Welcome to Keep Austin Agile 2017, an exciting conference packed with 35 sessions crafted by speakers from the Austin agile community and around the country. Whether you are a newbie or a experienced Agilist, we’ve got you covered. Join Agile Austin for our 5th Keep Austin Agile Conference. Register Today!

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Agile Leadership [clear filter]
Thursday, May 25


Power Coaching - Pushing the Boundaries to Build Better Teams
The first rule of coaching Agile teams is that the team knows best. Allow the team to solve its own problems. Let them learn through failure. But where is the line? Do we allow them to do anything? If that’s the case, then how do you challenge them to get better? It’s time to stop compromising our own values in the name of self-organization. In order to help teams improve, we have to be willing to give direct feedback and challenge decisions when appropriate. But sometimes in our zeal to push people to the next level, we cross the line and push too hard. That’s why it is important to be prepared with a strategy for repairing the relationship ahead of time.

This interactive learning session will give participants (1) insights on why it is important to understand that working from a coaching stance is not utilizing the full breath of the role as an Agile coach, (2) a pattern for designing an alliance with teams that creates the container for a strong partnership, and (3) strategies to repair the coaching relationship when a breach happens.

avatar for Allison Pollard

Allison Pollard

Agile Coach, Improving
Allison Pollard helps people discover their Agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an Agile coach with Improving in Dallas, Allison enjoys mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters and fostering communities that provide sustainability for Agile transformations... Read More →
avatar for Cherie Silas

Cherie Silas

Enterprise Agile Coach, Tandem Coaching Academy
Certified Enterprise Coach and ICF Professional Certified Coach

Thursday May 25, 2017 9:35am - 10:35am
Room 5


Why the World Needs More Prescriptive Agile Coaches
Using games, consensus, hints, simulations, suggestions, gathering in circles, suggested readings, more hints, behavioral and organizational models, discussion, etc.; most Agile coaches approach the craft from the perspective of guiding teams towards self-direction. But I think they’re being too soft! I know, I know, but don’t shoot the messenger and please hear me out.

In this session, join seasoned leader, manager, Agile practitioner and coach Bob Galen as we explore the boundaries of effective Agile coaching. Mostly because of poor management practice, Bob’s assertion is that many Agile coaches approach their space too softly, with too much caution and concern surrounding “telling” teams what to do.

Bob’s assertion is that responsible coaching needs a balance from being prescriptive to guiding and that our lean-age is wrong—particularly with beginning teams. In this workshop, we’re going to explore the characteristics and skills of a prescriptive coach. Under what circumstance is it ok to tell? And how to approach it? Explore how to apply team performance and results to your coaching. I’m telling you—you’ll leave with a new drive for coaching.

avatar for Bob Galen

Bob Galen

Principal Agile Coach, Vaco
Bob Galen is an Agile Practitioner, Trainer & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. He is a Principal Agile Coach at Vaco Agile, a leading... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 9:35am - 10:35am
Room 1


Beginning with the End in Mind - Developing a Dynamic Team Charter
Aristotle once stated, “Well begun is half done.” However, many Agile initiatives suffer from a feeble launch. So how can we increase the likelihood of success for a team or organization? By developing a sound team charter. Beginning with the end in mind, we use retrospective techniques to develop consensus around objectives, vision, and mission.

Linda Cook and Chris Espy introduce the components of a good charter and explain how those components help focus the team toward a common goal. In addition, the development of the recommended charter components ensures that key questions are succinctly answered during the kickoff of a team’s efforts. Linda describes when to create or revise a charter and the associated artifacts and process that provide a framework for the team charter. Learn the various types of charters and their recommended content. During the workshop activity, teams will develop a complete charter for a team of their choice or for a provided case study.

This is a hands on workshop, following Sharon Bowman’s 4Cs format, in which the attendees will understand how to develop an Agile team charter for a defined team within Company X.

avatar for Linda Cook

Linda Cook

Chief Learning Officer, Project Cooks, LLC
Linda is a recognized technology leader and Agile Transformation expert. She is committed to helping organizations achieve their strategic goals. With over 21 years of experience as an IT executive, Linda offers a unique blend of leadership, innovation, and vision which allows her... Read More →
avatar for Chris Espy

Chris Espy

SolutionsIQ, SolutionsIQ
Chris Espy is a Senior Agile Consultant at SolutionsIQ. He has 28 years in IT product development with 10 years in helping companies adopt better ways of working. Chris is passionate about helping organizations and teams build a continuous improvement culture to effectively and efficiently... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 10:55am - 11:55am
Room 1


Bridging the Chasm Between Enterprise Execution Techniques and Agile Thinking
There is a yawning chasm between the way executives at large enterprises are used to operating and the principles that the Agile development teams are trying to install.

To bridge this chasm, you need to answer a few questions. What are the underlying mechanisms of human behavior that enterprise execution techniques assume are critical to their effectiveness and how have these mechanisms been disrupted by your Agile transformation? Why have traditional uses of metrics suddenly stopped being effective and how can you alter your approach to using metrics, restoring their effectiveness in your newly Agile environment? Most critically, how can you leverage the language and mindsets of your executives to reinforce your Agile initiatives rather than resist them?

This talk gives you the answers to these questions and a framework of execution that will be familiar to your executives but reinterpreted in the context of your Agile transformation.

avatar for Larry Maccherone

Larry Maccherone

DevSecOps Transformation, Comcast
Larry Maccherone is an industry-recognized thought leader on DevSecOps, Lean/Agile, and Analytics. He currently leads the DevSecOps transformation at Comcast. Previously, Larry led the insights product line at Rally Software where he published the largest ever study correlating development... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 10:55am - 11:55am
Room 6


"It's All About Me!" - Owning Your Behavior, Improving Your Team
Successful high-performing teams have many common attributes. One is their ability to function together collaboratively. In order to collaborate well, they must communicate effectively and get beyond some of the members' personal biases and quirks.

In this interactive workshop, Doc List shares common problems with behavior, motivation, emotions, and interpretation that frequently get in the way. Participate in exercises that lead you to understand ― and sometimes expose ― your own blind spots and limitations. Challenge your own assumptions, learn about taking ownership of your own feelings and behavior, and articulate the difference between behavior and interpretation.

Along the way, gain a new understanding of intuition and how you're using it in your interpersonal situations. Leave this workshop with a new and clearer understanding of how you've been interpreting others' behavior and acting on those interpretations.

avatar for Doc List

Doc List

Agile Coach, Trainer, AnotherThought
Doc spends time on passion projects to expand his style, skills, and experience. The rest of the time he's photographing weddings, portraits, head shots - people. Doc loves people.

Thursday May 25, 2017 1:20pm - 2:20pm
Room 6


Piece-by-Piece and Practice Makes Perfect: Managing Iterative and Incremental Development
This workshop explores the importance and application of incremental and iterative approaches in software development. The distinction between iterative and incremental development is often overlooked, leading to confusion and inefficient or ineffective development. Often, teams are unsure as to which approach they are implementing leading to misaligned management. More importantly, because teams are unsure of the two approaches, they are ill-equipped to choose the one that’s best for the project and implications of their choice are poorly understood. Most development efforts need both. Success depends on finding the right combination and providing the right management support. This session will give you tools to find find and support the combination best suited to your development work.

Attendants will walk away with answers to the following questions:
  • What distinguishes iterative and incremental approaches?
  • How do the two approaches work together?
  • When does each apply?
  • What are the implications for product management?

avatar for William Baxter

William Baxter

CTO & Co-Founder, SeriesX
William is CTO and Co-Founder of SeriesX, an Austin-based startup building the document management and community platform for Law firms, VCs and their portfolio companies. William's experience with Agile began in his days as a technology leader introducing Agile at companies in NYC... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 1:20pm - 2:20pm
Room 8


A Leader's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Agile Teams
Many software development managers find the transition to Agile very difficult. The Manifesto for Agile Software Development hardly speaks to the role leaders have to play in a team's success. Our industry has plenty of material on how to practice Scrum, but less so on how to be a leader in an Agile organization. This interactive presentation will provide concrete recommendations for the actions leaders need to take as their role evolves from that of being a manager to being a leader. It also contains material and a few exercises (games/survey) to illustrate how leaders can support their Agile teams. If you are one of these leaders, or someone who is coaching them, this session is for you.

avatar for William

William "Red" Davidson

Agile Coach, RMS Computer Corp
William Davidson, known to many as Red, is an Agile Coach consulting at Citigroup in Irving, Texas. He’s been writing software for money since 1983 (whoa, that’s a long time). He’s held many positions (Development Manager, Project & Program Manager, PMO Lead, and Scrum Master... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 2:40pm - 3:40pm
Room 7


Cultivating Ownership Behavior in Yourself and Others
Ownership behavior -- personal and shared responsibility for actions and results -- is fundamental to life and to agility. Applied research over the last thirty years on teams and leaders uncovers how personal responsibility works in the mind -- how we take it and how we avoid it. This research uncovered a fascinating mental pattern called The Responsibility Process. In this session, you will experience The Responsibility Process in action as you work together to address problems. Participants often experience personal breakthroughs during these exercises.

The session will culminate with a set of principles for cultivating ownership behavior in yourself and others.

avatar for Christopher Avery

Christopher Avery

CEO, The Responsibility Company
UNLOCKING YOUR NATURAL ABILITY TO LIVE AND LEAD WITH POWER. Christopher Avery "The Responsibility Process guy" is a reformed management consultant. After a decade helping corporations help smart, ambitious professionals find ways to cope with lives they don't want and think they... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 2:40pm - 3:40pm
Room 6


Avoiding the Dilbert Syndrome: What Does the Agile Manager Actually Do?
We answer the question “What does the manager do?” We will focus on enabling flow and value delivery, using visible progress to guide behaviour, holding teams accountable with iterative and incremental delivery and increasing throughput with catalytic leadership.

We focus on how traditional management responsibilities move from tactical to strategic.
  • Line management - push responsibilities into the team, with managers keeping an eye on decisions and looking for outliers
  • Functional management - facilitate functional leaderships through an advocacy role within communities of practice (instead of waiting and hoping good practices will emerge)
  • Project management - the product owner/scrum master handles much of the overall problem solving/identification, responsibility for progress, and team management
  • Catalytic Leadership - enable continual flow through the team for fastest possible delivery to the customer. Get things done without being the choke point

There are many dependencies across the organization to understand and smooth-out.  Catalytic leadership guides your teams to high-performance through the right guidelines, constraints, and safe-to-learn environment.

avatar for Dave Sharrock

Dave Sharrock

Agile Coach, agile42
Dad, internet veteran, husband, entrepreneur, occasional seismologist. British and almost Canadian. Agile coach and change agent. Only Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and Certified Agile Leader (CAL) in Canada.

Thursday May 25, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6


Small Shop Agile Transition: Getting Buy-in with Low Tech and Starting Simple
This session is targeted at novices and provides a first-hand account of how to successfully implement Agile in a small to medium-sized team. Attendees will learn how to ease colleagues and management into Agile, by incrementally introducing low-tech tools like sticky-note-Kanban and paper-sharpie burndown charts. We’ll also cover how to establish rules for new processes like standups and retrospectives, and to maintain buy-in by keeping things simple early on.

avatar for Alex Boase

Alex Boase

Senior Project Manager, Liaison Creative + Marketing
Originally hailing from California, Alex strayed from the Pacific Ocean to become a horned frog at Texas Christian University. Wielding a BS in Journalism, Alex has worked throughout the Lone Star State in many facets of the advertising industry including design, management, and new... Read More →

Thursday May 25, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 1