Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Session notes - What to do for AOF2017

Shared a little bit of history
- 2014 and 2015 in Tampa at Valpak
- 2016 moved to Orlando and intend to have in Orlando a second year
- then see if we can move to another city

We are considering holding it with Agile Coach Camp (ACCUS) where AOF will be on Friday and then ACCUS will be Saturday/Sunday
- or we could have a games day or a games track (like Give Thanks for Scrum)

Appeal of AOF?
- The honesty of the people involved
- We know we can "suck together" - we realize we are all having the same struggles and can learn from each other.

Graduated Ticket Sales - Another idea (from Give Thanks for Scrum)
- longer you wait, the more expensive you get
- the people who buy early are the most passionate about attending; give them the cheapest rate
- have rate go up every 2-3 weeks

Other ideas?
- should we have some scheduled sessions?
- should we continue with inside and outside sessions (seemed to be appealing for many)

As we get bigger, what should we consider?
- should we get bigger?
- get those engaged who normally would not in the community
- adding more diversity to the event
- in surveys: What brought you here for the first time?
- focus on some different themes: agile beyond software, agile for life, scrum for hardware, agile for the rest of us
- how to help adoption where they are

Monday, November 21, 2016

Subject: Agile for Maintenance Projects

Problems / Challenges

Direct Solutions to Listed Problems / Challenges

General Solutions

Developer Enthusiasm


The work is boring

(find out why it's boring and discover what holds interest … )

Even the term "Technical Debt" is negative

(don't call it that … )

It seems like a marathon of never ending tasks

(see "innovation Sprint" … )

For backend fixes, a lot of what the team works on can't be easily demo'd 


Developers can't see the shiny new thing they just built


The organization can't see it as well as a new feature build 


The organization thinks of the developers as "Resources" and treats them as such, rather than as "People"

Let teams be more empowered, and let them make some more of their own decisions

Quarterly "Innovation Sprint"

Team Ownership -- they get to decide what to work on

Development team gets to provide creative input

Depends on which of the two kinds of Maintenance work you are talking about: 


1. Here and Now Bugs Fixes

Use Kanban

2. Planned Maintenance

Use Scrum (teams can commit and deliver increments)

Example of something that works for one organization: the developers who maintain the system use Kanban, along with a Scrum (Scrumban). They plan 2-week Sprints with all the normal Scrum ceremonies including Retrospective. They also plan a % of capacity within the Sprint to be used for "unplanned work" (e.g., bugs). The Scrum part is for the planned maintenance. The Kanban board is for unplanned work. New bugs come in and team members pull in whatever work they want. They limit to the capacity that was planned for that Sprint.

Switching Resources from one project to another

It's about how well the PEOPLE work together (to be successful)


Every time you swap out peope from one team to another, the new team has to go through "storming, norming, forming" cycle again


Don't call them "Resources"

The Core System is out of our control

Embedding -- Have the Vendor work on-site with you

Example: a vendor system needs integration, but there are dependencies, and delays while waiting for components to be ready


Example: a vendor system has a bug that impacts a system we need to maintain, and it's not easy to determine the source


Re-work due to delay, and slow progress (need to re-test)


Friday, November 18, 2016

Topic Title: SAFe

Initiator: Robert Kinnerfelt

Note taker: Stephanie Allen

Participants: Farrah, Sam Falco, Timothy Breckman, Stephanie Allen

Discussion / Key Concepts / Quotes / Revelations / Highlights
Brief overview of Scaled Agile Framework.
  • Larger organizations and programs of 60-120 ppl
  • Program level consists of teams, product management and different delivery functionalities
  • Valuestream level scales product management work on a higher level
  • One valuestream can have many programs
  • Portfolio level manages strategic themes and organizes valuestreams and programs
The concept of SAFe is systems thinking, lean principles and agile mentality.
Big plannings/PI plannings are large sessions where the entire program plans the next increment of 5-8 sprints normally.
In the end of a Program Increment (PI) there is a Innovation and Planning sprint where teams do innovative work and key players prepare planning event.

Reccomendations / Next Steps / Actions

Learn that SAFe is not devils invention. Use SAFe as a bootsrap framework to implement agile and lean methodologies and mindsets in the entire organization.
Train yourselves before deciding on wherther you want to go there..
Initiator: Nick

Note taker: Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Participants: 6-7 members

Discussion / Key Concepts / Quotes / Revelations / Highlights

 How do you track & estimate business value?
  1. How does a Management Team estimate business value? What models do you use for estimating?
  2. When developing new strategies or build on existing strategies having a business case is important
  3. Project Canvas or Lean Canvas is a simple way to understand the purpose/ROI of a project
  4. Measurable Success is important
  5. Having Stakeholders estimate bus. value using T-shirt sizing is appropriate just like developers estimate stories
  6. Relative Sizing/Estimating & having a baseline is a good way to bring about consistency with values over time
  7. It's helpful for developers to know the value of a feature
  8. OKRs are a good way to start
  9. Doing Earned value vs. Traditional Cost/Value Mtg can be used
  10. SMEs are not the best estimator of value - it's important to have them engage in conversations which not only determines value of an Epic/Feature, but also the Opportunity Cost of not being able to get it to Market at a certain time
  11. Build or Buy Decisions typically have a Business Value incorporated into the process since it's the starting point of trying to figure out whether a team would build or buy
  12. Executive Dashboard like Valpak is the ideal = Encourage Your company or Team to take a Tour (Contact Stephanie Davis)

Recommendations / Next Steps / Actions

Management 3.0

Title:  Management 3.0

Initiator:  Robert Kinnerfelt

Note taker:  George Spantidakis

Participants:  George Spantidakis, Mike Glasney, Anitra Pavka, Suzy Jackson, Anjali Leon, Dottye Steward, Dan Crowley, Adam Ulery, Ken Nordquist, Josh Fruit, Jason Knocks, Alexis Martin, Joshua Fiscent,


3 Books Available by Jurgen Appelo

  1. Management 3.0
  2. How to Change the World
  3. The Workout Book
Website:   http://www.management30.com

2 Day Workshop Available with Free 2 hour preview to companies
Workout - toolbox of 20 techniques that can be applied to organizations.

Management 3.0 Contains Different Stages of Environment

  1. Built to make people understand how to manage a system in a complex environment
  2. How people develop themselves
    • People vs. Artifact Management
    • Agile Shows us how to build the product, but doesn't tell us how to get there.
    • Teams need a brand, name, or logo to give identity
    • Identities energize people
      • Make people part of something they can build or change
  3. What have functional managers done to make teams feel ownership or go "cool" ?
  4. Knowing WHY you are doing something is energizing
  5. Delegation empowers and energizes (Tools exist such as delegation boards)
Primary Concepts of Managment 3.0:

Empowering Teams
  1. Share clear vision and objective
  2. Trust
    • Built by asking for help
    • Providing Safe environment - OK to fail
    • Let teams solve problems
  3. Lead the Chaos for team to become autonomous

Align Constraints:
  1. Manage Outer Boundaries of playing field
    1. Be Transparent
    2. Manage Objectives
Develop Competence:
  1. Manager's Responsibilities
    1. Agree on direction to move
    2. Can team satisfy direction ?
  2. It's HOW we do it that's essential
Grow Structure:
  1. Any system is driven by culture
    • Communication Channels
    • Information Letters
    • Weekly Meetings
  2. Easy to say that Agile teams are autonomous
    • Teach oursevles within organization
    • Breeding reductionism
    • Acknowledge that Tree is a trellis that can allow an organization to grow organically
  3. Pathway to Nirvana of compensation
    • Kudo Cards
    • "Cheers for Peers"
    • Day Off buttons
    • Impact Testimonial by customer
  4. Treat everyone as team members (FTE's + Contractors)
  5. Look for ways to build community with remote or geographically disbursed teams
    • Personas (Hobbies, photos, about me) to humanize team members
    • Have remote employees go first in standup meetings
Improve Everything:

  1. Continuously
  2. New course material for Management 3.0 has removed Agile and has shifted to contemporary
Differntiators of Management 3.0:

  1. Branding
  2. Guilds -   1 hour of work per week that leads to several hours of efficiency
  3. Parallel (Scaled) Agile and Management 3.0 are a good fit with each other
    • A bootstrap to expand
    • Answers to everyday issues
  4. Personal Maps
    • A tool to get teams to know each other

Telecommuting tools

Initiator/note taker: Vlad Filippov (Valpak)

Discussion / Key Concepts / Quotes / Revelations / Highlights

Challenges of telecommuting in Agile teams.

Recommendations / Next Steps / Actions

List of tools for team communication:

1. Lync / Skype / Skype for Business.
2. Slack.
3. WebEx.
4. Zoom.
5. Google Hangouts.
6. Blue Jeans.
7. Sococo.
8. Bria (VoIP client).