People & Teams

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West ScrumMasters: The Struggle Is Real
Slideshow

Are you a new ScrumMaster who is trying to figure out what the heck to do each day? Or have you been a ScrumMaster for a little while now but still find it difficult to set aside time to continue to grow your team’s knowledge of agile best practices? Do you struggle to improve the team dynamic or the relationship with your product owner because you are too busy removing roadblocks all day? These situations have become all too familiar. Courtney Wilkinson knows because she has successfully overcome many herself. As a former ScrumMaster and current agile coach, Courtney can tell you the struggle is real. Regardless of what you have been told, you don’t have to solve every roadblock alone. Join Courtney as she shares some tactical techniques, including a list of four specific questions you can teach your team, to combat these roadblocks in your day-to-day work.

Courtney Wilkinson
Agile DevOps West Reality-Driven Testing in Agile Projects
Slideshow

Many agile teams rework previously deployed stories, even after plenty of in-sprint testing. Even well-groomed, refined stories, framed with typical, alternate, and error scenarios and gracefully described in well-formed Gherkin, continue to encounter all sorts of bugs. Software engineering consultant Rob Sabourin sees rework in over 20 percent of deployed stories, but he can show you how agile teams can drive rework down dramatically, often achieving near-zero rework after a story is done. Rob teaches teams to identify and implement relevant testing activities above and beyond those derived from well-formed requirements. He seeks out testing ideas relevant to what is really being changed in the technological solution, finds ideas based on what the user actually does in the workplace, and discovers rich test ideas based on the target environments.

Robert Sabourin
Agile DevOps West People Operations in a Teal Organization: Tools and Techniques from a Real Journey
Slideshow

The Lithespeed team first read Frederic Laloux's "Reinventing Organizations” in 2015. We immediately said ‘Hell yes, we are doing this - we should never work any other way!’ Fast forward 4 years, a couple conference presentations and a lot of trial and error. On our journey to Teal, we have undergone many transitions. We will share some of our challenges moving towards a deeper teal culture and our goal of developing tools for creating a system of organizational development and self-management. We will share our real-world experience using distributed decision making and organizational structure, self-management for the whole organization, People Operations, peer to peer feedback/engagement/performance reviews, financial transparency, open salaries, managing the business, and giving voice to the organization.

Amanda Geary
Agile DevOps West Pyramid Discussion: DevOps Adoption in Large, Slow Organizations
Slideshow

Are you in a large, plodding enterprise that's beginning, in the midst of, or considering a move toward DevOps? Unsure how or even if it will work, but know you have to make a move anyway? Do you want to hear from your peers about how they've managed so far? A pyramid discussion starts as a series of one-on-one conversations between the participants. After each pair hashes out their thoughts with each other, they join another couple to refine their points and hear pros and cons. After a while, those four join with four more, and so on until there is only one discussion, with everyone sharing and discussing. All attendees will get a chance to have their ideas and experiences heard while building on the thoughts and experiences of others.

Gene Gotimer
Agile DevOps West What Japanese Shinkansen Trains Can Teach Us about Agile
Slideshow

Have you ever been to Japan and noticed that their railway system is incredibly efficient? As places like Tokyo continue to expand and the cost of living rises, more and more people rely on trains that start hours away from the city to arrive on time. This allows passengers to make their connections to other trains networks and metros that will take them to their final destination. In 2017, over 420 million passengers boarded Shinkansen trains that had an average delay of only 24 seconds! Not to mention that in the 55 years of operation, the Shinkansen has had no injuries due to collision accidents, only 2 derailments, and zero fatalities. Matthew Weinstock walks you through agile principles and practices that are used to keep the trains in Japan running on time, as well as being used to constantly improve their technology, reliability and safety.

Matthew Weinstock
Agile DevOps West Brainwriting: The Team Hack to Generating Better Ideas
Slideshow

Brainstorming has long been held as the best way to get ideas from teams. The purpose is to solicit large amounts of ideas in a short timeframe. By putting a collective of creative people in the same room, better concepts should be the outcome. Sounds very agile, right? However, science has shown several times that brainstorming is not the best way to generate ideas. It’s cumbersome due to all of the interdependent activities happening, and you often spend more time thinking about others' ideas than your own. Maybe it's time we try something new. Brainwriting is similar to brainstorming, but each participant writes down their idea and passes it to the next person, who then uses it to spur their own ideas. Incorporating this technique into your team events can produce more diverse ideas and provide a friendlier environment for collaboration. In this session, we will workshop the brainwriting process.

Chris Murman
Agile DevOps West You Can't Have DevOps if Fear Is Running Your Workplace
Slideshow

A number of organizations today start their DevOps initiatives with automation. While it may help them grab the low-hanging fruit, it can only get them so far before they run into a big impediment: fear in the workplace. In these organizations, fear can undermine any further DevOps progress. Just like any other change attempted in pathological or bureaucratic cultures, DevOps can even cause more fear and face strong resistance. Join this interactive session to learn and practice recognizing typical fears and fear symptoms, all based on case studies and stories from medium to large organizations. Play the Fear Eradicated game, and bring back a set of practical tools effective in enhancing psychological safety—for yourself, your teams, and your leadership.

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Dana Pylayeva
Agile DevOps West Distributed Scrum Teams Whack-a-Mole:
 Creative Solutions to 
Common Obstacles
Slideshow

Taking a newly formed distributed Scrum team from mediocre to high-performing has its share of challenges, including differences in language, culture, and time zones; a misunderstanding of Scrum; and the "us versus them" mentality. Join Kimberly Andrikaitis as she walks through her journey of challenges she's experienced in building team relationships, shifting the agile mindset, a lack of focus, and sad ceremonies. She has created an extensive toolbox to share with attendees, containing various ideas to bridge these gaps. You will leave with real-world strategies for how to cultivate team identity, educate on agile practices, gamify team resistance, leverage global partners, encourage communication, demonstrate active listening, increase team morale, and re-energize retrospectives.

 

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Kimberly Andrikaitis
Agile DevOps West Hacks to Becoming a Mindful Agile Tester
Slideshow

Have you ever felt like you've been working on multiple tasks all day long, but at the end of the day when you review your work, you realize you haven’t accomplished anything concrete? After years of working in the tech industry, Raj Subramanian realized he was not able to accomplish any task with complete focus and attention. So in 2017, he started a six-month journey of self-exploration and discovery. He read books; listened to podcasts on mindfulness, productivity, leadership, and self-motivation; and tried to apply various concepts learned from this journey in his daily tasks at the workplace. Raj will share the results of this experiment and describe how he was able to get more focus, improve his critical thinking skills, figure out a way to prioritize his time, and make himself more approachable to people in his personal and professional life.

Raj Subramanian
Agile DevOps West Exhaustion Is Not a Status Symbol
Slideshow

We set out to transform the world of work with agile, yet we've heard the Scrum sprint cycle described as a “hamster wheel,” an endless conveyor belt of backlog and sprint reviews that developers cannot escape. Join Melissa Boggs in a discussion about the pitfalls of a competitive culture and how we in the Scrum community, even with the best of intentions, could be accidentally responsible for continuing to spin the hamster wheel. Hero culture has been discussed before, but have we addressed our own potential culpability in creating it? We need to make sure that the principles and practices of Scrum are being used for good, not for evil. We'll explore the dangers of exhaustion as a status symbol—for our organizational culture, our teams, and ourselves.

Melissa Boggs

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