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

Learn More

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

Learn More

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 will also cover 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.

Topic areas will 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

Whereas much of Agile is rightly considered about the interactions between team members and 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 is the purpose of this track.

SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT SUBMITTING TO THIS TRACK
This track is small. Six or seven talks. Your chances are low in getting selected (guessing 60 submissions are possible making your chances 1 in 10). I don't say this to discourage you from submitting (see below why I specifically DO want you to submit), I just want to highlight that we will need to select very general metric and data topics to cover major topic areas.

Suggestions:

  • If metrics and data isn't the CENTRAL theme of your talk, submit it to one of the other major tracks: Enterprise Agile or Project, Program, and Portfolio Management
  • If your talk is on a very specific topic, it will be at a decreased chance of selection. To cover this topic area with 6 slots, those talks that will attract the largest audience segments will likely be selected first. I'd still submit.

What are you going to do with those submissions that don't get selected?

  • I'd like to shop the topics around to local user groups.
  • 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

Learn More

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?

*This is an invitation-only track.

Agile in Government

Co-Chairs: Bob Payne & Deema Dajani

Learn More

Agile in Government

Agile methods and principles are becoming more common in government. The general perception is that government is unique for its oversight, governance, risk management, hierarchy, and traditional management approach. So how are teams making Agile work in such environments? How is Agile evolving and advancing in the government context? What are the innovations and stories that defy the common perception of Agile in government?

This track aims to present many perspectives from internal government change leaders, Agile practitioners, and consulting experts. We want the diversity in views to extend to all types of government from local, provincial, and country-wide (or federal as it is called in the U.S.).

Coming out of the track sessions, attendees should have an understanding of how Agile is changing the way the governments deliver on their missions and how agencies are changing to facilitate the use of Agile methods.

Agile Midway

Co-Chairs: Emma Armstrong &  Christina Hartikainen

Learn More

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

Learn More

Audacious Salon

Submissions for this session are by invitation only.

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.

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 and others with experience and understanding of the salon topic, Audacious Salon sessions are the beginning of deeply exploratory 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, who will remain unnamed in the program, has hand-crafted an experience around a topic of passion for them. This person will be the host 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

Learn More

Coaching and Mentoring

This track explores coaching and mentoring with an emphasis on developing your skills as either an Agile Coach or Mentor. It also provides you with the tools you can use to provide assistance across multiple levels within an organization, across different functional domains, and at different stages of an Agile transformation.

You know that the Agile Manifesto highlights the need for continuous improvement and this is relevant to you in your own personal journey too. Specifically, Coaches and Mentors play a critical role helping people, teams, and organizations improve themselves and their environment over time. Within your organization, coaching and mentoring helps others to identify and implement change through listening, providing feedback, facilitating, guiding, and teaching.

While many typically associate coaching and mentoring with specific roles such as Managers, Scrum Masters, and Coaches, the reality is that everyone in an organization has the potential and the responsibility to be a Coach or Mentor.

Through continued learning and feedback along with inspection and adaption, we can all take steps toward our own personal growth and through our growth help others too.

Collaboration, Culture, and Teams

Co-Chairs:  Karen Greaves & Zach Bonaker

Learn More

Collaboration, Culture, and Teams

Customers and Products

Co-Chairs: Ardita Karaj & Chris Murman

Learn More

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. And this requires a strong understanding of the client needs, market trends, and 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, we are looking for sessions that will help Agile organizations and Agile teams with product management practices, techniques, and tools. We want to hear stories from creating strategy for a product to how best to split stories. From removing unused features from products to creating MVP. From strategic roadmaps to writing good acceptance criteria for user stories. About collaboration between everyone involved into making a product and sharing the ownership of what we do.

If you can help Agile teams to deliver the right thing in ways that offer value to customers, we want to hear your stories, techniques, and tools. Here some questions that might help:

  • How to use customer feedback effectively to guide our product development?
  • How to craft hypotheses and run experiments to inform our decision making process?
  • What tools can we use to help stimulate innovative thinking?
  • What common mistakes do we make with user stories and how to improve?
  • What skills do we look for on Product Owners?
  • How do you measure the success of a Product?
  • How do you measure value?

Development Practices and Craft

Co-Chairs:  Seb Rose & Frances Buontempo

Learn More

Development Practices and Craft

DevOps

Co-Chairs: Chris EdwardsMartin Hynie

Learn More

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

Learn More

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

Learn More

Experience Reports

If you choose to submit a proposal to this track, please! Please! Refer to our FAQs for important additional information about the expectations for this track, the kinds of information the reviewers need to see in your proposal, and where to place it.

Experience Reports are short presentations about what happens when Agile techniques are used in the real world. They help us understand where Agile works and what can go wrong. Some stories are told by experienced Agilists, recounting the most recent chapter of their agile journey. Others, from reporters who are newer to Agile practices, help us understand their learnings.

Along with the 30-minute presentation, the Experience Report track also requires that you write a six- to eight-page paper which will provide additional depth for conference participants. Folks whose proposals are accepted write their papers under the guidance of an Experience Report "shepherd”. You do not need to start the paper unless your proposal is accepted.

Experience reports are a resource to those who want perspectives on what others are doing and the lessons they have learned along the way. A good experience report explains what happened, why it happened, who it happened to, and why we should care. What makes an experience report unique and compelling is that it is also a personal story. One powerful way that people learn is by relating to the dilemmas, thought processes, and successes and failures of others. Experience report authors come from different countries, businesses, and work contexts. By reading about diverse experiences, Agile teams and individuals can come to realize the similar challenges they share and be inspired by how others continue to find ways to improve their work environment and practices. Written copies of experience reports from previous conferences can be found here.

Experience reports topics may include but are not limited to:

  • How you uniquely adopted, adapted, evolved, blended or scaled Agile practices.
  • How you tackled architecture, development, design, usability, quality assurance, requirements or documentation, deployment, marketing, product definition, product, or program management.
  • How you introduced Agile practices to your organization and manage the transition to an Agile culture.
  • If you’ve been doing Agile development for a while, how have your values or ways of working changed? What are you doing now and why?
  • What were challenges you faced? How successful were you in overcoming them? What challenges remain?
  • What mistakes did you make? What insights have you gained that others need to know about?

Leadership

Co-Chairs: Faye Thompson & Angie Doyle

Learn More

Leadership

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

  • What does leadership at all levels look like in practice?
  • How do we grow the next generation of leaders?
  • What does leadership look like in autonomous, self-organizing teams?
  • What does this focus on leadership mean for people who currently hold the title of manager?
  • How do I influence people if leadership is not in my job title?

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

When you attend a session in this track, you will find practical, real world examples of leadership in Agile teams and organizations. Not only will you have the chance to connect with other leaders, you will also learn ideas and techniques to enhance your leadership capabilities.

Learning

Co-Chairs: Bernie MaloneyTamsen Mitchell

Learn More

Learning

Lightning Talks

Chair: Peter Green

Learn More

Chair

Peter Green

Lightning Talks

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

Co-Chairs: Marian Willeke & Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

Learn More

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

This track celebrates both proven techniques and brave experiments with project, program, and portfolio management in Agile organizations. We are answering such questions as:

  • What crazy and innovative techniques are helping to improve how we go from great idea to customer value delivered?
  • What techniques are organizations using to apply Agile to holistic organizational portfolio management, and not just IT?
  • What techniques can help organizations move from project management to product lifecycle?
  • What helps organizations assess, plan, manage, and adapt their projects and their portfolios?
  • How are successful organizations facilitating the impact Agile has on capacity planning, budgets, and capitalization?
  • How are organizations making adjustments to the growing pains from increasing 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?

We want you 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 eyes and minds to different ways of thinking. We hope that every person attending a session on this track leaves excited about a concept they can use to help move the needle towards agility in their organization.

Self-Care

Chair: Samantha Laing

Learn More

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 organization.

In order to help, empathize, 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 is a busy conference, and with so much learning, and mingling, you need to pace yourself. 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.

There will be sessions at various times to allow for you to find the support you need, when you need it.

Testing and Quality

Co-Chairs: Dan Ashby & Ash Coleman

Learn More

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

Learn More

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

Learn More

Chair

Doc List

Stalwarts

Submissions for this session are by invitation only.

Beyond the foundations, there are strong pillars upon which the successes of 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 one-on-one 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

Learn More

User Experience

The User Experience track this year is for anyone passionate about creating products that delight customers, deliver value, and create meaningful interactions — whether you work for a Lean startup or a large Agile enterprise.

Balancing well-crafted software with an amazing user experience is the essence of a great product. UX is a team sport, and this track will highlight how everyone on an Agile team can be involved. You’ll learn from leading practitioners in the Agile and Lean UX community about the entire lifecycle of software development with a combination of theory-informed practice, principles to guide your teams, and hands-on tactics so that UX practices can become shared by many people — not just the UX designer. We will show you some of the ways Agile, Lean UX, Lean Startup, and User Experience practices are being combined by people already doing it — driving the iterative discovery and development of new products.

Here are a few of the topics we will cover:

  • How can everyone become involved in the customer research process?
  • What are the fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative research that teams should learn to make good decisions?
  • How do you put practical UX skills into the hands of the whole team?

Plus many more still to come!

Questions?

We're happy to help.