Here are some highlights of the topics we
have covered at previous events. NOTE: As we present new topics
in the monthly meeting, the detail migrates here for historical
We cover essential Agile/Scrum topics, and
we get some GREAT speakers, such as Jeff Sutherland (11/25/2008)
and Ken Schwaber (02/25/2009). Come on down....
convene several big events during each calendar year. We have
big event we have ever ran. Usually, the cost is far less. For
example we charged $29 for the OPEN SPACE 2009 and also $29 for
THANKS FOR SCRUM in the Fall of 2010. These events are optimized
on community learning, not collecting money.
This approach seems to be working well and
we plan to continue to convene high-frequency, low-cost, high-quality
events in service to our Agile tribe in Boston.
Meetings we have convened include:
THE SECOND ANNUAL "GIVE THANKS FOR
SCRUM" event honoring Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber.
Picture from the 2009 event, (c) Tracy White
We convene this meeting every year
on the day before Thanksgiving, honoring the tribal
elders of the worldwide Scrum community, Jeff Sutherland and
Ken Schwaber. In 2009 we
got 230 people and a waitlist of about 40 more. In 2010 we limited
the seating to around 210 to keep the event manageable and of
the highest quality for attendees. In 2010 we charged just $29
bucks and that included lunch and LIVE music during the break
Big Event Description Link
WEDNESDAY 630PM October 27 2010
GAIL CARROLL (with Paul Merrill) on:
"NVC" is a technique that any Scrum
Master or Agile team member can use to increase the bandwidth
communication. The tool is useful in a variety of places where
people and interactions are essential on Agile teams. Which
is like, EVERYWHERE you look.
NVC Boston Link
Center for Non-Violent Communication Link
WEDNESDAY 630PM September 22, 2010
JAY VOGT on GROUNDED VISIONING
Jay's book REENERGIZE YOUR TEAM describes
"grounded visioning", a technique for generating a
team-shared vision in 4 to 6 hours. The method is based on Appreciative
Inquiry. Shared vision is an essential element of team greatness;
the meeting itself was GREAT.
AGILE BOSTON OPEN SPACE 2010, September 19
We held a huge event at the Westin Hotel in
Waltham MA on September 19 2010
We convened the largest Agile Open Space event
ever held in Boston (so far!!) on September 19 2010. We had a
variety of speakers and sessions throughout the day.
Big Event Description Link
WEDNESDAY 630PM September 08 , 2010
Jim McCarthy on THE CORE PROTOCOLS
Jim led the team that created C++
at Microsoft. He did that for 5 years and in so doing, became fascinated with
team greatness and great teamwork. He and Michele McCarthy created
a lab to study great teams and studied over 300 teams. From that
they created a set of structured interactions called the Core
and wrote a book on them, called SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HEAD. Jim
taught us all about the Core in a very lively session.
Link to PDF of SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HEAD
Link to introduction to the Core Protocols
WEDNESDAY 630PM, July 28 2010
Lyssa Adkins on ESSENTIAL DE-PROGRAMMING FOR
Lyssa's book COACHING AGILE TEAMS describes
some limiting beliefs of plan-driven project managers and how
to change these beliefs.
WEDNESDAY April 28 2010, 630PM
AGILE BOSTON OPEN SPACE EVENT- over
235 people attending !!
We held our first OPEN SPACE event on aPRIL
28 2010. We had a typical keynote and sessions in the AM and
then the OPEN SPACE in the afternoon with food, live music and
Big Event Description Link
WEDNESDAY April 28 2010, 630PM
JEAN TABAKA and STEVEN "DOC" LIST
The night after the OPEN SPACE event, we KEPT
GOING and held a meeting of Agile Boston THAT NIGHT and got over
90 people attending to see Jean Tabaka and Steven List present
JEAN TABAKA on: TWELVE AGILE ADOPTION
Jean Tabaka, Agile Fellow
with Rally Software, is continuing on her 30 year path of learning
about software development principles, processes, and practices
for people. She seeks a humane approach to bringing high value
to our communities of creators and consumers. You
canfind her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation: JEAN TABAKA on TWELVE
AGILE ADOPTION **FAILURE** MODES
Twelve Agile Adoption FAILURE Modes
Steven "Doc" List of
WEDNESDAY April 28 2009,740PM
DOC LIST on: Successful Facilitation
Patterns ...and Antipatterns
Steven “Doc” List (generally
known as Doc) is currently a principal consultant with ThoughtWorks,
a highly respected international technology consulting company.
Doc's focus is on organizational transformation and agile adoption,
including coaching, assessment, and training. Doc is also a recognized
expert Open Space facilitator.
PRESENTATION: Successful Facilitation
Patterns ...and Antipatterns
Facilitation skills are essential for anyone.
In fact, everyone facilitates whether they know it or not!
Do you work on a team, manage an organization,
or otherwise work with others? The opportunity to facilitate
will come up.
Steven “Doc” List will lead you
to explore the successful patterns & nasty "antipatterns" that
come up in facilitation, for the facilitator and the participants.
We'll have some fun by taking on roles, and exploring the behaviors
that work and that don't work. The session will include some
time on specific activities and techniques that can be used for
WEDNESDAY MARCH 24 2010, 630PM to
LYSSA ADKINS ON: "WHAT IS AN
AGILE COACH REALLY?"
Lyssa Adkins is certified as a Scrum Trainer
and is an Agile Coach. She is the author of the forthcoming book
Mike Cohn Signature Series, Coaching Agile Teams. Learn more about
Lyssa Adkins here.
Presentation: LYSSA ADKINS ON: "WHAT
IS AN AGILE COACH, REALLY?"
Meeting Page Link
Lyssa's forthcoming book COACHING
AGILE TEAMS. Learn more
about the book here.
WEDNESDAY February 24 2009, 630PM
JOCHEN "JOE" KREBS on: AGILE
TRANSFORMATION AT AOL, the Experience Report
Experience Report: JOCHEN KREBS ON
THE AGILE TRANSFORMATION AT AOL
May 2008 to October 2009......eighteen months
that have changed how people work at AOL forever. The introduction
of Agile to AOL is one of the largest agile transformations ever
in the agile industry.
This adoption of agile and Scrum at AOL resulted in a huge success
for the AOL enterprise and its employees. The presenter personally
coached the teams at AOL from May 2008 to October 2009. This
was a great meting on LARGE SCALE agile adoption. Joe shared
his experiences from this large-scale agile (Scrum) transformation
and explained how Scrum and other agile practices
influenced quality, productivity and the morale of the teams.
In addition, he will share detailed lessons learned from this
agile journey and what opportunities and challenges
lie ahead for AOL.
Click here for the Joe
Krebs meeting page.
WEDNESDAY January 27 2010, 630PM
Presentation: ALAN ATLAS of [RALLY]
on SOCIAL CONTRACTS: THE NEGLECTED ROLE OF MIDDLE MANAGEMENT
IN AGILE TRANSFORMATION
Click here for Slide Deck
This was a great meeting where an
experienced agile coach from RALLY came in and explained how
the middle manager is pivotal as the "keeper of the culture"
in organizations that are making a transition to agile ways of
working. Alan described how 'social contracts' that are clearly
specified can help manage both expectations and behavior during
We had LIVE MUSIC at this meeting from Bob
See the full ALAN
ATLAS MEETING WEB PAGE here.
11/25/2009 GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM
We had an awesome time on 11/15/2009 with
GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM, a special event featuring authoritative
Scrum speakers, live music and great food. We had over 240++
attend this event , the first of its kind in the world. We had
Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber for both individual sessions
and a lively panel discussion.
Live Music on the Break by Dan
Speakers: Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Amr
Elssamadisy, Sanjiv Augustine, Dan Mezick
See the GIVE THANKS
FOR SCRUM event web page here
October 28, 2009 630PM to 830PM
POLLYANNA PIXTON on: COLLABORATIVE
SUE McKINNEY on: BACKING INTO AGILE
Pollyanna Pixton: “Collaborative
Leadership: Just What Agile Needs”
When members of a development project are asked to
become a self-directed agile team, some claim that
leadership and leaders are obsolete. Or, is a different type
of leadership exactly what agile teams need to truly flourish?
Pollyanna Pixton describes collaborative leadership tools that
gives ownership and does not micro-manage. It’s one that
asks the right questions at the right time to generate new
ideas and develop creative products that customers need and
Sue McKinney: “Backing into
Converting 25,000 developers to agile
methods had its challenges. The agile teams struggled
and needed support and understanding from the IBM Leadership
at many levels. In the midst of this, as the global recession
set in, Sue looked for tools for corporate leaders that would
increase the productivity after cost cutting and unleash talent
and keep fostering the innovation needed to deliver results.
In this talk, she talks about the approach
and challenges to identifying what kind of leadership was needed
and what tools would be effective in leading distributed teams
as they adopt and deliver using agile.
page is found here.
September 23 2009, Johanna Rothman on Agile
Project Portfolio Planning
Johanna Rothman of Rothman
Consulting Group works with companies to improve how they
manage their product development--to maximize management and
technical staff productivity and to improve product quality.
Johanna is a prolific author on project management topics.
What exactly is Agile Project Portfolio Planning?
Read this interview
with Johanna and find out !
See the Web
page for the Johanna Rothman event
July 29, 630PM to 830PM: ANDY SINGLETON ON: REAL DISTRIBUTED
SCRUM AND AGILE
Andy has over ten thousand hours logged
as a developer and manager of distributed agile development
projects. He brings this depth of experience to
us in his presentation, revealing what works-- and what doesn't.
He also reveals some surprising (perhaps even "shocking")
beliefs about Scrum, agile and high-performance distributed
team team velocity.
Presentation: ANDY SINGLETON: REAL
DISTRIBUTED SCRUM AND AGILE
According to a recent Forrester survey, 89%
of agile teams have distributed team members. In this presentation,
we will share recommendations for making distributed agile teams
at least as productive as co-located teams. These recommendations
are drawn from our experience combining Scrum-type agile methodologies
with fully distributed "inspired by open source" teams,
global recruiting, and Web 2.0 rapid product release schedules.
See the web
page for the ANDY SINGLETON event
de la Maza on
Michael de la Maza presents
a great experiental session on learning Agile directly....via
AGILE GAMES. This is a cool meeting !
Presentation: MICHAEL DE LA MAZA ON:
LEARNING AGILE VIA AGILE GAMES
Learning Agile is about doing and experiencing.
Books and lectures only take you so far-- you have to experience
some Agile activities to really get it. In this meeting we play
games in teams, to learn specific Agile principles like inspect-and-adapt,
determining highest-value activities, iterations, continuous
improvement and so on.
SLIDES: Grab the
See the MICHAEL
DE LA MAZA event page here.
Gottesdiener on EFFECTIVE AGILE REQUIREMENTS
Ellen provides a great talk on REQUIREMENTS
on Agile projects....a great meeting (81 attending)
Presentation: ELLEN GOTTESDIENER on
Agile Requirements: Not anOxymoron
Misconceptions abound about how (and even
whether) team members on agile projects develop requirements.
Traditional approaches for developing requirements seem to contradict
how agile teams work. In practice, agile projects use requirements
as the basis for planning, developing, and delivering business
value. Learn how requirements analysis works on agile teams,
how requirements are woven into planning cycles, and traditional
requirements practices that agile teams sometimes adapt.
SLIDES: Grab the slides
See the full ELLEN GOTTESDIENER meeting
Elssamadisy on: EFFECTIVE AGILE ADOPTIONS
Presenter: Amr Elssamadisy
Amr is the author
of Patterns of Agile
Practice Adoption: The Technical Cluster, and Agile
Adoption Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Success. He
is the editor in chief of the Agile
Journal, an editor for the AgileQ at InfoQ, and a frequent
presenter at software development conferences.
Abstract: There are many failed or ineffective
teams practicing ‘Agile’. Being Agile is not the
goal. Building better software is. Your needs and environment
are different than many others, so the Agile practices that will
give you the most
bang for your buck are different also. Join us to get an introduction
to incremental techniques to start an Agile adoption
strategy tailored to your environment.
You will walk away with more clarity of the
questions you must ask, and answer, to tailor your adoption and
create a candidate set of practices based on your organization’s
See the AMR
ELSSAMADISY event page here.
With KEN SCHWABER:
Abstract: KEN SCHWABER ON SCRUM. Ken co-created
Scrum with Jeff Sutherland; both men need no introduction.
In this session, Ken provides the intro to Agile & Scrum
spends over 1 hour answering questions directly, from the crowd,
on the specific details of actually implementing Scrum in
of organizational settings.
See the KEN
SCHWABER event page here.
Your Agile Toolkit:
It's not 'all or nothing'. The reality is
that you can start introducing the agile practices into your
without breaking any existing processes. Over time, you bring
in the Agile mindset. They never see it coming. You can take
an incremental approach. (NOTE: This meting got snowed out
and we hope to present the material again soon.)
Teams: When It works and when it doesn't:
We had almost 130 people at
this meeting. It goes without saying we had a great meeting
with Jeff on hand
as the presenter. He is one of the 2 co-creators of Scrum.
Jeff talked on the dynamics and best practices of encouraging
teams to self-organize, using a "shock therapy",
full-immersion technique. He also shared some pitfalls related
to the organization's
willingness to really "get it". GRAB THE
Sutherland Slides here.
See the full JEFF
SUTHERLAND event page here.
Adoption War Stories.
Ray Scott, Director of Agile Practice, Litle & Co.
covered 3 years of Agile adoption experiences in a Director-level
role at 2 well-known Boston corporations. He described
problems and pitfalls and the victories, and provided
a roadmap of actionable steps for would-be Agile adopters. We
60 people at this meeting.
See the RAY
SCOTT event page here.
of the Agile2008 Conference.
We did a quick review of Scrum, had some pizza
and then recapped some of
the hot trends identified from the Agile2008 conference.
Trends include shorter iterations, "promiscuous pairing",
and an emphasis on group and individual psychology.
See the DAN
MEZICK event page here.
State of the Art in Scrum: Trip Report from "Scrum 201" in
NYC **PLUS** Playing the XP Game. Summary of attendance experiences and content from
Jeff Sutherland's excellent advanced Scrum course, plus the XP
game, a fun, group-level Agile training game.
See the MEETING
2008 July: Planning and Estimating: A
run-through of the key activities you must execute on to effectively
estimate within Agile projects. The conventional wisdom is that
Agile and Scrum projects do very little planning. The truth is
that on Scrunm projects, planning is a continuous best-practice.
Agile practitioners do avoid PREDICTION and that was the focus
of this presentation.
Empiricism and Entrepreneuers: The
actual Agile2007 conference session from Dan Mezick, chair and
organizer of the group. See the link to the Agile
2007 abstract here.
User Stories Demystified: A treatment of the User Story
best practice, a format for collecting requirements. We covered User Stories
structure, and size, and how to estimate Stories using Story Points.
Scrum as Attention Manager: Scrum absolutely does not discriminate
in terms of dealing with distractions. All distractions are considered WASTE.
In this session, we looked at Scrum's attention-management mechanics and demonstrated
how Scrum does an absolutely tremendous job of focusing on the work-- at the
expense of all kinds of distractions.
Trip Report: Agile2007: An
formal rundown of presentations from the annual, international conference on
This report was from the 2007 Washington DC event.