PW&WCBA – Mary Gorman – Agile Requirements are Not an Oxymoron

Mary Gorman speaking on Agile Requirements: Not an Oxymoron

Requirements are the basis for product development. So why is Agile requirements not an oxymoron?

Mary had us do an exercise that helped elicit from the group a current state of how people feel about requirements practices for traditional and Agile.

Software development has a lot of interdependencies and complexities.

Agile requirements planning – We need to look at value first and continually prioritize.”

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PW&WCBA – Pam Stanton – Understanding the Human Part of the Gantt Chart

Pam Stanton speaking on Understanding the Human Part of the Gantt Chart to Lead Teams to Victory

“Project Managers [often] take the body blow for failed projects.”

“Human Behavior is Not a Work Breakdown Structure!”

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Agile Scout Moderator Panel with John McGuthry and David King

This panel session is meant to be a discussion and John McGuthry and David King are here so that all of us, the audience can learn from what they have to say.

Let me remind you of the over arching theme of this conference: To learn about the skillsets you need to succeed in work and your profession.

The questions I’ll be asking John and David:

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Day 2 PW&WCBA – William Greenwald – Catalyzing Leadership Courage and Excellence

[Due to some personal reasons, Joey Fitts could not attend]

Leadership in People Make All the Difference

Great leaders listen seriously to the objections of others and pay attention to reasonable arguments. Because people naturally resist change, great leaders orient their people not only to expect change but to welcome it.

Look for good people in unlikely places!

  • Don’t look in the obvious places.
  • Look for the competency to perform well and the leadership ability to inspire others.
  • Do not hold their unconventional backgrounds against them.

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Day 2 PW&WCBA – Susan Cramm – The Future of IT Isn’t What It Used to Be

Susan Cramm speaking on The Future of IT Isn’t What It Used to Be

“There are challenges of the new normal.”

“We don’t know who your competitors are. We have a dramatic need for innovation.”

“Too little, too late, too much.”

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Day 2 Starts PW&WCBA – Kathleen Barret- Coming Together to Ensure Project Success

Coming Together to Ensure Project Success – The joint collaboration between Project Management Institute (PMI) and International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA).

Kathleen describes the PM & BA definition of roles:

  • Project Manager – person assigned by the performing organization to achieve the project objectives
  • Business Analyst – practitioner who works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals

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PW&WCBA – Day 1 in Review

Day 1 of PW&WCBA Agile Summit is wrapped! And boy, are we glad. We’re tired!

It’s been a full day of fun, meeting with tons of people who are very interested in Agile practices, as well as listening to some very cool speakers:

The day didn’t start out perfect though, but thats fine. If I were to rate it, I would give it a 9.5/10. Why not a perfect? No internet.


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One Piece of Wisdom in 10 Seconds from Our Agile Speakers

“Core of Agile is resurfacing and advocating business value.” – Susan Block

“It’s ok to do Agile with a little “a” try things if they work or throw them out. Only use pieces that work or provide value.” – Jane Shellum

“Be open to what the teams are saying. They come up with great ideas on how to do things.” – Pam Johnson

“Make it ok to fail.” – Janet Bartz

“If a problem arises, ask the team.” – Dave Grabel

“Be Agile, don’t just use Agile.” – Manoj Vadakkan

Speaker – Pam Johnson – Leading Agile Self-Directed Teams

Pam Johnson works with Scripps Networks Interactive (www.foodnetwork.com, www.cookingchanneltv.com, www.hgtv.com, www.travelchannel.com) and they have been doing Agile for 3 years with 30+ development teams.

We especially like their Agile team names, including: The Rock, The Regulators, The Force, The Ninjaneers. Awesome.

Pam describes a well understood and fully functional Agile enterprise. A very good example of how Agile is done successfully in a large organization with many teams.

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Speakers – Janet Bartz and Jane Shellum – Using Agile and Lean Methodologies

Janet and Jane come from two different areas of business for the Mayo Clinic. It’s the business and IT joining forces!

“When the business and IT partner together value can be derived through collaboration.” – Jane Shellum

The Mayo clinic employs several Agile techniques on their projects. The example project they discussed was the MayoExpert Project. Physicians face information overload on a daily basis, they needed a web-based support system for learning. The challenge, though, was that they needed to convince others to try something different than the (glacier) waterfall methodology.

“The waterfall methodology defers risk to the later stages of the project.” – Jane Shellum

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World Cafe Session – How to Align Your Organization to Agile – Building Trust!

World Cafe is a great discussion time to dialogue about various Agile topics.

This is a very interesting exercise that revolves around a deep dive into these topics.

I joined the Making the Business Case for Selling Agile

Some interesting take-aways from our discussion.

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Speaker – Dave Grabel – Globally Distributed Agile Projects

Dave is a “recovering command & control manager!” Nice to see a little bit of transparency in the beginning. Before Agile Dave lead effective waterfall processes. So what is the reason to go to Agile?

“Change was impossible midstream.”

A Tale of Two Projects – Flipping the Agile Manifesto

Two projects that Dave is working on use Scrum, but not completely.

  • Project A was a project team of 25 people converting classic ASP to ASP.net offshore. – Successful project.
  • Project B was a project team of 150 people doing over 1000 Visual FoxPro screens converted to JSP web pages using BEA web portal offshore. – Failed project.

“Agile can be wrong, but it should only be wrong for two weeks. Because you retrospect every iteration.”

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Speaker – Susan Block – Making a Leap to Agile Requirements

Introduction

  • We will learn about Susan’s transition from waterfall to Agile as an Agile business analyst
  • Understand the differences for the requirements approach on an Agile project.
  • Integrate best practices on an Agile project.

The Vanguard Group went Agile to shorten implementation cycle and to deliver most valuable features first. Makes sense to us, a great reason to go Agile!

Agile for Vanguard Group is:

“Better, Faster, Cheaper.”

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Speaker – Manoj Vadakkan – Agile Project Management Estimation and Planning

There was a Time Before Agile:

  • Before Agile most shops “gathered” requirements from the beginning of the process
  • Requirements sign-off was always a moving target.
  • Iterative development was always at the end.
  • To solve all these problems we needed “Heroes” who could deliver what the customer really wanted, but they would always get burnt out.
  • UAT usually was an afterthought and usually left behind in the development process and estimation was done long before the work was even initiated.

“The actual work always took longer to do than estimated.”

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Agile Summit PW&WCBA Introductions and Kickoff!

Day 1 – Agile Summit

Presider: Ellen Gottesdiener

This Agile Summit is all about the practitioners who are sharing their experiences with transition to Agile.

  • Speaker – Manoj Vadakkan – Agile Project Management Estimation and Planning
  • Speaker – Pam Johnson – Leading Agile Self-Oriented Teams
  • Speaker – Dave Grabel – Globally Distributed Agile projects
  • Speaker – Susan Block – Making a Leap to Agile Requirements
  • Speaker – Janet Bartz – Using Agile and Lean
  • Speaker – Jane Shellum – Using Agile and Lean

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PW&WCBA – Agile Summit: The Power, Promise, Pain, and Praise of Using Agile Practices

Day 1 – AGILE SUMMIT

Agile Scout is on the scene at the Agile Summit at Project World & World Congress for Business Analysts. We’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest news, musings, and ideas from the many speakers that we’re excited to hear from. Stay tuned!

Check out the slides (in advance) below:

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Agile Scout Official Guest Blogger for PW&WCBA Conference

Signed, sealed, and set up to blog straight from the Project World & World Congress for Business Analysis Conference coming up this November 8-10th.

You can go straight to the PW&WCBA blog site here. *Update: They took our announcement post down*

Get excited. If you’ll be there, make sure to stop by the Agile Scout table to win some free swag or an Apple iPad 16gig.

Epic.

Scrum Alliance Amsterdam – Agile Scout Can’t Make It

We’re sad to report that Agile Scout cannot make the Scrum Alliance Amsterdam conference coming up. It’s right after our jam-packed World Congress and Project World for Business Analysis conference that we’re live-blogging from.

Too bad because we were chosen for a Lighting Talk! Maybe next time.

But, it does give us the opportunity to reach out to the Agile community!

If you are going to be attending and would love to help Agile Scout be there in spirit, let’s have a conversation! Email us at: help [at] agilescout [dot] com.

World Congress and WCBA – Agile Scout Moderator!

We’re excited about the ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts conference coming up. We have a schedule of keynote speakers we’ll be attending as well as the track sessions we’ll be live-blogging from.

Not only that, but we’ve been selected to moderate the IT Leadership Panel: The Skills You Need to Advance Your Career with David King and John McGuthry.

This should be a very fun time to learn from what some of the C-Level Executives have to say in regards to project management. We wonder whether we should ask some Agile software development questions…

If you’re going, make sure to check us out!

Scrum Alliance Amsterdam – Full Program Finally Published

The Scrum Alliance has finally posted their full program online here. It looks to be a very exciting event and we’re stoked about the keynotes, bare talks, and lighting talks, all looking very intriguing and useful for the event attendees.

There is (seemingly) still time to sign up and head on over there. It is Amsterdam after all. Flight tickets, though, may be on the pricey side.

We wish we could have joined too, but scheduling conflicts happen.

So who’s going?

World Congress & WCBA Conference – Track Session Speakers

We’ve logged it on our calendars and prepping our gear for the Project World & World Congress for Business Analysts coming up November 8-10th. Again, we’re excited to be the Guest Blogger for this event and have a ton of work to do to prep for it.

Make sure you check out our post on what you can expect from Agile Scout for this upcoming conference!

We’ve just about finished up our decisions on which Track Sessions we want to attend. Below is our list. Get ready!

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Agile Scout (to be?) at Scrum Alliance Amsterdam 2010

We submitted a Lighting Talk for the Scrum Alliance Amsterdam conference coming up!

We got picked! Actually, we didn’t.

We can go! Actually, client work took priority.

We weren’t as much disappointed with not getting chosen as we weren’t able to go. We had some pretty fun plans scheduled out to meet some Agilists out in that part of the world who had offered to buy us a pint when we landed. How could we pass that up?!

Is there anyone out there that’s going and wouldn’t mind helping Agile Scout be there in spirit? Let us know. Let’s have a conversation!

Hanging Out with Agile Scout – Meeting Tweeps

Meeting online tweeps is very cool. There’s something special about meeting twitter-folk in real life. It’s just pure fun.

Agile Scout was at the latest TweetUp this past week and got to meet some very fine folk and we even were able to go to the Atlanta Catalyst 2010 conference and meet up with some of the very finest technology geeks running the backend of the conference (live blogging, live podcasts, live interviews, etc).

Reminds us of how important face-to-face interaction really is.

We also got to see how the technology-folk of this conference roll: SHOWER-STYLE.

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