While the Scrum product owner is arguably the most crucial role within agile teams, we often hear horror stories about POs who aren’t available to their teams, change their minds incessantly on business priorities, or ignore quality requirements and technical debt.
What can a tester do when they join an organization that isn’t really agile—or maybe is (gasp) still waterfall? In these situations, it is important to focus on the values and principles that make up agile.
Agile adoption has changed the corporate landscape in many different ways. And while the change has been mostly positive for the teams, some can see agile and Scrum ideas as a revolt against traditional management practices. If the team is self-organized, then what's the manager's role? Have no fear—managers are not obsolete; their job just looks a little different. Katy Sherman will discuss how agile has reshaped the manager's role. You will see examples of what not to do, such as when managers become a real obstacle during agile adoption, as well as learn how individuals, teams, and managers can work together to become successful and achieve true agility. All agile enthusiasts—including engineers and other individual contributors, product owners, managers, ScrumMasters, and agile coaches—are welcome, so come exchange ideas and learn techniques to become effective agile leaders, regardless of your titles and roles.
Two engineering teams with vastly different work styles—one waterfall and one Scrum—merged into one matrixed organization to work on a critical strategic effort. During this transition the teams experienced many problems, including growing from a small team into a large one overnight, with half of the organization now knowing nothing about agile. They had issues with how to handle communication, the right level of process consistency across the twenty-plus distributed agile teams, working through technical dependencies, a lack of subject matter expertise, and no single point of control of the codebase. But today, the team has approximately 450 people and is growing fast, supporting Red Hat’s flagship OpenShift product lines.
Lean and agile concepts can sometimes be counterintuitive, but the right game or exercise can effectively demonstrate those concepts, providing a practical basis for conversation and learning. Being able to talk beyond anecdote and theory and actually demonstrate why something works is a powerful statement. In this workshop, Bill DeVoe will execute some games you can take back to your organizations to help them understand some basic lean and agile concepts regarding optimization of flow and throughput. Through these activities, we’ll demonstrate the value of a prioritized backlog, optimized batch sizes, limiting work in progress (WIP), and more.
Agile and Scrum Teams are self-organizing and self-managing. As a line manager, what's left to do? Traditionally, managers are responsible for the output of their teams. Sometimes they're even responsible for the for a team's delivery that they do not have direct oversight. This model is flawed. People are complex, a team of people is a complex system. May as well try to manage the weather. To get a handle on the complexity of teams, managers need to act differently in how they lead others. In other words, managers of agile teams will fail if they do not shift their thinking from management to leadership. We can't manage the complexity but we can help people navigate it. Just as we can't stop it from raining, we help teams find umbrellas and take supportive actions when things begin to flood.
You’re a project manager using a waterfall methodology, but the team is not making progress on the work and deadlines are not being met. The requirements aren’t clear, scope keeps changing, deadlines won’t budge, and you can’t get more resources on the project. You were doomed from the start! A common solution to this situation is to adopt Scrum, but that can be difficult as well. Join Toiya Jones-Current as she narrates her personal journey and the baby steps she took to successfully switch from waterfall to Scrum and the transition her project team went through to deliver iteratively and consistently. You'll take back valuable insights into how to keep your team focused on delivering the highest business value every sprint and release. You’ll also explore facilitation techniques to help your team improve its communication and calibration with stakeholders.
Most agile practitioners first learn agile by reading a book, attending a class, or attending local meetings. But learning lean and agile concepts works best when we're able to put some concrete examples and practice behind the concepts. By adding a set of games and exercises that teach and reinforce lean and agile concepts to our toolboxes, change agents can provide some practical basis for conversations both inside and outside their organizations. In this talk join experienced agile coach Bill DeVoe, as he shares two of his “go to” games. First, up will be The Name Game, a game that reinforces the downsides of multitasking and benefits of completing work. And second will be a modified version of the Scrum Penny Game – a multi-round exercise that demonstrates many lean-agile concepts, like flow, prioritizing value, and delivering small batch sizes over large ones.
Every software conference has a number of folks who are brand-new to agile—as well as folks who think they understand it but could use a solid refresher. This interactive presentation will focus on newbies who want to understand the key concepts of both agile and Scrum. Certified Scrum trainer Steven Spearman will give an overview of the key concepts and learning approaches needed to understand agile and Scrum in one hour. While he will cover the structural basics of roles and events, he’ll focus primarily on key concepts of complexity, why traditional methods fail us so often, taking advantage of emergence, and how to fully engage everyone in the creative process. Working within the constraints of the physical meeting space, you'll use two or more interactive activities to drive home agile concepts in a more fun and concrete way.
Are you considering kanban but not sure how you’ll predict delivery without story points, velocity, and a burndown chart? Or are you part of a Scrum team but feeling like your team could benefit from improved flow within your sprints? In this session, join Julie Wyman and Hunter Tammaro as they explore key kanban metrics for measuring team flow and predictability. In the first half, they will introduce metrics including lead and cycle time, throughput, and the cumulative flow diagram. They’ll review what each represents, discuss easy ways to collect them, and show how they are similar and different from common waterfall and Scrum metrics. In the second half of the session, Julie and Hunter will provide a couple of different sample sets of these metrics for you to work in small groups, practicing how to read them in order to find opportunities for team improvement.