Tracks

August 5 – 9   |  Gaylord National |   Washington, D.C.

AGILE2019 TRACKS

Sessions are distributed into tracks to help you find sessions about particular topics.

The tracks and track organizers are listed below.

Agile Companies

Co-Chairs : Tim Gifford & Evan Leybourn

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Agile Companies

An organization’s ability to adapt to changes the market is always limited by its agility. Thirty years ago, it was our software teams. New processes, bureaucracy, and governance were created to compensate for the software crisis of the 1960’s and teams couldn’t cope. And so we created Agile. Scrum, XP, FDD, and many more practices and frameworks emerged to regain the agility in our software teams.

But a constraint always exists. Ten years ago, we had an engine that could create change every two weeks yet still had to wait 3 months for a release window. And so we created DevOps: continuous integration and deployment platforms that help take an idea to a customer as fast as the act of creation itself.

But a constraint always exists. Today we can create change every two weeks and release every 11.6 seconds. Today the constraint to agility is very the system of the organization. HR, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Governance and Compliance, PMO and Portfolio. While it differs across organizations, it doesn’t matter if you can deploy a change in 11.6 seconds if it takes you 3 months to recruit the right person or 18 months to get a budget approved.

This track is focused on real stories, techniques, and strategies that show what it means to be an Agile organization.

Agile Data Metrics and Forecasting

Chair: Troy Magennis

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Agile Data Metrics and Forecasting

The Agile measurement track offers attendees practical techniques to optimize Agile software development, delivery and operation using data. Attendees will leave with a clear picture of how data can be used to support their Agile journey and to implement those ideas to make better decisions using data in the future. This track also covers how to avoid the major pitfalls of data, including how to use data whilst maintaining team psychological safety, avoiding an imbalanced view by focusing on a narrow set of metrics, or by overselling the confidence of the data you have. Whereas much of Agile is rightly considered about the interactions between team members and the process used to organize work (team and organization), this track is about how data can be used to support those goals. For Agile to show its true benefit now and in the future, teams and organizations need to be able to quantify the impact of introducing new ways of working. Growing this quantitative ability into the Agile community is critical, and the purpose of this track.

The session mix for this track is a balance of topic areas that include:

  • Using data to observe and quantify team and organizational improvement
  • Using data to coach teams and to measure the impact of process improvements
  • Using data to support prioritization and critical business decisions
  • Using data to make better Agile decisions in the face of uncertainty
  • Using data to forecast options and define achievable commitments

 

  • I’d like to shop the topics around to people who podcast to interview you.

SO PLEASE SUBMIT EVEN THOUGH YOUR CHANCES ARE LOW – THERE IS VALUE ON SHARING NEW IDEAS ON THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC

Agile Foundations

Chair: Michele Sliger

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Agile Foundations

Agile Foundations meets a need for those who are new to agile development, including those who are considering, or have just begun, a transition to agile ways of working. This track provides a brief, systematic overview of agile concepts, terminology, and essential practices. The goal is to make you feel more at home discussing basic agile principles and practices. You should leave with a mental framework to help you get the most possible out of the rest of the conference.

You’ll get answers to frequently asked questions, as well as answers for your specific circumstances. What is agile software development and where did it come from? What are the basic concepts, principles, and practices behind agile development and agile disciplines? What roles will we need to fill with what expectations? What does focusing on value mean for everyone?

And most importantly: As a result of participating in the immersion, what topics do I want to further explore at this conference?

Agile in Government

Co-Chairs: Bob Payne & Deema Dajani

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Agile in Government

The Agile in Government track supports Agile transformations in the Public Sector. Government agencies face unique complexities related to oversight, sheer scale, and the complexities of governance and contracting. This track showcases the success stories in such complex environments, and how Agile is evolving and defying common perception.

The theme of the track is “diverse perspectives”, as no two government experiences are the same. This track is focused on real world practical application of Agile in the Public Sector. Speakers are a mix of internal government leaders and contractors, leading the change. The global topics covered include transforming the Brazilian Air Force, the french employment agency journey, to the topic of using Agile in Compliance in Denmark. The US federal agencies have a strong showing of experiences, including the FBI, GAO, GSA, TSA, and USCIS.

Agile Midway

Co-Chairs: Emma Armstrong &  Christina Hartikainen

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Agile Midway

The Agile Midway is your one-stop destination to find a dozen or more fun and interesting activities on Friday morning. Stroll down our halls and see two different retrospectives, learn about your chances to participate in planning and putting on Agile2019, maybe do an Improv Game or two, or more! We even have one session, Agile Circuit Training, just for Agile fundamentals, like different kinds of ice breakers, retrospective activities, and a bunch more.

We guarantee everyone can find something to their tastes on the Agile Midway!

Audacious Salon

Co-Chairs: Antoinette CoetzeeLyssa Adkins

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Audacious Salon

Starting in the late 16th century and blossoming in the 17th and 18th, the salon was a major influence in the development of European culture, art, science, and politics through courageous conversations about “dangerous” topics. These indoor explorations paralleled the audacity of bold sea voyages mapping the world unknown to Europeans.

On the track, we reprise this embrace of the unknown and the different. The Audacious Salon is a place where strongly held ideas are discussed in civility, where dialog leads us places we’ve not yet dreamed. It’s a place to compare experiences and expand our own with the richness of others. It’s a place to offer insights and hear how they fit for others. It’s a place to hear others’ insights and test our own beliefs against them. Like the bold seafarers, we want to explore together and adventurously discover new territory. We would love to go where there be dragons and come back to tell the tale!

This track is NOT a place to teach others The Truth. It is NOT a place to passively learn. It is NOT a place to assert the superiority of one experience over another.

Geared toward veteran Agilists, Audacious Salon sessions are the beginning of deeply explorative conversations, not the entirety of them. Those who attend will put their egos aside and create an environment where all feel safe to participate so that differing ideas can frolic together to produce progeny that delight and surprise.

A Salonniere has hand-crafted an experience around a topic of passion for them. This person will be the host and facilitator of the experience rather than the “expert” on the topic. There are no expert answers in the Audacious Salon, only courageous exploration.

Even among the well-experienced, this territory may be risky in its vulnerability. But if you’ve the fortitude, it could be the beginning of new collaborations with peers, perhaps unlikely peers, into a future of exploration in fruitful directions. Prepare to be surprised!

Coaching and Mentoring

Co-Chairs: Laura Powers & Mike Lowery

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Coaching and Mentoring

This track is for agile coaches and leads, both internal and external, to learn how to participate in working with teams to encourage Technical Practices without having that technical expertise themselves.

Too often, we divide the world into technical and non-technical. But the truth is everyone who is working with software has some level of technical skills (even if they are not code related) These sessions are about how to work together in pursuit of teams that are more maintainable and have better code quality.

You don’t need technical excellence yourself to facilitate it in your teams.

Collaboration, Culture, and Teams

Co-Chairs:  Karen Greaves & Zach Bonaker

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Collaboration, Culture, and Teams

Customers and Products

Co-Chairs: Ardita Karaj & Chris Murman

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Customers and Products

We are continuously learning that customer is in the center of everything we do in our organizations. To stay strong in the market, we need to deliver features that matter to our customers, so much that they are willing to pay for them. It is about focusing on the value. Agile teams are raising the bar on continuous delivery and high quality. Product managers are constantly asked to raise the bar on doing the right thing. This requires a strong understanding of client needs, market trends, your competitors as well as being able to translate strategy to work such as experiments, features, stories, and tasks for the agile teams. Agile teams are teaching us that products are not “owned” anymore by only one person, but rather by the whole team, what we call collective ownership.

In this track, you will find sessions that will help agile organizations and agile teams with understanding the role of product manager as well as practices, techniques, and tools for them. You will have the opportunity to hear real stories on how organizations moved from strategy to a product in a relatively short time; about collaboration between everyone involved into making a product and sharing the ownership of what we do; alternative ways beyond user stories to communicate client needs to your teams; product mindset in “technical” organizations and more. If you are new to the role of Product Manager/Owner or if you are looking for new ideas on how to connect with customers, sessions on this track have what you are looking for!

Development Practices and Craft

Co-Chairs:  Seb Rose & Frances Buontempo

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Development Practices and Craft

The focus of this track is the role of the developer. This includes how to write clean, maintainable code, but is much wider than that. We talk about how to build and deploy code, how to ensure the consistency and quality of our processes at every level of the stack, and how to develop a considerate and nurturing environment.

Sessions cover all levels of experience and apply to any choice of language. Some are general, giving a broad overview, while others dive deep into specific areas of interest. The formats range from workshops and discussions to talks. You will find something to inspire you, no matter what your experience.

Sessions include
• First principles: patterns and practices, software quality.
• Supporting practices: Continuous integration/delivery/deployment, releasing software, source control, walking skeletons, automation, refactoring
• Architecture and design: API and microservice design, questions related to scalability, distributed systems.
• How to work together: effectively, considerately, and collaboratively.

DevOps

Co-Chairs: Chris EdwardsMartin Hynie

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DevOps

DevOps is not a thing, a trend, or a process. It is a cultural shift. By striving for more predictable, smaller, faster, repeatable, and observable deployments, the promise of DevOps is helping teams find a way to realize the promise of Agile itself. It involves making sure that the products we create are not only highly available through resiliency, but also appropriately monitored, observable, testable, accessible, and responsive to any new issues or new features that our customers may want or need.. and when they need them. When Agile coaches are aligned with excellent DevOps craftspersons, transformational change is within the grasp of any inspired team. This alignment is not always obvious… and that is why we need you!

We are calling out to DevOps craftspersons, thought leaders, and practitioners to help expand this discussion. We are looking for the most intriguing and thought-provoking sessions that might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Infrastructure automation approaches and design principles that deliver highly available scalable systems
  • System designs that are leveraging containerization or serverless architecture
  • Observability, Instrumentation, Monitoring, and Testing in Production
  • How to move away from monolithic deployments towards delivering reliable software into production through continuous delivery
  • Case studies of DevOps implementations… the good and the bad
  • Agile and DevOps culture… how to leverage both for positive organizational change
  • Compelling demonstrations of tools, hacks, and interesting approaches within the DevOps space (Note: this is not a place for vendor sessions)

As a community of software professionals, we need to better understand the role DevOps in Agile teams and the critical role it can play in building better cross-organizational alignment, more resilient software, and fostering a sustainable work/life balance for all teams. Come join us, share your experience and ideas!

Enterprise Agile

Co-Chairs: Cheryl Hammond & Ryan Ripley

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Enterprise Agile

The Enterprise Agile Track supports the needs of organizations that embrace an Agile mindset across hundreds or even thousands of individuals. Such entities face a set of complexities that organizations with fewer technology teams do not, such as coordination and synchronization across multiple teams, complex delivery tools, cultural shifts, and massive organizational change. Our speakers understand such challenges without losing the underlying values and principles of Agile.

The Track emphasizes the advantages of the Lean Agile mindset, systems thinking, and enterprise-scale Agile frameworks to consistently deliver impact and value. Topics covered include enterprise technical excellence, synchronization of solutions and value streams, Lean startup at scale, and cultural changes.

Featuring a broad range of perspectives from many industries and environments, describing the initial, evolving, and long-term challenges of Agile at scale in a technology setting, sessions will provide insights into organizational structures, adoption patterns, policies, and practices that enable Agility at scale.

Experience Reports

Co-Chairs:  Sue Burk & Rebbeca Wirfs-Brock

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Experience Reports

Come to this track for first-hand accounts about agile experience. You will hear about mindset and grit and determination and agile experiments, both large and small.

Experience Reports help us understand how agile works, challenges encountered, and how practices evolve. The Experience Report Track includes stories from all parts of the globe on a wide range of topics. Some stories are told by experienced agilists, recounting the most recent chapter of their agile journey. Others, are from reporters newer to agile practices, helping us understand their learnings.

With twenty-four reports and short half-hour sessions, there’s plenty of variety for everyone! This year, one report looks at patterns emerging from mob programming practices. There are also reports about scrum at scale, from small teams to large. We even have insights from an uncover scrum master who joined a development team. Two reports provide continuing stories of how agile practices evolved since the time of the initial reports several years ago. Several reports share the challenges faced with large-scale agile transformations and building collaborative teams. There are stories about experimentation with technical practices. And very importantly, there are reports which give us insights into the culture and workings of globally distributed teams.

Written experience reports with additional details can be found at https://www.agilealliance.org/resources/experience-reports/ . But there’s nothing like hearing stories in person, as a starting point.

Leadership

Co-Chairs: Faye Thompson & Angie Doyle

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Leadership

Organizations today are working hard to reinvent the workplace – and they need leaders at all levels to help lead the organization into the future. This raises many questions regarding execution.

The aim of this track is to answer these and many more questions on the role of the Agile Leader:

  • What does leadership at all levels look like in practice?
  • What does leadership look like in autonomous, self-organizing teams?
  • How can leaders improve hiring and incentive practices that focus on building great teams?
  • What does this focus on Agile leadership mean for people who currently hold the title of manager?
  • How do I influence people if leadership is not in my job title?
  • What techniques can I use to improve my organization or team’s level of agility?
  • How can I facilitate better conversations to improve communication?
  • How can I help establish (or rebuild) a culture of psychological safety in my organization?
  • How do I strengthen my own leadership skills by focusing on empathy, mindfulness, listening to the voice of the system, etc.?

People attending this track will have the chance to connect with other Agile leaders and learn ideas and techniques to enhance their own leadership capabilities.

Learning

Co-Chairs: Bernie MaloneyTamsen Mitchell

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Learning

Lightning Talks

Chair: Peter Green

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Chair

Peter Green

Lightning Talks

 

Submit Your Lightning Talk Here

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

Co-Chairs: Marian Willeke & Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

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Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

In this track we are celebrating both the proven techniques as well as brave experiments with project, program and portfolio management in Agile organizations.

Our speakers for this track are answering such questions as:

• What crazy and innovative techniques are helping to improve how we go from a great idea to customer value delivered?
• What techniques are organizations using to apply Agile to holistic organizational portfolio management, not just IT?
• ​What techniques can help organizations move beyond project and product management?
• What helps organizations assess, plan, manage and adapt their projects and their portfolios?
• ​How are organizations changing traditional accounting and budgeting approaches as a result of responding to Agile shifts?
• How are organizations making adjustments to the growing pains from increasing or reducing the size and complexity of their portfolio?
• What guidance can we take from Agile, Lean and Lean Startup to help us manage effective, uninterrupted flow of value through organization?
• ​How does organizational context impact how Portfolios are managed, such as regulatory environments, rapid innovation, or large amounts of funding?
• What techniques are used by natively Agile companies to manage their technology investment portfolio?

You will have the opportunity to hear about (and learn from) the fantastic failures as much as the celebrated successes. We believe there is no one way; no silver bullet. This track is meant to open your eyes and minds to different ways of thinking. When you attend a session on this track, it is our goal and desire that you discover a concept that you can use to help move the needle towards agility in your organization.

Self-Care

Chair: Samantha Laing

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Self-Care

Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, treat ourselves with respect and to be kind & affectionate towards ourselves. – Brene Brown

Along with agile comes this deep connection with individuals. Deep interactions. And all of this is very taxing on an individual who is trying to help, grow, encourage and build agile within an organisation.

In order to help, empathise, inspire, motivate and grow people we need to first be in a place where we can hold all these emotions for ourselves. Too often we run into the equivalent of a burning building to rescue people and things, and we end up getting suffocated by the smoke ourselves.

This track is aimed at helping you take care of yourself, for the duration of this conference and also to give you some tools to help with this long after you have left.

Testing and Quality

Co-Chairs: Dan Ashby & Ash Coleman

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Testing and Quality

We test.

From the moment an idea is derived, the plan and approach of how to test it has already begun. Going beyond the idea of merely approaching code as testers — tasked with preparing software for delivery — we approach testing as modern day technologists: reigning in process, testing, tooling, and enhancing communication under the same keen eye of quality.

We test to uncover risks that have potential to hinder the value of our software. We test to identify foibles in the process we take to deploy products. As modern-day testers, we are always looking for ways to amplify human skills in light of being specialists called to help perfect the creation of software.

It is this reason we come together as technology professionals. To share stories of successes, losses, and gems of learning. As we join, we recognize commonalities and opportunities in:

  • Exploring concepts within modern testing
  • The importance of testing in DevOps
  • The use of automation within our testing
  • The psychology that ideates testing
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning as tools in testing
  • The cognitive association of software testing: a human touch

These topics are becoming prevalent within the world of software. It is important for testers to learn about these concepts and create a process to introduce them into their work.

With all this in mind, we would like to invite you to bring your stories, ideas, and exercises to the table. Let’s explore how we can create an atmosphere of learning from talks and workshops about how you learned and incorporated these modernities within your Agile teams and workplaces.

What does it mean to be a modern tester? Can we test in DevOps? Is automation the sole support we have for testing or does it also assist your exploration? Do we use AI and ML to assist us in avenues unturned? How does your human touch fortify testing? And lastly, how important are concepts of psychology within your testing?

These are questions that are wracking technologists’ brains, often! So let’s discuss! Come and share your stories. Submit your proposal for a talk or workshop today! (Our fantastic reviewers are also here to offer feedback and support throughout the submission process to help you shape your submission to be the best it can be.)

The Future of Agile Software Development (IEEE Software)

Co-Chairs: Rafael Prikladnicki & Casper Lassenius

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The Future of Agile Software Development (IEEE Software)

The Future of Agile Software Development track features interesting and provocative talks that are “out of the box”. The aim is to spur discussion about the limitations of current Agile practices and frameworks and to take a look at the future of Agile practices. Mainly aimed at practicing and advanced Agilists, participants are welcome to share their experiences, debate, and think about our shared future.

The track is supported by IEEE Software Magazine. Selected presentations will be considered for inclusion in a special column in the publication.

Stalwarts

Chair: Doc List

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Chair

Doc List

Stalwarts

Beyond the foundations, there are strong pillars upon which the successes of the Agile methods are built. These pillars include both the ideas guiding interactions between people and teams, and the voices of those spreading their meaning and importance.

The Stalwarts track is our venue for bringing together thought leaders with our attendees in a setting that promotes small conversations. Each session will provide an intimate setting where you, and potentially a few dozen of your peers, will have the opportunity to have 1-1 conversations with an expert and ask them about their ideas and experiences.

Sessions will be focused on a single Stalwart, combining both an expert and topic, a 3-4 person fishbowl of ever-changing participants, and a facilitator.

There are no prepared slides or talks. All content comes from the fishbowl – We talk about what you want to hear!

Sessions on this track can get very loud, very spirited, are always fun, and always fill their rooms. Space is limited, so you probably want to show up early!

User Experience

Co-Chairs: Jonathan Berger & Emerson Taymor

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User Experience

User Experience (“UX”) is a team sport, and this track highlights how everyone on an Agile team can play best together. You’ll learn from leading practitioners in the Agile and Lean UX community about how design & research fits into the software development lifecycle to maximize the impact of the products that we are building. We’ll cover principles to guide your teams, as well as hands-on tactics so that UX practices can become shared by many people – not just the UX designer. We will feature ways Agile, Lean UX, Lean Startup and User Experience practices are being combined to drive the iterative discovery and development of new products.

The bulk of the program explores ideas core to the intersection of Agile and Design, like new approaches to backlog management with “Inbox Zero: Agile UX & The Lean Backlog” and “Spark digital joy by tidying up your code and feature list”; unexpected combinations like “Prototyping AI/ML with design sprints” and “Maximizing impact with neurodiversity” and how to maximize team productivity with design in talks like “Warts and All: How constant sharing and open collaboration increases agility and quality” and “Revenue Generating UX: Building a $5M business with robots”. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about design—or better yet, you work with designers, but haven’t always known how best to interact—we hope to see you there!

Questions?

We’re happy to help.