an Agile Mindset. He is also co-author of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility.


Niel Nickolaisen

Niel Nickolaisen is the CIO at OC Tanner. He has held technology executive and operations executive positions; typically in turnaround roles. His strategic and tactical alignment model significantly improves returns on technology and business initiatives. He has a passion for helping others deliver on what he calls the dual role of enterprise IT: 1) Enable strategy and 2) Achieve operational excellence.

He holds a MS in Engineering from MIT, a BS in Physics from Utah State University, and an MBA from Utah State University.

He writes an enterprise CIO column for SearchCIO and is a contributor to CIO Magazine. He is the author of “The Agile Culture” (Addison Wesley, 2014) and Stand Back and Deliver (Addison Wesley, 2009). CRN Magazine named Niel one of the top 25 IT Executives of 2008.

Niel is a popular speaker on a variety of IT and leadership topics including IT Alignment, Strategic Planning, Agile Principles, and IT Lean. Several times a year he teaches a course titled “The Practices of Transformational Leaders” – a course that consistently receives exceptional reviews and feedback.


Bob Payne

Bob Payne is a leading practitioner and thought leader in the use of Lean and Agile methods for organizational transformation. As an early adopter of Extreme Programming (XP),Scrum and most recently SAFe, he has worked exclusively as an Lean+Agile transformation leader since 1999. He brings a pragmatic approach to the use of best fit approaches from across the spectrum of Lean+Agile practices and processes. He believes that the most important piece of any transformation is to build the skills in the teams to build and continuously improve the process.

He is the founder and Chair of the AgileDC conference and is involved and speaks in industry conferences worldwide. As host of the Agile Toolkit podcast Bob has produced over 170 podcasts, recording a variety of industry leaders and Agile practitioners. With years of Lean+Agile experience, a MSEE in Computer Architectures for Artificial Intelligence and having grown up working in his family restaurant, he brings a unique blend of technical excellence and customer service to bear on his projects and training.


Pollyanna Pixton

An international collaborative leadership expert, Pollyanna Pixton developed the models for collaboration and collaborative leadership through her over forty years of working inside and consulting with corporations and organizations. She helps companies create workplaces where talent and innovation are unleashed—making them more productive, efficient, and profitable.

Pollyanna is a founding partner of Accelinnova, a consulting firm for leaders transforming their organization. She speaks and writes on topics of creating cultures of trust, leading collaboration, and business agility. Her models are found in the books she co-authored, The Agile Culture: Leading though Trust and Ownership, (Addison Wesley Professional, March 2014) and Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility, (Addison Wesley Professional, July 2009).

Ms. Pixton was primarily responsible for building the Swiss Electronic Stock Exchange, developing sophisticated control systems for electrical power-plants throughout the world, and converting complex technologies and data systems to merge large financial institutions. Her background includes leading the development of e-commerce projects, real-time applications, positioning systems, and original computational research. In 2004, she was selected as one of thirty Visionary Women to Watch, a program that recognizes women who bring new insight to their fields, and in 2010 she was selected for achieving that vision as 30 Women to Watch, awarded by Utah Business Magazine. Pollyanna is a sought-after keynote speaker and lecturer at universities in the areas of business ethics, organizational development, and collaborative leadership.

Her education includes a master’s degree in computer science, three years of graduate studies in theoretical physics, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Contact her at ppixton@accelinnova.com.


Kristin Runyan

Kristin Runyan is the VP of Product Management at Businessolver, a benefits administration company located in West Des Moines, IA. Kristin is the co-author of a textbook called “Introduction to Agile Methods” which was released in the summer of 2014. Kristin is certified as a Scrum Master (CSM), Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and a Project Management Professional (PMP). She is also a 2011 winner of the Women of Innovation award from the Technology Association of Iowa. Kristin got her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University (TCU) and her MBA at Saint Louis University (SLU). Her twitter handle is @KristinRunyan and she regularly blogs at www.runyanyconsulting.com.


Natalie Warnert

Natalie Warnert is an industry recognized expert and thought leader in Agile practices based out of Minneapolis, MN. She started her career as a developer and moved into project management and Agile methodologies shortly after.

Her passion is in coaching teams and implementing Agile frameworks in Fortune 500 organizations such as Travelers Insurance and Thomson Reuters. Currently, Natalie works as a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach at Surescripts, LLC, the nation’s most comprehensive clinical network. Surescripts specializes in E -Prescription routing and other clinical transactions with over 6 billion transactions routed last year.

Natalie is a frequent speaker at large national Agile conferences including the Scrum Gathering and Agile Alliance. She has several published articles, interviews, and webinars on Agile topics. Natalie frequently blogs on Agile www.nataliewarnert.com, and shares her thoughts and ideas on social media outlets.

Natalie is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and has her Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She is currently finishing her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management at St. Catherine University. In her free time, Natalie likes to read, snowboard, and play Cribbage.


SESSIONS



David Hussman

Lessons in Gravity: What keeps you down?

What keeps your best ideas from reaching escape velocity? Constraint come in many forms like process bloat, corporate hierarchies and bright shiny technologies are just a few gravity wells we face. If product and customer learning are the obvious target of uncertainty and value, why do we add baggage that inhibits learning and how does it keep sneaking in to our companies and teams? This talk will challenge you to examine which things you can jettison that allow for your innovations to lift off and move you towards your next best investment instead of being sucked down to planet old school, again.


Niel Nickolaisen

Bringing It All Together – Using Agile and Lean To Transform IT

The IT group at Western Governors University (WGU) was under incredible pressure. They were tasked with driving innovation, producing significant improvements in operational performance and building credibility – and do this nearly immediately while handling a complete application refresh and dealing with rapid growth. To produce the desired results, the group took a four-pronged approach: They used Agile to improve project results. They relied on Lean to improve internal processes. They rigorously aligned and rationalized the portfolio to the university and market. They created a culture of trust and ownership. The net result was a dramatic increase in throughput and innovation. In this session, Niel Nickolaisen explains the tools WGU used to transform IT.


Bob Payne

Scaling Agile Theory and Practice

Einstein is credited with saying: "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not." Not surprisingly the theories about scaling agile methods exhibit the same properties. This session will discuss the topic of Scaling Agile. Why certain patterns prevail and how those patterns can change when they confront the realities of "practice".


Natalie Warnert

Metrics: Not Just for Managers Anymore

Scrum and metrics have not always gotten along. Usually, when metrics are brought up it is at a manager or executives request to see how a product is progressing and if the deadline and budget will be met, or worse, unmet/exceeded.

Most of today's Agile Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools have a multitude of different metrics to show just about anything you can think of from burndowns to burnups, cycle time to work in progress and beyond. But do Scrum teams really know what these metrics mean and do management, ScrumMasters and the teams know how to properly utilize them to determine important trends to aid in inspection and adaption?

Metrics: Not Just for Managers Anymore will explore how to teach teams to interpret and appreciate what their metrics are showing them. It will look at how to improve metrics by modifying practices and modify practices by improving the metrics.


Pollyanna Pixton

Building a Culture for High Performance Teams

We know that teams and individuals that take ownership of their work out perform those that don’t, often by 50%! For high performance teams, ownership is essential. But, leaders struggle letting their teams take ownership. Why? They are afraid if they trust their teams, they will not take ownership and fail. Leaders must create a culture of trust and help their teams take ownership. But what if the team builds the wrong product? Teams must align with the strategy and purpose of the business as well as value to the customer. Finally, the organization must deal honestly with ambiguity. Uncertainty is the new normal.

How do teams, individuals and leaders address these issues? Pollyanna provides you with the tools to create a culture of trust by dealing with fear of collaboration; helping teams take ownership through asking questions and not giving answers (“How do you want to solve it?”); aligning with the business by using decision filters based on a business value conversation; and finally, helping teams show real progress and not committing until all risks are within an acceptable range.


Todd Little

Mythbusting Software Estimation

In the world of software development, estimation challenges exist on multiple fronts. Teams are faced with estimating value, cost, and/or schedule at the task, story, project, and/or portfolio level. There are some agile practices that claim to help with estimation, including not doing estimation at all, but still many agile projects are challenged. In this session Todd will look into some of the reasons for these challenges by exploring a number of myths of software estimation and then setting out to validate or bust these myths. Learn what the real data says, not what some pundit says should be true. Some of the myths that will be explored include:

  • Historical Estimation Accuracy
  • Relative Estimation
  • The Cone of Uncertainty
  • Velocity
  • Scope Creep
  • Wisdom of Crowds

Kristin Runyan

"Work on this, Not That" - The Science and Art of Prioritization

The session will walk through a number of strategies for prioritizing incoming work, outlining methods used by Pragmatic Marketing, Mike Cohn, Roman Pichler and personal experience. This will be an interactive session where teams will be given information to prioritize their assigned work. We will discuss effective strategies to apply objective and value-driven measures to the list so it is clear and defensible.


Ryan Bergman

Building an Airplane While Flying: Strategies for Continuous Delivery

Continuous Delivery can be a hard concept for many people coming into agile. The act of continuously pushing new code into production on a regular basis can be scary. For many people the idea is so far out-there they think they couldn’t possibly achieve it and never try. This presentation will focus on different techniques for practicing continuous delivery while still controlling the end user experience and managing risk. We will look at how to manage multi-sprint “epics”, target selective groups for rollout, and protect the end users from “too much” change.


Kent McDonald

Business Value Is a Conversation, Not a Number

Teams often talk a great deal about how projects need to deliver “business value”, but what does that really mean? The true use of business value in projects is to determine what to deliver and in what order. Teams may try to quantify their business value but that activity may be entirely unnecessary. Kent describes a set of techniques that teams use to guide their conversations to determine if they are building the right thing in the right order to solve a problem that is worth solving. He will also talk about how the conversation ends in decisions about how to proceed and the metrics that demonstrate the value is delivered.


Tim Andersen

Nurturing Pair Programming

Pair Programming is widely recommended as a good agile practice, but are you reaping the rewards? Has your organization adopted pair programming as an everyday accepted practice or is there a perception that it is too difficult to justify? Perhaps management approves of pair programming but the developers don't buy-in. Is pair programming too extreme for you? This session explores how to support and encourage pair programming, identifies the value pair programming provides to the business, and describes how developers can realize the maximum benefits from pair programming.


Brandon Carlson

Learning Before Building

According to a Standish group study, 64 percent of features in a given software system are rarely—or never—used. How does this happen? Today, the work of eliciting the customers' true needs, which remains elusive, can be enhanced using data-driven requirements techniques. Brandon introduces some of the reasons why identifying customer needs is so difficult and how you can improve them using techniques that you can employ on your projects right away. Find out how to instrument existing applications and develop new requirements based on operational profiles of the current system. Learn to use A/B testing—a technique for trying out and analyzing alternative implementations—on your current system to determine which new features will deliver the most business value. With these tools and others at hand, you can help users and business stakeholders decide the best approaches and best new features to meet their real needs. Now is the time to take the guesswork out of requirements and get the facts.


Jeffrey Davidson

Writing Better User Stories

"As a user of your system, I want functionality so that I can achieve my goals. Unfortunately, your team's users stories are getting in the way."

Users Stories, the tool teams use to break ideas into small chunks of deliverable work, are easy to describe and challenging to write. This session is about writing great user stories and acceptance criteria by ensuring everyone on the team knows what needs to be done. We will discuss what elements should be included and which ones are optional; why the size of your user story is important and how to make them smaller; and the structure for better acceptance criteria.

 

 


SCHEDULE


Schedule North Middle South
8:30 - 9:00 Arrival and Registration
9:00 - 9:45 Opening - Announcements and Speaker Introductions
9:45 - 10:00 Break
10:00 - 11:00
Kent McDonald
Business Value Is a Conversation, Not a Number
David Hussman
Lessons in Gravity: What keeps you down?
Brandon Carlson
Learning Before Building
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:15
Natalie Warnert
Metrics: Not Just for Managers Anymore
Pollyanna Pixton
Building a Culture for High Performance Teams
Tim Andersen
Nurturing Pair Programming
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch - Provided
1:15 - 2:15
Kristin Runyan
"Work on this, Not That" - The Science and Art of Prioritization
Bob Payne
Scaling Agile Theory and Practice
Jeffrey Davidson
Writing Better User Stories
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 3:30
Todd Little
Mythbusting Software Estimation
Niel Nickolaisen
Bringing It All Together – Using Agile and Lean To Transform IT
Ryan Bergman
Building an Airplane While Flying: Strategies for Continuous Delivery
3:30 - 5:00 Open Space - Americana (Networking, Tapas, Drinks)
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