Conference Presentations

Embracing Kanban: An Experience Report

Early in 2004, Chris Shinkle's company began adopting agile practices. Unfortunately, agile did not have the desired cultural impact within their organization-and the adoption floundered. Several years later, Chris found himself coaching a fellow project lead several months into a difficult project. The project team had experienced developers, but faced a seemingly impossible deadline. Discontent and frustration were rampant and something needed to change. Chris decided that a Kanban implementation could improve the situation. The team quickly discovered the primary reason for their long lead times-a huge Work In Progress (WIP) count. As the team sought to reduce its WIP using Lean principles, they eliminated considerable waste in their processes, reduced bottlenecks, and made significant process improvements. In a short six months, they moved from chaos to a state of continuous improvement.

Chris Shinkle, SEP INC
Agile Development Practices 2009: The Agile PMP: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Agile methods emphasize trust, empowerment, and collaboration-moving us away from command and control project management to harness the passion, creativity, and enthusiasm of the team. In established organizations, success with agile practices hinges on how well traditional project managers adopt new ways of thinking about project structure and control. Building on the principles of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), Mike Cottmeyer explores how PMPs experienced in traditional development can adapt their styles and practices to become effective agile project leaders. Mike tackles the hidden assumptions behind the PMBOK® and explores agile approaches for managing time, cost, and scope. Taking an in-depth look at PMI processes and knowledge areas, he also explores ways you can adapt them to agile projects.

Michael Cottmeyer, VersionOne, Inc.
Kanban: A True Integration of Lean and Agile

If XP and Scrum are the first generation of agile methods, Kanban software development is the next generation. Kanban integrates lean and agile principles to create better software faster and at less cost. Kanban does this by defining explicit methods to manage work flow, paying particular attention to the number of things being worked on simultaneously, and how the available resources are allocated. Alan Shalloway reviews the basic Lean Principles of “fast, flexible, and flow” along with the systemic nature of errors Kanban addresses. Alan describes the differences between time-boxed software methods such as Scrum and flow-based methods such as Kanban-and when you would want to use Kanban instead of Scrum. Learn how to implement Kanban by defining a workflow, managing your work in progress, and establishing a Kanban board to make the workflow and progress visible.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Organizational Values: A Key to Agile Success

Agile adoptions can only be successful if corporate values match the key values outlined in the Agile Manifesto and in agile frameworks such as XP and Scrum. Michele Sliger explains the agile values that play a key role in driving individual and team behavior. Learn the real meaning behind the often heard phrase "agile is value-driven, not plan-driven". Discover how to determine your company's values and how to compare and contrast them to agile values-and what to do if they are different. Practice visioning exercises that you can conduct on your own and with your team to better understand what you and your team members personally value and what you can do to better align your present values with agile values. Find out how to define values at the team level-a must to ensure effective working relationships. Take away a framework to apply what you've learned in your own company and team.

Michele Sliger, Sliger Consulting, Inc.
Going Agile - How It Affects People, Teams and Process

Agile development provides the opportunity for new levels of productivity and value for software delivery-yet the agile approach brings new challenges that impact people, teams, and processes. Joachim Herschmann describes how a traditional waterfall-oriented development organization can become more agile and how software delivery can be transformed into a managed, efficient, and predictable business process. Using the real-life example of the Borland Linz development center, a traditional organization that has been undergoing an agile transformation for more than two years, Joachim shares the company's experiences throughout this culture shift. Because not everything in this transition was easy and straightforward, Joachim discusses the pitfalls and challenges that the Borland Linz development center encountered-short sprint cycles, shared quality responsibility and accountability, and an increased need for test automation.

Joachim Herschmann, Borland Software
Debug Your Mind

Every day, we make important decisions and try to solve critical problems in our work. Unfortunately, our decision-making and problem-solving processes often are based on a faulty memory and our emotional state at the time. We tend to ignore crucial facts and fixate on irrelevant details because of where and when they occur, or whether they are brightly colored-especially if they are brightly colored. Join Andy Hunt as he shares concepts from his popular book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning and explores the common cognitive biases that can dramatically affect your decision-making and problem-solving skills. Learn why most predictions are wrong from the start and how you can guard against false assumptions. Discover aspects of context which can subtly affect you, including generational affinity and personality tendencies.

Andrew Hunt, Pragmatic Programmers
Agile Development Practices 2009: Seven Key Factors for Agile Testing Success

Agile development presents unique challenges for testers and test teams. Working in short iterations, often with limited written requirements, agile development teams can leave traditional testers behind. Common testing-related activities-such as user acceptance testing, testing inter-product relationships, and installation testing-require different approaches to work within agile projects. Lisa Crispin presents seven key factors for testing success within agile projects – using a whole team approach, adopting an agile mindset, automating regression testing, collaborating with customers, providing and obtaining feedback, looking at the big picture, and building a foundation of core agile practices. Learn how to overcome cultural and organizational obstacles to successful testing and discover the critical factors for delivering maximum value to your business.

Lisa Crispin, Ultimate Software
Navigating Conflict on Agile Teams: Why "Resolving" Conflict Won't Work

On many agile development teams, conflict lurks under the surface and can erupt as a volcano of destruction and suffering. On many agile teams, conflict is viewed mostly as a distraction that keeps the team from getting the job done. However, on great agile teams, conflict is constant and welcomed by all as a catapult to higher performance. In all these situations, conflict is not a mechanistic system one can simply take apart, fix, and put back together. It is not about mechanisms; it is about human beings working together, day after day, in the maelstrom of constant collaboration and change. In this turbulence, how can teams chart a course through conflict and turn it into a force for greatness? Lyssa Adkins reveals a conflict model that helps you do just that, walking you through five levels of conflict from "Problem to Solve" to "World War" with each step finely tuned to view conflict in a deeply human and humane way.

Lyssa Adkins, Cricketwing Consulting
World Quality Report: Trends in Technology, Organization and Outsourcing

Most businesses rely totally on complex computer software applications to run their operations. As one approach to mitigating the risk of costly production failures, many organizations are spending more and more on testing. To understand the trends in software testing and to gauge the impact of these trends on application quality, Capgemini recently conducted a survey of 150 testing organizations and combined the results with test assessment results from more than one-hundred organizations. Together, these findings provide a unique perspective on the current QA/testing challenges and practices facing many organizations. Employing the information in Capgemini’s World Quality Report can help you answer questions about the value of testing to your business.

Charlie Li, Capgemini
STARWEST 2009: The Irrational Tester

As a tester or test manager, you probably have wondered just how important reasoning and rational thinking actually are in many management decisions. It seems that many decisions are influenced by far more-or far less-than thoughtful analysis. Surprise! Testers make decisions every day that are just as irrational as those made by the managers about whom they complain. James Lyndsay presents his view of tester bias—why we so often labor under the illusion of control, how we lock onto the behaviors we're looking for, and how two testers can use the same evidence to support opposing positions. Using demonstrations and entertaining real-life stories, James helps you understand how biases can affect our everyday testing activities. Gain a new perspective on why timeboxes work and why independence really matters.

James Lyndsay, Workroom Productions, Ltd.


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