Conference Day 1
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 – Conference Sessions
Registersoon before the conference is sold out.
9:00am – 10:30am Chet RichardsWe are so accustomed to regarding agility as the key source of competitive advantage that it’s useful to remember that it wasn’t always so. Not that many years ago, size was considered the biggest advantage a company (or army) could have. So it was said that “God marches on the side of the big battalions,” and in business, “strategy” was virtually synonymous with “growth strategy.” Deep in our hearts, we’ve known that it isn’t true. More than 2,500 years ago, the Sun Tzu book proclaimed that numbers alone confer no advantage. And the carnage in America’s automobile industry should convince anyone that being big is no guarantee of survival. Isn’t it interesting that General Motors seems to get more competitive the more it shrinks? About 40 years ago, an American Air Force colonel, John Boyd, was charged with developing new tactics and recommending new types of fighters. After several years, his investigation broadened into what made military forces effective. In other words, what defined a winning army or air force, as contrasted with simply a better tank or aircraft? He found that while physical factors like numbers and technology are not unimportant, many of the greatest generals defeated larger and better equipped opponents time after time. But they did it by outthinking their opponents, rather than outslugging them. By looking at 2500 years of military history, Boyd identified a common thread, which he called “operating inside their OODA loops” and which we refer to as “agility.” For agile commanders, size was virtually irrelevant; agility, or more accurately, becoming more agile than their opponents, fulfilled Sun Tzu’s promise by making them “certain to win.” Over the next 15 years, Boyd developed and refined his theory, briefed it hundreds of times, and debated with anyone he could lure into his Pentagon office. He concluded that in order to become agile, the greatest commanders developed a deep understanding, an intuitive feel, for a certain small set of concepts. “Operating inside opponents’ OODA loops” is one of these, and the others are complementary. Commanders who develop a deep understanding of these concepts, combined with their own experience and experimenting, will demonstrate the mental agility to seize the initiative and exploit chaos on the battlefield. This presentation will examine several of Boyd’s concepts that apply to any organization, not just military units. As in war, those who develop a deep understanding of these concepts, augmented by their own experience, will create ideas for improving their organizations’ performance that are vastly more powerful than anything they could achieve by implementing methodologies invented by others.
- The site that has all the Boyd presentations: http://dnipogo.org/john-r-boyd/
- Chet’s personal site, where he blogs on some of these topics: http://fasttransients.wordpress.com/
- The slides of the presentation are here
11:00am – 12:30pm Chris Sterling, Brent BartonAgile software development methods have reached mainstream level adoption worldwide. Organizations significantly benefitting from their Agile adoptions are much fewer. Yet many continue to pursue Agile because of the perceived opportunity. Agile provides value to organizations because of its ability to support adaptive planning which is vital to the changing needs of organizations. Also, Agile asks that teams doing the work assert and demonstrate acceptable quality. Strategic planners with software initiatives in their portfolios need to incorporate the opportunities adaptive planning provides to maximize value and realize the benefits Agile has to offer. This is easily said but hard to do well. Most portfolios have a hard time adapting to changing conditions even when it is the right approach to take. Agile initiatives must be able to translate their outcomes into business language, dollars and dates. AgileEVM is a rigorous method that helps translate between velocity, quality and backlogs into effective decision processes that help strategic planners be more value-driven than cost-managed without restricting agility. Our talk will show how strategic planners can use AgileEVM to support more effective project portfolio decision-making and help companies leverage Agile teams to their fullest. And in doing so, reduce the overhead of managing up for Agile teams.
11:00am – 12:30pm Jonathan KohlExploratory testing: simultaneous test design, execution, and learning, is a popular approach to testing traditional application software. When you start testing mobile apps, it’s tempting to just apply same methods and techniques that you are used to using. Although some concepts transfer directly, testing mobile applications presents special challenges. Jonathan Kohl shares his experiences with testing mobile apps, which can provide different challenges such as dealing with small screens, different input devices, less processing power and communication issues. Join Jonathan and learn from is experience testing mobile applications, so you can start your mobile testing project with confidence.
11:00am – 12:30pm Esther DerbyAgile methods have the potential to increase the productivity of teams. But no method can solve business problems unless you also address management. So how does management need to change when companies adopt agile methods and look for the benefits of the team effect? Managers need steer clear of out of the fatal trap of oscillating between over-controlling and under-bounding the team. To avoid the trap, managers need to do three things.
- Renegotiate their relationship with the team,
- Share contextual knowledge with the team & gain a deeper understanding of how the work works
- Shift their focus to working on the work as a system
Esther will tell managers how to do all three. Slides
1:30pm – 3:00pm Gerard MeszarosMany agile methodologies assume a customer (or product owner) walks into the room with a swack of money and a pile of story cards and tells the development team to start building the functionality described on the top few cards. In reality, it rarely happens this way, and when it does, the project is in trouble from day one. This session provides an overview of what needs to go on “behind the scenes” between when a project is conceived and when agile development can start in earnest. It identifies the minimal set of artifacts that may need to be produced, whether and when they should be produced, which activities can be used to produce them and who should be involved in those activities. The artifacts and activities are light weight but very high in value and help ensure the project gets off to a good start with a minimum of surprises.
1:30pm – 3:00pm Eric RidgewayDo you want to know what this NoSql movement currently storming the development community and cutting edge businesses is? Why should you care? How does it help you get home for dinner? How will it help you generate higher profits? We'll try to answer all of these questions and more as we go splunking in the world of Document databases and key value stores. We'll cover the basics of NoSql and then we will talk about some of the choices of implemenatation. We'll see some demos that express the simplicity of NoSql and the power of a datastore that just "does". We'll discuss how document databases can change the way we think about data and where we can put these tools to use in organizations today. We'll also take a look at where its being used in production today. No presenation would be complete without a little love for LINQ and we have it, lots of it!
1:30pm – 3:00pm Johanna RothmanChange happens to us all the time. Normally, it happens so slowly that we don't particularly notice. Sometimes the change happens so quickly that we do notice. My life changed in September 2009. With sudden hearing loss and constant vertigo, life became more challenging. I learned to ask for help; to accept that I can’t control everything; to see what's really going on; to see the current state so and to envision where I want to go. I'm adapting how I work, live, and travel so that I can be successful. Things have changed; adapting has allowed me to continue to live, work and enjoy my life. In whatever way your organization is growing and evolving, your role and activities will change. Irrespective of your changes, you must adapt to the new challenges. It may be a move to Agile or working with partners and other teams who are adopting new ways of working. For some of you, these changes and challenges may be subtle. For others, such as BAs, PMs , or managers, moving to Agile can feel like a 2 by 4 that connects with your head! How do you adapt to ensure continued success? I'll discuss change, how you can use it to create an adaptable life, and how you can make choices that can work for you and your organization.
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Christine Callaghan/Abhishek SwamiThis experience report will describe the work of two analysts in parallel Agile pilot projects at McKesson Medical Imaging Group. We will discuss the unique challenges of adopting Scrum methodology in an industry with strict regulatory standards and long validation and release cycles. We will talk about how the pilot projects attempted to map scrum techniques into a RUP-style development environment and specifically, the challenges faced in requirements management, user interface design, and validation.
Barbara HubertProject Management for Self Actualized teams Benefits of Project Savvy teams:
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Increased Earned Value
- Improved team performance
What participants will expect get out of it:
- Learning Materials
Structure of the Interactive Presenation:
- Introduction and Objectives
- Quick Quiz:. “How project savvy is your team“
As each question is posed I will look to the audience for answers. The questions will explore each of the PMI knowledge areas and be structured as follows:
- Present each PMI knowledge area conceptually
- For each of the knowledge area, Quizz audience using using a multiple choice question that asks about a tactical execution—For example, what would communications management look like in situation X? Answer A, B, or C.
- Ask audience for responses and discuss the merrits of each response
- After audience has given some answers, provide the correct answer
- Provide a lesson learned example of how each knowledge area looks from a tactical Agile Project Perspective.
For each knowledge area I will gift a book to a participant who answers during the Quizz . For example, for the people management knowledge area I might give away Peopleware, then tie some of the concepts from the book to both Agile and PMI. AND, I do literally have an agile or agile-minded book for every PMI knowledge area that I think will benefit fellow PMs (not just trying to clean out my old books!!). Take aways will be:
- Tools (for example team skills assessment matrix)
- Power Point
- Knowledge transfer
3:30pm – 5:00pm Donald BelchamIn all applications you will find cross cutting concerns. Those are pieces of code that don’t properly fit into one layer of the application, but instead are used by many of the layers. The canonical example of this is logging, but there are others such as performance monitoring and auditing. This session is going to discuss what AOP is plus look at some of the tools and techniques that can be used to implement it in your application resulting in a cleaner codebase.
3:30pm – 5:00pm Linda Rising (Presentation) Some observers of historical trends have suggested that the Industrial Revolution could not have happened without coffee and tea. Heating water for a daily jolt of caffeine enabled workers to be more in control of their waking hours and also to have longer lives because drinking water that has been boiled means the consumer is less likely to swallow the toxic soup that early water supplies presented for consumption. Control of working and waking is what the Industrial Age was all about. Is it time for a truly agile approach to how we work and live our lives? What would that mean? No coffee/tea/Diet Coke/Red Bull? What are the real penalties we are paying for force fitting Industrial Age (plan-driven) living into agile development? Is there really a way to have it all? What's the best way to be happy and healthy and productive? Slides