November Plans – Gatineau-Ottawa Agile Tour November 21st

Currently, the plan for November is to not have an Agile Ottawa meeting on November 12th, and instead focus on the Gatineau-Ottawa Agile Tour conference on November 21st.

We’d highly encourage all Agile Ottawa members to register for the conference.

#GOAT13 will be, once again, a value-packed conference with 2 amazing keynote speakers and 18 high-quality presentations to choose from during the day! Everyone – whether you’re an experienced practitioner or just embarking on your Agile journey – will find something to inspire and energize. You won’t find a better bang for your buck than this!

I’ve been to a couple of Agile conferences in Toronto and Montreal, and know many of the speakers that will be presenting at the Ottawa conference. I can guarantee you it will be a positive experience. You will learn a lot, be exposed to many new ideas, and have fun. It’s an amazing value for 60 bucks – a great opportunity to step out of the daily grind, get refreshed, and get a great “creative whack on the side of the head”. The $60 includes everything – the keynotes, 18 sessions, the un-conference and meals and snacks,

I’ve learned a lot over the past few months about Agile development and leading Agile teams from many of the speakers that will be attending. I’ve come to realize that I neglected my professional development, and professional networking over the past few years. My advice to is to “just do it”… Pay the $60, skip work for a day, and get connected to some of the leaders in the Agile community in Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern US.

You will definitely bring back ideas and knowledge that will be of use to yourself and your company, recharge your batteries, contribute to you own professional development, and have fun!

If you are around Ottawa-Gatineau and involved in S/W Development, you owe it to yourself to register now!

Your #GOAT13 Ticket Includes:

Agile.Next – Accelerating Product Agility: Slides!

Last week’s Agile Ottawa meeting with Dave Thomas was a little like having an entire graduate level seminar in Lean thinking packed into a 75 minute presentation. Here’s the handout of the slides from the masterclass: Agile.Next – Accelerating Product Agility

Thanks to Dave Thomas for a fantastic presentation and for hanging out with us at the Barley Mow after.  Thanks also to Simon Bourk for another very popular Agile 101 session (blog post to follow) and to Bryan for leading the new Agile Ottawa closing ritual (a raucous Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament).

Agile 101 Recap: Agile Values

At the 2013-2014 Agile Ottawa inaugural meeting, we tried something new that will continue through this season.  Before the main presentation each meetup, there will be an Agile 101 session focus on one Agile fundamentals topic.  These short talks are aimed at beginners hoping to learn the basics, or experienced pratictioners seeking to refresh their understanding.

On Sept 10th, Agile coach Simon Bourk talked about the Agile values and how they shape his work.  He followed up with a blog post about the discussion over here.

What Agile 101 topics are you interested in? Leave us suggestions in the comments!

Dave Thomas: Lean Value Driven Product Development – Faster, Better, Cheaper!

Properly implemented Agile delivers its value proposition of improved predictability; quality and transparency. However often business leaders invest in Agile to gain Agility, which they see as faster delivery at lower cost while flexibly responding to changing demands. Hence it isn’t surprising that both executives and leading technologists have moved beyond Agile to deliver more value faster at reduced costs.davethomas

In this talk we discuss using the lean value driven perspective to optimize the product life cycle. We discuss techniques applicable to both business and software development that increase the software agility beyond Agile as most know it including lean portfolio management; envisioning; fixed price time and cost estimation; code and deploy; micro service architecture; randomized testing; example driven development; alternative programming models…

About the speaker: 
Dave Thomas has a wide spectrum of experience in the software industry as an engineer, consultant, architect, executive and investor. He is the Founder and Chairman of Bedarra Research Labs — a company specializing in emerging software technologies and applications. He is also the Managing Director of Object Mentor — a company specializing in the training and deployment of Agile and Object-Oriented Software Development methodologies. He is perhaps best known in Ottawa as the founder and past CEO of Object Technology International Inc. (formerly OTI, now IBM OTI Labs) where he led the commercial introduction of object and component technology. The company is often cited as the ideal model of a software technology company and was a pioneer in Agile Product Development with a process called Just-In-Time Software. Throughout his career, he has worked with major global corporations as well as startups on business and technical strategy, development organization and process, as well as competitive analysis and strategy.

Agile 101: What Does a Scrum Master Do?

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

When: Tuesday October 8 2013, 6-8:30pm. Doors open at 6 pm for networking. Agile 101 begins at 6:15 and the main presentation gets underway at 7pm.

Where: Blackberry QNX, 1001 Farrar Road Ottawa ON (map)

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.