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Collaboration Culture & Teams [clear filter]
Monday, August 5

14:00 EDT

Seven Principles for Any Effective Agile Team, Collocated or Distributed (Mark Kilby, Johanna Rothman)

As we wrote the distributed agile teams book, we realized that many of the agile problems we’ve seen are similar---regardless of whether the team is collocated or distributed. Even if the team “practices” a specific framework, the teams are not agile-in-culture, nor are they teams. They don’t have a project rhythm of delivery or reflection. They work as “silos of one” instead of collaborating together or being transparent in their work. Too often, the team members (and managers) share knowledge on a need to know basis and no one needs to know. People blame each other when things go wrong. Teams don’t have a culture of resilience and perseverance.
That’s a laundry list of “agile gone wrong.” Why? Too often, it’s because the teams don’t (or can’t yet) work according to seven principles that work for distributed and collocated teams. Instead of practices, people need principles that work so they can work. Here are the seven principles we describe in the book:
  • Create transparency at all levels.
  • Create a culture of continuous improvement with experiments.
  • Practice pervasive communication at all levels.
  • Create a project rhythm.
  • Assume good intention.
  • Create a culture of resilience.
  • Default to collaborative work, not solo work.
  • Establish Acceptable Hours of Overlap.
In this workshop, Mark Kilby and Johanna Rothman will walk you through seven principles that work for every agile team. You’ll see where to place your team on a continuum, and learn several approaches for managing each principle.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn 7 principles to help any team become more agile
  • How to think about agile principles, past the manifesto values, for your team
  • See common traps that teams and organizations fall into that stalls their agility
  • See how the recommended principles can help release the team from a trap


avatar for Mark Kilby

Mark Kilby

Agile Coach, K5Labs LLC
Mark Kilby coaches leaders, teams and organizations on how to work more effectively, whether they are distributed or collocated.  For over two decades, his easy-going style has helped his client learn to collaborate and discover their path to success and sustainability.Sometimes... Read More →
avatar for Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman

President, Rothman Consulting
Johanna Rothman, known as the "Pragmatic Manager," provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. Johanna is the author of several books... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom D

14:00 EDT

That’s not what I meant! - How communication can make, or break, teams (Trisha Hall)

'Why don't you just understand???" How many times do you ask yourself this question? Your request, acceptance criteria, what you are asking for is clear in your mind, but your colleague doesn't ever seem to get it quite right. Why can't they just see things they way you do?
Maybe it's because they don't think the way you do, so it's a matter of understanding how they think and communicating in a way the receiver understands the information...
There are over 400 different combinations of thinking and behavior preferences, each one of them giving and receiving information in a different way. Learn more about how to decode your own combination, the combinations of your colleagues, and how to bridge the gap between.
This session is open for anyone that has to communicate their ideas, or for those that have to interpret someone else's ideas so they can get their work to 'Done'. We will have a conversation around techniques you can use to both enhance your own communication style as well as interpret the styles of those around you. During the incorporated table exercises you will get to share your ideas around communication and practice some of the concepts introduced in the session.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn techniques to understand the thinking and communication styles of both themselves and those around them.
  • Learn techniques to apply the knowledge of thinking styles to creating effective meetings
  • Gain an understanding of the Intent-Impact gap and how to mitigate its effects


avatar for Trisha Hall

Trisha Hall

VP, Enterprise Solutions, Agile Transformaton Inc.
I grew up in the corporate world and am an Agilist at heart.  I spent the first 18 years of my career in project, process and vendor management as well as contract negotiation.  I found, and fell in love with, Agile when I was asked to learn Agile and develop an Enterprise metrics... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake 10/11/12
Tuesday, August 6

14:00 EDT

Human Systems Dynamics: Adaptive Action Lab (Jeremy Lightsmith, Glenda Eoyang)
Limited Capacity seats available

What keeps you awake at night? What are the biggest and most difficult challenges you face? Bring your most wicked problems to this session, and learn new tools to tame them.
Software development is riddled with complexity. Agile methods address some of this complexity, but they aren’t enough. Human Systems Dynamics and Adaptive Action will help you and your teams work through sticky situations with a range of models and methods that are scalable, straightforward to use, and designed to work in complex adaptive systems like software.
Bring a challenge and we will use it to learn three of HSD’s methods for getting you unstuck, along with a brief overview of what Human Systems Dynamics and Adaptive Action are all about.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Participants will walk away with:
  • - high level knowledge of what Human Systems Dynamics
  • - 3 methods they can take back with them to their teams: Adaptive Action, Power of Inquiry, Four Truths
  • - they should be able to explain these methods, use them on their own problems, and use them with others in their team



Jeremy Lightsmith

Agile Coach / Facilitator, Lightsmith Consulting LLC
avatar for Glenda Eoyang

Glenda Eoyang

Executive Director, Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Glenda H. Eoyang, PhD, is the founding executive director of the Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Institute. Since 1986 she has pioneered applications of chaos and complexity to improve adaptive capacity of people as they work and play together.  She leads a network of 300 scholar practitioners... Read More →

Tuesday August 6, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake A/B/C

14:00 EDT

Save the World, Save Your Team - Shifting Mindsets through Cooperative Board Gaming (Chris Diller, Tom Diedrich)
Limited Capacity filling up

"Can you save humanity? You and your team are the only things standing in the way of deadly diseases that threaten the world. The fate of humanity is in your hands." - description of "Pandemic" from Z-Man Games
Game on! But can a game really teach me something about being Agile? How can a board game save my team?
In this interactive workshop, we'll explore how cooperative board gaming relates to the work of Agile teams. We'll dive head-first into the Agile nature of "Pandemic" through gameplay in small groups and then retrospect to identify similarities and differences between cooperative board gaming and Agile team behaviors. We'll discover how the patterns observed during gameplay can be used to help identify possible dysfunction within your team. You will leave this session with the ability to use cooperative board gaming with your own teams to inspire new ways of thinking, shift mindsets, and increase team engagement.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain how cooperative board gaming can be used as a retrospective technique so that I can improve my teams.
  • Describe how to relate cooperative board gaming to the cooperative nature of my team's work so that I can help them reflect on their own actions.
  • Facilitate a cooperative board gaming workshop of my own so that I can help shift the mindset of my team, company, or client.


avatar for Chris Diller

Chris Diller

Lead Agile Coach, Target Corp
Chris is a Certified Scrum Professional and practicing Agile Coach at Target. He's been involved in developing software since 2006 as an embedded software developer, project leader, ScrumMaster, and Agile Coach, but has found a "home" with Scrum and Agile since 2013. Chris has a passion... Read More →
avatar for Tom Diedrich

Tom Diedrich

Target Corporation

Tuesday August 6, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake 4/5/6
Wednesday, August 7

10:45 EDT

Dynamic Reteaming From The Trenches, Doing a 180 on fixed team dogma (Laurens Bonnema, Laïla Nouijeh)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

If the solution to being bad at integrating software is continuous integration, and the way to stop sucking at delivering software is continuous delivery, isn't it only logical that the answer to taking a performance hit every time team composition changes is continuous reteaming?
In this presentation, we'll take you through our mind-shift about fixed teams, and the experiments we ran to figure out if we could become good at dynamic reteaming. After sharing what we've learned, we'll help you design your own experiments, and we'll share tips and tricks on how to get started.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn about Dynamic Reteaming, and design your own experiments to get started with it.


avatar for Laurens Bonnema

Laurens Bonnema

Agile Management Consultant, Xebia
Agile Management Consultant and Graphic Facilitator. Mentor to managers creating Agile organizations. I make boring business notes fun!
avatar for Laïla Nouijeh

Laïla Nouijeh

Scrum Master, PGGM
Scrum Master with PGGMMotivate people and teams to max out their awesomeNothing else. Focus is one of the scrum values ;)

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 11

10:45 EDT

Visual Thinking for the Visually Reticent (Michael Keeling, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

The best designers make complex ideas understandable. Whether you design algorithms or user experiences, architectures or team processes, understandable ideas are easier to share with teammates and to reason about. Visual thinking is one of the most powerful tools in our silver toolbox for helping us create understandable ideas. Drawing is a natural ability we all have. As kids we had little trouble expressing our ideas visually, but we’ve noticed that lots of adults have trouble putting pen to paper (or marker to whiteboard) to draw a picture of what’s on their mind. At some point along our journeys to earn diplomas and advanced certifications, many of us lost the ability to think visually. We became masters over textual information but drawing complex ideas became difficult. Luckily, visual thinking skills can be improved with practice. In this session we will reawaken our visual minds and learn how to put those skills to work to help us design software better. By the end of this session you will be well on your way to being able to select abstractions to visualize, draw different perspectives of a system, use your sketches to tell interesting stories, and sketch your ideas more confidently. This is a learning by doing session that you won't want to miss!

Learning Outcomes:
  • Use at least two visual thinking frameworks to help decide what to draw under varying circumstances.
  • Describe the benefits of visual thinking in the context of software design.
  • Explain tips and strategies to teammates for practicing visual thinking and sketching.

avatar for Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Wirfs-Brock Associates
I'm best known as the "design geek" who invented Responsibility-Driven Design and the xDriven meme (think TDD, BDD, DDD..). I'm keen about team effectiveness, communicating complex requirements, software quality, agile QA, pragmatic TDD, and patterns and practices for architecting... Read More →
avatar for Michael Keeling

Michael Keeling

Staff Software Engineer, LendingHome
Michael Keeling is a software engineer at LendingHome and the author of Design It!: From Programmer to Software Architect. Prior to LendingHome, he worked at IBM on the Watson Discovery Service. Keeling has a Master of Science in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the College of William and Mary... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 3

14:00 EDT

EventStorming; Continuous discovery between multiple disciplines (Kenny Baas)
Limited Capacity seats available

To understand what our users need to build and test the right thing, we want to have a first-hand experience of ‘real-life stories’ before we can model, test and create our software. To quote Alberto Brandolini ‘it is not the domain expert’s knowledge that goes into production, it is the developer’s assumption of that knowledge that goes into production’. EventStorming is a technique that uses visualisation to minimises assumptions by doing continuous discovery between multiple disciplines.
While EventStorming was originally created for domain modelling, it goes beyond that scope. As long as there is a story to tell, with a timeline, EventStorming is our preferred tool to start our discovery with. Because of the adaptive nature of EventStorming, you can easily combine it with other tools like User Story Mapping, Impact Mapping and Example Mapping.
In this session, we will experience hands-on the basics of EventStorming. Incrementally showing you when and how you can use it, and how it can help you to upgrade your teams' discovery through refinements. Eventually, we can create specifications by example that can drive to deliver our tests and code. You will learn how EventStorming can help teams to improve collaboration, decrease assumptions and biases and creating better quality software by building the right thing.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How EventStorming can help to do continuous deliberate, collaborative learning between multiple disciplines

avatar for Kenny Baas-Schwegler

Kenny Baas-Schwegler

Strategic software delivery consultant, Xebia
A lot of knowledge is lost when designing and building software — lost because of hand-overs in a telephone game, confusing communication by not having a shared language, discussing complexity without visualization and by not leveraging the full potential and wisdom of the diversity... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
National Harbor 11

15:45 EDT

Out Beyond Estimates and No Estimates (George Dinwiddie)
Limited Capacity seats available

Both managers and programmers say estimation is a problem. Neither managers nor programmers are getting what they want. Estimation is not the problem. There is a problem, and there is something you can do about it--but not by estimating better.
“Out beyond estimates and no estimates there is a field. I will meet you there” – not actually Rumi
In this session we will explore the human problems that are often presented as estimation problems. And we’ll look at things you can do about these problems, whether manager or programmer, to make things better.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding what people need when they ask for estimates
  • Understanding what people need when they resist giving estimates
  • Behaving congruently in emotionally charged situations
  • Communicating more intentionally
  • Changing the dynamics for better outcomes


avatar for George Dinwiddie

George Dinwiddie

Grand Poobah and Jack of All Trades, iDIA Computing, LLC
George Dinwiddie helps organizations develop software more effectively. He brings decades of development experience from electronic hardware and embedded firmware to business information technology. He helps organizations, managers, and teams solve the problems they face by providing... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Maryland Ballroom B
Thursday, August 8

09:00 EDT

The Art of Agile Conflict (William Kammersell, Lieschen Gargano)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Being agile means valuing individuals over process via fluid, spontaneous, and fierce conversations. This high collaboration naturally comes with conflict. We must learn to accept, manage, and welcome this conflict. Mastering the art of Agile Conflict elevates our team’s innovation, delivery, satisfaction, and ultimately results.
In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn to:
  • Identify your personal conflict style
  • Understand the styles of others
  • Assess the root causes of conflict
  • Determine why persistent conflict reemerges
  • Be courageous and welcome the conflict that will strengthen you and your Agile teams

Learning Outcomes:
  • Identifying your personal conflict style as one of the following:
  • * Competitive
  • * Collaborator
  • * Compromiser
  • * Accomodator
  • * Avoider
  • Understanding the styles of others
  • Assessing the root causes of conflict as one or more of the following:
  • * Structural
  • * Values
  • * Data
  • * Relationship
  • * Interest
  • Determining why persistent conflict reemerges
  • Being courageous and welcoming the conflict that will strengthen your Agile teams


avatar for William Kammersell

William Kammersell

Product Manager, Scaled Agile
William Kammersell is a Product Manager and SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) at Scaled Agile, provider of SAFe. With over a decade in agile software development, he loves researching customer problems to deliver valuable solutions. His journey as a developer, scrum master, agile coach... Read More →
avatar for Lieschen Gargano Quilling

Lieschen Gargano Quilling

Agile Coach, Scaled Agile
Lieschen Gargano Quilling is an agilest and facilitator extraordinaire. In her current role as Scrum Master for Scaled Agile Inc., she is focused on business agility and building powerful teams and leaders. She has a Master's degree in conflict resolution and a background in large-scale... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
National Harbor 11

10:45 EDT

Testers & Developers: What Can You Teach Each Other? (Lisa Crispin, Bill Wake)

Have you ever said…?
“I wish those ____ understood __”
“I wish those __ would teach me about ___”
If so, this is the workshop for you.
The goal is to help testers and developers (and others) collaborate more effectively.
This will be a true workshop:
First we'll set the stage of what problems we are trying to solve. First, how can teams benefit from skills transfer across roles, why do we need to help make that happen? We'll talk about potential communication barriers due to experience, competencies, background, terminology among roles, and give a couple of our own examples of ways we have addressed that type of problem.
Then we’ll work in small groups, where each group has a mix of people from different roles. Each group will identify a topic, then prepare a poster, picture, or sketch note to help explain that topic to others. We’ll share, critique, and revise.
By the end of the workshop, you’ll have had a chance to work on a topic in a group, and been exposed to the topics from other groups.
We’ll post pictures afterwards so you and others can share.

Learning Outcomes:
  • * Identify good ways to transfer skills across roles
  • * Become familiar with the tools and terminology used by other roles so you can collaborate comfortably
  • * Promote the whole-team approach to building a quality culture


avatar for Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin

Co-founder, Agile Testing Fellowship
Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of three books: Agile Testing Condensed: A Brief Introduction, More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team, Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams; the LiveLessons Agile Testing Essentials video... Read More →
avatar for Bill Wake

Bill Wake

Sr. Consultant, Industrial Logic, Inc.
Bill Wake (www.xp123.com) is a consultant with Industrial Logic, Inc. (http://industriallogic.com). Before that, he was an independent consultant from 2001 to 2007, then spent two years managing software development at Gene Codes Forensics. Bill has worked with teams in a variety... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Maryland Ballroom A

15:45 EDT

3... 2... 1... We have Sprint-Off (Talia Lancaster, Angie Doyle)

Getting new teams to work together is hard. Really. Hard.
Is it because there is so much hype around new Agile teams? Or is it because there is such a focus on “doing things right” (or “doing” Agile right), that we forget about the people actually doing the work? Regardless of the reason, before we can change the way people work... we need to focus on the things that are important for teamwork to work!
We believe that the key to high-performance teams is creating an intentional culture that respects and embraces diversity - whether it be race, gender, class, culture, age, beliefs, language, skills or background. So join us as we explore the Team Canvas – sort of like a Business Model Canvas for teamwork - covering nine essential teamwork elements:
  • Purpose - Why we are doing what we are doing?
  • People & Roles - What are our names, roles and responsibilities?
  • Common goals - What do we as a group want to achieve together?
  • Personal goals - What do I as an individual want to achieve?
  • Team values - What do we really stand for and believe in?
  • Needs and expectations - What do each of us need to be successful in a diverse team?
  • Rules & Activities - How do we communicate and keep everyone up to date?
  • Strengths & Assets - What skills do we have in the team?
  • Weaknesses & Risks - What are the weaknesses we have, as an individual and as a team?
We will walk through our agenda for team lift-offs, facilitation posters and preparation work required, materials needed, and facilitation tips and tricks. All packaged in a handy pocket guide, that you can use to explore tried and tested techniques for each essential element. You will also have an opportunity to practice some of these techniques during the session.
Get ready to lift-off your team in T-minus 3... 2... 1...

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn facilitation techniques that will instantly help you in your role as a facilitator or Scrum Master.
  • Stop unproductive team conflict before it starts, by discussing things that matter to the team BEFORE they start working together.
  • Get everyone on to the same page. Fast!
  • Understand the essential elements to make teamwork work.
  • How to use the Team Canvas to create an intentional team culture that respects and embraces diversity.


avatar for Talia Lancaster

Talia Lancaster

Agile Consultant, IQ Business
I have always been a “compulsive note-taker”. In meetings, training and conferences I have always used this as a way to concentrate and understand certain topics. Over the years this doodling has evolved into more of a visual note-taking technique, or sketchnoting.I love that... Read More →
avatar for Angie Doyle

Angie Doyle

Agile Coach, Think Agile
I don’t think I have ever minded change. Over the course of my career, I have shifted from working face-to-face with customers (Business Operations), to articulating what customers need (Business Analysis and Process Engineering), to finding a problem solution fit (Product Development... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Maryland Ballroom A

15:45 EDT

Harness the Power of Mobbing to Lift Unheard Voices (Jeff Brinkerhoff)

Have you ever felt unheard? Are you aware of a group of people who could benefit from support to help their voices be heard?
In this hands-on workshop, we will be using the power of many to craft ideas for how to lift unheard voices. Enter Mobbing.
For years, software developers have experienced the power of Mobbing to build incredible software solutions at breakneck speed. We will use the power of Mobbing in a non-software context to help to change the world.
During the session, we will set the context by exploring the history of Mobbing and discussing what destroys productivity and how Mobbing can help. With context set, we'll jump into the best part--getting hands on! We'll break into teams and use Mobbing to craft ideas and form proposals for how to lift unheard voices. Following the experiment, we'll share what we learned about Mobbing and how we might apply it in our own circumstances. We'll come out of the session with solid proposals for how we can lift those whose voices are unheard.
Your voice is important. Join our session to combine your voice with others to lift the unheard voices using the power of Mobbing.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn about the history of Mobbing
  • Highlight how it works and why it works
  • Experience mobbing for yourself and learn how and when you can apply this powerful technique to your circumstances
  • Become more aware of unheard voices and learn how you can help lift those who feel unheard


avatar for Jeff Brinkerhoff

Jeff Brinkerhoff

Agile Coach, Slalom
I am a Lean and Agile Coach passionate about helping people find joy! Feel free to ask me about my five children or my love for ping pong.

Thursday August 8, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Chesapeake D/E/F

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