Friday, August 02, 2013

My Agile2013 Recommendations

Here's my recommendations for sessions at the Agile2013 conference next week. -

Creating and Sustaining High-Performance Teams through Team Cultural Understanding (Peter Saddington)
Peter has done and pulled together fascinating work related to the the science of teams and personality testing. On top of that, he is a VERY energetic, passionate and charismatic speaker. This session is already full!

What is Devops? (John Willis) DevOps has a lot to offer pure agilists, and brings a new and beneficial mindset and solutions to operations and the dev-to-operations mindset.

User Story Mapping in Practice (Steve Rogalsky) If you've never done user story mapping (Product Owners!), it is a great, powerful tool for the team to see the whole and to carve out cohesive, complete and minimal releases.

Self-Service Build and Deployment at Netflix (Gareth Bowles) If you want to hear about DevOps in real life, this would be a great spot to be.

Conflict Facilitation as a Leadership Skill: A Systems Approach for Leaders & Coaches (Michael Spayd, Lyssa Adkins) Lyssa Adkins is both a Certified Scrum Coach and certified with the International Coaches Federation, as well as the author of the often recommended book Coaching Agile Teams. If you haven't put your toe in the waters of coaching, this would be a great session to check out.

Designing Empathy--Learning to Walk in Your Customer's Shoes (Jean Tabaka, Robyn Mourning) Empathy is gaining attention in the business world for the value it brings, and the work at Stanford's d.School is cutting edge and making an impact.

Empirical Leadership: Proven Alternatives to Agile for Executives (Christopher Avery) Getting management's support is key, and being able to speak their language is a huge advantage. Christopher Avery knows his stuff. Take the opportunity to expose yourself to his work and ideas.

The Agile Cognitive Bias: How our internal models affect the problems and solutions we see (Manoj Vadakkan, Bob Payne) We bring in biases continually, typically unaware. The little time I have spent in this area has been very rewarding. Additionally, I respect the work that Manoj and Bob have done, and them personally as well, serving the agile community and others.

The Storytelling Battle : To Lead A Change , Create Its Story (Oana Juncu) The feedback (and requests) I often get in my classes are about the real life stories. Most of us in IT, though, often try to win people over, or arguments, with only logic, and even then by often relating to theoretical situations. Much more powerful to tell stories, and this is an area where a little time spent will add a lot of value.

Agile Requirements & Product Management (Jeff Patton) Jeff Patton is THE Agile Product Management guy, scary smart, and one person's you just HAVE to do.

So You Want to Do a Startup! (Abby Fichtner) You may not be starting a company, but this is a great session to hear about Lean Start-up, which I believe is one of the next big waves.

Agile at scale at Spotify (Joakim Sundén, Anders Ivarsson) Spotify has been very successful as a business, and their means of scaling has been interesting and already a pattern used by other companies. Definitely worth hearing their story.

Active Listening for Agile Coaches (Chris Sims) ScrumMasters, go! I used to touch on this in my Certified ScrumMaster class, but an hour deep dive is the way to go, and Chris is a great, interactive, funny and knowledgeable presenter.

Leading Agile Engineering: Helping Your Team Improve Its Ability to Ship Software (Arlo Belshee, James Shore) I think James Shore is one of the top experts in this area, one that all developers and ScrumMasters should be aware of and growing in. James and Arlo are also dynamic, often hilarious and irreverent, presenters.

Be Agile. Scale Up. Stay Lean. (Dean Leffingwell) Covering the Scaled Agile Framework, this is a session that gives an overview of an approach, framework and tools that are a proven solution to scaling. There is some controversy over adding some prescriptive process to Scrum, but many Late Adopter stage companies appreciate and do better with more structure and guidance.

Lean Leadership - How to change as a manager from expert to coach (Ed Kraay) Ed, Agile Coach at Yahoo! is great, unbelievably smart and well read, and is very well liked and respected in his company and the agile community. He has a lot of good stuff to share, so take the opportunity if you can to get hear what he has to share.

Experimenting in the Enterprise (David Bland, Brian Bozzuto) Great topic on doing Lean Start-up in large companies. David Bland is a expert with proven success at this amazing new field, and Brian is a ridiculously good enterprise agile coach. Not to be missed. Heck, I'd go listen to them talk about raising chickens. 

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