Author Archives: Caroline Sauve

Agile Film Festival

Thanks to all who made it out on a very snowy night to our Film Festival! Not only did the participants brave the harsh weather, but they also brought with them their curiosity and juicy questions about Agile adoption.

Here’s a quick summary of the content shared during the Film Festival.

101 Session Whiteboards – Brief Overview of Agile and Scrum

These brief interpretations were created and presented by Caroline Sauvé

Film #1: Agile Version 2016 by Dan North, presented December 2016 at GOTO Conference

In this 30 minute video, Dan offers an overview of where Agile has come from – noting that Agile is 20 years in the making. He also offers a view into where it should be going based on real world experience. To learn more about Dan, check out his website: https://dannorth.net/

Film #2: Cynefin Framework by Dave Snowden

We followed up the overview of where Agile has come from and where it is going with an introduction to Cynefin Framework. This decision making framework offers a useful lens to apply when teams and organizations are asking themselves – how should I approach Agile adoption. We noted that most adoptions are effectively managed between the Complex and Complicated (this is where most systems are stable).

Thanks to Dag who managed coordination and facilitation of allowing remote collaboration for this event – on short notice!

 

 

Lessons Learned from our “Fail Faire”

On a cold December evening, several of us gathered to share our latest stories of Agile woe.

One of the outcomes of a “Fail Faire” event is to gather a set of lessons learned. The session we hosted three years ago gathered many such insightful gems – you should go read them – great stuff there: https://agileottawa.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/lessons-learned-from-our-fail-faire/

This session proved a little different. The group of participants was smaller. We sat (round table style) and shared stories – the outcome was an incredible amount of support and help from all. Indeed, everyone at the table was keen to exchange ideas on how to make things better. The session was a shining example of the very spirit of an Agile team…

By sharing our problems openly, we create the opportunity to learn and gain the support we need to improve.

For those who missed the event, here’s a quick summary of lessons learned from our discussion:

  • Strong facilitation can accelerate your meetings and help to solve problems.
  • Make sure “safety” is established and maintained during a retrospective.
  • Recognize when your help is not “helping” – sometimes, the skills required are beyond what you are able to offer.
  • When adding a new team (scaling), you need to have active support from leadership. Be aware of leadership “passively” supporting – they need to be involved.
  • Guide the solution, don’t provide the solution.
  • Anonymous feedback is very helpful at uncovering blindspots.

Thank you to all the participants who joined us for this event. From everyone at Agile Ottawa, happy holidays – looking forward to connecting in 2017!

October Agile Ottawa Event – Estimation

October meetup has been posted for Agile Ottawa… Mark Levison (@mlevison) of Agile Pain Relief will be our main presenter and is tackling the tricky topic of “Estimation”. Agile 101 session will come to us thanks to Bill Bourne (@abbourne) on yet another tricky topic… “What does an Agile Manager do?”

To register for this free event, please RSVP to our meetup here:

http://www.meetup.com/Ottawa-Scrum-Users-Group/events/209106542/

See you on October 14th!

Agile Ottawa – September Event – Announcement and Links

Thanks to Phil Green (twitter: @pg5150) for his engaging workshop on “User Story Mapping” this week.  Thank you also to all who came out and participated in the event… we had a packed house and a great time.

As promised, here are some useful links of upcoming events in the Agile community.  Agile Ottawa’s next session will be downtown… still looking for a location for this event.  If anyone can volunteer some space, please reach out to us… we look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Agile Pain Relief – kind sponsors of pizza – has a few upcoming courses taking place in Ottawa for Certified Product Owners and Certified ScrumMasters – for more details, please take a look here: http://agilepainrelief.com

Gatineau Ottawa Agile Tour (GOAT) is still accepting proposals (deadline is September 15th) for speakers and rumours are the team is getting close to selecting keynote speakers. Mark your calendar for November 24th 2014. Tickets go on sale October 1st.  http://goagiletour.ca/

Scrum.Org is in town at the end of the Month, hosting a Professional Scrum Developer Train the Trainer Event.  For more details: https://www.scrum.org/Become-a-Trainer/PSD-Train-the-Trainer-Ottawa-2014

YouILabs – kind volunteers of space for the September AO event – have postings open for all kinds of Agile folks.  For more details: http://www.youi.tv/careers/

Agile 101 – For a complete list of the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto, go to: http://agilemanifesto.org/

 

Calling all Agilistas! Another Year of Agile Ottawa is Ready to Go!

The volunteer organizers of Agile Ottawa have been busy bees over the summer as we prepare for another year of Agile Ottawa meetup events.  In addition, our group is taking on a greater leadership role in organizing the Gatineau Ottawa Agile Tour conference coming in November.  Call for speakers deadline is Sept. 15th, see details below.

If you can’t wait until November to get your dose of Agile, then we suggest coming out to our first event of the year. Graciously hosted by YouILabs and with pizza provided by Agile Pain Relief, Phil Green (twitter: @pg5150) will present a User Story Mapping Workshop on Tuesday, September 9th. For details and to register: http://www.meetup.com/Ottawa-Scrum-Users-Group/events/203163212/

We look forward to bringing you Agile meetups every second Tuesday of the month again for another year… if you have a suggestion for a topic or would like to present at AO, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  Hope to see you soon!

Secrets of Agile Success – Minutes From Our “Success Faire”

Once again, the Agile Ottawa community did not disappoint… The evening started with an engaging session on Core Protocols, facilitated by our own Ellen Grove.  Ellen covered the basics of Core Protocols and lead a very effective exercise where the group had the chance to try out the protocols on each other.

In the spirit of this, we moved on to exercising one of these protocols in more detail… the “Brag Protocol”.  Participants shared stories of Agile success, we promptly applauded and cheered on…  and we attempted to capture the source of these successful stories.

Without further ado… here are a few secrets for achieving Agile success captured from our meetup:

1. Allow the team to express their opinions in anonymity to help reveal the truth.

2. Bring a ball to standup. Rather than “follow order” throw the ball around to choose who speaks next… this can lead to interesting conversations and new interactions.

3. Need people to take the lead? As the team for volunteers, you’ll discover that (given the opportunity) people WILL step forward.

4. The antidote to despair on a project is empowerment. Start fixing problems.

5. If you keep sharing Agile stories and lessons with the team; over time, you will find that you are transforming people in great ways that you didn’t anticipate.

6. Formulating the project “requirements” as “problems”, allows creative ideas to come forth and empowers the team.

7. Mob programming is a great way to “gel” a new team together and build Agile skills. It’s also an effective way to solve problems.

8. Creating a safe place to work allows the team to make mistakes and grow.

9. Looking at a laundry list of a backlog? Turn that list sideways and narrow it down to the most important stories.  Creating a reasonable scope of work means more work gets done… and less time is spent talking about it.

10. Transforming a team’s physical space (e.g. take down those walls) creates opportunities for the team to share and work in new and more effective ways.

11. Create opportunities for teams to share their different experiences with each other… being able to visualize work is key to making this happen on a regular basis.

12. Confront those monsters! Often problems that appear impossible or extremely hard to fix can be resolved quickly by working openly and collaboratively.

Thank you to all who participated and shared their experiences with the group.

Next Meetup: Tuesday Feb 11th: Experience Reports – Our First “Success Faire”

We have a great event in the works for Tuesday, February 11th… fresh from the success of our first “Fail Faire” Agile Ottawa event in December, we are keen to continue this engagement with Ottawa Agile community by hosting our very first “Success Faire”.

1. What’s a “success faire”?

A gathering where like-minded individuals share via short talks their success stories and extract the source of that success.

2. How does this work?

Interested participants will be given the opportunity to give a short talk to share their Agile success tale…  tell us:

• What was the project or context of your idea?

• What were you hoping to do?

• When did you realize that your idea was working?

• What would you say was a the source of your success?

3. If I go, what do I need to prepare?

We will again be counting on the Agile Ottawa crowd to create a safe space for sharing.  Bring your own story of success – big or small, we want them all! Come brag with us about how Agile helped transform your company, your project, your team and you! Who knows, maybe after a beer you’ll find the courage to share it with the group?

During the event… no live streaming, picture taking, blogging or tweeting unless the presenter gives the ok to do so. No third party success stories either… presenters must have been personally involved in the project they are showcasing.

And while we encourage you to prepare you own story, please don’t let that stop you from attending… if you want to come out and listen, that’s great!

Agile 101 – Creating Effective Teams

In the spirit of the evening, Ellen Grove will present this month’s Agile 101 talk about creating effective teams. In particular, Ellen will present an intro to Core Protocols.

Note that this is a free event, but the food and drinks are on your own dime. We’ll be gathering at the Royal Oak in Kanata.

Doors open at 6 pm for networking. Agile 101 begins at 6:15 and the main event gets underway at 7pm. Once again, all are welcomed… those who want to share their stories as well as those who just want to listen and have a pint.  And remember, all Agile stories of success (big or small) are worth while sharing.

Please go to the Agile Ottawa Meet-Up Site to RSVP.

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Also of interest to the Agile Ottawa crowd… check out the Software Craftsmanship Meetup 😀

Interested in Development Best Practices like SOLID principles, Intentional Programming, TDD, Pair Programming, DDD? Join Ottawa Software Craftsmanship meetup group for a code retreat on February 8th: http://www.meetup.com/Ottawa-Software-Craftsmanship-Meet-Up-Group/