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Project Program & Portfolio Management [clear filter]
Monday, August 5

10:45 EDT

Hands On: Scaling Product Backlogs using Visual Models (Candase Hokanson)

Are you a Product Owner(PO) or Scrum Master(SM) who has been given a new role as your company scales their agile approach? Like many, I started as a Team PO and was "blessed" with a promotion to Product Manager of a SAFe Agile Release Train (ART) when my client implemented SAFe. At first, I was a little flummoxed of how to manage 7 teams backlogs that were reporting to the train and handle the bigger group of business stakeholder providing input to the program vision.
Luckily, I remembered many of the tools I used as Team PO and began to tweak and rework them to handle the increased scope of my new ART world. Come and join me as we learn about two visual models that are typically used at the team level by POs and SMs but can easily be scaled to any level of the organization. First, we'll learn about the Business Objectives Model which helps us ensure we're building the highest business value items first at the team level and how that scales to programs and portfolios. THen we'll discuss how Feature Trees, used at the team level to organize scope in a one-page view, can be scaled to show similar information at any level.
At the end of this workshop, attendees will have two new tools in their toolkit to take back to their organizations regardless of the level of enterprise they are working in. I love using visual models as a PO on an individual product, but I've come to learn over the past several years, that they are incredibly useful for all levels of management (program, portfolio, and large solutions if you are doing SAFe), so come, have fun and build some new visual models in a scaled way!

Learning Outcomes:
  • -Understand why we need to scale the backlog
  • -Understand the major varieties of scaling the product backlog
  • -Ability to define and create a Business Objectives Model
  • -Ability to define and create a Feature Tree


avatar for Candase Hokanson

Candase Hokanson

Senior Product Manager, Seilevel
Candase Hokanson is a Senior Product Manager at Seilevel and a PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner who trains and Coaches, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and business analysts on Agile approaches as well as championing products in those roles for clients. She works with teams to unite... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Chesapeake J/K/L

14:00 EDT

Start Less, Finish More: The real costs of organizational multitasking (Brandi Olson)

The research is compelling—our brains work best when focused on one task at a time. Switching between tasks results in a host of negative consequences—including dramatic losses of productivity, lower quality work, and increased burnout. At the agile team level, scrum masters, product owners, and coaches teach the principles of prioritization, focus, and getting to done.
But what happens when multitasking is built into the culture of an organization? Organizational multitasking happens when the efforts of the organization are divided across multiple work streams. It shows up in the form of competing priorities, high numbers of projects in progress, spreading people too thin, and employee turnover. The cost of organizational multitasking is expensive and devastating.
You know this already? Great! This session is for you. The workshop is focused on how to shift the mindset and culture that leads to organizational multitasking. We will explore the cost of organizational multitasking through science, games, simple illustrations. Participants will walk away with tools to influence change from a portfolio management culture of getting more started to a culture of getting more of the right things done.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate the science to support the case for more focus, less multitasking at the highest level of the organization.
  • Practice creating simple illustrations to explain the cost of multitasking for individuals and organizations.
  • Play games! Also, develop skills to play similar games with a leadership team, managers, and team members to shift the organizational mindset that perpetuates multitasking.


avatar for Brandi Olson

Brandi Olson

CEO, The Olson Group
I wholeheartedly believe that agile has the power to change the way smart people solve complex problems and make the world a better place. I got my start in agile when I was a special education teacher, and now I coach leaders on agile delivery and organizational design. I love talking... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake G/H/I

15:45 EDT

Agile Reports for the PM Brain (Wayne Hetherington, David Sabine)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

You’re a project manager and you’ve just been given an Agile project to look after. You ask for reports and you get burndown charts, velocity graphs, and cumulative flow diagrams. What in the world are these, and why do you suddenly have a migraine headache?
Metrics are different in Agile, but the questions remain the same. Come and see what your brain needs to understand the tracking of products built in an Agile way. We’ll build an Agile dashboard that you can take into your next meeting.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn:
  • • why standard metrics are not well suited for agile products,
  • • how to pick a good metric and focus on what you need to measure
  • • what an Agile dashboard might look like for your next product.


avatar for Wayne Hetherington

Wayne Hetherington

Agile Coach
avatar for David Sabine

David Sabine

Professional Scrum Trainer
David, as Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, works to improve the profession of software delivery. He helps organizations deliver products of the highest possible quality and value. His career highlights the intersection of business, technology, fine art, and education. With... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Chesapeake 1/2/3
Tuesday, August 6

14:00 EDT

Liberating Strategy - Walking the Fine Line Between Rigidity and Planlessness (Johannes Schartau)
Limited Capacity filling up

During Agile transformations teams are often told to become adaptive and flexible - all within a clearly defined, rigid five (or more) year strategy that severely inhibits true agility. Some companies are aware of this problem. As a solution they don’t engage in any kind of strategic planning whatsoever. Unfortunately, they often discover that without any direction every decision can be passed off as the right one and confusion reigns.
What’s usually lacking is an agile approach to strategy on an enterprise level. One that takes the reality of dynamic markets and an uncertain future into account and creates an environment for development teams to actually be agile in. At the same time it needs to provide enough guidance and clarity for everybody to make great decisions for the company as a whole.
Join this session to learn a different approach to strategy-making that is based on the use of several Liberating Structures. It’s an approach that walks the fine line between rigidity and planlessness. One that includes more people than just the top executives in the creation of strategy. One that seamlessly takes everybody from broad exploration to direct action. A Liberated Strategy.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop a strategic narrative along six core questions while including more people than ever before
  • Plan for uncertain futures and align your product portfolio accordingly
  • Seamlessly go from sensemaking and planning straight to action



Tuesday August 6, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
National Harbor 11
Wednesday, August 7

15:45 EDT

Do These Features Make My App Look Fat: The Visual Story Slicing Diet (Tommy Norman)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

A big part of Agile is about delivering small product increments, but if you are like most organizations, you might struggle with breaking down your grandiose ideas into independent pieces of value. Some user stories have too many dependencies to be valuable on their own. Business stakeholders have a hard time seeing the larger picture with smaller increments. Multiple stories have to be delivered in order for any real functionality to be released. You wind up with over bloated stories or small stories with very little independent value.
In this session, we will explore a creative way to slice stories using a more detailed take on story mapping I like to call Visual Story Slicing. We will use personas and a very specific goal to identify the simplest steps required to connect the two. By using an "out of scope" line and identifying functionality that are candidates for stubs, we will ruthlessly prioritize parts of a user story and focus on delivering the thinnest slice with the most value. This technique has allowed us to trim user stories everyone already thought were as small as possible and start to get our teams laser focused on solving specific, independent user issues first. Join the session to find out how to get your stories nice and slim just in time for swimsuit season!

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn how to identify attributes of a bloated user story.
  • Learn how to use personas and goals to focus your slicing on product value and learning.
  • Learn how to use Visual Story Slicing to get to small, independently valuable user stories.


avatar for Tommy Norman

Tommy Norman

Vice President of Agile Operations, Acklen Avenue
Tommy Norman is Vice President of Agile Operations for Acklen Avenue where he ensures they develop software based on the principles and practices of Agile. For the past 20 years he has been helping companies create valuable solutions as a CSM, CSP, CEC, PSM 1, SAFe Agilist, and 8... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Chesapeake A/B/C
Thursday, August 8

09:00 EDT

Prioritizing Portfolio Investments: A Lean Approach (Dean Leffingwell)
Limited Capacity filling up

No matter how Agile your development teams are, it doesn't matter unless you're building the right things in the right order. And the bigger the initiative, the more critical this is. Indeed, a reliable and logical approach to 'prioritizing portfolio investments' is THE fundamental economic driver for a digital enterprise.
In this interactive workshop, Dean Leffingwell will lead attendees through a lean portfolio prioritization process. Topics include: insight and thinking tools for strategy formulation; synthesizing strategy into portfolio strategic themes; creating the portfolio vision; identifying, defining and prioritizing portfolio initiatives; establishing Lean budgets, defining MVPs; bringing visibility to work and matching demand to capacity with a portfolio Kanban system; and finally, sequencing approved work for maximum benefit by applying the lean mechanism of weighted-shortest-job-first (WSJF). The central interactive activity of the workshop will be to initiate development of an attendees 'portfolio vision'. This will be done using a variant of Osterwalder's business model canvas.
Attending this workshop will give you the experience of going through the lean portfolio prioritization process, starting the development of your own portfolio vision. You will leave the workshop with some work in process, along with guidance as to how to continue this work outside of the workshop setting."

Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify simple and effective thinking tools for logically sequencing a lean portfolio prioritization process.
  • Experience lightweight business modeling suitable for technical solution portfolios.
  • Identify mechanisms and thinking tools for prioritizing portfolio work


avatar for Dean Leffingwell

Dean Leffingwell

Chief Methodologist, Scaled Agile, Inc.

Thursday August 8, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom B

10:45 EDT

Collaborative Frameworks for Portfolio Prioritization (Luke Hohmann)
Limited Capacity seats available

Traditional approaches to portfolio prioritization based on annual planning cycles and a small number of executives making decisions behind closed doors create apathy and distrust, fail to leverage the wisdom of the organization and too often result in underfunded initiatives that fail to realize their goals. Simply put, traditional approaches to portfolio prioritization aren't very Agile.
Inspired by the Agile Manifesto value of "Customer collaboration over Contract Negotiation", this workshop presents a new approach to portfolio prioritization based on seven principles and four collaborative frameworks. The seven principles helps reframe how to engage the act of portfolio prioritization while the collaborative frameworks provide the tools for collaboration. This interactive workshop will briefly present the seven principles and then move to a thorough exploration and hands-on case study of the following frameworks:
  1. 20/20 Vision: A framework to help participants prioritize strategic objectives.
  2. Prune the Future: A framework to create roadmaps and longer term plans aligned to strategic objectives.
  3. Participatory Budgeting: Most organizations will generate more good ideas than can be funded. Participatory Budgeting is a process through which a group of stakeholders decides on, or contributes to, decisions made on the use of shared resources, such as portfolio budgets or development team capacity, resulting in fully funded initiatives.
  4. Investments by Horizon: This frameworks helps portfolio teams in making choices that balance near-term objectives with long-term innovation.
Each participant will also be given a learning log and an ebook that provides further insight into how to leverage these frameworks.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify problems with traditional approaches to Portfolio Prioritization
  • Identify the different planning processes that are required for different planning time horizons (strategic vs tactical time horizons)
  • Distinguish between project prioritization and resource allocation
  • Distinguish between "new business" and "run the business" and "infrastructure" investments
  • Ensure that initiatives are properly funded before execution
  • Gain experience with collaborative frameworks that support portfolio management



Luke Hohmann

CEO, Conteneo

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

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