Jan
8
5:30 PM17:30

January 8th: "Lean" – The Beginning & Scientific Foundation

Presented by Dave Nave

'Lean' is an American term that is generally used to describe the Toyota Production System. Over the years much has been written about 'Lean', extrapolations made, misconceptions grew, and an entire industry created. However, where did this label come from?

While we are at it, lets explore other aspects of 'Lean.'

  • Why or how did 'removing waste' become the mantra of Lean? Or is it a myth?

  • Many books describe techniques of 'Lean', but what are the five principles to guide action?

  • What were Taiichi Ohno's basic beliefs used to create the Toyota Production System?

  • What is the intellectual foundation of modern improvement efforts?

We will wrap up with a powerful simulation of business results when implementing improvement in a three department organization.

Dave Nave

Dave Nave was working in the Continual Process Improvement field when 'Lean Production' was introduced to the American business lexicon. As a Management Engineer, he focuses on combining the appropriate strategy, culture, structure, processes, and values needed for organizational optimization. He guides business situations using his unique combination of Engineering - Operations background and management perspective.

Dave's background features a strong emphasis on improvement practices by connecting the fields of know-how, know-why and know-what at the personal level. He has worked as an internal and external change agent, both as an individual contributor and as part of a divisional process improvement taskforce team. Dave holds an MBA in Management Systems from Fordham University and a BS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology.

View Event →

Dec
4
5:30 PM17:30

December 4th: Collaboration Games

Presented by Sylvia Raskin

Presentation Handout

Listen, Connect, Respond: How High-Performing Teams Develop Creative Confidence

Experience how listening, building on ideas, and creating meaning together, strengthens collaboration and individual performance. Collaboration games are inspired by classic improv practices, without any of the pressure to perform or be on stage. You’ll experience several low-stakes activities that can help teams connect, develop surprising new ideas, and perform better together. Challenge yourself, have fun, and let go of perfection.

Sylvia Raskin

Sylvia Raskin is a Consultant with Navicet, a strategic design consultancy, where she loves designing processes that facilitate fun and fast collaboration. Sylvia studied improv at the famed Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater and has facilitated participatory education with over 20,000 people as a Learning and Development Trainer with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Sylvia has a BA in Economics from USC and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School. Sylvia believes that personal development and embracing ambiguity are integral parts of organizational success. In her free time, you can find Sylvia building courage through her skateboarding community, Skate Like a Girl, where serves on the Board of Directors and coaches youth skateboarding.

View Event →
Nov
6
5:30 PM17:30

Five XP Practices for Agile Development

Presented by David Bernstein

Presentation Slides

Five development practices are core to Extreme Programming (XP): automating the build for continuously integrating software as it is written, collaborating with team members through pair programming, practicing agile design skills that enable testability, using test first development to drive design, and refactoring code to reduce technical debt. Together, these five technical practices are proving to be essential for sustained success with agile development. However, many teams haven't been exposed to the benefits of these practices or understand how to use them effectively. David Bernstein explores these engineering practices and their use in reducing risk and building quality in at every level of the development process. He makes the business case for these practices by showing how they address the inherent risks and challenges of building software. David then examines how XP practices address the core issues of software development by helping us "build the right thing" and "build the thing right."

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of XP practices and why they are not what they seem

  • Use continuous integration to reduce risk in building software

  • Employ pair programming to propagate knowledge throughout the team

  • Recognize five code qualities at the core of all good developer practices

  • Adopt test driven development to rapidly build higher quality code

  • See how refactoring is used to help you work faster by reducing technical debt

David Bernstein

David Bernstein is the author of Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) of Your Software. It's an insider's view of the software industry drawn from his decades of hands-on experience as a software developer, trainer, and consultant to some of the biggest players in the business. David's continuing passion for software design and construction has led him to train more than 8,000 developers since 1990 at hundreds of companies worldwide including Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft. His consulting firm, To Be Agile, helps developers adopt Extreme Programming practices such as test-driven development, continuous integration, and refactoring.

View Event →
Oct
2
5:30 PM17:30

Strategic Organizational Transformation with Agendashift

Presented by Adam Yuret

Come join us to learn about the Agendashift approach to learning organizational health and exploring obstacles to desired outcomes to achieving meaningful strategic improvement.

We'll explore Agendashift with a brief introduction to the survey tool and a debrief followed by a 15 minute FOTO (From Obstacles to Outcomes) game wherein we can learn to explore clean language and improve our coaching toward the strategic application of Lean flow.

The agendashift survey is a framework agnostic tool for exploring existing organizational systems and making a plan for improving them.

Adam Yuret

Adam Yuret is an experienced systems thinker who has consulted small non-profits and fortune 100 clients on adopting context-driven systems to solving difficult problems. Adam started Context Driven Agility in 2010 to share his passion for humanistic flow-based systems full time. He’s been consulting organizations and teams to adapt to their respective contexts using collaborative approaches and lean principles to great effect. Context Driven Agility is about recognizing that no one set of standardized best practices is applicable to every situation. Effective learning organizations strive to understand context before applying approaches or suggesting experiments.

View Event →
Sep
11
5:30 PM17:30

Silo Busting

Presented by Tom Perry

Presentation Slides

Organizational silos are the source of the most pernicious dysfunctions you can find within any company. These divisions serve to isolate people in the organization within hyper-specialized roles. Ostensibly, we do this in order to help people succeed. The Justification might be that no one can be equally good at everything. Therefore, we compartmentalize our lives and those around us in order to filter out the extraneous noise.

Of course, it does not have to be this way. You can deliver a product successfully without compartmentalizing everyone and everything in an organization within an inch of its life. It requires a different mindset. One needs inter-disciplinary thinking that considers different skills and tries to synthesize a whole rather than divide. This requires a mindset that favors skill over roles and knowledge over assignment.

In this talk, we explore the causes of organizational silos, their impacts, and the strategies that you can employ to help mitigate their impact on your teams and within your organization. 

Tom Perry

Tom has been working as a transformation agent in software development for over 20 years. He has worked on teams at startup companies, large corporations in the Fortune 100 and the State and Federal Government. His background includes testing, development, project/program management, agile coaching/mentoring and training. As part of his involvement in the greater agile community, he led the Seattle eastside chapter of the APLN as well as recently creating the Open Agile Management conference in Seattle. He is a speaker and author on Agile topics in local and international forums. He wrote "The Little Book of Impediments" which can be found on www.leanpub.com

 

(Due to Labor Day this month's meeting is on the second Tuesday of the month)

View Event →
Jun
5
5:30 PM17:30

Data Privacy Practices and Challenges In The Era of Big Data

Presented by Becky Yoose

Presentation Slides

The recent revelations of Cambridge Analytica’s collection and use of Facebook data started a new round of debates about the role of data privacy in the everyday use of various technologies. Many applications and software products are free to use, but the cost to a person of using the application is the data collected on the person using it. Many users, as well as the technology workers who build and maintain these applications, are not aware of or fully understand the extent of this collection, and the repercussions if the data they provide to these applications is mishandled. This talk will explore how technology workers can incorporate data privacy principles and practices into their products, as well as gain a better understanding about how to balance data privacy and analysis in their work.

Becky Yoose

Becky Yoose is the Library Applications and Systems Manager at The Seattle Public Library. Her work and interests fall into the many intersections of technology and libraries. This ranges from the practicalities of how technology has changed the culture and function of modern librarianship to library data privacy practices. You can find Becky on Twitter at @yo_bj.
 

 

View Event →
Apr
3
5:30 PM17:30

How to Engineer Software

Presented by Steve Tockey

Presentation Slides
Manuscript Location - "How To Engineer Software"
Proof-of-Concept Model Editor & Compiler

Software can be engineered. Software should be engineered. But true engineering—in the sense of how it is practiced in civil engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, etc.—of software requires more than just claiming “software engineer” as a job title. This presentation:

  • Defines what software engineering should really mean and shows why software needs to be developed this way
  • Presents the true nature of code—what lines of code actually mean—and draws out vital implications from that
  • Explains how the common difficulties experienced on mainstream software projects are avoided when this true engineering approach is applied

This presentation is based on a soon-to-be-published book of the same name.

Steve Tockey

Steve Tockey is the Principal Consultant at Construx Software. He has been employed in the software industry since 1977, and has worked as a programmer, analyst, designer, researcher, consultant, and adjunct professor. During his career, which has included stints at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, The Boeing Company, and Rockwell Collins, Inc., Steve has obtained an in-depth knowledge of software engineering practices, including project management, estimation, quality techniques, object-oriented development and distributed object computing. Steve has a Master's of Software Engineering from Seattle University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an IEEE Computer Society Certified Software Development Professional.

Steve is the author of Return on Software, a book designed to help software professionals maximize the return on their software investment.

View Event →
Mar
6
5:30 PM17:30

Finding the Yes

Presented by Katie Chase
Presentation Slides

Join Katie Chase, founder and product developer, to explore how the language we use affects the results we get. The evening will focus on two specific phrases/techniques that can be applied in conversation with ourselves, our teams and our personal relationships to build goals that are conscious, constructive, kind and measurable. 

Katie Chase

Katie has a performance degree in voice from Oberlin College Conservatory and has studied seven languages. She's an accomplished coach and trainer and humanistic in nature. Recently, she was COO at Package Guard, an angel-backed B2C consumer electronics startup in Seattle and previously Director for Oberlin's Creativity and Leadership program and  Founder|CEO of Advanced Educators, an online marketplace for continuing education that served over practitioners around the world. 

View Event →
Feb
6
5:30 PM17:30

Featureban

Facilitated by Julia Wester and Adam Yuret

Slides from the meeting

In this month’s session, Julia Wester and Adam Yuret will be facilitating a multi-round Kanban simulation called Featureban.

Featureban is a fun way for small groups to learn about key principles of Kanban by using them! Rather than hearing a lecture about Kanban, you learn by doing!

The game starts simple with visual management (iteration 1); after that we layer on things like WIP limits (iteration 2) and metrics (iteration 3). This incremental approach is very much by design and you can further iterate as time and desire allows.

Featureban is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. As customization is encouraged, you can update it for your needs, facilitate it, and share it back to the community! 

Julia Wester

Julia is the co-founder of Lagom Solutions, a Lean/Agile consulting and training company that benefits from her 17 years of experience working in and managing teams at Turner Broadcasting, F5 Networks and LeanKit. Julia is passionate about teaching others how to tame the chaos of everyday work by embracing transparency, continuous improvement and a lagom mindset, as well as talking about how management doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Julia blogs at everydaykanban.com and tweets at @everydaykanban.  Don't forget to visit https://lagom.solutions to see what Julia and Lagom Solutions can do for you!

Adam Yuret

Adam is an Exec Consultant, Portfolio/Program, and Systems Thinker.  He has over 14 years of experience working in commercial and non-profit software engineering. 

Context Driven Agility is how Adam helps organizations achieve big-picture alignment in order to help grow what he calls "humanistic lean flow-based systems" which means synthesizing the leading ideas in lean portfolio prioritization and evolutionary approaches like Kanban to not only help organizations better understand the complexities inherent in human systems but empowering teams to solve them, collaboratively. 

View Event →
Jan
9
5:30 PM17:30

Roundtable: What the [bleep] does 'Agile' mean?

Refereed by Dave Nave

Presentation Slides
Contribution Table (revision 7)

Think of the customers most in need of our services. If they understood more of what we offer, they would already do it.  They don't and call for help.  Waves of process improvement champions respond, with competing proposals that use identical terms to mean different things and different terms to mean the same thing.  "Agile" is one. The confusion leaves the potential customer unprepared to select from our strategies, as unprepared as a boy scout flag football coach is to slow down a NFL offense.  Or like a lonely seaside sergeant in foxhole who is to stop the Marine Corps from landing on his beach. And this is before we throw any Japanese and Welsh terms at the customer!  We have our code words, just like the NFL offense or the Marines. Some code words simplify understanding, others prevent it.  Many do both. A confused customer controls the cash, can prevent our sale, reject the value we offer and remain in need of our services.

Let's see if we can compare and clarify basic strategic flavors of software process improvement strategies, terms and advantages, relationships, maybe even nuances and implications.  This drives us toward the fundamentals our customer can experience. Still, in this short evening of conversation, oversimplification is the reality we will have to accept, even while hearing passionately expressed beliefs.

Dave Nave

Dave Nave is an experienced Management Engineer with notable process improvement success. In 2002 he published a comparison of three improvement methodologies that is being referenced to this day. He is eager to hear agile described in common terms, sans those 'TM' words.  While asking local groups, Dave found spirited discussions about defining Agile, even as we sell what sounds like the same thing. He knows we are onto something important, but prefers it explained in a more basic business management language.

Dave brings to the discussion an eight-column table of seven improvement methodologies, compared on eleven categories. The eighth column is blank, except for the title: "Agile".

View Event →
Dec
5
5:30 PM17:30

Packing for an Agile Software Release: A Hiker's Guide

Presented by Dawn Hemminger

Slides from the Presentation

Intimidated by planning an Agile software release for your team? Don't be! Rest easy and use the same steps I use when planning for a release. Think of it like planning for a hiking adventure with friends! We will ORGANIZE our gear, SCHEDULE our trip, PLAN for the future by learning from our history, PACK our bags, and GO! Then we'll SHARE our own personal experiences, as I hope to learn from you! So whether you're a novice or a pro, you'll gain tips and techniques to plan your next Agile software release. Let's share in this adventure together.   

Dawn Hemminger

Dawn Hemminger is an Agile Software Release Manager and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) at the University of Washington (UW). She brings 20+ years of engineering leadership, systems service, training and quality assurance expertise in the aeronautical and software industry as well as 10+ years working as a community organizer and workshop leader. Her unique and diverse background in both the private and public sector demonstrates her strengths and accomplishments in planning, coaching, transparency, collaboration and implementation. She has a proven track record of building great teams and guides them to success. Most recently, she managed UW’s Enterprise Integration Platform (EIP) team to launch the enterprise HR system to campus. When not evangelizing Agile and Lean practices, you can find Dawn hiking the beautiful trails of the Pacific Northwest. She currently resides in the historic Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA. 

View Event →
Nov
7
5:30 PM17:30

November 7th: How to Measure User Sentiment to Prioritize Your Product Backlog

Presented by Peter Moon

Slides from the presentation

How do you fit ten pounds of software development into a five-pound bag? Prioritizing your backlog just might be the single most important decision software development teams can make. It sounds simple – work on the things that will deliver the most value. But which stories, features, and requirements, exactly, meet the criteria? Should we optimize for durability? Flexibility? Simplicity? Modern experiences? Breakthrough features? Resilience?

Ultimately, great products deliver great experiences for real people. Measuring how users feel about the product, even before it’s built, can drive alignment among stakeholders, focus teams on the right work, encourage creativity and autonomy, and increase collaboration. Net Promoter Score measures advocacy. NSAT measures satisfaction. Scraping social media can give you some insights for the portion of your users who express themselves there. Peter will illustrate the mechanics of an alternative approach to measuring sentiment and how to use those metrics to focus your backlog on the things that are most important.

“Life is too short to build something nobody wants.” – Ash Maurya

Peter Moon

Peter Moon is a Managing Partner at Navicet, a design consultancy that helps teams develop design capabilities into a competitive advantage. Peter has over 30 years of commercial software design and IT management experience. He is a 13-year veteran of Microsoft and held such positions as Director of Tools for North America Services, Engineering PUM, Quality Director, and Consulting Engagement Manager where he drove some of the largest services engagements in North America. While at Microsoft, Peter developed new practices for IT software design and drove global adoption for over 10,000 IT pros. He has been a speaker at numerous industry conferences, has coached hundreds of teams to achieve better business results through proven practices in design, requirements, risk and project management and has served on Microsoft IT’s Architectural and Standards review boards. Peter launched Navicet with a group of like-minded practitioners in 2014 to serve customers in the Puget Sound area who believe in the power of design to transform business.

View Event →
Oct
3
5:30 PM17:30

October 3rd: Why Isn't Lean/Agile/Scrum/Devops the Way We All Work and What Comes Next?

Presented by Adam Yuret

Slides from the presentation

The Agile Manifesto was written by petulant contract software developers at a ski resort almost 17 years ago. It launched a movement and an industry to change the world. Nearly two decades later the world is not dramatically different than it was in 2001. Let’s talk about why and what’s next.

Adam Yuret

Adam is an Exec Consultant, Portfolio/Program, and Systems Thinker at Context-driven Agility Consulting.  He has over 14 years of experience working in commercial and non-profit software engineering. 

Context Driven Agility is how Adam helps organizations achieve big-picture alignment in order to help grow what he calls "humanistic lean flow-based systems" which means synthesizing the leading ideas in lean portfolio prioritization and evolutionary approaches like Kanban to not only help organizations better understand the complexities inherent in human systems but empowering teams to solve them, collaboratively. 

View Event →
Sep
5
5:30 PM17:30

September 5th: Agile Product Management

Presented by Luniel de Beer

Agile Product Management is the key realizing business value faster with predictability, sustainability and high quality. Yet many organizations are still operating with a mixed collection of Agile and outdated traditional techniques, focused mainly on agile project and development task management.  This is not their fault because as an industry we’ve led them to believe that if they do this, everything else will become apparent and we can fix it.  

What has become apparent is that we need to pay attention to product management instead, not in the project management sense, but in the business value realization sense.  Learning from Business Architecture and Behavior Driven Development, while paying attention to goals and decision-making responsibilities for the purpose of role definition and responsibility scaling, seems to provide the first keys to unlocking the solution that have remained just out of most organizations’ reach for some time now.

Luniel de Beer

Luniel de Beer is a former Business and Technology Product Manager.  At Net Objectives he has been working on solving the Agile Product Management dilemma with colleagues and clients for almost two years, and they’ve started achieving some remarkable successes and breakthroughs in this space.  Luniel will be joining us to share some of the insights they’ve gained and the approaches they’re taking that have led to this success.

View Event →
Aug
1
5:30 PM17:30

August 1st: How to Survive and Thrive on Self-Organizing Teams

Presented by Louise Penberthy

Note: This meeting will be held in Seattle, not on the Eastside, for this month only

No matter what your role is in agile development, you’ll run into people who are difficult to get along with, team members who won’t participate, and stakeholders who are demanding – in fact, you probably already have! Drawing on my experience as a mediator, I’ll give you strategies for dealing with difficult people, encouraging team participation, and surviving and thriving on self-organizing teams.

Louise Penberthy

Louise Penberthy is a Scrum Master and mediator. In her 15 years of mediating, she’s worked with many clients to help them deal with difficult people, communicate effectively, get good resolutions to disputes and conflict, create concrete, actionable plans for the future, and mend relationships. She’s experienced in communicating productively with people of many different backgrounds, professions, ethnic origins, cultures, and positions in organizational structures.

Louise was a software developer for many years, working primarily on web-based applications. She’s also a project manager, managing cross-cultural teams on a variety of projects, and working for organizations from the large to the small, from the well-established to the startup that crashed and burned.

She writes and speaks on a wide range of subjects related to agile teams and communication, including how to know that you’re being unwisely generous with your clients, how to remove your personal barriers to resolution, and how to shut down bullies. You can follow her blog at humaninterop.com/blog/. Ask her about her experiences with Personal Scrum and Personal Kanban.

View Event →
Jun
6
5:30 PM17:30

June 6th: The Past, Present and Future of Management

Presented by Julia Wester

Management is a hot topic in corporate America these days. We have a love/hate relationship with managers and are hard pressed to agree on much about them. What should they do? What should they be called? Do we even need them at all?

Having spent so much of my professional career in a management role, this is a topic that is extremely interesting and personal to me. As I waded through an identity crisis caused by the “death to managers” movement, I began to study the art of management and have learned quite a lot from the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor, Abraham Maslow and Peter Drucker.

I invite you to join me to learn about major points in the history of management, discuss how the function has improved (or not), and generate ideas about how management should evolve to meet the needs of the future.

Julia Wester

Julia Wester is dedicated to teaching others how they can tame the chaos of everyday work by embracing transparency and continuous improvement. She is also passionate about studying and practicing the art of management with a goal of helping us learn from the past, improve the present and shape the future of how we work.

Julia currently works at LeanKit as an Executive Consultant and Manager of the Customer Education team and brings 17 years of experience working in and managing teams. You can keep up with Julia’s inner musings through her blog, everydaykanban.com, and by following her on twitter where she is known as @everydaykanban. 

View Event →
May
2
5:30 PM17:30

May 2nd: To Scale Agile You Need to be an Iron Chef

Presented by Joel Bancroft-Connors

Presentation Slides (PowerPoint file)

We've got a whole smorgasbord of ingredients that can go into a scaled agile transformation. Coaching, education, metrics, mentoring, what agile framework to use and more make up the various parts of a transformation.

Being a recovering PMP (It's been eight years since I used a Gantt chart), I used to think there was one way to execute a plan. You started with a charter and went through the phases.

Only no two organizations are the same. No one process flow can address every situation you might face as an agile coach.

Which is why I stopped using a playbook and started using a cookbook. Like an Iron Chef, I get to know my ingredients very well. I understand who my judges (teams and stakeholders) are and I tailor how I introduce and prepare my ingredients to best meet the needs of my audience.

And as I've mastered my Agile Cookbook, I've discovered five key ingredients that make up the vast majority of all agile transformation dishes I have served.

So come learn what my Iron Agile secret ingredients are and see if they'll help you be the next Iron Agilist.

Joel Bancroft-Connors

Joel Bancroft-Connors is a professional Gorilla talker, tackling tough issues no one wants to deal with that are killing our teams and organizations. He is dedicated to solving challenges associated with enterprise programs and projects. With over 20 years of experience managing programs he has learned that  the most successful are those associated with lean and agile techniques. Having worked in roles like customer support, product management, and program management, Joel understands challenges across the business, helping organizations navigate change while guiding teams to happiness. He’s passionate about making the world a better place and uses his coaching and facilitation as the vehicle for change.

View Event →
Apr
4
5:30 PM17:30

April 4th: Give Control, Create Leaders: Teaching "Bosses" to be leaders

Presented by Adam Yuret

Some schools of Lean talk about "Leader Standard Work" but this term is often misunderstood to mean "Leader Standard Practices". In order to effectively lead people we must know how to serve them. Agile has used the term "servant leader" for some time now, but if you understand leadership you know that term is redundant.

Strategic leaders understand what the purpose of not only their own position is but the purpose of their organization. They understand what gets their employees out of bed and through the front door of the office every morning and works hard to support those people.

In this session we’re going to learn how to be an effective leader using "leader standard work" unlike any you’ve ever seen before. We’ll learn exactly what managers, directors and VPs in effective agile organizations do to help their reports, and how to adapt the work of David Marquet to software organizations.

Adam Yuret

Adam is an Exec Consultant, Portfolio/Program, and Systems Thinker at Context-driven Agility Consulting.  He has over 14 years of experience working in commercial and non-profit software engineering. In 2008 Adam discovered the complexities inherent in transitioning an enterprise software organization to a Scrum framework. 

Context Driven Agility is how Adam helps organizations achieve big-picture alignment in order to help grow what he calls "humanistic lean flow-based systems" which means synthesizing the leading ideas in lean portfolio prioritization and evolutionary approaches like Kanban to not only help organizations better understand the complexities inherent in human systems but empowering teams to solve them, collaboratively. Context Driven Agility has used these approaches to great effect at several organizations including Wal-Mart, Alaska Airlines, and Nike.

View Event →
Mar
7
5:30 PM17:30

March 7th: Is Your Strategy Clear and Visible?

Presented by Paul Osborn and Dave Nave

Come to the March 7th SeaSpin meeting to learn how a series of Lean Agile Roundtable sessions revealed that many business owners were exploring Lean/Agile techniques to enhance or overcome business issues. This insight led to a business systems capability assessment structure, then to a method for communicating strategy to the workforce. Not how to create strategy, but how to communication the company’s existing strategy.

Ultimately our communication method led to a book titled: A Guide To The Balanced Hoshin: A Better Way to Plan and Execute Strategy. A book intended to help capture and align strategic elements into a coherent picture, make it visible so everyone can see it and simple enough so everyone can understand it.

Paul Osborn and Dave Nave

Paul Osborn is President of The Agile PMO, and Dave Nave is owner of Dave Nave & Associates. Both are dedicated to constructive intervention and are passionate about aligning management practices and structure to create dynamic and meaningful change.

View Event →
Feb
7
5:30 PM17:30

February 7th: PsycPhilProg: The Intersection of Three Sciences

Presented by Ted Neward

Presentation Slides

Psychology: The science of the brain, emotions, and behavior, psychology attempts to understand the ‘hardware and software of the brain’, so as to better understand how humans reason—or not—when presented with various stimuli.

Philosophy: Ancient Greek for "love of wisdom", philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language.

Programming: Ancient Latin for "please God let it compile this time", programming is the science by which pizza and caffeine are transformed into software for consumption.

Three distinctly different subjects, yet each deals with fundamentally the same thing: the mind, how we (or others with whom we interact) think, act, behave, and engage. Most of the time, programmers (and philosophers and psychologists) don't really think of these three things as being similar or alike, but given that all three work closely with the mind, mental models, and the ways in which we perceive and process information, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that there's a surprising amount of overlap. But, surprisingly, it does come as a surprise to most developers. And in this presentation, we're going to uncover some of those surprises, learn a little about psychology, play amateur philosopher, contemplate the nature of mind and logic and the universe...and become better developers as a result.

Ted Neward

Ted Neward is an independent consultant specializing in high-scale enterprise systems, working with clients ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to small 10-person shops. He is an authority in Java and .NET technologies, particularly in the areas of Java/.NET integration (both in-process and via integration tools like Web services), programming languages of all forms, back-end enterprise software systems, and virtual machine/execution engine plumbing.

He is the author or co-author of several books, including Professional F# 2.0, Effective Enterprise Java, C# In a Nutshell, SSCLI Essentials, Server-Based Java Programming, and a contributor to several technology journals. All told, he has written close to a hundred articles in both print and online form.

Ted is also a Microsoft F# MVP (having also been an Architect and C# MVP in prior years), an F# Insider, C# Insider, and VB Insider, INETA speaker, former DevelopMentor instructor, current PluralSight course author, frequent worldwide conference speaker, and a member of various Java JSRs.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, two sons, dog, four cats, eight laptops, seven tablets, nine phones and a rather large utility bill.

Reach him at ted@tedneward.com or visit Ted's blog at http://blogs.tedneward.com.

View Event →
Oct
4
5:30 PM17:30

October 4th: Risk Based Testing - Pragmatic Implementation In an Agile Group

Presented by Geoffrey Morris

The practice of Risk Based Testing is more of an attitude than a prescriptive process. As defined in Wikipedia, "Risk-based testing (RBT) is a type of software testing that functions as an organizational principle used to prioritize the tests of features and functions in software, based on the risk of failure, the function of their importance and likelihood or impact of failure."

This is a very useful approach to ensuring quality when it is clear that there are not enough Testers to keep up with the Developers. It also encourages the entire group to look at its decisions differently, with the possibility that they can have useful discussions across all roles, technical all the way out to the business stakeholders.

This talk will outline how it is being implemented in an agile development group that was used to "cowboy practices" (there's even a 50-gallon hat that offenders have to wear), and will consist of observations supplemented with little stories. All will tie back to various sources of gospel about this subject. We will also discuss scenarios where RBT just doesn't work.

Geoffrey Morris

Geoff Morris is a 29 year veteran of software engineering, developing products and data center services. He spent his first ten years wearing many hats in a successful startup where almost every possible mistake was made and then overcome. He has subsequently used his hard-learned lessons to set up and refine QA practices in other startups and major corporations, create guidance to help System Integrators with their consulting practices, and adapt fundamental QA principles to successfully compliment various Agile team structures without drag on their velocity.

Never one to stop learning, he's recently created a brand new QA team within a small, agile group in Avanade that builds internal products to support their Managed Services offerings. Other than CSPO and an ITIL Fundamentals certifications, he is virtually uncertified and self-educated, soaking up the wisdom of others around him. He figures it's a good time to start spreading what he's learned.

View Event →
Sep
6
5:30 PM17:30

September 6th: Probabilistic Forecasting using data: How to measure how long, how fast and how probable your delivery will be

Presented by Adam Yuret & Troy Magennis

"When will the project be done?!" This single question has created more dysfunction and psychological danger than probably any other single demand in history of work.
Story points, ideal hours, task hours, I’ve even seen a director who un-ironically tracks "developer minutes" to handle these issues.

Focused Objective has created some simple, easy to use (and free) forecasting tools which we can learn about while actually doing probabilistic forecasting using pen and paper.

Together we will workshop three scenarios:

  • Reliably capturing and spotting errors in historical data
  • Estimating total project size (story count) by sampling a subset of all features or epics
  • Forecasting completion date using probabilistic forecasting (Monte Carlo) of estimated or measured teams’ throughput (completion rate) or velocity (points)

In this workshop you will

  • Learn how much sample data is required to undertake a reliable forecast
  • Learn how to spot erroneous data or data that will mislead a forecast
  • Learn how to use story count estimates on a subset of features to forecast a projects combined total story count, or to see if the count you have been given is likely
  • Learn how to use historical data to perform a feature completion date forecast, or to see if the date you have been given is possible.

The processes described involve using dice to simulate uncertainty in projects and building a probabilistic picture of the more likely outcomes (often called Monte Carlo simulation). It is a fast and accurate way to combine historical data into meaningful and verifiable results. By performing a Monte Carlo forecast by hand, you will realize how easy the technique is to perform and not be afraid to use it in your next estimation or forecasting task.

We will also discuss the choice between estimation in points versus throughput and how this impacts forecasting accuracy. We will also discuss how most tools available for forecasting go wrong, and how to understand how accurate your forecast using these methods should be considered.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how much sample data is required to undertake a reliable forecast
  • Learn how to spot erroneous data or data that will mislead a forecast
  • Learn how to use story count estimates on a subset of features to forecast a projects combined total story count, or to see if the count you have been given is likely
  • Learn how to use historical data to perform a feature completion date forecast, or to see if the date you have been given is possible.
  • Let’s bring real empirical data to the table and use it to make better decisions about how we manage our systems.

Adam Yuret

Adam Yuret is an experienced systems thinker who has consulted small non-profits and fortune 100 clients on adopting context-driven systems to solving difficult problems. Adam started Context Driven Agility in 2010 to share his passion for humanistic flow-based systems full time. He’s been consulting organizations and teams to adapt to their respective contexts using collaborative approaches and lean principles to great effect. Context Driven Agility is about recognizing that no one set of standardized best practices is applicable to every situation. Effective learning organizations strive to understand context before applying approaches or suggesting experiments.

Troy Magennis

Troy is an experienced IT executive who has been involved in many leading software organizations over 20 years. Most recently, Troy founded Focused Objective to build and promote risk management tools that simulate and forecast software development projects and portfolios. Technology has always been a passion for Troy. After cutting his teeth on early 8-bit personal computers, Troy moved into electronic engineering, which later led to positions in software application development, architecture and management for some of the most prominent corporations in automotive, banking, travel and online commerce. Email: troy.magennis@focusedobjective.com

Presentation Materials

The tools discussed in the meeting are available on the Focused Objective web site:

http://focusedobjective.com/free-tools-resources/

View Event →
Jul
27
5:30 PM17:30

August 2nd: Developing an Effective Emergency Communication System, Steve Myers

Recent large-scale disasters have presented considerable challenges to emergency communications systems and exposed serious issues, both in communicating with the public and in interactions between emergency providers.  FirstNet is a proposed dedicated nationwide public safety wireless 4G LTE broadband network for emergency responders.  This broadband network will fulfill a fundamental need of the public safety community as well as the last remaining recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. FirstNet will bring 21st century tools to tens of thousands of organizations and individuals that respond to emergencies at the local, state, tribal and federal levels.  With the increase use of devices in the emergency responder community opportunities exists for application and software developers to bring their expertise to the market.

Steve Myers

Steve Myers is the Senior Program Manager of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region and provides subject matter expertise on various projects relating to economic development, the environment and stakeholder engagement specific to the Arctic, academia, and university engagement, workforce development, invasive species, mining, emergency management and innovation issues by managing various projects; facilitating and presenting at meetings; and providing insight on legislative issues. PNWER launched the Regional Disaster Resilience and Homeland Security Program in November 2001 with the goal of improving the Pacific Northwest's ability to withstand and recover and to protect its critical infrastructures from all-hazards disasters.

View Event →
Jul
5
5:30 PM17:30

July 5th: The Agile Leadership Kata, Tom Perry

In software development, we use the term "practice" loosely compared to many other disciplines. We have all sorts of "Best Practices" that we refer to all the time. It is as if by repeating the word "practice" we might somehow arrive at that professionalism that so many desire. Are there things we can practice to become better agile leaders? If so, what would that practice look like?

In his presentation, Tom introduced some of the latest research into how deliberate practice works. He explored the techniques you can use to apply deliberate practice and hone your skills as an agile team leader. From individual exercises through collaborative games, he examined how we can refine and improve our leadership skills. Take back an understanding of what the impact of practice is on the performance of individuals and teams. Gain hands on experience with different models of practice. Take away a framework for a set of exercises that you can use to form your own deliberate practice for improving your leadership skills. 

Tom's presentation is available at http://www.seaspin.org/s/Kata-Discover-the-Art-of-Practice-to-Become-a-Better-Leader.pdf.

Tom Perry 

Tom has been working in software development for over 20 years. He has worked on teams at startup companies, large corporations in the Fortune 100 and the State and Federal Government. His background includes testing, development, project/program management, agile coaching/mentoring and training. As part of his involvement in the greater agile community, he led the Seattle eastside chapter of the APLN. Tom speaks at a wide variety of software development conferences all over the world on a wide variety of Agile and Lean topics. He is also the author of the recently published "Little Book of Impediments". Check out his blog for more information about his writing, presentations and current projects http://agiletools.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter @tlperry 

View Event →
Jun
7
5:30 PM17:30

June 7th: Shipping Kiwi Dials, Peter Moon

Development on Kiwi Dials started in June, 2015. Seven months later, the product launched simultaneously on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone on a common Azure cloud platform. Kiwi Dials is a boot-strapped startup. Find out how Peter and a globally distributed team organized themselves to ship working software every week. Learn how the team integrated design, user-testing, weekly retrospectives, and backlog grooming to balance features, architecture, operations, reporting, and new requirements. 

Peter Moon

Peter Moon is a Managing Partner at Navicet, a design consultancy that helps teams develop design capabilities into a competitive advantage. Peter has over 30 years of commercial software design and IT management experience. He is a 13-year veteran of Microsoft and held such positions as Director of Tools for North America Services, Engineering PUM, Quality Director, and Consulting Engagement Manager where he drove some of the largest services engagements in North America. While at Microsoft, Peter developed new practices for IT software design and drove global adoption for over 10,000 IT pros. He has been a speaker at numerous industry conferences, has coached hundreds of teams to achieve better business results through proven practices in design, requirements, risk and project management and has served on Microsoft IT’s Architectural and Standards review boards. Peter launched Navicet with a group of like-minded practitioners in 2014 to serve customers in the Puget Sound area who believe in the power of design to transform business.

View Event →
May
3
5:30 PM17:30

May 3rd: FAST Agile, presented by Ron Quartel

FAST Agile is an experiment that proposes a new approach to organizing work, organizing people and also a collaboration model. FAST combines elements of Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Story Mapping and Open Space Technology (OST) in a way that has never been done before with the goal of high bandwidth, high-quality software in short iterations.

FAST is equal parts management technique, culture changing tool, agile scaling framework, and a way to reboot creativity and innovation in an organization .

Please come along and help perfect what might become the best agile idea this decade.

Ron Quartel

Ron's passion is for profitable software development in a happy, productive work environment. He has been programming computers for decades and over the last 15 years has worked as a Development Manager, Agile Coach, Trainer, Extreme Programmer, XP Coach and Lean Entrepreneur. 

He is the inventor of FAST Agile™ - a lightweight scaled agile framework which focuses on self-organization and collaboration over process. Also co-founder of a startup which created the Backlog Optimizer™ - a tool that uses choice modeling to enable collaboration and remove bias. Ron describes his personal mission is to "Create harmony between business and development."

View Event →
Apr
5
5:30 PM17:30

April 5th: SCRUM for Non-Profits, presented by William Newing

With press releases, social backlash, fires-to-put out, union issues and coordinating members from multiple time zones; how in the WORLD is this Non-Profit Mission ever going to work? By addressing one impediment at a time using Scrum.

Scrum is a project management methodology. It’s origins can be found in manufacturing, emphasized in software, and is transferable to other industries such as non-profits.

William Newing

William recently had the privilege to coach a budding non-profit in Canada called Iron and Earth. Their mission is to catalyze growth in the renewable energy industry. William co-chaired a year-long planning committee for the 2008 Scholarship Awards Gala at National Association of Asian American Professionals Seattle (NAAAP). From 2009 to 2010, he led Taiwanese American Professionals Society (TAPS) to doubling monthly events with 250% increase in members by 2011.

View Event →