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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 refererence.

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....

NOTE: We convene several big events during each calendar year. We have never charged more than $69 for any 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 the GIVE 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 Photography

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: NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION

"NVC" is a technique that any Scrum Master or Agile team member can use to increase the bandwidth of face-to-face 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.

Meeting Link

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.

Meeting Link

 

 

AGILE BOSTON OPEN SPACE 2010, September 19 2010

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 Protocols, and wrote a book on them, called SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HEAD. Jim taught us all about the Core in a very lively session.

Meeting Link

Link to PDF of SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HEAD

Link to introduction to the Core Protocols

McCarthy Podcasts

 

 

WEDNESDAY 630PM, July 28 2010

Lyssa Adkins on ESSENTIAL DE-PROGRAMMING FOR PROJECT MANAGERS

Lyssa's book COACHING AGILE TEAMS describes some limiting beliefs of plan-driven project managers and how to change these beliefs.

Meeting Link

 

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 more.

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 their sessions........

 

JEAN TABAKA on: TWELVE AGILE ADOPTION **FAILURE** MODES

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 jean.tabaka@rallydev.com

Presentation: JEAN TABAKA on TWELVE AGILE ADOPTION **FAILURE** MODES

Twelve Agile Adoption FAILURE Modes

Meeting Link

 

Steven "Doc" List of THOUGHTWORKS:

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 effective facilitation.

Meeting Link

 

WEDNESDAY MARCH 24 2010, 630PM to 830PM

LYSSA ADKINS ON: "WHAT IS AN AGILE COACH REALLY?"

Lyssa Adkins

Lyssa Adkins is certified as a Scrum Trainer and is an Agile Coach. She is the author of the forthcoming book from Addison-Wesley’s 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 to 830PM

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 to 830PM

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 agile transitions.

We had LIVE MUSIC at this meeting from Bob MacWilliams.

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.

Attendance- 240++

Live Music on the Break by Dan Hermes

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 LEADERSHIP, with...

SUE McKINNEY on: BACKING INTO AGILE LEADERSHIP

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 want.

Sue McKinney: “Backing into Agile Leadership”

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.

The meeting 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.

INTERVIEW:

What exactly is Agile Project Portfolio Planning? Read this interview with Johanna and find out !

See the Web page for the Johanna Rothman event here.

 

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 here.

 

 

2009-04-29: Michael de la Maza on AGILE GAMES

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, fail-fast, determining highest-value activities, iterations, continuous improvement and so on.

SLIDES: Grab the slides HERE.

See the MICHAEL DE LA MAZA event page here.

 

 

2009-04-29: Ellen 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

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 here.

See the full ELLEN GOTTESDIENER meeting page here.

 

2009-03-25: Amr 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 context.

See the AMR ELSSAMADISY event page here.

 

 

2008-02-25: Q&A With KEN SCHWABER:

Presenter: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 and then spends over 1 hour answering questions directly, from the crowd, on the specific details of actually implementing Scrum in a variety of organizational settings.

See the KEN SCHWABER event page here.

 

2008-01-28: Implementing Your Agile Toolkit:

Presenter:Igor Moochnick.

Abstract: It's not 'all or nothing'. The reality is that you can start introducing the agile practices into your current projects gradually, 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.)

 

 

2008-11-25: Self-Organizing Teams: When It works and when it doesn't:

Presenter: Jeff Sutherland

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 11/25 Jeff Sutherland Slides here.

See the full JEFF SUTHERLAND event page here.

 

2008-10-22: Agile Adoption War Stories.

Presenter: Ray Scott, Director of Agile Practice, Litle & Co.

Ray covered 3 years of Agile adoption experiences in a Director-level role at 2 well-known Boston corporations. He described the problems and pitfalls and the victories, and provided a roadmap of actionable steps for would-be Agile adopters. We had almost 60 people at this meeting.

See the RAY SCOTT event page here.

 

2008-09-22: Recap of the Agile2008 Conference.

Presenter: Dan Mezick.

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.

 

2008-08-12: The 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 PAGE here.

 

2008 July: Planning and Estimating: A run-through of the key activities you must execute on to effectively plan and 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.

Agile, 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 Agile held each year. This report was from the 2007 Washington DC event.