Scrum Meetup Atlanta – [Speaker] – Peter Saddington on Neuroscience, Behavioral Science, and Psychology of High Performing Teams


Join over 100 people at the Scrum Meetup Atlanta today (2013.02.27) to learn about Neuroscience, Behavioral Science, and Psychology of High-Performing Teams.

Find more information here:

There has been a ton written about management techniques for creating great teams. Let’s go a bit further, and look into how managers can build great teams not by using a new method or management style, but rather understanding team dynamics and behavioral science and patterns.

* What is a High-Performance Team?
* Self-Organization – Not what you think…
* New Role of Management
* Behavioral Science

[Come for free giveaways, discounts on courses and FOOD! Join in the fun!]

About Peter Saddington

Organizational Consultant and only local Atlanta Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). He has also received three master’s degrees, one of which is in counseling, and provides life-coaching services in addition to his consultancy.

Published author of The Agile Pocket Guide (Wiley 2012)

Find more about Local Certified Scrum Training

VersionOne – 7th Annual State of Agile Survey


Time to jump on it. Find the results here.

Some facts from the 2012 State of Agile Survey include:

  • Those who plan to implement agile for future development projects increased from 59 percent in 2011 to 83 percent in 2012
  • The number of respondents using agile practices across 5 or more teams grew 15% (from 33% in 2011 to 48% in 2012)
  • 35% of respondents worked in a company that had distributed software teams
  • On average, respondents used between three and four different development tools, with a handful having used as many as 15

The seventh annual “State of Agile” survey was conducted between August 9, 2012 and November 1, 2012 and collected responses from 4,048 agile practitioners. Sponsored by VersionOne, respondents were recruited from dozens of software development industry channels. The data was then analyzed and prepared into a summary report by Analysis.Net Research.

Atlanta ScrumMaster Training – Action & Influence Growing the Atlanta Market

In Atlanta, GA news:

Action & influence, Inc. announced today that they are hosting more Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Product Owner (CSPO) courses in Atlanta due to increasing demand. As the only company in Georgia to have a local Certified Scrum Trainer, Peter Saddington, they want to bring even more value to the Agile community and local Atlanta companies who want to leverage Agile or Scrum to bring quicker development value to their software and services. Having a local CST gives Georgia companies a great advantage, as their employees can attend local courses without incurring the costs associated with travel. Peter Saddington is one of the 140 Certified Scrum Trainers in the world and about half of them reside in the United States. Peter Saddington is the first CST to reside in the state of Georgia. Saddington says, “Our local clients who are looking towards Agile and Scrum have greatly enjoyed having a local trainer who can service their needs without flying in another trainer from out of state. Most of our clients in Atlanta have private courses for their entire development teams and organization.”

You can quickly find local Atlanta Certified ScrumMaster classes, sign up as an individual, team, or company.

According to one of Action & Influence’s students, Mike Rucker, who recently took a Certified ScrumMaster course in Atlanta said, “I was very pleased to find a local group that offered such a wide choice in class days and times. It was very easy to find a class that fit within an already busy schedule.”

Other testimonials of Action & Influence, Inc. classes:

“Peter’s mastery of the subject matter coupled with his excellent presentation and communication skills made for an outstanding learning experience.” – Jim Olwine from Atlanta

“Peter REALLY did change my life. He provided such great instruction on Scrum and the duties of a ScrumMaster. He gave lots of clarity on my career direction. Great job!” – Aletha Hill from Atlanta

“VERY INSPIRING. [Peter Saddington] is one of the best instructors I have ever seen in my life.” – Parveen Yadav from Atlanta

“I can honestly say that the ScrumMaster class has changed my view on software development, and breathed welcome fresh air into some tired sails. I am genuinely looking forward to the second half of my career now, with hopes to embody in my work all that Peter laid out in the class and the skill set of a true servant leader in the technical world.” – Mike Rucker from Atlanta

[HT: PRWeb]

[Agile Tool Review]: Conferencing calling made easy by free online tool – Speek!

Interested to know about an easy to use, No Bridge/PIN requiring conference call tool? Check out Speek[.com]!
Note: Currently they only support callers within USA.

“..there HAS to be an easy way!..”

One of the biggest challanges of being a volunteer lead on distributed virtual teams is – Communication. With various teams I volunteer with, keeping up with the calendar, conference bridges and pins is a tough task. I’ve sometimes joined the meetings late due to fiddling with the “smart phone” or used incorrect numbers..In my quest to find a FREE simple option, Somehow, I found out about

How it works?

Speek team has pretty good video, audio help to get us started. I would recommend starting here:

  1. Features/Ad
  2. How to Register your Speek Link
  3. How to join a Speek call

In addition here are few self explanatory screen shots for your reference:






Dashboard & Bridge Info:




My Experience:

I’ve had calls with our PMI Atlanta volunteer team, with few agile coaches, and we all found it:

  • very easy to navigate,
  • intuitive,
  • Call quality was clear and
  • Call Summary email after the end of call!

What can make it BETTER:

  1. If Speek could add a Screen/Desktop share utility in addition to file share and
  2. I know they already must be working on this, but making it GLOBAL!

What do agilescout readers use to keep in touch with your (distributed) teams? Were you aware of Speek before reading here? Let us know.

Agile Designers – Marketplace for Awesome



Are you an Agile Designer? Or just a designer looking for great resources? This webbie came up on our radar and so far I like what I’ve seen.

Now, sharing sites are a dime a dozen these days, this is nothing new. What I do like is that designers register, drop web pages or things of interest for others and they get ‘accepted’ by the community as valuable. Crowdsourcing at it’s best.

Don’t get it twisted though, this isn’t a FREE DESIGN TEMPLATE webpage. It’s more on the workflow, the process… helping a designer become more agile… or rather, able to be productive.

Worth a look.

Developers Should Outsource Their Job to Other Developers #LOL

A recent article from The Register was frickin’ hilarious. PERIOD. Snippets below:

A security audit of a US critical infrastructure company last year revealed that its star developer had outsourced his own job to a Chinese subcontractor and was spending all his work time playing around on the internet.

The firm’s telecommunications supplier Verizon was called in after the company set up a basic VPN system with two-factor authentication so staff could work at home. The VPN traffic logs showed a regular series of logins to the company’s main server from Shenyang, China, using the credentials of the firm’s top programmer, “Bob”.

“The company’s IT personnel were sure that the issue had to do with some kind of zero day malware that was able to initiate VPN connections from Bob’s desktop workstation via external proxy and then route that VPN traffic to China, only to be routed back to their concentrator,” said Verizon. “Yes, it is a bit of a convoluted theory, and like most convoluted theories, an incorrect one.”

After getting permission to study Bob’s computer habits, Verizon investigators found that he had hired a software consultancy in Shenyang to do his programming work for him, and had FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account. He was paying them a fifth of his six-figure salary to do the work and spent the rest of his time on other activities.

The analysis of his workstation found hundreds of PDF invoices from the Chinese contractors and determined that Bob’s typical work day consisted of:

  • 9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos
  • 11:30 a.m. – Take lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. – Ebay time
  • 2:00-ish p.m – Facebook updates, LinkedIn
  • 4:30 p.m. – End-of-day update e-mail to management
  • 5:00 p.m. – Go home

The scheme worked very well for Bob. In his performance assessments by the firm’s human resources department, he was the firm’s top coder for many quarters and was considered expert in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python.

Further investigation found that the enterprising Bob had actually taken jobs with other firms and had outsourced that work too, netting him hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit as well as lots of time to hang around on internet messaging boards and checking for a new Detective Mittens video.

Bob is no longer employed by the firm.

Value of Certification – Spring Cleaning



It’s spring cleaning time. Time to clean out the closet and get rid of stuff that is either taking up space, not used, or just not worth keeping around.

I came upon a fully loaded packet of tons of certifications, broken out into 3+1 categories:

  1. Personal Development (3 certs, ranging from Public Speaking to Business Process Improvement)
  2. Software Development (7 certs, ranging from Business Objects to Microsoft stuff)
  3. Software Development Management (7 certs, ranging from PMI-ACP to Scrummy-type stuff)
  4. Undergrad and Graduate Degrees (4 diplomas, CompSci, Counseling, Education, Divinity)

It’s funny. As I’ve accumulated a ton of paper. But it made me think. What’s the value?

In a overly-simplistic view, certification means I’ve done what is necessary to ‘complete’ a set of requirements. 

It could be said that they don’t prove anything. And you would be right. For hiring purposes, they are basically used to filter candidates. But that doesn’t mean they’ll actually be able to do the job (with excellence).

For me, part of my spring cleaning is to continually provide excellent value to my clients and customers. To grow our business to the next level. Certification, at this level, has no real significance.

It felt very good to trash those papers (sans the degrees).

What do your new years resolutions / spring cleaning look like for 2013?