Agile Alliance Board of Directors Election

The Agile Alliance Board Nominations Committee has submitted a list of proposed candidates and candidate statements for consideration by Agile Alliance members.  These nominees will appear on the upcoming email ballot which will be sent to all Agile Alliance members. Voting will continue through Wednesday evening, August 11, 2010 – the evening of the Annual Agile Alliance Member meeting. The member meeting will be held at the Dolphin Hotel at Disney World in Orlando, Florida starting at 6:00 pm EDT.

Candidate Statements

Linda M. Cook – USA

Like many other Agilest, I started my career writing software. My IT career spans many technologies, industries, and roles. For example, I was the Director of Software Development at an international education services organization responsible for multiple development teams using the latest web technologies. Today, I’m the Agile Practice Coach at a major Healthcare IT organization.

Regardless of my role, I’ve always had the desire to find better and more effective ways to solve business problems with IT solutions. My passion is working with people to help them find the best way to deliver great products. For me, how we work as a team is an essential ingredient of a great work experience. As a coach, I strive to help individuals achieve their role on the team and even outpace their own expectations.

I’ve helped Fortune 500 companies successfully adopt Agile and Lean practices including SCRUM, XP, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen, and others. For the past few years, I’ve been invited to speak at local and national events speaking about Agile Transformation, Scrum, and Kanban.

One of the aspects of my work that I enjoy is the opportunity for lifelong learning and sharing what I’ve learned with others. I adapted my Lean Six Sigma training and developed a 5S Process workshop. In this workshop, the team members re-purposed a mixed-use conference room to a functional agile team room by applying these practices.

I’ve been actively involved in many non-profit and not for profit organizations. My volunteer work includes: APLN Board member, helped organize several APLN Summits, Agile Coach Camp Raleigh, NC 2010, Volunteer Coordinator for CWIT at the University of Maryland, and Co-chair of the APLN Maryland Chapter.

As a board member of the Agile Alliance, I want to be a force for bringing together the various Agile organizations to collaborate and to share Agile practices around the globe. . The true strength of the Agile community is the values we share. While we have developed significant expertise in software development, there is a lot of opportunity to bring Agile values, processes, and practices to businesses and leaders.

Samuel Crescêncio – Brazil

In 2010 I’m completing 16 years of a challenging career in the IT industry. This career is clearly split in two parts – before and after 2003, when I was introduced to Lean/Agile. My experience with agile really transformed my life and the life of several people who I had the pleasure to inspire. Since I’ve learned Lean/Agile and proved that it works, I started stimulating people around me to engage this mind-set. Jointly with the agile mind-set, I’ve learned the power of the relationship. Better than delivering the best possible software product, is to see people who have built it, happy and proud of their work. That’s my endless pursuing now, and the way I’ve found to do that is by building trustful and strong relationships.

I’m founder and current CEO of OnCast Technologies (oncast.com.br), a company that was created to make people happy through the delivery of the best possible software. And we’ve been able to do that over the past 4 years. At OnCast, we’ve created a culture where our people and therefore the people from our clients are our most important asset. We’ve been learning a lot and the seek for improvements never ends. Apart from applying internally what we’ve learned, our professionals are frequently engaged in helping other companies to adopt agile, whether it is done through our coaching services or when they are speaking at agile conferences.

I’m also a frequent speaker and organizer of agile conferences. In 2009, I had the pleasure to be Chairman of Ágiles 2009, the second and major Latin American Agile Conference. The success of that conference is credited to the very capable team of volunteers and organizers, who I relished to work with. Currently, I’m member of the organization committee of Agile Brazil 2010 – the major Brazilian Agile Conference, and Ágiles 2010, the third edition of the Latin American Agile Conference, which will take place in Lima – Peru, on October. All these engagements are volunteered work. That’s my way to help other people to enjoy the same benefits of agile which changed my life.

In 2007 I applied to the Agile Alliance Board of Directors. Unfortunately, I couldn’t jump into the board due to lack of votes. I still believe that my personal goals, values and principles match the goals, values and principles of Agile Alliance. As a member of the board, my goal will be to join efforts in order to further the accomplishing of the mission of Agile Alliance. The agile community has grown a lot, specially in Brazil, but yet we have a lot to do. The majority of companies that develop software in Brazil, and I believe all around the world, are still suffering with mediocre results. I want to help changing that by serving the Agile Alliance Board of Directors.

Paul Culling – Canada

I was surprised (and honored) when Philippe Kruchten and my fellow board members of Agile Vancouver asked if they could nominate me for the Agile Alliance board two years ago and even more surprised when I was elected during the 2008 election. I have since served on the board of the Agile Alliance for the past two years and have been on the board of my local user group, Agile Vancouver, for the past four + years helping organize monthly Agile events and four successful conferences in the Vancouver area. I am a trained innovation games facilitator and experienced in open space facilitation. I have worked extensively with Agile community groups at local, regional and international levels and am the founder and editor of the Agile Chronicles newsletter for VersionOne. With the support of VersionOne I developed the AgilePalooza program where we run single day agile conferences in different communities around North America with our first event in Europe coming in September of 2010. Through my work with Agile Vancouver and many of the other groups I have worked with, I have learned the many and varied needs these groups have in their quest to start, grow and succeed in creating active user communities. I believe I am in a unique position to evangelize the programs and activities of the Agile Alliance and would continue to bring new ideas and energy to the board with respect to the support of the Agile community as a whole. I am a technology marketing professional with 17 years experience in the development and marketing of both packaged and service based offerings. As part of my role as Director of Marketing at VersionOne, I have worked as part of a team using the scrum framework outside of a development environment. Working from Vancouver, BC with the majority of the team in Atlanta, Georgia, I also have first-hand experience with distributed Agile practices.

I believe I make me an ideal candidate for a board position because:

  • I am both personally and professionally dedicated to the growth of Agile communities,
  • I have a proven ability to park my employer allegiances at the door when necessary, and
  • I have an employer that recognizes my potential time commitment to the Agile Alliance as an important contribution to our community.

Jim Newkirk – USA

In 1999 I was reading a draft of a book that Robert Martin had sent to me to look over. This draft was “Extreme Programming Explained”. Later that year I had the privilege of working with Kent Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Martin Fowler on Object Mentor’s XP Immersion training class. Putting together the class and working directly with these thought leaders really changed my perceptions of how software could be constructed. What really hit home for me was the pages on values and the importance of values in the software development process. These values included, Feedback, Simplicity, Communication, and Courage. In my previous work with regard to software process it always seemed to be about practices and things you must do. I believe that a focus on values is critical to the long term success of the Agile Community. If we turn agile into a bunch of practices that someone just does we have lost an opportunity to change the way that software is developed.

I am currently employed at Microsoft where I work on a number of things related to Agile Development. I continue to work in the unit testing space. Prior to working for Microsoft I lead the development of NUnit 2.0. At Microsoft I have worked on a new unit testing tool called xUnit.net. My team employs a combination of Scrum and XP that releases new updates to websites (MSDN, CodePlex, Connect) every 3 weeks. In addition to Microsoft I also work as an advisor to the Scrum Alliance on their Developer Certification Program. Last but not least, this past year I have had the honor of being the chair of the Agile2010 conference. The chair of the conference is a board member for the year during the conference and it has given me great insight into the board and its inner workings.

I believe I make a great candidate for a board due to the following:

  • I have been involved with agile development community for almost 10 years.
  • I continue to speak at various conferences throughout the world on unit testing and in general, Agile Development.
  • Demonstrated by the amount of time that was required to be the conference chair my employer continues to believe that dedicating the time required for board service is important contribution to our community.

Pat Reed – USA

What I do: I lead IT Strategy and Delivery Management (including project, portfolio, release and vendor management, IT Finance, SOX (Sarbanes Oxley) and general computer controls compliance) for a major international retail company e-commerce division and teach Agile software development and principles and practices at several universities as an adjunct professor. I’m currently designing, developing and teaching an Agile Management program targeted for mid level managers across industries beyond software and the tech sector.

Background: I started my career over 30 years ago as a behavioral psychologist in community mental health with expertise in program evaluation and concurrently as an adjunct professor teaching statistical analysis at the graduate level. I was recruited into the field of Criminal Justice, leading to a career in Criminal Intelligence (as a programmer analyst, systems engineer and data base administrator); which led to a 20 year career in Entertainment (starting as a programmer analyst at the Walt Disney Company to Executive Director at Walt Disney Pictures and Television; and Universal Studios Motion Picture Group)....teaching, practicing and promoting lean and agile principles and practices all along the way.

I co-founded the PMI (Project Management Institute) Agile Virtual Community and am a leader in PMI’s Knowledge Content Community of practice, as well as an active member of the Bay Area Project Leadership Network and Northern California Open Space community; and also producing the Business Transformation Stage at the 2010 Agile conference. I welcome opportunities to promote agile practices through speaking engagements, expert panels, presentations and clinics.

My take on Agile: Agile values and principles have transformational potential far beyond software development. They are simple and powerful – yet surprisingly difficult to effectively implement and even more challenging to sustain. Mastery is illusive and there is a high risk of value erosion (and failure) if we apply proven Agile methods indiscriminately across projects or in organizations without regard to “fit” or “readiness”; or if we go through the motions of retrospectives but fail to really learn and adapt from iteration to iteration. It’s the challenge of balancing and leveraging these constraints to gain the full potential of Agile to create value (for a project, an individual or an organization) that is so compelling (and equally rewarding).

Why run for the board: I believe in the transformational potential of Agile and am passionate about responsibly helping individuals and organizations learn and leverage Agile principles and practices to their full potential.

How will I contribute to the board: I’ve become an accidental thought leader in the areas of Agile Software Capitalization and accounting practices, compliance, auditing, portfolio management and value engineering, which aren’t particularly compelling, but critical to true, large-scale, enterprise adoption of agile. With a background in behavioral psychology, and 30+ years of delivering cutting edge software products, developing high performance teams and teaching (artificial intelligence, systems analysis & design, business process re-engineering, total quality management and a number of programming classes), I have a deep understanding of people, teams, systems, learning and change. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and domain expertise in these areas to promote Agile practices beyond software development and enable business transformation.

Tamara Sulaiman – USA

In the last two years as a board member of the Agile Alliance I have learned and grown through my contribution to the board. I’ve found it stimulating, engaging, thought provoking and hard work. My first term focused on learning the focus and span of activities of the Agile Alliance, how the Board worked together, and defining ways that I could contribute to the community. I feel that as a Board we have made great strides in meeting our mission, in particular with the Agile Alliance roadmap and with the increasing profile of the Agile Alliance within the Agile community and the software community at large.

Two of the areas that I, together with other board members, concentrated on in my first term included working to develop expanded community relations with other organizations within the Agile community, and expanding internationalization of the Agile Alliance around the globe. It has been satisfying work, and the work is not complete.

With the support of my employer and my team of Agile coaches I am running for a second term on the board of the Agile Alliance. In a second term I hope to continue with the work of establishing and strengthening the relationships of the Agile Alliance within the Agile community; and on outreach of the Agile Alliance to other parts of the world, supporting the growth of Agile software development.

I believe that I am a good candidate for the board because:

  • I have personal passion and am willing to work to contribute to the growth of the Agile Alliance and the Agile community.
  • I am experienced in working with large groups of people to help them move towards common goals, staying true to the Agile values and principles that we believe in.
  • I am a member of multiple professional communities – as a member of the Scrum Alliance and a Certified Scrum trainer, and a member of PMI as a PMP, I help different groups understand and work with each other to better serve our mutual communities.
  • With the experience of the last two years, I can help provide continuity to a board that has two long-term board members stepping down.

I am currently employed as a Agile coach and Scrum trainer at CollabNet, Inc. Prior to this I was Managing Consultant at Applied Scrum where I focused on coaching teams and organizations transitioning to Agile software development. I bring over 25 years of experience in management across a spectrum of industries including: information technology, construction, international development and education to her consulting expertise.

Since 2003 I have assisted teams in transitioning to agile methods both as a hands-on ScrumMaster and as an Agile coach and Scrum trainer. I have worked with teams in geographically distributed environments and bring myextensive international experience into my mentoring and coaching. As a Managing Consultant, Trainer, Coach ScrumMaster, and Project Manager I am focused on coaching teams to effectively provide value to key stakeholders and customers through the frequent delivery of software. My passion lies in helping organizations plan and implement Agile transitions at the program level.

I am is the co-originator of the AgileEVM materials and processes that integrate the traditional project management practice of Earned Value Management with the Scrum framework. As a thought leader, I continue to publish articles on Agile related topics I also shares my experiences, ideas and expertise as a presenter and speaker at conferences.