Speaker(s): Anthony Crain
Abstract: Is architecture the same as preliminary design in agile? It shouldn’t be. Do we do architecture up front, then do iterative development after the architecture is done? That is edging back toward waterfall. Can you explain the purpose of the architecture in just two or three statements? Anthony Crain says that when he asks that question, he gets either verbose answers or blank stares. So Anthony shares an elegantly simple two bullet explanation of what an architecture does. Explore the models architects and designers should produce and learn why the models are so important to keep separate. Understand why it is vital to separate functional from nonfunctional requirements and how this affects architecture, design, and even code and test. Explore what a conceptual architectural model should look like vs. a physical one, and for the conceptual design model vs. a physical one—and the timing of all four models. Finally, explore the impact of iterative development on architecture.
Agile 2015, the most talked about agile conference, is in its 13th edition and takes place from August 3 to August 7, 2015 in the Nation’s Capital, at the Gaylord Hotel. This conference brings together an international community of agilists who seek to expand their knowledge of agile methods and practices.
At Blue Agility, we’re very excited to be sponsoring this event (Silver) and look forward to meeting new agilists and reconnect with old friends.
Blue Agility executives will also be attending the Agile Executive Forum and join a select group of executives in an intensive 1-day event to explore the latest strategic thinking in Lean/Agile principles and practices.
Ok, so here’s my take on Top 10 at Agile 2015!
1. We’re hereby formally inviting you to join us at our booth to talk challenges and solutions with #agiletransformation #scalingagile, #bluejazz and more with our Executives and Team!
2. Dean Leffingwell, creator of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFeTM), will be at our booth on Wednesday, August 6, from 7:45-8:30 pm. Alex Yakyma, SAFe Methodologist at SAI, will join us on Monday, from 9-10 pm. Bring your questions and get ready for interesting discussions!
3. If you’re new to agile and wondering what it’s really all about and how it can benefit your organization, then you might want to sit in on this session: Introduction to Agile: The Genesis – Monday, Aug. 3 – 10:45-12:00 – James Newkirk – http://sched.co/36M
4. Ok, so you’re already doing agile. But now it’s time to scale the benefits! What are some of the activities that can promote success or spell failure? Scaling Agile Patterns and Anti-Patterns – Monday, Aug. 3 – 2-3:15 pm (Monica Yip and David Grabel) – http://sched.co/36Pm
5. It’s always a cool thing to hear the spearhead of something speak of his work. Don’t miss Dean Leffingwell, creator of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) talk about the Nine Immutable Principles of Lean/Agile Development. Thursday, August 6, 9-10:15 am – http://sched.co/37oV
6. As we all know, change is a difficult thing, regardless of where you stand on the agile continuum. In this sessions, presenters will discuss practical ways of dealing with the challenges inherent to change in a large organization: Navigating the Complexity of Organizational Change – Monday, August 3 – 10:45-12:00 (Jason Little and Declan Whelan) – http://sched.co/36QW
7. When facing the task of becoming more efficient, Value Stream Mapping can be a little tricky sometimes. In this session, the presenter will show practical ways to uncover bottlenecks, queues and silos in any organizational process: Value Stream Mapping Workshop – Wednesday Aug. 5 – 3:45-5:00 pm (Nayan Hajratwala) – http://sched.co/36sj
8. Coming from a neuroscience background, the behavioral aspect of change and its challenges and how to mitigate these in the agile world always fascinates me. These ones, I wouldn’t want to miss: Six Rules for Change – Monday August 3 – 3:45-5:00 pm (Esther Derby) http://sched.co/36Q4 and The Secret of our DevOps Success: Fostering Human Behavioral Change – Tuesday August 4 – 2:00-3:15 (Mark Nemecek) – http://sched.co/36Z4
9. DevOps on your mind? What is it? How can it benefit your organization? The 10 Myths of DevOps – Tuesday August 4 – 3:45-5:00 pm (Seth Vargo) http://sched.co/36Re
10. Now this one is kinda neat. If you’re interested in having dinner and mingling with your fellow agilists on Tuesday evening, August 4, you can sign up for “Dinner with New Agile Friends.” Restaurant seating is limited, so sign up early! http://sched.co/3xfB
See you in DC!
Speaker(s): Anthony Crain
Abstract: The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is one of the fastest growing frameworks for large teams doing agile. Scrum looks to help small co-located teams develop solutions in an agile fashion, but up until now most teams have had to scale agile for large teams, teams of teams and program management on their own. SAFe targets teams of 50-150 people or more and collects the wisdom of all who use it. At only three years old SAFe has quickly become the most popular technique for scaled agile.
This session assumes you know agile, the agile manifesto and Scrum very well, but are brand new to what SAFe is, how it is organized, and how to get started using it. We will explore the SAFe model and make it simple to understand. We will show the team, program and portfolio levels of SAFe and demystify what all the major ideas are in that model. We will also share how-to-get-started tips for those interested in moving forward with SAFe. Many clients make adopting SAFe too difficult and this session will show the simple path to adoption of this exciting model for large teams.
Speaker(s): Eyal Abukasis and Pratik Bengali
Abstract: Over the past decade, we have seen software processes, practices and tools used to transform and then re-transform. Not too long ago, the norm was waterfall development using best of breed tools often working in siloes. Teams were co-located and projects involved teams of 5-10 software developers who wore the hats of many (analysts, architects, developers, testers, project managers and deployment managers). Recently, everything became more complicated with much larger projects and teams, often geographically distributed, but by using integrated suites of tools and processes, we were able to take advantage of the flatter world. The playing field has changed once again with shrinking budgets, outsourced development and the need for fast results. Come and hear a real world example of the evolution of a team and a project that moved from silo’d development to JAZZ based solutions.
Speaker(s): Kim Werner, Sr. Management Consultant
Abstract: Creating a Testing Team from mostly non-technical Testers can be very challenging. This is especially true when the Team is spread out over multiple geographical areas. Building a Test Team and adopting best practices from scratch is not a trivial task. In addition to building the team, the act of testing itself needs to be more efficient and yield more value through the adoption of one or more Agile techniques. Technology must play an important point in the solution in order to be successful. IBMs Rational Quality Manager (RQM) and Rational Functional Tester (RFT) certainly fit this solution. This session is a Case Study of the build-out of a new testing team including the deployment and adoption of the Jazz-based IBM Rational Functional Tester (v2) and integration with IBM Rational Functional Tester, RequisitePro, and email servers. The case study focuses on a large Health Insurance organization that deployed an enterprise level Quality Management solution using RQM, and RFT.
“Here they come – They’re back in town – It’s the greatest show around…”
IBM’s premier Cloud and Mobile Conference is coming to town. Well, the town of Las Vegas, NV, that is. InterConnect 2015–amalgamating three dynamic IBM conferences—Impact, Innovate and Pulse, is a little more than a week away and the team here at Blue Agility is so looking forward to this adventure in learning and networking. We are headed to the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Hotel for a week brimming with stimulating discussions, key insights from fellow industry leaders, integral sessions, hands-on labs and a look to what’s ahead for new technologies, including IBM Watson and the coming of era of cognitive computing.
After sponsoring Innovate as a Silver Sponsor three years in a row, Blue Agility is excited to be sponsoring the new InterConnect conference as a Gold Plus Sponsor. You might have also heard that we won the Beacon Award for bluejazz, our unique knowledge platform (second year in a row, YEAH!). We’re sure you’ll want to see it in action, with its shiny new features…
Yes, we’ll be joining the more than 16,000 attendees to discuss and learn about the newest on topics such as Cloud, Mobile, Data and Watson. Also, Blue Agility subject matter experts will be presenting three technical sessions during the week.
Blue Agility Session Schedule:
- Title: SAFe in the Wild: Lessons from Real-World Scaled Agile Implementations
- Presenters: Tom Sylvester, Si Alhir
- Date/Time: Mon, 23-Feb, 02:00 PM-03:00 PM
Abstract: What does a real-life SAFe implementation look like? Come hear tales of adoption, benefits realized and challenges faced by organizations implementing SAFe.
- Title: Features, Use Cases, User Stories
- Presenters: Anthony Crain, Marianne Hollier
- Date/Time: Mon, Feb 23, 11:00-12:00 PM
Abstract: The three most common techniques used today for capturing requirements are Feature Writing, Use Cases and User Stories. Learn all three techniques and understand the real differences between them, as well as when it is best to use which of these three powerful techniques.
- Title: Agile Portfolio Management Strategies
- Presenters: Anthony Crain, Marianne Hollier
- Date/Time : Thur, 26 Feb, 1:00-2:00 PM
Abstract: Learn how to use simple agile practices to achieve what complex portfolio practices do not. Examine an agile estimation technique that can be applied to projects to obtain extremely quick yet accurate estimates using historical values for time and cost.
The best is yet to come! Will you be joining #IBMInterConnect? Stop by booth #621, chat with our team on topics like #AgileTransformation #AgilityatScale #AgileCoaching #SAFe #bluejazz, checkout what’s coming down the pike…
Can you believe it’s already been a year since Blue Agility attended IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference 2014 in Las Vegas? You remember-the event where we were awarded a Beacon Award? How time flies when you’re working hard and looking to the future…
This year, Blue Agility is again sending our top leadership team to this year’s edition of the conference to learn and share our experiences on how we can improve value delivery to our clients using key technologies such as Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Mobile Enterprise and Watson. The event will be held Feb. 9-12. 2015 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Beacon Awards will also be announced!
Oh, and wait till you hear this: Barenaked Ladies will be performing there. Wow, talk about coming a long way! I remember seeing them play at my college cafeteria when they were total unknowns… Hope it’s a good show for all attendees there!
We promise to share insights from this event in a future blog post, so stay tuned…
Want to know more about this event? Check it out!
You know that feeling when you hear a song and it matches your mood perfectly? Or, when you’re driving across the city and somehow manage to breeze through traffic signals hitting all the green lights? That feeling when you are strolling through Facebook and come across a quote that resonates with your exact sentiment in that moment?
When you are fumbling around in your front seat of your car – coffee in hand, balancing your laptop on your leg and biting into your cream cheese dripping bagel- trying to get your seat belt on and then finally… that lovely click.
Ok, ok, enough with the descriptions. You get it. It’s when something clicks. When something feels right and makes logical sense. This is how I felt at the Agile Alliance’s Annual conference, Agile 2014, last week. While I had the calendar on my Agile 2014 iPhone App, filled with sessions that I wanted to attend, I was busy running around organizing meetings, Instagram’ing, Facebook’ing, Tweeting, Pinning, networking and ‘manning’ our booth for the expo hours.
Being an exhibitor, in a marketing role and not attending sessions may make you wonder then, how I could have had that feeling. I’ll tell you what it was – the conversations. Whether it was a brief 2 minute conversation about the conference while folks were lined up at the buffet line for lunch, or a lengthier 15 minute conversation when someone made it a point to connect with us at our booth and learn more about what we do. It was clear to me that we were not only at the right conference, but that we have the right solutions, the right expertise, and that there is a great need for our services.
Having missed the last year’s Agile conference in Nashville, after taking a year off from the agile world, I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as enterprise agile adoption, concepts around scaling agile practices, knowledge of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe), DevOps experience and the uptake of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools. All of those topics were at the forefront of my mind when we were walking into the Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando. In my previous life, I had gone to Agile shows, and I had done my due-diligence on the conference itself, so I knew that it was going to be a good fit for us – but I still had those lingering questions. Are people going to be interested in what we have to say? Is there a need for our services? Is this going to be the right audience for us? Is our messaging on point? (Of course I had these questions – I am our marketer after all!) The answer to my questions – was a resounding “YES!”
Through the conversations at our booth, I learned that scaling agile practices from the Team Level to the Program and Portfolio level is truly one of the most critical needs for enterprise organizations today.
This adoption simply has to take place in order achieve an effective agile transformation (and a high performing organization) but so many struggle with this transition. Whether it’s not having a framework to help with the adoption, not having business buy-in, appropriate coaching or a technology war, organizations are having a difficult time with this delicate – Ok daunting ‘task’ – of scaling agile at the enterprise level. I didn’t love knowing organizations – people are struggling with this, but I did love knowing that we can help from a process and tools aspect as well as people by providing expertise using a proven framework (SAFe™), on-site consultants and online guided mentors (powered by bluejazz™). Click.
The DevOps movement is in full swing.
People are beginning to understand the concepts around DevOps and that those that have incorporated DevOps into their software development life cycle (SDLC) have a great need for automating their DevOps practices. Right? Yes, that’s right. But even though there is an understanding, well-developed studies and publications on what DevOps is – when talking about a set of concepts – things can get ‘cloudy,’ or maybe even ‘fluffy.’ What is this DevOps and why is it so important to automate it? Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken, but it occurred to me, that if an enterprise organization – with interdependent teams is operating using an agile approach (ability to respond to change, cross-functional and self-organized teams, adaptive planning etc.), then operations and development must participate together throughout the SDLC – from the front end (design) to development, delivery and support to monitoring and optimization. From an agile transformation standpoint, agile and DevOps go hand-in-hand – or rather, if an organization is undergoing an agile transformation, DevOps will be an integral piece tightly woven into the cloth. Knowing that we have a solution from a process and tools perspective in this space gave me comfort and assurance – it was difficult to not just smile the entire time when asked if we can help with DevOps – and automating their practices. Another… click.
People… process… and what’s the other one? Technology.
No matter which way we slice it, after whiteboards, sticky notes and planning poker, there is still ultimately going to be a need for tools. At the enterprise level, having a ALM solution that supports an organizations’ agile implementation is vital. I don’t mean just delivering on cadence (or ideally faster) and taking an iterative approach (although those are great perks to agile). I mean refining what’s going into the portfolio, prioritizing and selecting the right investments, ensuring that the right features are being built, and ultimately delivering the right products and to the right audience. Can this business and IT alignment occur without a tool? Sure – but it’s a heck of a lot easier with one and, I’m going to go out on limb here, and say that it would not be possible to repeat that process and continuously deliver value without a reliable tool solution. Being a business partner of IBM and having the Rational suite to go along side our agile transformation services (leveraging SAFe™ and our bluejazz™ solution) puts us in a very good position to help enterprise organizations with not only successfully scaling and adopting agile – but in implementing a dependable tool solution as well. The Rational suite of tools seamlessly supports each stage in ALM, from Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Focal Point, to Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager to Rational Insight. Additionally, IBM’s Urbancode™ and Pure™ strengthen the DevOps strategy and automation process. So, people, process and technology. Yet another… click.
Suffice it to say, that I am very pleased with our choice to attend and sponsor Agile Alliance’s Agile conference again this year. Not only do I feel that we made an impact and provided value, I felt like we also acquired more knowledge and pertinent information that will help us to better help others.
You know what I mean when I say that it just…clicked?
The ceremony…ahem, IBM Innovate 2014, is about to begin. (Thank you Jim Morrison for that poetic prelude).
It’s that time of year again folks. IBM’s premier Technical Summit for Software and Systems Innovation. Innovate is less than 2 weeks away and the team here at Blue Agility is practically counting down the hours. Next month, we are headed to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in sunny Orlando, FL for a week packed with compelling discussions, integral sessions, hands-on labs, key insights from fellow industry leaders and eyewitness to emerging technologies.
As a Silver Sponsor for the third year in a row, Blue Agility is pumped to join the 4,000+ attendees to chat and learn about the newest on topics such as DevOps, Continuous Engineering and Innovation. Additionally, we have seven of our subjecet matter expert team members’ scheduled to speak throughout the week, covering a variety of topics that support the streams and tracks.
Blue Agility Session Schedule:
- Title: Using IBM Rational and SAFe™ when Deploying Agile at an Enterprise Scale
- Presenter: Vince Murphy
- Date/Time: Mon, 02-Jun, 04:15 PM-05:15 PM
Abstract: Be Rational and SAFe™ when Deploying Agile at Enterprise Scale. Get aboard the Agile Release Train and learn how Blue Agility uses both the SAFe™ and Rational Team Concert to help its clients conduct successful agile deployments at enterprise scale.
- Title: Jazz up (Atlassian) JIRA
- Presenter(s): Pratik Bengali, Eyal Abukasis
- Date/Time: Tue, 03-Jun, 04:15 PM-05:15 PM
Abstract: Consider a scenario where the Development team, the Requirements Management team and the Quality Assurance team operate in different parts of the world. How can these disparate groups, tools, processes and scenarios converge for a product team striving toward a common goal of delivering a product?
- Title: Case Study: Agile Transformation with Rational Focal Point and CLM
- Presenter(s): Bobbly Walters, Mikkel Ladegaard
- Date/Time : Wed, 04-Jun, 08:00 AM-09:00 AM
Abstract: A large retail-chain leveraged the Rational tool suite with SAFe™ to formulate a business case for transformation and start maturing their IT delivery processes. They’re increasing transparency from end-to-end and optimizing the value of IT utilizing process and tool maturity together. Adopting the Rational CLM suite with an Agile process allows organizations to improve their teams iteratively.
- Title: Case Study: Scaling Agile in the Retail industry
- Presenter: Kim Werner
- Date/Time: Wed, 04-Jun, 03:00 PM-04:00 PM
Abstract: Agile adoption isn’t easy. Consider the complexities of project delivery when you have a distributed, off-shore team, multiple technological platforms as well as departments executing in disparate methodologies. This case study shares the journey of a multi-national retailer as they embarked on a process and tool transformation, sharing the lessons learned as the Jazz based Rational tools and processes are adopted.
- Title: Supercharge Your Business and IT Alignment: No Batteries Required
- Presenter: Jane Tudor
- Date/Time: Thu, 05-Jun, 09:45 AM-10:45 AM
Abstract: In order to maximize the overall effectiveness of your IT organization, your Program Portfolio Management Team (PPMT) must focus on delivering tangible business benefits to the businesses they support. Agile simply requires a different set of Program Portfolio practices enabled by appropriate tooling in order to be successful at scale.
What else are we looking forward to at Innovate this year?
Allow me to give you a little insight into the leadership teams’ sentiment on Innovate from last year and what they are looking forward this year.
Most Memorable moments from Innovate 2013
- Introduction of bluejazz™, our proprietary, on-demand knowledge repository
- Winning the Innovate ‘best of show’ Award with bluejazz™
Biggest takeaways from Innovate 2013
- Competitive and market landscape has changed from feature-based to solution-based
- Agility is no longer a buzzword and has made it to mainstream as well as the business, rather than just IT
- IBM has a dedicated focus and commitment to DevOps
Looking forward to at Innovate 2014
- The launch of our new solution (to-be-announced soon), a real differentiator to how people consume knowledge.
- Ken France‘s participation on the panel to kickoff the the Agile Track
- 7 Blue Agility presenters/speakers
If last year is any indication at how this year’s event will unfold, then we are expecting a momentous week for Blue Agility, IBM and fellow vendors.
Will you be joining Innovate@Speed #IBMInnovate? Stop by @boothS205, chat with our team on topics like #DevOps #AgileTransformation #AgilityatScale #AgileCoaching #IBMRational #SAFe #bluejazz, checkout what’s new and… perhaps win a Beats by Dr. Dre 2.0 Speaker!
As first year attendees at IBM’s PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (PWLC), we didn’t quite know what to expect. No customers? Only for business partners in attendance? Very few sessions and tracks? A chance to get away and spend a few days in the 70° weather of Las Vegas, NV? We decided to give the opportunity a chance, and at the same time be recognized by IBM and fellow partners for Outstanding Innovation in Software Development with #bluejazz – why not…
The tone for conference was set from the very first Keynote where Marc Dupaquier (@Marcdupa), General Manager Global Business Partners at IBM and Ginni Rometty (@GinniRometty), CEO of IBM, kicked-off the event and paved the road for the week, the year and the new IBM vision.
Business Partners- If you are looking to learn about market trends, business opportunities and Sr. IBM executives, this is the conference to attend. A few words: #Phenomenal. #Yeah. #Absolutely.
Blue Agility (@blueagility) was awarded the 2014 Beacon Award for Outstanding Innovation in Software, Systems or Product Development with our solution, #bluejazz, running up against distinguished companies such as Sogeti and National Instruments. Quite an honor to be chosen. Validation that our small yet rapidly growing company is really really..well..innovative. An achievement and victory that belongs to the employees who have worked hard to build a product that has revolutionized the way we learn how people, process and tools come together…in concert!
There were many notable lessons, here are a couple:
Becoming a social business – Empower Employees to amplify your message. Build your brand. Build your company. The real power of social business comes when a company combines the collective social networks from all of its stakeholders to amplify its messages by orders of magnitude. Many organizations are training employees to become their voice and their ambassadors. Their their marketers. This, in turn, drives leads and sales. In order to compete, businesses need to hire employees whom align with their values and fit into their culture, those willing to adopt and adapt to social media policies and evangelize them to energize employees.
Business transformation briefing – The business model transformation necessary to keep pace with current market demands and increase recurring revenue is a tough one. Understanding the current environment and learn the appropriate skills needed to begin an evolution. As an alumni of the workshop, Blue Agility and Galaxy Office Automation shared our lessons learned with industry leaders and future alums. oh..and I was interviewed too. My first youtube video (here).
PWLC 2014 was concluded with a LIVE performance by the Goo Goo Dolls (@googoodolls). Awesome way to finish a great week. Four days later, we came back to a snow-filled Philadelphia (16 inches in February???)… Reminiscing about PWLC in Vegas… In summary, a memorable event.
See you next year!!!