Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Problems with Mingle Project Management

I like Mingle, but it's not perfect. I've posted a few times about the benefits of using Mingle, so now I'll mention the problems.

We had read of performance issues, but I experienced where the cliff is. We have Mingle running on a virtual server with 4 GB of memory. We created a custom project using one tree and approximately 15 fields in the card. As we approached 1200-1500 cards in the project, performance dropped significantly. Users could count to 10 - 30 before items loaded, especially in grid view. As we neared 2000, grid view failed completely. Users new to Mingle started asking for another tool. Stakeholders in planning meetings would lose their patience waiting on it. My advice is find a way to keep bugs and features separate. Delete old, fixed bugs, and be disciplined to keep the features list (product backlog) short. Why keep low priority items when there are months of highs in the list?

Exporting data is a pain. Cut and paste text into Excel gets you by, but you can't use any filters (WHERE clause) nor choose what fields to include or exclude. You get it all. Massaging it into something useful for management can become hours per week if you have large backlogs.

As far as I can tell, you can't enforce data integrity. I tried without success. And garbage in\garbage out feeds the two items above that can become a monster.

The project templates look wonderful (XP, Scrum, Agile Hybrid), but there's only one thin page of documentation on their site for each one on what comprises each template. Trying to figure out how to use them (what the workflow is, the objects, details) is essentially up to you. Don't get me wrong - I really appreciate these views into how Thoughtworks does agile project management, but as I kept poking around, feeling like I was trying to put together the lifestyle of some ancient race based on artifacts, I kept thinking, "The creator of this template could have taken one day to document it and the whole world would be ready to go." As is, the whole world will play Sherlock Holmes and my guess is many will give up and go to what they know and lose out on a great agile mind-share opportunity.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Agile Planning Poker Rules

I posted earlier on planning poker, and since it's a popular post, I thought I'd post again on it.

One item that came up in a recent sprint retrospectives (in the "Where do We Need to Improve?" list) was getting better requirements and estimates. So, after the following planning meeting, where the CEO selected his highest priority items, the team met to review those items.

The meeting seemed to be another poor meeting of nothing definite or different being done - lot's of "Well, I'll need to look at that one more," or "Well, management says it needs to be done by next week, so what does it matter how long I think it will take?". I was ready to call the meeting until Martin asked about the planning poker cards (shwag from Phil Scott at the Agile Panel Discussion at the LA Code Camp). He hadn't used them before so we walked through the instructions:

  1. Each team member is given a set of cards.
  2. One person read the item to be estimated.
  3. The team & customer discuss the item.
  4. Each team member privately selects a card representing his/her relative estimate.
  5. After all have chosen a card, everyone shows the chosen card.
  6. If all estimates match, that item's estimate is complete.
  7. If estimates are not the same, the group discusses the differences (focusing on the outlying values).
  8. Repeat until consensus is reached.
Few notes on modifications we made to the rules -
  • We don't have any business members there, but call in the requester if needed.
  • We re-estimate until within one card value of each other, or take the median value if there's a majority.
The team really enjoyed, and benefited from the experience. The secrecy of each persons' pick not only made it fun for them, but it got each person so plugged into the task at hand. There was kidding of those who's estimates were way outside the norm. For outrageously low estimates, we rewarded the low-bidder's confidence by giving them that task, but with an agreement that if they met the estimate, we'd buy them lunch. It was particularly enjoyable to see how much this engaged Jeoff, our only team member with the strength Competition. There was great discussion on all the tasks the team had ahead of them, and we left the meeting with a lot more shared knowledge, both where we're weak and where we're strong.

You can buy planning poker card sets from Mike Cohn's Mountain Goat Software site.Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Agile Leadership Coaching Quotes

I was at a leadership coaching event and had these quotes as good takeaways. Although the training wasn't specific to agile environments, I think they all apply quite well.
  • It's a leader's job to make the goals clear, and the team's to make it work. 
  • In a dynamic environment, it's more important to have strategic positioning than strategic planning. 
  • The fix for bad leadership isn't teams or teamwork, it's good leadership. 
  • You don't know what you're capable of. 
  • There's often a gap between information and application. 
  • What are your growth hashmarks? Because speed acclimates and it will be hard to tell if you are growing as a leader or not.
  • The ideal situation is the right job [or role] + the right mindset.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Agile Project Management Tools - Mingle, Rally, or...?

I previously posted on comparing different agile project management tools: Mingle, ScrumWorks and an Excel file with dates, hours and a burn down chart. After hearing several agile consultants at Code Camp, I thought I should pass on their (better?) response. 

The question on a tool recommendation came from an audience member who said they had been using Rally, and end the end required one person full time just to manage the tool and data. KenKolcheir, who works for ThoughtWorks, obviously recommended Mingle, with a laugh, but I heartily agree it is a great, easy to use tool. Denise Phillips recommended VersionOne.

But the consensus from all the panelists was to keep it as simple as you can. If you can get by with cards on Post-Its stuck to a wall, do it. Also, this method provides a ready "information radiator" that helps visibility, communication and focus for those nearby or come and go interacting with the team. If you choose to use a the tools from ThoughtWorks, Rally, VersionOne, or Microsoft's Team System 2008, it would be very helpful to have a large monitor or fatscreen on the wall with your cards or a dashboard (with burndown, etc) as the information radiator.

I tried Post-Its, but switched to Mingle so our CEO could access the product and sprint backlogs from his computer and be more directly involved. This is what we needed and has been a key to the success of the organization really getting behind scrum.

Monday, October 27, 2008

USC SoCal Code Camp Presentation Docs

Below are the handouts used for the presentations at the SoCal Code Camp at USC. 

Session 1 - Leading a Team and Developing Team Members - Currently or hopefully leading a small team, managing a project, or over a department? We reviewed the research from several top management experts including Jim Collin's Good to Great, Marcus Buckingham's First Break All the Rules, and Ken Blanchard's One Minute Manager. Using agile as our team context, we reviewed leadership, management, the difference, and what is the role of management today when agile teams are self-managing - the Agile Manager and organizational change. The handout is here

Session 2 - Agile Scrum Method with Strength-Based Teams - This session was an overview of the Scrum agile process, tools I've used such as cards and Mingle, and highlights a strengths-based approach which takes advantage of using team members for tasks and roles where they are more likely to excel. Scrum is simple (but not easy) and a tremendous help to achieving success in projects. Agile environments are designed to capitalize on each individual's unique strengths, but there's not much guidance out there on how to do this. This workshop reviewed the different approaches and levels I've used with a strengths-based approach on my Scrum teams. The handout is here.

Session 3 - Discovering Your Strengths - What are you naturally best at? How can you leverage that to become world class? It might be innovation, bringing out the best in others, or knocking out task after task. Many of us don't know our strengths, much less how to build our work day and careers around these natural talents. Instead, guided by our managers and others, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to address these "areas for improvement", while our strengths lie dormant. We review some of the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and watched the first of six videos from Marcus Buckingham's strengths video series. We covered how to leverage your strengths and how to continue to develop them. The handout is coming...

Session 4 - Agile Panel Discussion with Phil Scott - Neudesic, Denise Phillips, Paul Hodgetts - AgileLogic  and Ken Kolchier - ThoughtWorks. No notes yet but I will try to collect the questions and answers. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Code Camp Connections

If you are coming to the SoCal Code Camp, you can stay connected to others through the SoCal Code Camp group on LinkedIn. Click here to join and connect with others who are a part of it. Also, you get get real time updates and join the code camp conversation on Twitter. Click here and then click Follow.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Agile and New Ideas for the Enterprise

In a previous post, I commented on what to do after successful implementation of agile to an IT team. What I found from others was that the next step is to move towards the agile enterprise, and I pointed to looking at the P & L and what drives ROI. A complement to this "what" is "how", and a great book on how to introduce this agile growth, and other new ideas, is Fearless Change by Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising. It is a book of very practical and comprehensive patterns to use to get support and buy-in, and it is the sum of collected experiences from many professionals.

Despite my best efforts, I often see problems and opportunities through my lens and not through the lens of those I work with. The book references work by E.M. Rogers which breaks down people into groups of Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. While I and others in IT, web 2.0, or project management might be Innovators or Early Adopters, two thirds of the world around us are Early Majority or Late Majority. These groups need to see others successful with an idea first, or are naturally cautious or skeptical (they could have the theme Deliberative). Moving a new idea such as Agile Enterprise, with all the visibility and accountability, is a paradigm shift, foreign and likely scary for some of the very people that will not only benefit most from it, but also whom you vitally need their support. From my initial reading of Fearless Change, I believe this book will be a significant help in getting you there. Also, understanding the strengths of these stakeholders will help you speak their language and motivate them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Review - Agile Software Development w Scrum

ASDS is a very good book, but only for the few who want to be Scrum experts. The material is thorough, and not necessarily easy to get through, in part because the Schwaber and Beedle walk through every part of Scrum in detail, as well as cover situations that likely don't apply to most, and they even go through philosophical views that some may care little about.

To be sure, there are gems in the book, and I learned a few important points, but I have been to ScrumMaster certification training, read two other agile books, and been mentored by a CSM/PMP. I feel the book only moved me from 80% comfort level with Scrum to 85%.

If you are a consultant managing projects, or you want to teach, coach or train in this area, read the book. If you a internal project manager,product manager, or IT manager, I recommend you get Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide and read the section on Scrum. It's simpler, cleaner, and the rest of the book gives good background to agile and options you may want to consider.

If you are a team or development lead, or the senior developer, get Agile Project Management with Scrum. It's an even easier read, focused solely on Scrum and gives lots of enjoyable stories of real situations the author went through, good and bad.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

After Scrum, the Agile Enterprise

The other day, Joseph Little (blog here) posted to the Scrum Development board on Yahoo! asking for input on what to include in an advanced course that he and Jeff Sutherland were leading (Agile 201). One item I raised was "What do you do when your agile project efforts are going well? What's the next step to capitalize on successful to move agile into the enterprise?"

Well, I came across a great post on exactly that - Agile Leaders - The Next Hurdle from Steve Garnett. Simply put, the next step is Lean Thinking & Financial Understanding

"It's alright being bloody great at Agile, and knowing how to deliver software and create self-organizing teams, but always remember that the engine for change, the real way to effect change, is control of the P&L."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Agile2008 Conference Submission

Agile2008 released the conference track recently here.One presentation that won't be there is my submission. Though it had some positive feedback, it didn't make the cut.

As the presentation was unique among the others I reviewed, I thought I would post it for others. I submitted it under the Leadership and Teams track. Despite the let down that I wasn't selected, I had a career highlight in getting very positive feedback from Jim Highsmith. :-)

Agile Strengths-Based Teams - How to Coach and Lead According to Strengths

This workshop will review the different approaches and levels I’ve used with a strengths-based approach on my Scrum teams. We will discuss my experiences at the individual level, listing team members’ specific strengths (with descriptions) and how I created new team roles tailored to allow each member to play to their strengths, involving the team in the way they work, and fostering improved communication and interdependency. Also, group discussion could cover hypothetical roles and situations, or run through a simplified strengths assessment for attendess and then walk through how they could make adjustments to leverage those strengths more on their team and with stakeholders and customers.

How Does Strengths Relate to Agile?
Jim Highsmith writes, “Agile Software Development Ecosystems are designed to capitalize on each individual’s and each team’s unique strengths.” and also that “developing each individual’s capabilities” is a key contribution to project success. In the spirit of agile, working with others according to their strengths is part of valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools. And adding the strengths paradigm to agile project management addresses several key points from the Agile Project Leaders Network Wiki of Knowledge, such as:
  • Individual Leadership Style - Involving the team in determining the way they work
  • Handling Team Dynamics - Encouraging individuals to self select tasks
  • How to generate an open environment where people feel safe to express themselves.

Aren’t We Already Doing This?
Agile leaders should use a strengths-based approach as a tool, but don’t often do. Most people don’t know how to identify their strengths at a granularity that is practical and helpful. Those that do most likely don’t know how to make changes in how they work that enables them to capitalize on those strengths.

Strengths Is Not a Silver Bullet, But an Agile Accelerator Tool
In terms of in terms of productivity, profitability and employee retention, managers using a strengths approach had a 86% greater success rate than other managers. Strengths-based teams performed 44% better. But the most powerful benefit of the strengths movement is when agile leaders use it.

NOTE: Depending on group consensus, have a separate short session or workshop where the group takes Gallup's StrengthsFinder assessment. The results could be discussed, and attendees could then come to this workshop knowing their strenths profile.

Facilitated a discussion on my experiences of introducing a strengths-based approach within a Scrum team at the individual level, listing team members’ specific strengths (with descriptions) and creation of new team roles tailored to allow each member to play to their strengths.

I. Samples of My Agile Strengths Implementation Experience
  1. Team Member A has Strengths of ‘Focus’, ‘Deliberative’ and ‘Competitive’
  2. Team Member B Goes From Impractical Complainer to Responsible, Driving Junior ScrumMaster
  3. Team Finally Understands Team Member C, Because of Her Strengths
II. Review how to leverage strengths for better performance from ourselves and our teams. We would discuss:
  1. Strengths themes vs. granular strengths
  2. How to grow your strengths week by week
  3. Ways to leverage the power of the agile + strengths combination
  4. What if there is lots of overlap or gaps?
Finally, discuss how my efforts and experience coaching and influencing the organization in both agile and strengths, and the parallels of improved communication and collaboration.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Leadership is Simple, But Not Easy

As posted on the Mavericks at Work blog, leadership is simple but not easy. Same with agile. In the end, all you can continually do without being fueled by results is to be the change you want to be.

What makes Southwest Airlines successful has been studied, written about and public knowledge for years, as mentioned in the Mavericks blog here and here. But companies still don't (or can't) do what Southwest does.

The success of agile has been studied, written about and public knowledge for years, but companies, and even teams, still don't (or culturally can't) do it. The barriers I've seen are mainly letting go of control and trusting others.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Agile Worldview Quotes - Scattering Seeds

I just read in Mike Beedle and Ken Schwaber's Agile Software Development with Scrum that "Scrum represents a competing worldview when compared to the many other styles of software development or business organization." I've never heard the term "worldview" associated with anything in software development, but I fully agree.

Agile isn't just about how a team of developers builds something, it's reaches into the business - how the team works with the other departments, how the business must have a single voice and must prioritize requests.

Something I've found useful is to include in all of my email random quotes I've saved which reflect this worldview. The program I use is Qliner Quotes, and its free.

Here is a sample of some of the quotes:

I'm going to make mistakes, but I've got to be able to look myself in the mirror and say to myself that I believed in that decision and mistakes are okay. And once I make those mistakes I can adapt and change. - Frank Addante interview on Venture Voice

Companies with the most values based critiques of their industries often turn out to be the savviest and most aggressive competitors. - Taylor and LaBarre, Mavericks at Work

Saying smart things and giving smart answers are important. Learning to listen to others and to ask smart questions is more important.  - Bob Sutton, Professor of Management Science at Stanford University

Core values are not something people "buy in" to. Executives often ask me, "How do we get people to share our core values?" You don't. Instead, the task is to find people who are already predisposed to sharing your core values. You must attract and then retain these people and let those who aren't predisposed to sharing your core values go elsewhere. - Jim Collins, Good to Great

Courage in Scrum isn't a visible, tangible thing. It is not some kind or romantic heroism. Instead, it is having the guts, the determination, to do the best you can. It's the stubbornness not to give up, but to figure out how to meet commitments. This type of courage is gritty, not glorious. - Mike Beedle, Agile Software Development with Scrum

Harmony itself is good, I suppose, if it comes as a result of working through issues constantly and cycling through conflict. But if it comes only as a result of people holding back their opinions and honest concerns, then it's a bad thing.  - Patrick Lencioni, Five Dysfunctions of a Team

When I'm building a team, I look for people who love to win. If I can't find those, I look for people who hate to lose. I want people around me who have passion. - Mark Beeson

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. - General George S. Patton

Excellent firms don't believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change. - Tom Peters

A manager must be able to do four activities extremely well: select a person, set expectations, motivate the person, develop the person. The manager role is the catalyst role. - Marcus Buckingham and Curt W. Coffman, First Break All the Rules

In the world according to great managers, the employee is the star.  The manager is the agent.  And, as in the world of performing arts, the agent expects a great deal from his stars. - Marcus Buckingham and Curt W. Coffman, First Break All the Rules

Are you going to take the risk to be different? Because no one is drawn to ordinary or average. And if you're willing to be different, be warned. Leaders are always controversial. Followers fit in. - T.D. Jakes

To succeed, a project relies on information from very different people: on one side are customers; on the other side is the technical team. If either side dominates these communications, the project loses. - Mike Cohn

A key role servant leaders often play is facilitating necessary changes. As a result, it's imperative that these leaders recognize there are four levels of change that vary in degrees of difficulty and time: knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and organizational change. The last one is the most difficult, because now you're attempting to influence the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of multiple people. - Ken Blanchard

"The record for successful software projects is dismal indeed, but there's a new kid on the block: agile programming. Agile principles include flexibility, teamwork, trust, and reflection. But sadly, these environments are few and far between." - CIO.com

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Changes in Online Advertising

I was training a new project team member on how the advertising works on my company's website, all as part of a project to migrate the site to a new content management system. He wasn't aware of the business behind the banner ads that our users see when the visit our site.

Just this year, Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Microsoft bought aQuantive for $6 billion. AOL buys Quigo for $340 million. Why such big purchases? In part because internet advertising is expected to top $27 billion this year, and there are a lot of people and companies who would like to make advertising money from all the advertisers. But picture the stock market and other financial markets. I might want to invest some savings I have, but I wouldn't do it myself. The most cost-efficient (and time-efficient) is to work with a broker who will make the transaction. Ad networks act the same as the broker - taking the money to be invested by the advertiser and spending where it will have returns most likely to make the advertiser happy.

In my broker analogy, I might want my money to go into options, or environmentally friendly companies only. The broker would then be limited to some markets (Chicago Board of Options Exchange) or need to know companies in several markets that represent a given sector. In the same way, some ad networks only provide a certain format of advertising (video on VideoEgg, or text links through Google's AdSense), while some ad networks specialize on demographic (Hispanic sites and visitors through HispanoClick).

In my experience with DoubleClick's DART for Publishers, we focus on where we want ads to be displayed on our site. You can add ad networks (which provides the ads themselves) through DART, as well as schedule and manage the ad campaigns.

To implement online ads, we first define how many ads will be on a given page, and what dimensions the ads will be. We give each of these ad slots an ID, and then place the same number of code\tags, each with its own ID, into our webpage (see the nice overview on Google's Ad Manager here). Now when we load our webpage, the tags call out to the ad server, which returns an ad. The ad server also tracks which ads where server where and when, and which were clicked.

Part of the business opportunity is that these ad networks take a cut of the money coming from the source (advertiser) to the destination (publisher site where ad displayed). Part of the business problem is that publisher want the best paying ads, but aren't in control of which ads come trough and their pay rate. Ideally, publishers would cut out the middle man, but managing and serving ads is challenging, while calling all the advertisers and lining up the deals is time consuming.

If we want to try and manage the ad serving with a tool, there are free ad management solutions (Google's Ad Manager for one). There are also now meta ad servers that sit between the publisher and the ad network. These applications work with many ad networks, while gathering statistics on ad performance and even making recommendations (see The Rubicon Project for an example).

Monday, March 31, 2008

Comparing Mingle and ScrumWorks Agile Scrum Project Management Software

Thanks to a recommendation, I'm now using Mingle. I've found it easier to use than ScrumWorks and Excel for managing the product backlog, sprints, user stories, and tasks. My favorite feature is the ability to group stories and tasks by sprint, each card color coded to reflect status, and you can drag the cards into other sprints.

One draw back is that it's hard to beat the visibility and energy of Post-It cards on the wall in status swimlanes, but you also can't export the Post-Its into an Excel sheet to send to management for a quick status report.

Each project management tool I've tried has it's drawbacks.
  1. The Excel worksheet with stories, tasks and burndown was labor intensive to set-up or change very much, and often confused newcomers to the team.
  2. ScrumWorks is not intuitive, and couldn't show burndown on partially complete stories and tasks.
  3. The Post-Its can't be mass-updated, reported on, nor accessed remotely.
  4. Mingle doesn't have a burn-down (that I found, although rel 1.1 is said to have one), and performance is pretty bad.

Right now, the customer likes to see the project overview, and Mingle provides that at-a-glance better than the others, so I'll be sticking with Mingle for now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Office Developer Conference - ODC 2008

Some notes from the Microsoft Office Developer Conference (ODC 2008) in San Jose -

I was most impressed with InfoPath 2007. It allows for simple creation of forms for data entry or lookup without code, while allowing access to workflow and .net object model for coding if required. I also read how designers and developers are using it for prototyping user experience (UX) on new sites, applications and features. This sounds good, given that you can build a page in a couple minutes that accesses and displays real data.

InfoPath and SharePoint, and any custom programming, can use Windows Workflow to automate emails, task or list creation, and follow-up actions. The assignee of an IT Ticket can have a task created and assigned to them, as well as sent follow-up emails including escalation until the ticket is completed. Also, you can publish InfoPath forms to SharePoint to be accessed as webpages. No need for InfoPath on every desktop.

Visual Studio 2008 is geared to leverage SharePoint for .Net developers, both with access to workflow, workflow templates, tools to simplify building and deploying new features. SharePoint Service Pack 1.1 just came out, and it’s loaded – almost a Service Pack 2.0 release.

A new XML standard allows sharing data across the Office applications, and allows customization of the ribbon in those apps. Microsoft recommends keeping office workers in the applications they are familiar with, rather than go to other, separate apps to do parts of their job. Examples include the AdSage add-in, and the Xobni Outlook plug-in (http://www.xobni.com/learnmore/). Lot's of talk of the user experience as "contextual" or "immersed". For example, if most the the information a user (typically an information worker) is doing is in, they shouldn't have to leave Outlook to use another application to get related information or do a related task, such check the status of a task specified in an email or send a fax of a document attached to an email.

SharePoint has been used to build applications for a New Hire Process, a Project Management app for cross-functional (matrix) organization, a network sppt and monitoring solution, and Sales Generator. These rough apps were each built overnight by teams of three .Net developers trained for only one day in SharePoint.

CRM Live, at $60 per user, might be a good option for sales force automation (SFA) needs of most small to medium sized businesses. See http://crm.dynamics.com/ for more information.

Gartner recently announced MS BI Platform is now in the "magic quadrant" of being an industry leader. It is matching up well against big players like IBM/Cognos and Oracle. Microsoft's strong recommendation is to use Excel and Excel Services as the end-users BI tool. Report Services can be difficult to implement due to multiple security layers. For the first BI project, put all software and data on one machine and go for the smallest data domain possible.

Speakers recommended a number of tools, templates and helper applications on CodePlex. CodePlex was likened to SourceForge for Microsoft apps. See http://www.codeplex.com/Project/ProjectDirectory.aspx?ProjectSearchText=moss for an example of user contributions for WSS and MOSS SharePoint development. Most teams should first review what's out there before building any new applications.

What companies can do with these new tools and functionality depends on their company's priorities. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and actions items could be:
1. Increase revenue - Leverage the AdSage\AdCenter Excel Plugin for keyword and campaign analysis. See http://advertising.microsoft.com/advertising/addin-demos .
2. Control spend - Automate and simplify expense reports
3. Gain customers - Flow customer feedback to site and Customer Service into key performance indicators and analytics
4. Retain existing customers - Automate reports on customer email, comments or other Customer Service data capture of feedback
5. Increase productivity for Sales, Operations, SEO, Editorial, Customer Service and IT
6. Streamline 3rd party interaction and interfaces
7. Automate and simplify business reporting with scorecards and key performance indicators
8. Allow drill-down and trend analysis of business data

The 2007/2008 toolset allows a greater ability to deliver on all of these items.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Resources from Code Camp Presentations

Below are links from my presentations this winter at Code Camp.

The outline for the presentation Improve Your Management and Leadership is located here.

The books referenced in the presentation are:

I also referenced Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

All of these authors have spoken at The Leadership Summit and their presentations may be available through that store.

I also briefly mentioned a book on metrics. My blog post on that is here, and the book is Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management.

The outline for Sunday's presentation Combine Agile with Your Strengths is located here and the slideshow is shared over the web on SlideShare here. The books mentioned include First Break All the Rules and Now Discover Your Strengths, linked above, as well as StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Go, Put Your Strengths To Work (on Google Books, so you can read parts of it).

I previously wrote a fairly thorough summary (certainly not an elevator speech) of the business value of using a strengths-based approach here.