Agile Conference 2020

 Business Agility through Deploying Authentic Agile:

A real world and a research view. 

January 16-17, 2020

Conference Schedule

Day 1: January 16, 2020

Day 2: January 17, 2020

Intro Remarks
Jim Hannon & Vijay Kanabar
8:45 - 9:00
The Scrum Fieldbook
J.J. Sutherland, CEO, Scrum Inc.
9:00 - 10:00
The Authentic Use of Scrum: The
Reality of Transformations That Go Bad
Steve Daukas
10:15 - 11:00
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Jim Hannon to lead and the BU Researchers 
Lunch and Networking-along with ask the experts-Jim Hannon Moderator 
12:00 - 1:00
Case Studies-Scaling Scrum
Steve Daukas
1:00 - 1:45
Product Owner and Product Manager actions for successful Scrum
Ellen Gottesdiener
1:45 to 2:30
Inspired Teams 
Ram Srinivasan and Dr. Steve Wolff
2:30 - 3:30
Inviting Leadership 
Dan Mezick
3:45 - 4:45
Closing Remarks
4:45 - 5:00
Intro Remarks
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Jim Hannon & Vijay Kanabar
8:45 - 9:00
How to Cultivate a Persistent Agile Culture
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Dave West, CEO,
9:00 - 10:00
My Quest for Business Agility – the good bad and ugly of lean agile and DevOps transformations
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Michael Nir 
10:15 - 11:45
Assessing the Transformation and Adapting
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Jim Stewart and Lalig Musserian,
11:00 - 11:45
Lunch & Networking and adventures in Agile -Jim Hannon Moderator  
Hana Islam Siddiquee Topic: EduScrum in Higher Education King Graduate School, Monroe College
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
12:00 - 1:00

De-scaling to Effectively Deliver at Scale

Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Daniel LeFebvre
1:00 - 2:00
Challenges and Disruptions a Senior Leader Faces in an Agile Organization
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Dr. Thomas Lechler
2:00 - 3:00
The Human Side of Agile
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Dave Silberman
3:15 - 3:45
Jira Overviiew 
Boston University Researchers:
BU Agile Innovation Lab Updates
Jim Hannon
4:00 - 5:00

Our Sponsors:

Detail on Sessions

How to Cultivate a Persistent Agile Culture

Agile transformation in the enterprise is often driven by loss – loss of customers to competitors due to lagging product capabilities, loss of confidence from investors due to delayed releases, loss of revenue due to poor quality or capabilities, and loss of employees to more attractive employers. Faced with these losses, businesses rush to jump on the Agile bandwagon, only to fail to achieve meaningful improvements because they are just going through the motions. Succeeding with Agile means making fundamental changes, and not just in software delivery, but to the very culture of the enterprise. A paradigm shift from thinking of the organization as a factory mass producing value to treating the teams as organisms responding and thriving in a harsh environment.

In this talk Dave West, CEO and Product Owner will describe the five big things necessary to drive and sustain agility in the enterprise. He will draw on real examples, and share stories about success and failure in creating and persisting an agile culture.

Inviting Leadership


The willing people power most of your genuine improvements, while the unwilling people power most of your genuine impediments. For leaders, the name of the game is to engage as many employees as possible in what is often a disruptive switch to new ways of working. How is this best achieved?


In this session I will tell stories about how we used an invitational approach to leadership, and an all-hands meeting format called Open Space Technology to bring new ways of working to some very large enterprises. I'll be telling you the story of interacting with skeptical executives, stories about engaging employees, and how we converted strong resistance into strong support. You'll also hear about how to save up to 70% on your consulting spend, by using the people you already have. I'll offer some specific tools you can use tomorrow to get the results we are getting using Open Space Technology and OpenSpace Agility to get real traction with the switch to Agile ways of working. 


As a bonus, everyone who wants one will receive the PDF of THE GUIDE INVITING LEADERSHIP with my compliments. 

“De-scaling to Effectively Deliver at Scale"

Many large IT shops love the big project. They bring in 100s of consultants to implement a large IT system that they expect to solve their current big issue. These projects are often late, over budget and fail to deliver the promised results, sometimes not delivering anything at all.

Certified Enterprise Agile Coach Dan LeFebvre will share his experiences working with large IT shops to streamline their process and using Scrum@Scale to improve their results. Using real examples, Dan will demonstrate how bigger isn’t always best.


Dan LeFebvre is the founder of DCL Agility, LLC and Operational Leader of FreeStanding Agility , providers of agile and Scrum coaching, training, and transition services. He is the first Certified Scrum Coach in New England with over thirty years in software product development as a developer, manager, director, and coach. Dan holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Boston University. He is a Licensed Scrum Trainer Fellow and Scrum @ Scale Trainer. He has been applying agile practices to successfully deliver products since 2003.

Dan LeFebvre Certified Enterprise Coach Executive & Agile Coach +1 (401) 345-6040

Assessing the Transformation and Adapting 

Agile trends in 2020 continue to expand with Agile transformations at companies engaged in
software delivery and with a huge growth in Agile adoption in non-software related departments
and companies. Human resources and sales departments are just two examples of the latter.
But all Agile transformations are not created equally. Oftentimes transformations are abandoned
before they are given a chance to succeed, mostly due to poor implementation of the simple-to-
understand yet challenging-to implement-Agile techniques.
So how do you determine if your Agile transformation is on a success path or a failure path,
before it is too late?  What are the factors you should examine, how do you inspect and adapt,
and what safety nets do you implement to mitigate risk? 
This 45-minute presentation will focus on tips and tactics to assess your Agile transformation. 
We will review some relevant Scrum Team and department level metrics you can use to
understand and report on whether your Agile transformation is achieving the business objectives
and outcomes you had envisioned at the onset of your transformation.   We will also discuss
some techniques to “course correct” and adapt your transformation dependent on your
When you leave this session, you will have several metrics that you can start applying to your
transformation and feel more confident in your capabilities to assess and adapt to strengthen your
newly developing Agile environment.

My Quest for Business Agility – the good bad and ugly of lean agile and DevOps transformations

Are you stuck in an agile transformation?

Are you chasing team velocity without seeing any business results? 

Do you manage an 18-month detailed roadmap, committing your team to 25 OKRs and shoving new features down the throat of your customers?


Maybe it is time to rethink your approach!


It has taken me over a decade, to make the transition from improving manufacturing environments with Lean and Kanban, to conceptualizing business agility within software and hardware organizations.


Asking the hard questions required to create better software products, delivering value sooner, safer, and happier often rubs people the wrong way….


Yet, without those questions you’ll keep hiring scrum masters who end up being JIRA admins and going through agile motions without winning the true benefits of lean agile and DevOps – necessary to drive business agility.


In an age of disruption - the scientific application of agile, lean, design thinking, lean start up, lean UX, OKRs and DevOps together with high performing teams is crucial to business outcomes.

In this talk I present the essentials of successful change initiatives:

  • Digital transformation must be simple - Team agility without organizational cadence, flow and continuous focus on technical excellence is a wasted effort;

  • Scaling agility can be SAFe but often isn’t when a culture of fear is paramount and focus on product quality and fast iterative feedback is missing;

  • Changing others from the outside-in, fails to deliver results; Success hinges on soak-ability, daily improvement that’s truly continuous


Allow me to share Anchors of Simplicity, Mainstays of Scalability, Tell-tale Signs of Soakability,  a journey across continents, numerous clients and many industries on a quest for business agility.

Learn more? Check out this post:

Interested in Product Agile?

Agile Retrospective Suck? Watch my YouTube playlist: Quest for Business Agility! Lean Agile DevOps

Product Manager and Product Owner Actions for Successful Scrum
Product people (Product Owners and Product Managers) are often unaware of specific
actions they can take to be proactive and collaborative both before and during Scrum
activities. Combining these simple actions with strong product leadership creates an
effective partnership with your product development team and generates great product
We use a two-part learning game as a forum to review the Scrum events and then
explore what product people can do to contribute to successful product development
using Scrum.

The Authentic Use of Scrum: The

Reality of Transformations That Go Bad


Many organizations are embracing Agile, and many of those are doing so because of what Steve refers to as the "Bright Shiny Object" phenomena: others are doing it and big consultancies are selling it.   In this session, Steve will explore some of the issues involved with successful transformations that go beyond the mechanics of Scrum.  He will start by defining what "Agile" actually is and then touch on the Scrum framework, cultural considerations, and what we can learn from past organizational-level transformations like TQM and Lean Six Sigma. 



Case Studies-Scaling Scrum


In this session, Steve will take us through the transformation of a complex program intended to demonstrate how a large organization can embrace Agile.  Steve will highlight the before-and-after states of traditional artifacts such as Project, Risk, and Communication Management Plans, as well as highlight the antifragility of Scrum when facing a catastrophic disruption to the organization.  Steve will finish by reviewing the successful outcome of this program and discuss how the organization reacted to the changes associated with this transformation.

Inspiring Teams

Creating an environment where self-organizing teams thrive and perform can be challenging; you’ve tried adjusting the composition of the team, introducing communication tools, facilitating the resolution of conflict, providing feedback training, etc. yet engagement is not where you want it and you are looking for ways to boost performance. The good news is that there is science available to help change leaders understand why they are not getting the outcomes they hoped for with their teams.
In this talk, one of the authors of the Harvard Business Review-published Team Emotional Intelligence (TEI) concept and an enterprise transformation coach explain the next generation team framework, called Inspired Teams, which builds on TEI. At the end of this session, participants will understand how leaders and coaches can create an environment where teams can transcend high performance and unleash Inspired Teams to delight customers and create breakthrough performance. They will also take away practical tools for creating Inspired Teams.

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The Boston University Agile Innovation Lab is a resource for the agile project management community. 

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