Lightning Talk Abstracts

JUNE 8-12, 2020

ONLINE! Copenhagen, Denmark

Lightning Talk Abstracts

Edyta Hetman: Arriving at better backlog.

Scrum seduces with its simplicity, common sense and short, but sweet “manual” in form of the scrum guide promising to do “twice the work in half the time”. Yet while it puts a lot of emphasis on the execution, it remains quiet on the topic of defining backlog.

In all the rush of getting things done, how do we know we’re building the right thing? It’s common among engineers to assume backlog comes from Product Owner, but if you’re a company betting on a product to propel you forward, do you want one person to shoulder the responsibility of getting it right?
As much as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to define and build a great product. Yes, having one person making final calls is still a good idea as product development is not a democratic process, but many teams are turning to a concept of triad.

Having a small group of people with business insights, user understanding and technical prowess doesn’t guarantee success, but it creates a creative tension and helps to thrash out better ideas.

Christopher Pola: Making your CFO a proponent of Limiting (WIP) Work In Progress

CFO’s are interested in software capitalization. Yet, when finance and portfolio management are unfamiliar with agile software capitalization practices, they impede the adoption of lean-agile ways of working. This presents a huge dilemma because lean-agile practices are proven to improve organizational performance.

My hypothesis is: if the finance and portfolio teams become familiar with both the science of lean-agile practices and the methods of software capitalization, then they will understand the importance of Limiting Work in Process (WIP) to improve organizational performance. Limiting WIP now becomes a key objective for both improving software development and key business outcomes.

Kelly Geyer: Stop Being Busy so You Can be Awesome

I used to be someone who said “yes” to everything. I became overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, irritable, anxious, tired, etc. And the worst thing was that I did not feel like I was doing my best at anything because I had so little time for all my commitments and absolutely no time for myself. I did not want to disappoint people but my lack of boundaries led to me being disappointed in myself. Only one person could change the situation and that was me.

I started setting boundaries and making changes to give myself more time to do the things that were important to me.
Living in this new way was exhilerating! I could finally breathe again. I was less stressed and I was much happier with my schedule and my results. I could focus on fewer things at a time which enabled me to do my best work. I was proud of the things I accomplished instead of being exhausted just looking at my list of to-dos. It was and still is far more fulfilling for me to do a few things really well than to be mediocre in many things. It was no longer good enough for me to get proverbial “participation trophies.” I wanted to be awesome and win at life. Focusing my energy enabled me to accomplish great things instead of just completing a bunch of little things.
I am doing fewer things and my life is enriched beyond measure.
When you are overcommitted and overwhelmed, you often become a disappointment either to yourself or the people who mean the most to you.
In my many years of working in a professional environment, I have encountered countless “busy bees” who behave the same way I used to behave. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect that they desire. Their lack of respect for their own time, sadly appears as a lack of respect of other people’s time.

Your goal is not to complete as much work as possible. The goal should be to do the right work at the right time with the best quality possible. Being busy is not the same as being productive and it certainly does not mean you are important. Do yourself a favor and focus on being amazing at a few things and you will see how quickly your life can turn around.

Anna Lavrova: Burning from Transformation

Picture burnout as a system. Now add Agile Transformation. Change of structure, roles, policies, and, most importantly – expectations. This is where humans suffer the most, and where coaches can help the most if we are sufficiently equipped. And being sufficiently equipped do they act to help?

During my speech, we will tackle three types of burnout, three symptoms of how we can spot it, and three actions for coaches. We will work with personal burnout levels and see small steps to detox. I will speak from stories of transformation and cases of a turning (or not always) point to burnout.

Thom Orbelius: Exploring Your Ambivalence

Have you ever felt uncertain if you want to go ahead with a change – you see the pros and the cons of both sides and have a hard time to decide?

If so, you have experienced ambivalence.

With a tool from the Motivational Interviewing toolkit we can explore and map out these uncertainties and make a well-founded decision whether to go ahead with the change or not. And it works both for individuals and teams.

Matthew Butt: Time and Software Development: how ancient myths, rituals and metaphors shape our work today

Two metaphors dominate humanity’s relationship to time, and they are strikingly relevant to software development.

The first sees time as a succession of repeating cycles. We observe the movement of the sun, moon and stars, and the cycle or birth and death, and mark regular events with similar rituals across cultures. The myths of this world-view occur in a time outside time, in which the patterns are laid down for reenactment in the profane world. Failures in this context are simply enactions of mythical patterns, and we can always pick ourselves up and try again.
The second metaphor sees time as an arrow. History and causation become key ideas. Whether shaped by an interventionist god or by human action, our existence has a trajectory, and there are no second chances. We focus on predicting the future, and our failures hurt us. This approach is profoundly unsettling, as seen by the popularity of notions of the End of History, whether through the coming of a Messiah, the achievement of a Communist state, or the arrival of a technological Singularity.
We see this second approach in Waterfall software development, with its focus on prediction and the succession of distinct activities. As Waterfall projects slip into their Death March stage, we see parallels with the period of tribulation foretold by many millenialist cults.
In XP and wider Lean and Agile practice, we see a return to the cyclical notion of time. Our rituals correspond closely to those of traditional time-keeping, and we embrace the unpredictability of the future by giving ourselves the chance to fail and redeem ourselves. In this light, the ‘cargo-culting’ of agile practices takes on a benign air, rooting our behaviours in a mythical reality.

In order to survive an uncertain future, let’s embrace traditional cyclical approaches to time and set aside the idea we can predict everything!

Madeeha Khan: Agile Mindset : Nail it then Scale it!
It is essential to have a growth mindset (which resonates with Agile mindset) when we want to see our organization to grow and the value which it is offering to our Eco-system. My talk will cover difference of Growth and Fixed Mindset, and how we can foster our mindsets into growth mindsets.
Maria Cristina Barbero: Project Management: How the discipline is evolving

All the world is saying that Project Management is changing. It is true: See how the Standard for Project Management has been transformed by the Project Management Institute that published it for exposure in January 2020! I prefer to say that Project Management is evolving (that’s always a change, I know, but a change that does not throw away the past). Project Management is always more opening doors to Agile Practices, techniques and Approaches and this trend seems to be beneficial: what becomes relevant is the attitude of project leaders, her/his honest work, their reliability, the ability to understand and handle complexity and interactions with both people and systems, the mind set of who knows that everyday things can be different, the awareness that good faith is as important as contracts.

The talk is a walk through the new principles of Project Management made available in the exposure draft.