Agile2010 moves to Orlando…

In response to the floods that ravaged Nashville, Tenn., the Agile2010 conference has been relocated to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel in Orlando, Florida. The conference dates will remain the same; scheduled for Aug. 9 – 13 (http://agile2010.agilealliance.org).

With the uncertainty of when the Nashville facilities could be restored we decided to relocate the Agile2010 conference. For details and answers to questions please click here.

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Program Selection Schedule

March 20, 2010 2 comments
I wanted to provide an update on the schedule for the next few weeks. The program committee, stage producers and reviewers are currently reviewing the 900+ proposals. I know that many of you are wondering when you will hear whether or not your session has been accepted. Here is the schedule for the completion of the program:
  • March 3rd – March 26th – Review Submissions and Choose Sessions
  • March 29th – April 11th Notifications will be sent to all submitters. The sessions that have been selected the speakers must confirm that they will present the session at the conference when notified.
  • April 12th – Program Session Selection completed
  • Week of April 26 – Program Content will be scheduled with specific times and rooms
  • May 3 – Program Published to web-site

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to let me know.

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Only 5 days left to submit!

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

That’s right the submission system will be closing this coming Friday, February 26th. There is still time to get your session proposed and reviewed for presentation at this year’s conference. The deadline will not be extended, please do not delay.

Note: Friday is also the last day to be able to edit your submissions based on feedback from comments and reviews.

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Agile2010 Speaker Compensation Explained

February 15, 2010 10 comments

I have received a number of emails and seen various comments, like the following:

  • I don’t want to get stuck doing only a short talk, which doesn’t comp speakers enough
  • 60/90 minute speaker compensation policy does not align incentives with desired behaviors

The following is the analysis we did with regard to the various sessions, the length of the session, etc.

60 Minute Session

  • $250 Honorarium
  • Thursday Night Hotel Stay – $169
  • Conference Fee Waived – $1699 (I split the difference between Super Early Bird and General Registration)

The total value of presenting this session is $2118.

90 Minute Session

  • $250 Honorarium
  • 4 Hotel Nights – $676
  • Conference Fee Waived – $1699 (I split the difference between Super Early Bird and General Registration)

The total value of presenting this session is $2625.

Conclusions

The difference between the 2 comps is just a little over $500 which is the addition of 3 hotel nights. In almost all of my discussions people seem to discount the conference fee and only focus on the hotel nights and say that the compensation does not provide the right incentive. In fact some of the discussion we had indicated that the 60 minute session was too highly compensated. It’s too late to change it for this year, I would be interested in getting people’s feedback for next year.

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Submission System Deadline Extended!

February 4, 2010 1 comment

The deadline for submitting proposals to the Agile 2010 conference has been extended until February 26th, 2010. All submissions received before that date will be read and receive feedback from the review committee for that stage, and submitters will have the chance to update their proposals based on that feedback. However, it is to your advantage to submit before the last minute this year. Stage Producers may begin selecting proposals for inclusion in the conference starting February 19th, so you are encouraged to submit before the 19th.

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Agile 2010 Call for Submissions

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Agile 2010 is the leading international conference on agile methods in software development. Agile 2010 will be held in Nashville, USA. The conference brings together many disciplines in the fields of information systems and software development and bridges communities that rarely get a chance to exchange ideas and thoughts.

The conference will examine the latest theory, practical applications, and implications of agile methods. The agile approach focuses on delivering business value early in the project lifetime and being able to incorporate emergent requirements. The conference is not about a single methodology or approach, but rather provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding all agile development technologies.

Submission Process
The Agile 2010 submission process will be somewhat different from past years. In the past submissions would be submitted to individual stages for consideration. This year you will be submitting to one of the broad conference themes, Business, Technical, and Leadership & Organization. Once submitted the program committee will identify and forward to the most appropriate stage.

The length of the sessions will either be 60 or 90 minutes and will be presented Tuesday – Thursday ONLY.

Note: Each presenter can submit 3 proposals in total. This includes proposals where the presenter is not the 1st speaker.

Important Dates
The submission system will be open on January 11, 2010 and will remain open until February 19, 2010.

We will be providing further refinement of the call for submissions throughout the week. For more information in the interim or to submit a session click here.

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Invited Sessions – Did I read that correctly?

January 10, 2010 1 comment

As I have mentioned before the theme for this year’s agile conference is Learn. Practice. Explore… This is more than just a tag-line. It is the clear intent of the Program Committee to have sessions that vary in experience level. Having this desire leads to a quandary with regard to relying entirely on the submission system process to yield the right balance of sessions. Therefore, we made a decision to break a bit with tradition and invite specific sessions. The sessions that we choose to invite were the 180 minute sessions. These sessions are clearly the longest and require the greatest amount of preparation.

How will the committee choose the sessions? This is a fair question, here is the criteria in priority order:

  1. The session content fills a specific hole in the program, either from a pure content perspective or from an experience level.
  2. The session provides a fresh perspective on a particular topic.
  3. The presenter scored in the top 20% with regard to feedback at last year’s conference

My recommendation in general is to submit your session into the normal submission process. You will be limited to selecting a time of 60 or 90 minutes. As the program committee evaluates the sessions we may get back to you to see if a particular session can be expanded.

Inviting sessions immediately brings to mind questions about fairness. Are the invited speakers friends of the program committee, etc. This I can state without question is not the criteria for selecting invited sessions. In order to make it very clear the following people will not be invited speakers at the conference due to potential conflicts of interest.

  • Conference Chair – who would want me to speak for 180 minutes anyways
  • Program Committee – Pollyanna Pixton, Brian Button, and Lowell Lindstrom
  • Agile Alliance Board Members – Please see the Agile Alliance web-site for the complete list.

As you can see a number of these people would be on a short list to invite and in fact would qualify based on the criteria listed above. All of these people are welcome to submit sessions into the normal submission system.

Click here to contact me directly if you have questions or comments.

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The Agile 2010 Business Theme

December 17, 2009 2 comments

Happy Holidays and welcome to the Agile 2010 Business Theme! This post provides our initial thoughts on the business theme and invites you to get involved as a stage sponsor, a submission reviewer, a presenter, or simply an interested conference participant. I’m Lowell Lindstrom and will be guiding the Business Theme as part of the program committee.

Agile approaches redefine the relationship between business people that need capability from their technology and the teams that provide that capability. Customer Collaboration, Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer, Business people and developers must work together are all parts of the Agile Manifesto.

We’re very excited to build on past stages that have focused on the business practices and implications of using Agile. In 2010, we expand the depth and breadth in this area. Business problems are solved in very different ways across industries and companies. It is difficult to establish common patterns that apply universally across difference organizations. The stages of our business theme will continue to explore these patterns.

The Business Theme will explore:
– how business participants of an agile project interact with the teams that create the products and services of the organization
– how agile changes the way the business identifies value and makes selections about products and features?
– how agile changes the relationship between your business and your customers, partners, and even competitors?

Our view of the business theme is focused on 5 areas and these will likely be our stages. The descriptions include some of the questions we hope are answered by the sessions:

1. Agile Product Management
As with many disciplines, agile techniques leverage our best practices, adapting them with short, empirical feedback loops. This track presents and explores: What best practices in product management are leveraged by agile teams? How have product management practices been adapted for agile? What new product management techniques have emerged from agile teams?

2. Expressing User Needs
Requirements frequently makes the top ten list of challenges that teams encounter. The agile community leverages stories as a robust way for communicating user needs to development teams. But we must know the story. How do we know what the users need? How do we capture it and communicate it?

3. Agile Project Management
Perhaps no topic generates more discussion and controversy at the moment than Agile Project Management. Is the community converging or diverging in this area? What impact do the various certifying organizations play in defining what APM is and should be? Isn’t it all about Leadership anyway?

4. Enterprise Improvement
Businesses always are trying to improve the way they work through better alignment to customers, improved efficiency, and faster time to market. An enterprise focus on agile enables a number of different approaches to improving business performance. Using Agile, Scrum, Lean, even CMMi in concert with agile are all proving to be effective mechanisms for business improvement.

5. Agile Business Transformation
Businesses of any size can transform their performance using agile techniques. Whether your goal is increment improvement or step function accelerated improvement, agile can provide that. In what ways has agile transformed businesses and how they operate, not just how they do projects or develop products? How have other groups leveraged the use of agile to improve sales, service, operations, accounting, and HR? How is the impact of agile measured?

We hope you will get involved in some way. Please contact me at bizprogram2010@agilealliance.org to get involved and with thoughts on the business theme.

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The Agile 2010 Leadership & Organization Theme

December 8, 2009 2 comments

Hello there! Just a note to discuss our preliminary thinking about the Leadership and Organizations theme for the Agile 2010 conference. I’m Pollyanna Pixton, one of the members of the conference’s program committee, responsible for this theme. I plan on sending you more news as it arrives!

Theme Description
Agile has been around for many years with amazing results. However, many organizations suffer under a old command and control leadership style. To create an environment where agile thrives takes a different kind of leadership – one that gives ownership and doesn’t take it back, that creates a culture of trust, that provides the tools and lets the team make the decisions and discover the solutions. This is the kind of leadership we need to lead agile. In this stage, we want to educate, present and share experiences about the tools that can help leaders lead.

But leadership is not the only factor in adopting and implementing agile principles and practices. It takes teams working together, within their team and with other teams. Some people say we don’t need it at all for successful agile teams. So, what do agile teams need? We want an agile organization and an agile enterprise, one that works together effectively using agile best practices, one that delivers the right products as markets are rapidly changing. We want coaches to help us

What kind of leadership do we need?

It is situational. We have leading agile adoption, manifesting agile in the organization, creating cultures where agile thrives, coaching agile teams, and exploring new leadership styles that collaborates with agile teams to succeed. Leading has come to the attention of the community. Last year 40% of the evaluations came from the associated stages in this area. We need leaders to make sure all teams have what they need to succeed: the support of their ideas and practices, facilitating their goals and objectives, and protect the team as well as assisting teams in the development of their agile skills.

What do teams need?

An enterprise that can integrate with agile teams effectively and smoothly – end to end. This means an organization to add value to the team, not dampen their creativity and progress. Lean and kanban come to mind here. Teams need skills to deal collaboratively within their teams and outside of their teams to reach high performance levels. And, it is clear that agile coaching brings great benefit to teams and organizations as they implement agile. Teams need support from the organization and its leadership in becoming successful with agile.

Leadership is needed at all levels in the agile organization in many different forms: team-based, across the enterprise, in coaching, adopting agile, and in gaining customer interaction. Bring your experiences, your successes and your failures, and help us formulate and put into practice the kind of leadership styles needed for agile delivery. And talk about what leading in an agile manner means. Join us this year at Agile 2010 for this important topic!

Five Tracks in this Theme

The Leadership and Organizations Theme will be divided into

  • Agile Leadership and Cultures: What does it mean “Agile Leadership”? Is that leading in an agile manner based on agile principles? Or leading agile teams that are implementing agile practices? Actually, both!

Any why is this coupled with Agile Cultures? The culture is created by leadership, at all levels in the organization, creating a place for teams to thrive, be innovative, and deliver. If you think cultures can be created or changed without leadership, make your case in your submission!

  • Agile Organization and Enterprises: Pushing agile principles across the entire organization and life cycle of products and software.
  • Coaching Agile: What makes a good and effective agile coach.
  • Building High Performance Teams: What best practices can be put to work in teams to improve teamwork, market insight, productivity and effectiveness.
  • Agile Adoption: How does a team, division, and organization transition to agile.

What have I forgotten? Or left out? Let me know! Contact me at: leadprogram2010@agilealliance.org

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The Agile 2010 Technical Program Directions

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Hello, and welcome to what I hope will be the first in a series of blog posts between now and the conference this August. I’m Brian Button, the Technical Program Chair for Agile 2010. It’s my desire to bring in a strong technical program to the conference this  year, reminiscent of the early days of XP Universe.

Program Direction

I want all technically inclined people to feel like they are represented in this conference. This invitation spans several different dimensions:

  • Professional concentration: testers, developers, UI designers, UX designers, database specialists and every other group I didn’t mention,
  • Experience level: novice or new to agile, intermediate, and expert,
  • Domain: business systems, scientific and engineering systems, firmware and embedded systems, cloud computing, Java, .Net, Ruby, functional programming, etc.

If I’ve left your particular specialty or area off this list, I apologize – it is not meant to exclude you. There are too many different categories to list each one, but please be assured that you’re welcomed and encouraged to take part in the Agile 2010 technical program.

Interesting current trends

Getting a bit more specific, there are certain trends in the Agile world that deserve space at our conference. I’m thinking of the evolution of Test Driven Development towards a more Behavioral Driven style, the Craftsmanship movement, the move towards certification in different agile specialties, and different manners and methods of working as teams become larger and/or more distributed. Each of these trends is taking Agile in a new direction, different from where we have been in the past, and will serve to help shape our direction in the future. The Craftsmanship and certification movements, in particular, are going to play a particularly important role in shaping who and what we become over the next several years. I believe its important for us to have content around each of these topics.

Topic areas

These are some of the topic areas I’m considering for the Technical Program this year:

  • Agile Development Practices – focuses on the practices and skills that good Agile developers should have,
  • Agile Testing/Specification Practices – practices around manual and automated testing, including test automation/specification authoring frameworks,
  • Integrating the User – practices around integrating UX  and UI design into the agile world,
  • Agile Development in Large Scale Systems or Distributed Development -  how the practices change as the systems get larger or the team members become more distributed. This encompasses all roles, not just programming, but test, UX, etc.,
  • Team-Room Agile – values, principles, and practices that are specific to the development process for a single team,
  • New Frontiers in Agile Development – presentations and discussions around new and interesting tools, techniques, and practices across all roles.

I’d expect the two larger topics I mentioned above, certification and Craftsmanship, to be cross cutting concerns between a number of these topic areas – they seem to apply across many of them, so there is no specific topic area for them.

What you can do

All of this is preliminary. The program hasn’t been defined yet, the CFPs haven’t been issued yet, and this is all written in (virtual) pencil. If there is one thing Agile has taught us, it is that a team of people can create a better solution to a problem than any one person in isolation. Keeping that in mind, I welcome any feedback or suggestions that you readers may have these ideas. I promise to consider each of them carefully and give them appropriate weight as the program committee comes to decisions about what our content should include.

Additionally, I’d like people to consider the role they’d like to play in this year’s conference. I’m going to need several Stage Producers, who are the individuals responsible for reviewing, selecting, and scheduling the individual technical stages. I’m ultimately responsible for the overall technical program, but I’m going to rely heavily on my Stage Producers for the detailed selection process. And they are going to need reviewers, lots of reviewers. Last year, we had well over a thousand submissions to the conference, and we’re expecting even more this year. We’d like to have at least 9 reviewers per stage. More reviewers means more eyes on each submission, increasing the chances of quality submissions being noticed early. Whether you can volunteer to read a dozen submissions, or if you can be a review-god like at least one person last year and read all of them, we’d still appreciate and value your help.

Oh, yeah, we’re also going to need people to submit stuff, too! Start thinking hard about what you’d like to talk about, demonstrate, teach, or discuss this year. I’m looking for all kinds of content, but we especially want the deep stuff. Like Jim Newkirk has said in a previous posting, we want to provide a lot of content for our experts, so submissions at the deepest levels are going to receive an extra hard look.

Go with your passions, go with your interests, go with your experience, and submit something!

Contacting me with ideas, suggestions, opinions, criticisms…

If you have anything you’d like to say to me, or have me relay for you to the Program Committee, you can reach me at techprogram2010 at agilealliance.org . I’ll answer you as quickly as I can.

Thanks!!

— bab

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