Agile Philly

Committed to helping members build better software

Brainstorming March 15 2016

Thanks to our Leader: Michael Palladino for suggesting this exercise

And our Facilitators

Tanya Kogan

Robin Ratliff

LouAnn Landale

Awilda ( Will ) Borres


-= Notes from the Easels =-


Accountability in Teams - with Robin Ratliff

Accountability in Teams

What is Accountability?

            Accomplishments, not status

            Set of Clear Goals


            Metrics to measure progress

            Collaboration helps meets commitments

            It Requires trust

What Helps Promote Accountability ?

             avoid Shame / Earn Respect

             Triangulate on tasks (e.g., at standup )

                 ( Coming soon to is Ask about

            Set Expectations and help people live up to them

            Education (Plural Site – CBT) may inspire people to strive for excellence

            Say Thank You

            Each person must be heard, be listened to

Personal Contact helps build accountability

            Use Tech such as video conferencing with remote team members

            Connection: put face with a name

            Know more of the Whole Person

            Team Building

            1 to 1 Conversations, make them Fact Finding / Constructive / "Help me understand"       


What helps build Team Accountability

            Add team performance goals to Reviews (HR)

            See recent Linked In Discussion for team accountability discussion

            Management By Objective – manage to team goals

            Shared Goals

            Teamwork / Shared Success

Agile practices help build accountability

            Retrospective / Finding Root Cause / 5Whys

            Appreciate Successes

            Co-Located teams

            CrossFunctional Teams bring diverse Perspectives

            Sprints – quick cycles with work products

            Transparency of goals and output

            "Show and Tell" / Showcase talents

            TeamBuilding across teams


            Self Generated Estimates

Tactics for Good Performers

            Using good performers to bring up the average

            Give Quick feedback

            Encourage them to drive their own destiny

            Avoid Personal Overcommitment

 Tactics for Poor Performers

            Hold myself accountable first

            Avoid doing work for them

            OK if not everyone is a superstar

            Look for niche with Business value that they can address

            If someone is done “their work”, then ask “”Who else can you help?””


- = = = = = = = = = = = = = = -


-= PMO = Waterfall Transition to Agile  - with LouAnn Landale


Grey area


            TFS / JIRA / ROI / Trands

            Solarity - supports Agile

PMO attitude



            Own the Engineering Aspect of the process

            Adversarial Relationship

            Report Up = Don't Look Down

            Processes can be Imposing

            Own Parallel Cross

            Loss of Control

            Loss of Metrics

Agile Blend - PMO Version

            Does Not Work

            Wants Prediction, Schedule and Cost

            Focus on Strengths

PMO Strengths

            Provides Structure

            Risk Based Proj Mgmt

            PM as Scrum Master = More Planning

Agile Teams

            Faster and Flexible Delivery


            Top Down Buy In will demonstrate

                        Financial ROI based on Savings


                           (See 6 two-week sprints plus a 1 week sprint ) )

                        Whats in it for me

                        Present Waterfall Failures

            Need for PMO ?           

                        PMO to run Agile and Live it

            Cross Polinate

            Teams to provide Product

            Roadmap to PMO

            Need to be a Change Agent

            Ask for Goals and Needs / Success Criteria

            Coaching experience

            High Level Milestones ( the Road Map )

- = = = = = = = = = = = = = = -


-= Estimates = Rough Order of Magnitude - with Awilda ( Will ) Borres


            See the upcoming free DCG Webinar March 28 11am


How to provide estimates ?

How to manage this question ?


Weeks = Roadmap Estimate = includes Feature List

            Estimate in Weeks or Tee Shirt Sizes , Similar to Previouis , no Dates

            Refine estimates as you go along

            Use Planning Poker

Establish Guideline of "Don't Hold us to this Estimate"

            Weighting Systems = to Infinity and Beyond

            Spend & Assign Cards to Work

            You can be subjective

Manage other Constraints

            Establish Assumptions


            Trade-Offs - Regulatory

            Need time to do estimates

            Have you asked for time ?

            Would you believe a minimum of ??? weeks

            Still need the features, so work with the Team

Business Goals = Business Features = 3 to 5 Top Features

            Comparable To Previous ( last 3 years )

            How did it go ? / Risk Factors

            Is Technology alid in 2 years ? or Technology Multiplier ?

Risk = Some estimates are Safer than Others

            Level of Uncertainty, Range of . . .

            Risk / Multiplier Derisk

            Confidence = Transparency, and How is it Tracking ?

            Marching towards a date, or $$

            Early in Project = Ask Archetecture Team to help Estimate

            Give Team Guidance

            Challenge Assumptions

            Time Box the Estimate Effort, then go on to next one, next one, etc

Jelybean Principle - Get Enough to smooth out discrepancies

            Educated Estimate will be close enough

            Add Padding Cushion

            Know who will be working on the Project

Remember "Rough Order of Magnitude of Effort"

Footnote Assumptions, Uncertainty Factor



-= Agile Philly Improvements - with Tanya Kogan


Start with our Core Compentencies

            Personal welcome to new members ( People over Process)

            Monthly Meetings Religiously ( Predictable Delivery )

            Announcement Emails ( Expectation of Value)


Questions about Meetings

            More Frequent , Diverse Geography, Virtual Online

            Diverse Topics , Lean Coffees , Surveys

            Web Presence , Linked In , FaceBook

            3 Lean Coffees on Morning of Oct 10th Half Day Conference

            Crossposting other meetings More / Less

            Member Profiles , Backgrounds,, Picture of member

Questions about Promotion

            SWAG, Giveaways, Advertising

            Fund Raising, Member Dues , Pizza Headcount

            Attract more Coordinators




LIKE Exercises for Team Games , How to build teams


LIKE No member dues ( Corp Sponsors ? )

LIKE Monthly Frequency

WANT Lean Coffees - more interaction

WANT Alternate Center City and Suburbs, Earlier Time

WANT Backgrounds in Linked In,

WANT Meetup for posting Pictures

WANT Website improved, better sharing through Meetup

            Linked In, Twitter, Facebook,

WANT Webinars , Online & Streaming of meetings

WANT Start meetings with 5 minute Lightning Talk on Agile Terms

WANT More Teams,

WANT meet new people networking first 30 minutes

WANT Mentors

WANT job seekers get to be introduced at meetings

NEED Clear Mission , why are we here , Value Add ?

NEED More volunteers

FIX Confusion about City vs. Suburbs

WHY still using

TODO Reminders to those that have not been attending




Someone PLEASE Tell me what this means:

"LIKE: More Flexible"  ( is that WANT more flexible  formats ? )

What is the NOUN ?  Is this scheduling or format or topic or what ?

The VERB is ambiguous.  WE LIKE -or- WE WOULD LIKE.




TO Attract More Members

            Announce at Other Meetings

            Not at PMI ?

            Advanced vs. Beginner


LIKE Topics

            Testing / QA

            Scrum Ceremonies

            Practical , apply to real life

            Best way to implement Agile Ideas

            Remote & Distributed Teams

            Share Success Stories and Failures

            Coaching & Scrum Masters





-= ACCEPTED:  CHANGES BEING TAKEN ON at AgilePhilly - with Coordinators' response to points above

The Website

Create and use New Agile Philly Logos based on our Blue Liberty Bell,

            but showing location of West , City or Montco, Webinar

            Webinars will remain the graphic of Digital Earth

            The large D for AgileDelaware will remain


Keep Volume of Crosspostings up, and reduce the clutter of cute graphics


On Personal pages of Members, Add URL Links for custom pointers to

Linked In ,  About.Me , Personal Blogs , work ,

Noone picked up on Member Pictures which Board thinks should be required


Open Up AgilePhilly Coordinator Listserv like it was many years ago.

( However,there are some emails about recruiters that should remain private.

Also, we stopped recording meetings when members wanted to feel free to complain about bosses and coworkers and companies.)


Should we get a premium Linked In account for communicating back to individual members.

( Try using the Free Trial at Linked In )

Our Meetings - Meetings usually run late now anyway.

Asking for intros by new members = some want the chance to speak or indicate looking for a job,

But we still want to put new members at ease, so how to do this easily?  Read their resumes ?

Intro to Agile Terms - 5 minute Lightning Talks ?  Video without sound on a loop during Mingle ? Perhaps a separate mini-meeting prior to the main event ( The Mac User Group in Paoli has always done this )




-= Recap of this Brainstorming Exercise ( Take-aways ) =-


Surprises:  The facilitators became Subject Matter Experts by the end of the night.

By having constraints & vote-ables written on the tabletop, teams had to stand. And a A different energy level was apparent when standing.

Team Storming and Forming happened, and was not welcome.  But is part of Self-Forming Teams.  (The teams wanted structure rather than create their own.)




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