Agile Alliance 2011 conference news

The Agile Alliance 2011 conference hosted an array of experts. Learn about Agile development, exploratory testing, Scrum and software testing with Q&As and videos from the speakers.

The Agile Alliance 2011 conference in August hosted an array of Agile experts. Learn more about Agile development, exploratory testing, Scrum and software testing with the latest Q&As and videos from the conference speakers. 

Get up-to-date information about Agile as is tracking the conference news. Check back for new articles, tips and interviews with speakers and attendees. 


Table of Contents


Speaker Q&As and stories

Business analysis in Agile development: Q&A with Mary Gorman

Getting “just enough” information about desired behavior of a new feature without creeping into “Big Up Front Design” or “mini-waterfall” is a balancing act for many Agile practitioners. Mary Gorman, along with her colleague Ellen Gottesdiener, have developed lightweight approaches to eliciting specifications in Agile projects. I asked Mary about the techniques they’ll be sharing at Agile 2011.

Q&A: Exploratory testing, regression testing and automation 

Where does exploratory testing fit in an Agile environment and how do you balance that with manual regression testing? Elisabeth Hendrickson, an active speaker and leader in the Agile community, will be presenting “Exploratory Testing in an Agile Context” at the Agile 2011 conference in August. In this interview, I got a chance to talk with Elizabeth about some of her thoughts about exploratory testing and get a sneak peek into her presentation.

Developers testing software: Q&A with Agile guru Elisabeth Hendrickson 

“I’m both a tester and a programmer. And I don’t see anything wrong with testing my own code,” says Agile guru Elisabeth Hendrickson in this second part of a two-part interview with SSQ’s Agile expert, Lisa Crispin. Both Hendrickson and Crispin will be presenting at the Agile 2011 conference in August. In this Q&A we learn more about Hendrickson’s involvement in Entaggle and the Agile Alliance Functional Test Tools efforts and hear why she believes programmers can test their own code.

Scrum in sales: Q&A with Scrum founding father Jeff Sutherland

Perhaps best known in QA circles for his work with Ken Schwaber on formalizing the Scrum methodology, Jeff Sutherland has had an impressive career as an Agile consultant, medical doctor, and Air Force Fighter pilot. One of the Agile Manifesto signatories, he will be attending the reunion and celebration of manifesto author’s at the upcoming Agile 2011 conference event in Salt Lake City, August 8th.

Large-scale Agile product management with Alan Shalloway 

Software development started with a small-team focus, yet now large enterprises are trying to implement Agile methodologies such as Scrum. Getting twenty people to move in the same direction can be pretty easy -- you have a single product manager who speaks with one voice -- yet those ideas often fail to scale to product suites and teams of teams.

Tailoring the process in such an environment takes a good bit of finesse; something Alan Shalloway will be speaking about in his talk at the Agile 2011 conference, titled "Handling Product Management across the Enterprise."

Leadership theories: What they don't teach in management training

Often management training includes teaching managers how to fill out forms or follow processes, but glosses over the tough stuff such as the critical thinking skills needed to institute organizational leadership, according to Esther Derby. In part one of this two-part interview with the long-time Agile Alliance leader, SSQ's Matt Heusser asks Derby to explain more about her thoughts on leadership training.

Organizational change management tools with Esther Derby

When dealing with organizational change, tools such as Eoyang CDE and Expand the Horizon can be used to give you a systematic view, helping you to resolve problems. In this second part of a two-part interview between SSQ's Matt Heusser and Agile expert Esther Derby, we hear more about these tools with examples of how they can be used.

Contract negotiations evolve with Agile development: Q&A with Angela Druckman

Standard methods for contract negotiation are changing as organizations adopt Agile development, according to Agile 2011 presenter Angela Druckman. This interview discusses the highlights of her presentation at this year's conference, defining the types of contracts that she will address and examining the practical considerations that stakeholders must take into account when developing contracts in an Agile environment.

Positive psychology on Agile teams

Everyone, including Agile team members, can benefit from the power of positive thinking. The keynote speaker at this year’s Agile 2011 conference, Barbara Fredrickson, explained how positive psychology relates to success in Agile development, including increasing creativity, performance and decision-making abilities.

Scaling factors for enterprise Agile with Scott Ambler

Agile teams come in different flavors-- different team sizes, different geographies, different domains. In fact, Agile expert Scott Ambler identifies eight scaling factors and three scaling categories of system delivery teams. In part one of this two-part interview, Ambler describes the Agile Scaling Model (ASM), a contextual framework that can be used to adopt and tailor Agile practices to meet the challenges faced by delivery teams of any size.

Agile for any size software delivery team: Q&A with Scott Ambler

Agile teams come in all shapes and sizes and are up against a variety of challenges. Agile expert Scott Ambler says the best advice he has is to get help from those with experience. In his upcoming presentation at Agile 2011, Ambler will be talking about the Agile Scaling Model (ASM) and how it can be used to tailor your Agile practices for any delivery team. In this second part of our two-part interview, Ambler gives insights into making the transition to Agile for the enterprise.

Trends in ALM: Extending the lifecycle, increased support of Kanban

According to industry experts, ALM is expanding to areas beyond the traditional software development lifecycle. On the front end, portfolio management and idea management are more prevalent; on the back end, release management and DevOps are increasingly used. This tip discusses these growing trends in ALM, as well as examines the diversifying of tools to encompass Kanban and the mixing of Agile methodologies.


Blog posts

Agile Alliance conference 2011: Using Agile outside of IT

At the Atlanta Scrum Users Group meeting, Agile Alliance 2011 speaker Leeann Berner gave a preview of her conference presentation. As an Agile Marketer with VersionOne, Inc., Leeann is interested in how Agile concepts can be applied to areas outside of software development. Her conference presentation, titled "Beyond Software: Adopting Agile Outside of Development," will examine how Agile practices can be applied to the marketing world in particular...

Tasktop presents new ALM synchronization tool

Monday Tasktop announced the release of the first real-time ALM synchronization tool, Tasktop Sync, which enables instant communication for collaboration between testers and developers, as well as real-time updates via server-to-server synchronization. Different stakeholders can view the progress of projects from their respective home environments simultaneously. It also offers visibility into all artifact types...

Decision making and Agile self-directed teams

Agile 2011 is starting off with a bang here in Salt Lake City. With 16 different tracks and so many high-profile speakers, it's tough to make a decision about which sessions to attend. Perhaps it was fitting that the first session I attended was about decision-making...

Agile 2011 keynote: Positive emotions will lead to increased awareness

Tuesday morning's Agile 2011 keynote, "Why Care about Positive Emotions?" by Positivity author Barbara Fredrickson taught us how positive psychology has proven that positive emotions help us become more aware and open. Fredrickson used the sun opening a water lily as a metaphor, saying that scientists have shown that positivity "open us up." After "injecting positive emotions" into people in a lab environment, by showing them positive photos, giving a surprise gift or playing pleasant music, scientists have been able to study the brain and found indications that these people experience an increased awareness of their surroundings...

Behavior driven development (BDD) with Liz Keogh

Here at the Agile Alliance 2011 conference in Salt Lake City, there are 268 sessions, so choosing which ones to attend has been a challenge. Behavior driven development (or BDD) is an area that I hadn't really explored in the past and wanted to find out more about. What exactly is this technique all about? Unlike test driven development (TDD), BDD is not about coding or testing, but more about having conversations with stakeholders in such a way that it will uncover and clarify requirements...

Embedded systems development gets attention at Agile 2011

One Agile trend I've noticed is that its practices and techniques are now being accepted in more in areas that traditionally did not use the methodology, such as embedded systems. As evidence of that, for the first time this year, there is an "Agile for Embedded Systems Development" track at the Agile 2011 conference...

ThoughtWorks announcements at Agile 2011

Representatives from ThoughtWorks and ThoughtWorks Studio were available today at the Agile 2011 conference to talk about their latest offerings. In this set of videos you'll hear from Continuous Delivery author Jez Humble and other leaders about their recent announcements with their product and service offerings...

Rally Software expands offerings with more Kanban and portfolio management

Rally Software, one of the title sponsors here at the Agile 2011 conference in Salt Lake City, has made several announcements about enhancements to their offerings. Tune in to the two video clips below to hear from Todd Olson and Ronica Roth about how Rally is capitalizing on the latest trends in Agile ALM including increased focus on Kanban and portfolio management...

VersionOne CEO Robert Holler announces strategic partnerships

This afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking to Robert Holler, CEO of VersionOne, one of the conference title sponsors at Agile 2011. VersionOne has a new UI and a number of recent enhancements, but what Holler spoke to me today about were VersionOne's two new strategic partnerships. The first is with Leankit Kanban, which will incorporate additional Kanban functionality into VersionOne's existing toolset. The second is with Industrial Logic, which includes an eLearning platform built into the IDE...


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