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Monday, August 7

2:00pm EDT

Agile Product Ownership: Do the Right Things, Not Everything (Ellen Gottesdiener)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Agile product owners feel the need to be in all places, all the time, with all people. To succeed, they need to be inventive, yet intensely focused; collaborative, yet decisive; far-sighted, yet detail-oriented. The best product owners are strategic—envisioning the product, communicating upstream with business executives, researching the market, and continually planning for delivery of high-value product options. Yet at the same time, they are also tactical—communicating downstream with the delivery team, running product demos, and discussing technical considerations.
Talk about a role that requires excellent balance and effective collaboration!
The good news is that it is possible to lighten your load and strengthen your product ecosystem so that you can make space for the right things amidst the clutter of everything. The key is to collaboratively examine the work of product ownership.
This workshop will identify the responsibilities and disciplines involved in the product owner role. We’ll explore the strategic and tactical work of agile product ownership, examine decision-making rules apply to the work of product ownership, and then use a fast-paced game to determine the level of delegation that is appropriate for product ownership work.
Whether you are a product owner, agile coach, or team member, this workshop will provide you with activities you can bring back to your product community to start improving your work processes right away. You’ll leave with new perspectives on ways you can eliminate unnecessary work and strengthen your support system so that you can concentrate on the right things to do instead of trying to do everything.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify the strategic and tactical work involved in product ownership
  • Appreciate the value of transparent decision making
  • Understand when and how agile team members can collaboratively support product owners
  • Consider what product owner activities can be delegated, when, and to whom


avatar for Ellen Gottesdiener

Ellen Gottesdiener

Product Coach, EBG Consulting, Inc.
Ellen is a Product Coach and CEO of EBG Consulting focused on helping product and development communities produce valuable outcomes through product agility. Ellen is known in the agile community as an instigator and innovator for collaborative practices for agile product discovery... Read More →

Monday August 7, 2017 2:00pm - 3:15pm EDT

3:45pm EDT

Introduction to Assumptions Mapping (David Bland)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Lean Startup is bridging the gap between Design Thinking and Agile. While teams are embracing experimentation, it is important that your teams don't waste all of their time running experiments on unimportant and known aspects of your product. Assumptions Mapping is an exercise that gives you the power to facilitate a conversation with your team and enable them to focus on what matters. If you find yourself in an organization trying to adapt to conditions of extreme uncertainty, this workshop gives you actionable tools and advice that you can take back to your teams and apply right away.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How to use Assumptions Mapping to illustrate risk & focus your experimentation
  • How Lean Startup is bridging the gap between Design Thinking and Agile
  • What leadership and facilitation styles you'll need for Lean Startup and Design Thinking to thrive in your organization

avatar for David Bland

David Bland

Founder, Precoil
David founded Precoil in 2015 to focus on helping both startup founders and enterprise leaders rapidly find product market fit. He's pioneering a new breed of facilitative consulting by blending together Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile to make products that matter. Previously... Read More →

Monday August 7, 2017 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
Tuesday, August 8

9:00am EDT

Design Thinking about Design Thinking (Dan Fuller)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Are you a product owner or a member of an Agile team who is struggling with figuring out what is the most valuable product for your customers? Do you wish you could truly solve your customer's problem and fill a real/actual need for your customers? Are you looking for some frameworks and toolkits above and beyond Scrum and Kanban that can help you get from your product vision down into these valuable items on a product backlog? If you said yes to any of these questions, this is a workshop you won't want to miss.
Design Thinking is based on the radical notion that everyone can think like a designer. What we need to do is unlock the creative confidence that exists in all of us. Design Thinking can provide a way of thinking and a set of tools that can help product owners rapidly ideate through concepts for new products and features, test these concepts using prototypes and rapidly arrive at an ideal state of problem-solution fit before those ideas are then further elaborated on to product backlogs.
In this highly interactive workshop you will get the opportunity to navigate through the five different Design Thinking Modes as you work together on a team to solve a design challenge.
Participants of this workshop will:
(1) Learn about the 7 key Mindsets of Design Thinking including (Show Don’t Tell, Focus on Human Values, Craft Clarity, Embrace Experimentation, Be Mindful of Process, Bias Towards Action, Radical Collaboration).
(2) Understand the 5 Modes of Design Thinking including (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) as part of a group activity.
(3) Apply some of the many Methods of Design Thinking as part of a group activity.
(4) Gain an understanding of how Design thinking Mindsets, Modes and Methods can be applied as part of an overall Agile Product Management framework to help better understand customer problems and how to ideate and validate potential solutions to those customer problems to achieve problem solution fit.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Participants will learn about the 7 key Mindsets of Design Thinking including (Show Don’t Tell, Focus on Human Values, Craft Clarity, Embrace Experimentation, Be Mindful of Process, Bias Towards Action and Radical Collaboration).
  • Participants will learn about the 5 Modes of Design Thinking including (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test).
  • Participants will get the opportunity to apply some of the many Methods of Design Thinking as part of a group activity.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of how Design Thinking Mindsets, Modes and Methods can be applied as part of an overall Agile Product Management framework to help better understand customer problems and how to ideate and validate potential solutions to those customer problems to achieve problem solution fit.


avatar for Dan Fuller

Dan Fuller

Senior Agile Consultant, SolutionsIQ
Dan Fuller has been a management consultant for over 25 years. His current areas of focus include Business Agility, Digital Transformation and Enterprise Innovation. Prior to his Agile consulting experiences, he was a management consultant helping to guide organizations through Digital... Read More →

Tuesday August 8, 2017 9:00am - 10:15am EDT
Wekiwa 6

9:00am EDT

How to Find The Real Need with Socratic Questioning (Kent McDonald, Heather Mylan-Mains)
Limited Capacity filling up

A common piece of advice is that your team should discover the true need of your project. Unfortunately advice on how to make that happen isn't as prevalent. In this session you'll have a chance to practice a simple technique to get to the core of what your stakeholders need that has been around for over 2000 years - Socratic questioning.
Join Kent McDonald as he walks you through a technique aimed at uncovering the (not intentionally) hidden need that your stakeholders are trying to satisfy, without asking "why?" five times in a row. Kent describes the questions, why they work and in what context they work based on his experience with IT organizations and the Agile Alliance. You'll then have a chance to practice them out to find out about a real project.
The line of questioning was inspired by Brennan Dunn who uses them to understand the true needs of his web development consultants.
Come learn about and practice this technique so you can use it back at the office to drive toward the right outcome.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn what socratic questioning is
  • Learn how to identify your stakeholders needs using socratic questioning
  • Practice socratic questioning with your peers
  • Determine when Socratic question is an appropriate technique to use


avatar for Kent McDonald

Kent McDonald

Content Curator, Agile Alliance
Kent is a writer and product manager who helps product people deliver powerful internal products. He has IT and product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft as content... Read More →
avatar for Heather Mylan-Mains

Heather Mylan-Mains

President, BAs Without Borders
I love thinking and discovering details through conversations that enable change for people, processes and businesses. I'm passionate about practicing the business analysis profession. I want to change the way we think and see what business analysis is and how we can be successful... Read More →

Tuesday August 8, 2017 9:00am - 10:15am EDT

10:45am EDT

The Product Organisation - The missing piece of the Agile jigsaw (Chris Matts, Tony Grout)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Have you seen these symptoms in your organisation? Do you have a piece of the Agile jigsaw that is missing?
  1. Teams and product owners being inundated with unreasonable levels of work.
  2. Some teams burning out because there aren't enough hours in the day whilst others are getting frustrated because they are waiting for them.
  3. Product owners being torn apart because the business sponsors cannot agree.
  4. Organisations that have huge inventory of software in progress but little being delivered.
  5. Executives with no clear view of what is happening across the organisation. Insights that come to late for them to act.
  6. Frustration that extra investment in capacity does not lead to extra output of value.
  7. Teams with nothing to do who invent cost saving busy work rather than look for disruptive innovations.
If so, come and learn how Skype used The Theory of Constraints to help two hundred product owners come together on a quarterly basis to create an organisation level backlog. The Skype Product Management Organisation discovered that the constraint that they needed to manage was the capacity of individual teams to deliver initiatives. Although the Skype team initially built a plan for the quarter, they soon discovered that the key was to manage capacity and limit work in progress. This approach lead to a sweet spot of long lived development teams that would self organise and reconfigure into a value stream in order to deliver value.
The session will consist of a fairly short experience report and a training exercise that everyone at Skype attended so that they knew how to get things done at Skype. This fun exercise involves stickies, chaos and the realisation of the real problem that needs to be solved when creating an Organisation Level Backlog. During the training, Tony and Chris will share anecdotes of the things they have seen along the way including a fifteen hundred percent increase in productivity at one client.
So if you are a product or delivery manager, executive or product manager/product owner, come along and find out how to fit the last Agile Jigsaw piece into your Agile Transformation. Understand why the only effective solution is a simple solution, and why complicated solutions will always fail. Understand why a Sweet Wild Assed Guess is better than story points when building a backlog for the next quarter.

Learning Outcomes:
  • *Understand the real constraint facing organisations implementing Agile (Team capacity, not Budget).
  • *Understand that the real challenge is to get the business to agree on the priority of what gets done first.
  • *Understand the two constraints necessary for product success (A strictly ordered backlog, and an estimate from each team affected by an initiative).
  • *Understand why limiting work in progress for each team is so important to the delivery capacity of the whole organisation.
  • *Understand that the portfolio level planning means creating a backlog rather than creating a plan.
  • *Understand that "Doing it" rather than "making stuff up" is of huge importance in areas where there are no established agile practices.


avatar for Tony Grout

Tony Grout

Hey, I would love to hear about how you're finding operating agility in large or fast growing organisations. Curious to hear what's not worked more so than what has and I'll share the same.
avatar for Chris Matts

Chris Matts

Left Back, Emergent Behaviour
Talk to me about creating a better workplace for our children.I co-created the GIVEN-WHEN-THEN format, discovered real options, staff liquidity (Skills Matrix), and Capacity Planning (Delivery Mapping).

Tuesday August 8, 2017 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT

3:45pm EDT

Missing the point with Backlog Item Estimation (Chris Li)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Have you experienced a lot of energy and time spent with your teams centered around estimation? Do you feel that everyone isn't quite on the same page? There are a number of challenges on teams who wish to work with an agile mindset, and negative patterns around estimation can have quite the impact on productivity and team morale.
In this workshop, participants will revisit what a Product Backlog Item represents as well as exactly what an estimate represents. Using this as a foundation, session participants will learn about four distinct parts of a pattern that repeats itself in organizations who may not have a strong handle on these concepts. The workshop concludes with participants participating in a lightweight estimation exercise that they can then take back to their organization.
Having a better understanding of estimation is helpful, and combined with a simple yet powerful game to compare items relatively to one another will help break your teams of the pattern of misunderstanding the point of backlog item estimation.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Revisit the fundamental concepts of Product Backlog Items and Estimates
  • Share past experience of estimation activities with other participants
  • Explore the pattern of misunderstanding around backlog item estimation
  • Learn to facilitate a lightweight and collaborative estimation exercise


avatar for Chris Li

Chris Li

Founder, SparkPlug Agility LLC
I am a passionate and energetic Certified Scrum Trainer and Enterprise Agile Coach who is always interested in meeting new people and picking up new skills. I enjoy talking about topics around agile training, coaching, and consulting as well as designing courses and public speak... Read More →

Tuesday August 8, 2017 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
Wednesday, August 9

3:45pm EDT

Develop Better Products by Understanding Jobs-to-be-Done (Ozlem Yuce)
Limited Capacity seats available

Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is an interview technique and way of thinking for revealing deeper insights into why people choose a product or service. Using JTBD helps us to avoid building stuff that no-one wants. It is a way to better understand what a product or service really needs to do.

Why this matters
The first principle of the Agile Manifesto says: “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”. And yet, 15 years later, we still see a lot of organisations delivering software that generates very little or no value. The main reason is quite simple: it doesn’t satisfy customers, because it doesn't help them with their Job to be Done.
No team wants to build a product that no-one wants. Not only is this a waste of time and money, but it is a huge waste of precious human potential. How can we do better?

Stop fooling ourselves
Part of the problem is that we have so many cognitive bias that we have to fight against. We are prone to fooling ourselves into believing that we really do know what customers want – treating bold assumptions as facts.
As a result, we spend most of our time adding new features, iterating on our products and blindly following product roadmaps that actually get us nowhere at all.
JTBD helps us better understand what users and customers are trying to get done, as well as their purchase decisions. Armed with this information we are in a much better position to test different solutions that are more focused on what customers are more likely to actually use.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand why JTBD helps us reveal customers needs
  • Learn how to discover the Jobs that customers are trying to do
  • Practice how to interview customers to reveal their JTBD
  • Understand how to incorporate JTBD in your thinking about problems and solutions
  • Learn how to use JTBD as a lens for improving your product/service
  • Understand how JTBD is different to Personas and Empathy Maps
  • Understand how JTBD is different to Market Segmentation

avatar for Ozlem Yuce

Ozlem Yuce

Chief Product Officer, Agile@Heart
Ozlem works with teams to quickly develop products and services that truly delight customers. With 15 years experience working in e-commerce, software and product development, she has worked with everything from Fortune 500 behemoths to fast-growing Inc 5000 startups.Ozlem has a degree... Read More →

Wednesday August 9, 2017 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
Thursday, August 10

9:00am EDT

Continuous Improvement for Product Management (Melissa Perri)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

While developing products, we usually rush through the designing, speccing, and building processes without stopping to analyze if we are building the right things for our customer. We ship feature after feature out the door, and never return to make sure it is solving the problem or hitting our goals. Many Product Management roadmaps and processes don’t even include time to look at existing products and improve them.
The notion of Continuous Improvement has long been encouraged in software development practices, but what about Product Management? If we only improve the development side, we only solve half of the problem. We end up creating really fast and efficient processes to develop products that users end up hating.
In this hands on workshop, we'll learn how to use Continuous Improvement techniques during product development, especially during the discovery phase, to create products that achieve business goals and satisfy user needs. I'll introduce the concept of The Product Kata - a routine that will get your team identifying and solving problems like second nature. Then we'll learn how to put it into practice with an exercise in making "Kata Pizzas" for our customer. We'll wrap up with a discussion on good product strategy that allows the team to focus on learning and experimentation.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the problems with current Product Management practices that inhibit learning
  • Learn the Product Kata technique to adopt continuous learning principles in the team
  • Learn how to set effective Product Strategies that allow for experimentation and learning
  • Introduction to the Toyota Kata techniques and processes
  • Learn how to stop building useless features by taking the time to learn

avatar for Melissa Perri

Melissa Perri

CEO, Product Management Leader, Executive Product Coach, Author, and Speaker, Produx Labs
Melissa Perri is the CEO of Produx Labs, a Product Management consultancy, and the author of “Escaping the Build Trap”. She believes the key to creating great products is growing great product leaders.Committed to that mission, she created the online school Product Institute... Read More →

Thursday August 10, 2017 9:00am - 10:15am EDT

9:00am EDT

The 5 Dimensions of great products (Valerio Zanini)
Limited Capacity seats available

To build great products, those that deliver an awesome experience that customers love, we need to broaden our view to the product experience as a whole, and not just the tangible aspects of a product. The traditional Software Development Life Cycle view is not enough, as it only focuses on the physical implementation (software development). In today’s world, to build a successful product, building a “thing” is no longer enough. You need to have a broader look that includes the whole customer experience around your product. Marketing, training, support, maintenance, partnerships with resellers, retail locations, a sales team can all be parts of your awesome product experience.
We need a new approach, to plan for both tangible and intangible aspects of a product experience. We need a 5D vision of the Product Experience. The 5 Dimensions of product management (DISCOVER, DESIGN, DEVELOP, DEPLOY, DELIVER) help us in creating a product from ideation to launch with a step-by-step guide across each phase. The framework organizes techniques that product managers can employ to create awesome products. This session presents the 5D Vision framework through a combination of lectures, group exercises, and real-life stories. Participants actively create and organize their 5D Vision framework in a collaborative exercise. Learn about Design Sprints, Customer Journey Maps, Prioritization techniques, Development and Testing, Launch plan, and Delivering success.

Learning Outcomes:
  • - What is a great product
  • - Going beyond building "the thing"
  • - Delivering a great customer experience
  • - The 5D Vision framework
  • - Using the right tools for each phase.
  • - Deployment is not the goal. Delivery is.
  • - What is Delivery? What is a great customer experience?
  • - How do we measure a great customer experience?
  • - Familiarity and context for several methodologies including Design Thinking/Design Sprints, Customer Journey Maps, Product Journey Maps, ATDD, MVP, Metrics-based delivery


avatar for Valerio Zanini

Valerio Zanini

Digital Innovator, 5D Vision, LLC
A product innovator and digital leader, Valerio is passionate about creating products that customers love and developing the teams that make them a reality. An expert at bridging technology and business, he has led product and technology teams across a spectrum of industries, from... Read More →

Thursday August 10, 2017 9:00am - 10:15am EDT

2:00pm EDT

How to train your HiPPO (Joshua Arnold)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Have you noticed the impact when someone more senior in your organisation shares their opinion? Meet the HiPPO: the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Sometimes it’s subtle and unintended. Other times it’s more direct and intentional. Either way, the HiPPO is a dangerous animal in Product Management.
When we allow the HiPPO to drive decision-making we hide critical assumptions. Value and urgency is buried. MVP scope becomes massive. Roadmap dates become commitments. Options get prematurely closed down and the chances of discovering black swans is reduced. Indeed, the HiPPO is one of the most dangerous animals to let stomp around in Product Management.
Whilst the HiPPO likes to be in charge, none of us want to be responsible for developing products that nobody wants. How can we help the HiPPO to help themselves?
This workshop is a chance to learn and practice a few simple techniques for training the HiPPOs in your organisation.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand why the HiPPO is so dangerous in product development
  • Gain experience using 5 ways to help handle the HiPPO

avatar for Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold

Engineer, blackswanfarming.com
With a background in fluid mechanics and systems engineering, Joshua has worked for the past decade with various organisations to improve their systems of innovation and delivery. In particular, Joshua has focused on the problem of prioritisation and portfolio management, helping... Read More →

Thursday August 10, 2017 2:00pm - 3:15pm EDT
Wekiwa 9&10

3:45pm EDT

Data is my co-pilot, effective ways to manage product portfolios using data... (Adam Yuret)
Limited Capacity seats available

If we just leave teams alone, we’ll succeed!
If people just did Scrum right, we’d succeed!
Code craftsmanship will save us!
There’s a growing movement against “agile”. Team-focused approaches repeatedly fail to deliver meaningful organizational change. Frustrated agile coaches blame the client for lacking ‘courage’ to really commit to agile values. Clients frustrated with lack of 'real world' pragmatism from agilists.
Effective data-driven approaches to change have a more significant impact than shouting at leaders and product organizations about “doing agile right” and a big piece of the puzzle has been missing for some time.
That missing piece is the product. The product is what we build to delight the customer who then remunerates us for our efforts in hopes we’ll continue delighting them.
Product portfolio management is foremost about understanding ways to maximize returns on a limited number of investments available to our organizations. In order to do that we need to understand what is possible and make hard choices about what not to build.
Many approaches to discovery have emerged in the Lean and Agile communities. Don Reinertsen’s second-generation lean product development has offered some great answers to making value-based decisions regarding portfolio investments while understanding how to effectively optimize flow through a delivery system.
Come to this session and learn how to use analytical approaches to understanding value and communicating strategy to change what has long been an adversarial relationship between business and IT into a collaborative one where everyone wins.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How to take an oblique analytical approach to changing organizational culture.
  • How to use 2nd Generation Lean Product Development principles and approaches to create the great agile organizations/teams they're seeking.
  • How to use probabilistic forecasting to understand the limited capability their organization has in order to visualize the scarcity that necessitates prioritization.
  • How to use statistical analysis tools for understanding the size of large initiatives.
  • How to frame experimental discovery using the DIBB model (Data, Insights, Beliefs, Bets)


avatar for Adam Yuret

Adam Yuret

Founder/Consultant, Context Driven Agility
Adam Yuret is an experienced systems thinker who has consulted small non-profits and fortune 100 clients on adopting context-driven systems to solving difficult problems. Adam started Context Driven Agility in 2010 to share his passion for humanistic flow-based systems full time... Read More →

Thursday August 10, 2017 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT