Tuesday Sept 10 2013: Building a Better Backlog

Agile teams use Product Backlogs to create shared understanding about what’s being asked for and to make decisions about what to work on next. Andrew Emmons will lead an interactive session on how a team can work together to build a better product backlog, which will include tips for writing great user stories and keeping your backlog current. This will be an hands-on session where we will use the methods being discussed as we go.
Agile 101:  New this year, Agile Ottawa meetups will include a brief Introduction to Agile topic prior to the main presentation.  At 6:15pm, join Simon Bourk for a discussion of Agile values and how they shape the principles and practices of Agile work.

No charge to attend. RSVP (requested but not required) through the Agile Ottawa Meetup group.

When: Sept 10 2013. Doors open at 6 pm for networking. Agile 101 begins at 6:15. The presentation will begin at 6:45.

Where: CTE Solutions  Suite 100– 11 Holland Avenue (Holland Cross) Ottawa, ON K1Y 4S1 (directions)

Some changes for the upcoming Agile Ottawa season

As we gear up for the 2013-2014 season of Agile Ottawa meetups, you may be interested in changes we’ll be making to our monthly meetings in response to feedback we’ve received about the group:

Alternating meeting locations: We’re going to try alternating meeting locations between the westend and downtown, in response to feedback that getting out to Kanata at the end of the day is an impediment for people who are located more towards downtown or points east.  The September 10th meeting will hosted by CTE Solutions at Holland Cross, which is accessible to public transit, street parking and local beer.  If you have any leads on other centrally located places (ideally suited to holding 30-50 people) that might be willing to host an Agile Ottawa meeting, do let us know!

Agile 101 as part of each Meetup: Borrowing an idea from Agile New England, we’re going to add an Agile 101 talk during the networking time (6:15-6:45) before the main speaker in order to help Agile Ottawa members who are interested in Agile fundamentals in addition to the great breadth and depth that our  featured speakers tend towards.

What other changes would you like to see to how Agile Ottawa meetings work?  Leave us a message, or come to the next meeting on Sept 10th (full details to be posted shortly) and let us know what you’d like to get out of the monthly meetups.

Looking for volunteers to help organize the 2013-2014 meetups

Agile Ottawa meetups don’t organize themselves – we need input from enthusiastic volunteers!  We’re looking for a few people who are interested in helping find great speakers and organizing the logistics of our monthly meetups.

Things we need help with specifically are:

  • Finding great speakers
  • Advertising meetups on Twitter, Linked In, the Agile Ottawa blog
  • Meetup logistics – coordinating the location, refreshments, greeting people as they arrive
  • Offering Agile 101 sessions: this year, at each meeting we’d like to offer a quick (30min) Agile 101 topic (eg. Scrum overview, Iteration Planning, Retrospectives, Kanban basics)  during the networking time before the featured speaker.
  • Followup posts – one suggestion we received recently was to post summaries of each meeting  on the Agile Ottawa blog.  Any writers out there wanting to guest-post?

If you’re interested in helping out, get in touch with us by leaving a comment on this blog post or drop me a line directly at ellen <at> profluence <dot> ca.

June 11th at Fusebill: Continuous Delivery for Agile Teams

According to the manifesto, the highest priority for Agile teams is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.  In this presentation, we’ll look at how far we can take that idea by continuously delivering new value to production throughout the business day.  We’ll discuss how continuous delivery can actually work, the prerequisites that are involved and why this is important for agile teams.
About me:
Mike is an experienced Agile Coach with a strong technical background.  He works with software teams, helping with all aspects of the project from process improvement to technical practices.  Based closer to Toronto, Mike has been spending quite a bit of time in Ottawa recently and is beginning to think of this as a second home.


No charge to attend. RSVP (requested but not required) through the Agile Ottawa Meetup group.

When: June 11 2013. Doors open at 6 pm for networking. The presentation will begin at 6:30.

Where: Fusebill,   Suite 203 – 232 Herzberg Road Kanata, ON K2K 2A1 (map)

April 9th at YOUi Labs: “The Lean Project Management” – Oxymoron or Possible?

Over time the Project Management community has strived to build repeatability and
predictability in project delivery for organizations. In doing so many of theses Project Management Offices have created an environment filled with the stench of control, process and inefficiency. So how did a movement with such good intent transition to being a burden in many organizations?

Lean Project Management provides far greater value to an organization, over a focus on strong repeatable processes. Through this time together we will explore the areas of People, Product and Processes to identify how your organization operates. Then we’ll explore what it means to be lean with your project management practices.

As with anything in Agile & Lean there is no one-sized fits all answer. Through this session we will look at how your organization manages the work, and through real stories explore a better approach.Project Management is not going away anytime soon as they could be providing a valuable function in many organizations. As a community if we look at these things in the right light we can transform and rock our world!

Mike Edwards has been working more than 25 years in the IT and business worlds.
Mike has spent the past 15 years leading teams of all shapes and sizes. When Mike
stumbled across Lean and Agile several years ago it rocked his belief system and
forever changed how he viewed our work. However, the bridge between teams and
management is wrought with broken boards and weak supports. Mike now focuses
on building stronger bridges between these important groups, and helping
organizations find a new path forward.

No charge to attend. RSVP (requested but not required) through the Agile Ottawa Meetup group.

When: April 9 2013. Doors open at 6 pm for networking. The workshop will begin at 6:30

Where: YOUi Labs, Suite 340, 303 Terry Fox Dr , Kanata (map)

Hacking is a Mindset, Not a Skillset (Hacked!) slides

Much fun was had at the March 19th meeting.  Tanya Snook & Ellen Grove gave a great presentation on Hacking (slides here; text of Tanya’s original talk here).  After the presentation, a spontaeneous games session broke out – we had a rock paper scissors match, then played some Loserball! and “Yes,and…”.

The next Agile Ottawa meetup will be on April 9th, with guest speaker Mike Edwards.  Stay tuned for location details.

March 19th at Fusebill: Hacking is a Mindset, not a Skillset (hacked!)

I found a fantastic line in the Wikipedia definition of “hacker”:”Hacking entails some form of excellence, for example exploring the limits of what is possible, thereby doing something exciting and meaningful. Activities of playful cleverness can be said to have “hack value.”

On Tuesday March 19th at 6:30 pm, Tanya Snook (aka @spydergrrl, girl geek extraordinaire, noted blogger and co-chair of UXcamp Ottawa) will talk about the ethos and practice of hacking, and how and why we might all benefit from adopting the principles of hacking to our everyday lives.  Taking the spirit of this presentation to heart, Agile coach Ellen Grove will build on Spydergrrl’s Principles of Hacking to address how you can hack your own agility to benefit yourself, those around you, and maybe even your organization.

No charge to attend. RSVP (requested but not required) through the Agile Ottawa Meetup group.

When: March 19 2013. Doors open at 6 pm for networking. The workshop will begin at 6:30.

Where: Fusebill,   Suite 203 – 232 Herzberg Road Kanata, ON K2K 2A1 (map)