Tracks Agile2020

July 20 – 24 | Hilton Orlando |   Orlando, FL

AGILE2020 TRACKS

Agile Companies

Co-Chairs : Evan Leybourn & JoAnna Springsteen

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Agile Companies

An organization’s ability to adapt to changes in the market is always limited by its agility. 30 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. 10 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.

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 & Marketing, Governance & Compliance, PMO & 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.

The Agile Companies track is focused on real stories, techniques, and strategies that show what it means to be an agile organization in the age of business agility.

Agile Foundations

Chair: Christina Hartikainen

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Agile Foundations

**Please note: Sessions on this track are by invitation only.

Agile Foundations meets a need for those who are new to agile, 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 and where did it come from? What are the basic concepts, principles, and practices behind agile disciplines? What roles might we need to fill and what are the expectations for those roles? 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 Luminaries

Chair: Doc List

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Chair

Doc List

Agile Luminaries

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!

Audacious Salon

Co-Chairs: Antoinette CoetzeeStuart McCalla

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Audacious Salon

**Please note: Sessions on this track 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. Salons consisted of poets, artists, intellectuals of the time coming together to debate weighty topics. Using that model of intimate conversations that are experimental and experiential, the Audacious Salon is designed to encourage the inquiry of adventurous topics.

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 & Mya Zwicky

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Coaching and Mentoring

The foundation of the Agile Manifesto rests on the importance of individuals and their interactions. We collaborate, respond to change, and work to deliver early and continuously. Along the way, Coaches and Mentors can play a critical role in helping people, teams and organizations improve themselves and their outcomes.

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. Regardless of job description, coaching and mentoring helps others to identify and implement change through listening, providing feedback, facilitating, guiding and teaching.

In this track, we welcome sessions exploring coaching and mentoring with an emphasis on practices, approaches, frameworks or tools to develop coaching and mentoring skills. Potential session topics might include

• Getting started as a new agile coach
• New coaching techniques, tools or approaches for experienced coaches
• Coaching approaches for organizations scaling agility and at different stages of their agile journey
• Coaching distributed and remote teams
• Coaching beyond the development team including leadership and other business functions
• Hybrid or blended coaching approaches
• The role of the mentor in an agile organization

We look forward to hearing what you’d like to discuss at Agile2020 regarding the world of coaching and mentoring! Submit early and request feedback so that our review team can coach you to create your best possible submission!

Crossing the Technical Divide

Chair:  Llewellyn Falco

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Crossing the Technical Divide

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.

Customers and Products

Co-Chairs: Tim Gifford & 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!

 Data & Metrics

C0-Chairs:  Adam YuretCat Swetel

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Co- Chairs:

Adam Yuret

Cat Swetel

Data & Metrics

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

Design Thinking & Systems

Co-Chairs: Kishau Rogers & Emerson Taymor

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Design Thinking & Systems

What design mindset do you wish the rest of your team and stakeholders would come to the table with? What sort of systems have you implemented that have worked particularly well? What does the discipline and practice of UX have to say to the Agile world at large? The Agile Alliance conference is one of the most impactful gatherings of Agilists, and a great stage to share the insights and practices of UX.

The Design Thinking & Systems track 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 – we want to hear your stories.

We are looking for submissions that highlight how everyone on an Agile team can be involved with design processes. If you are a leading practitioner in the Agile and Design Thinking community or have a story to tell about how design teams are organized to maximize business outcomes then we’d love for you to submit to this track to share with the attendees of Agile2020. We want to feature ways Agile, Design Thinking, Lean UX, Lean Startup and User Experience practices are being combined to drive the iterative discovery and development of new products.

We are looking for content that covers (but is not limited to):

  • Actionable approaches to Design Thinking that produce better results
  • Principles to guide your teams
  • Hands-on tactics
  • Holistic design practices – how the conditions surrounding the project impacts design
  • Approaches for designing for an increasingly complex landscape
  • Getting everyone on the team involved in the customer research process
  • How to best leverage design systems
  • How to put practical UX skills into the hands of the whole team

Development & Testing Practices

Co-Chairs:  Seb RoseJen Krieger

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Co-Chairs

Seb Rose

Jen Krieger

Development & Testing Practices

The focus of this track is the role of developers and testers. This includes how to deliver clean, maintainable, and secure code – but is wider than that. We are also interested in how to organise our teams, how to build and deploy code, how to ensure the consistency and quality of our processes, what good testing really looks like, and our responsibility to act ethically and professionally.

We are looking for sessions that appeal to attendees irrespective of experience level or preferred technology stack. Talks, demos, and workshops that both introduce and reinforce methods of achieving technical excellence and accountability are welcome.

An incomplete list of what we are interested in learning from you:

  • How to work together: Pair and mob programming patterns, improving delivery teams, mentoring emerging technical leaders
  • The journey from manual to automated test development and how manual / exploratory testing continues to deliver value
  • First principles: Quality practices, automated checking, design patterns, refactoring, BDD/ATDD/SbE/TDD, polyglot programming topics, the ethical foundations of software engineering.
  • Architecture and design: API and microservice design, questions related to scalability, elasticity, security, distributed systems.
  • Supporting practices: Continuous integration/delivery/deployment, source control strategies, code review techniques
  • Growing practices: New trends in the world of software development and testing, new technologies that all technical agilists need to know about

 DevOps & Observability

Co-Chairs: Chris Edwards & Doc List

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DevOps & Observability

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 helping build a sustainable work/life balance for all teams. Come join us, share your experience and ideas!

Enterprise Agile

Co-Chairs: Cheryl Hammond & Padmini Nidumolu

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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:  Rebbeca Wirfs-Brock & David Kane

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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.

We invite you to submit an Experience Report about what happened when you applied agile principles and practices in the real world. Your stories help us understand where agile works and what can go wrong. We are interested in both stories told by experienced agilists, recounting the most interesting chapter of their agile journey, as well from reporters who are newer to agile practices, sharing their fresh insights.

The Experience Report track requires that you write a six-to-eight page paper in addition to presenting the report. 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.

A good experience report tells a story. It 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, business, 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 at https://www.agilealliance.org/resources/experience-reports/
Experience reports topics may include, but are not limited to, the stories of how:
• Agile approaches transformed your business.
• You uniquely adopted, adapted, evolved, blended or scaled agile practices.
• You tackled technical domains such as DevOps, testing, architecture, development, and design.
• You approached business and produced domains such as usability, quality assurance, requirements or documentation, deployment, marketing, product definition or management.
• Your application of other disciplines that align with agile principles and practices.
• You introduced agile practices to your organization and manage the transition to an agile culture.
• Your values or ways of working changed over time. What are you doing now and why?
• Your personal journey in IT and business has been influenced by agile principles and practices.

Other ways that you can approach your Experience Report is by asking and answering questions such as:
• 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?

The Experience Report Team is always glad to provide guidance to those who submit proposals to the track. Please do not hesitate to move your proposal from the Draft State to the Feedback Requested State to find out whether your have provided enough information for the team to evaluate your proposal. We look forward to your proposals!!

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.

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, possibly 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 towards 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 as agilists.

The track is supported by IEEE Software magazine (https://www.computer.org/software-magazine/), and selected presentations will be considered for inclusion in a special column in the magazine.

Leadership

Co-Chairs: Bernie Maloney &  Jenny Tarwater

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Leadership

Agile challenges traditional, hierarchical patterns of leadership. It holds a promise of self-direction & autonomy over micromanagement and direction. It emphasizes value delivery over capacity utilization. It’s less about controlling what’s done, and more about collaborating as a fluid network.

Leadership is not by title alone. Agile invites us to imagine new, bolder ways of leading. To reinvent the workplace and run experiments with environments and relationships that promote achievement and success. To build collaborative networks, rather than empires.

The Leadership Track aims for submissions that light the way for everyone, whether already a leader, or destined for leadership; whether a leader of self, a leader of teams or a leader of leaders. We want to confront and address the challenges of leading in Agile environments. We’re open to explore broad levels, from Beginners to Experts, Achievers and Catalysts. We’re interested in theory, emerging trends, and practical lessons from both successes and failures. We’re seeking ideas and techniques to grow leaders’ capabilities and mindsets and help them create systems that foster self-organization and success and deliver on the promises of the Agile Manifesto.

The author Simon Sinek has said, “Authorities have control. Leaders have legacies.” Think you’ve got a session that could build and expand the legacy of Agile Leadership? Submit early and use our reviewers and their interactive feedback to hone your submission to make it hard for us to pick amongst a field of excellent submissions!

Lightning Talks

Chair: Eric Rapin

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Chair

Eric Rapin

Lightning Talks

 Maximizing Learning

Co-Chairs: Marian Willeke & Joanna Vahlsing

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Maximizing Learning

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

Co-Chairs: Deema Dajani & Itopa Sule

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Project, Program, and Portfolio Management

This track celebrates proven techniques as well as brave experiments with Project, Program and Portfolio Management in Agile organizations. Attendees should gain an understanding of how Agile is changing the way we manage investments and execution beyond team level agility.

Relevant topics in this track include but not limited to: Budgeting, Investment Prioritization, Program Execution, Portfolio Operations, Shifting from Project to Product, Innovation Accounting, Compliance and value focused Product Strategy.

This track aims to present diverse perspectives from internal change leaders, agile practitioners, and consulting experts. In the US and globally. Our goal is that you, as attendee, discover a concept or two that you can use to move the needle towards overall Portfolio agility in your organization.

Self-Care

Chair:Nicola Sedgwick

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Self-Care

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

Happy, healthy and empowered agile teams/organisations are capable of creating amazing innovative things; and to create, enable and support such teams we need to take care of ourselves first.

Along with agile comes this deep connection with individuals. Those deep connections are nurtured through deep interactions that are switching between a variety of deep contexts. 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.

The Self-Care track will host sessions that present ideas, experiences, enlightenments and strategies that enable people to take care of themselves whilst working within people-focussed teams. If you have a story to share about how self-care helps you be your best agile self, then this is the track for your session. If you have a story about how a lack of self-care prevented you being your best agile self, then this is still the track for your session. The Self-Care track is also the place to submit sessions on more practical techniques for mental and physical self-care, techniques such as mindfulness, movement, meditation, nutrition, music and play.

Self-care is deeply personal; it is in sharing our practical tips and “light-bulb moments” that we can build a bigger toolbox of techniques for everyone

Team

Co-Chairs: Zach Bonaker & Faye Thompson

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Team

AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE INSPIRED BY SELF-ORGANIZING TEAMS IS A PURPOSEFUL GOAL.

After all, there is no shortage of anecdotal and scientific evidence which suggests teams (and teamwork) are a competitive advantage. If we intend to work in a truly team-centric way, do we gain the benefits of collaboration by simply telling people, “go collaborate”?

We suspect there are unique characteristics which define a real team. Additionally, like tending to a garden, we believe teams cannot reach their potential without the base conditions required to grow. Therefore, this track seeks answers and insights into the conditions which encourage real teams to thrive in our organizations.

We aim to spread knowledge about teams of all shapes and sizes by exploring thoughtful answers to the following questions:

  • What is a team? What characteristics define a team?
  • What base conditions help teams achieve the best results?
  • How can team culture influence and affect results?
  • What do collaboration and teamwork mean, anyway?
  • What helps folks working together navigate conflict and decision making?
  • What are the most effective practices for working as a team… and improving as a team?
  • Can a real team be distributed across the globe? How?

AGILE TEAMS ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF THE PARTS.

In this track, we welcome your sessions which span the entire spectrum of tactical, team-centric practices to systems thinking and relationship-building. We want to hear your stories of teamwork and innovation, of facilitation and techniques, of success and failure. What wisdom will you share? We look forward to your contribution!

Workplace Culture

Co-Chairs:  Mike LowerySue Johnston

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Workplace Culture

The success of organizations using agile practices is not driven by how well they follow a prescribed process but, rather, how they interact as humans and collaborate in their work. Those behaviours are influenced by the culture of their work environment.

The Workplace Culture track will host sessions that present ideas, examples, experiences and practices that enable people to work together effectively while creating workplaces with human-friendly cultures. If you understand just how hard these so-called “soft skills” are for so many people – and can provide insights and experience to help others use them to build better workplaces – this is the track for your session.

The Workplace Culture track aims to deliver a wealth of information to help organizations create structures that promote an environment that supports teams, collaboration, and agile done well that will help session participants better understand their own workplace culture, gain insight on how it could change and provide a stack of new ideas to try.

We’ll cover a bundle of techniques that can help build a culture that reflects and supports an agile mindset and the Agile values and principles. This might include communication, building trust, recognition, learning, transparency, visual thinking, healthy conflict, facilitation, human system dynamics, organizational design, reward systems and lots more. If you have practical ideas to share that will help organizations understand agility beyond the practices, feel welcome to submit them here.

Questions?

We’re happy to help.