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program umbrellas

The Agile Australia 2012 Conference program will include content under five broad umbrellas.

They are:
» Adoption and Approaches
» Design and Build
» Leadership and Teams
» Project Management
» Product Management

Here you will find a detailed description of each stream, some suggestions on topics that we’re looking for, and which advisors will be chairing each stream. We are in the process of updating this page, so check back regularly.

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adoption and approaches

Chaired by Martin Kearns and Katy Rowett

This stream helps organisations and individuals appreciate the complexities of an Agile approach and increase awareness of what is required to be successful.

We are looking for presentations that provide a coherent and concise methodology or conceptual approach. We are not looking for case-study presentations alone, although this may be useful to reinforce a particular learning.

Learning outcomes for delegates should include key “aha” moments they can take back to their team or organisation. This stream should enable attendees to be a catalyst for continuous improvement in their organisations.

Presentations should not be constrained to IT alone. We are particularly interested in how Agile values and principles can realise benefits for organisations in all sectors and at all stages, from start-ups to large corporations.

We are looking for submissions on:

» How to roll out Agile in a consistent manner, allowing for customisation to particular situations / domains
» How to enable a point of realisation that Agile is not a software development methodology
» What implementation approaches have been used to initiate agility, and how have they changed the organisation
» How can Agile adoption be scaled at the enterprise level in a holistic and pragmatic manner

» How to influence an organisation to change the way it delivers "value-add" for the business
» How to enable sustained change
» How to finance and support an Agile transition within an organisation
» How to introduce tight governance values while still being Agile

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design and build

Chaired by Adam Boas and Keith Dodds

The Design and Build stream is about the aspects of the Agile process focussed on getting the product built. It encompasses three broad areas:

Developing product is at the heart of why most companies move to Agile processes in the first place. This stream focuses on the practices that support and speed up the development process.

We are looking for submissions on:
» Continuous integration and delivery
» Evolutionary design. How does an evolving architecture interface in a highly structured environment? How do you get approval to iterate your design from the dreaded Architectural Review Committee? When should the design stop evolving?
» DevOps. When is development complete? How do you transition specialised knowledge about an application to operations or a BAU team? Should operations or BAU be a different department?
» To TDD or not to TDD is it even a question? How do you manage low level code and feature testing? Developer communication with the rest of the extended team.

Testing in an Agile workflow is a significant issue. Many streams of thought have arisen about the best ways of product testing. Automation testing in one form or another has become king and yet nothing can replace good old random button pushing for discovering unthought of errors.

We are interested in submissions on:
» Test methodologies such as BDD and Specification By Example and to a certain extent the tools and languages that support them such as Cucumber, JBehave, Gherkin, etc.
» New approaches to solving the rapid feedback loop problem.
» Keeping testers busy and productive throughout the whole iteration cycle.
» New and novel approaches to testing

User Interface Design
User Interface Design has proved a hotly debated and contentious area in Agile development. It is only in the last couple of years that strong themes have begun to emerge on how delivery teams are working with user interface designers.

We are looking for submissions on:
» The mechanics of UX in agile teams. Does a UX designer need to be an iteration or more in front of the rest of the team? How should a UX designer interact
» with developers?
» How UX designers can work with other stakeholders to achieve a great usability outcome
» Major pitfalls encountered and overcome in UX design and delivery Continuous design - how much needs to be up front and how much must evolve? When do you stop evolving the design?

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leadership and teams

Chaired by Nigel Dalton and Daniel Oertli

With topics ranging from collaboration to recruitment, culture, human behaviour, optimal team structures and office space; to strategy and change management, this conference stream points the X-Ray machine at the baggage of Agile that many of us live with a on a daily basis, asking hard questions about why things have worked, and whether the good things are intrinsically 'Agile', or just good habits for human beings to be creative, effective and enjoy their work.

Today, enterprises that have "gone Agile" are looking beyond the practices, and redefining what success for their teams and organisation really looks like. We are looking for submissions that tackle, but are not limited to, the following problems:
» What do Agile teams need to perform at their very best?
» How do performance measures and incentives need to evolve?
» What does great leadership need to look like?
» How do you grow the team?
» How does the inevitable plan-do mindset connect with Agile's envision-explore mantra?
» How can enterprises extract further benefit from Agile practices, beyond IT?
» Establishing an Agile way of working within an organisation that still has "an old regime"
» Scientific proof that the collection of habits and behaviours that make up Scrum, XP, Kanban and Agile in general are actually more effective at delivering business outcomes.
» Why leadership is the vital part of the change to Agile, from thought leadership to opinion leadership as well as the more recognisable 'big L' Managers, product owners and team leads.
» That a culture of 'team first' does not grow naturally in a command and control hierarchical organisation.
» That newly-Agile teams are often incompatible with traditional organisation hierarchies

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project management

Chaired by Phil Abernathy

As Agile spreads across both business and IT projects, the challenge becomes how best to govern and manage Agile projects. This stream will look at how Agile values, principles and practices can effectively improve project governance and management, thus reducing the risk of delivery failure and delivering business value faster. It will also look at what, if any, changes need to be made to traditional governance and management practices to help govern and lead Agile projects. This stream will also look at contracts and procurements in an Agile environment, Agile governance, Agile PMO, Agile project management and Agile iteration or scrum management.

This stream is looking for submissions on the following topics:
» What is the role and skills of the Project and Iteration manager in an Agile environment and how is it different from a traditional project manager?
» What is the most effective way to lead an Agile project?
» What questions should a steering committee ask in order to best steer an Agile project? How does a steering committee identify problems and what are the best fixes?
» How can portfolio management and funnel management be performed using Agile principles and practices? How does one choose the ‘right work” and then do the “work right”?
» What is the role of the PMO (Project Management Office) and what is the best way to setup a PMO?
» How do you manage and lead an ultra large program of work using Agile?
» How does one create and structure a ‘fixed price’ contract in an Agile environment?
» How do you manage the performance of contractors, vendors and suppliers in an Agile environment?
» How can one build Agile capability into governance and project management?
» How do you setup an Agile project to succeed?

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product management

Chaired by John Sullivan

Product Management is the practice of integrating “the business” with delivery teams so that a project/product has great vision, a strategy to meet the vision and continually prioritised requirements to fulfil the strategy. Product Management is at the heart of Agile. In Scrum, it is the role of the “Product Owner”, in Extreme Programming the “Customer” and elsewhere it is the person that everyone refers to when they say “The Business!”

One of the main contributing factors to successful projects is the skill and continual involvement of the product manager role. This stream aims to provide guidance and advice for the Product Manager role, teams looking for greater involvement from the business and how successful practices ensures great business outcomes. It helps Product Managers gain knowledge on what teams need from the role, what practices have worked, what has failed, and how to improve on currently used practice.

The scope of this stream would include everything from the idea phase, through to conception, initiation, planning and finally execution.

Examples of the types of topics we seek submissions on are not limited to but include:
» Delivery case studies highlighting success and failures of the practices, approaches and processes used within Product Management.
» How to convert vision, strategy and great product ideas into effective projects and products
» Tools, tips and `tricks of the trade’ for the making of great Product Management as well as setting delivery visions, strategies and requirements
» The move from traditional requirement documents led projects to the art of continual Product Management within delivery teams
» Shaping direction based on customer needs; how to obtain customer insights and translate those into a direction for the team
» How Product management works with the other functions of the delivery team; like, stakeholders, business analysis, testing and development
» How to perform the Product management role in out-sourced, in-sourced and co–sourced delivery teams
» How does Product Management work differently in different types of companies like: large, distributed, small and start-ups
» Requirements setting and prioritisation, how to manage the continual change in a company’s needs, whilst ensuring delivery is focused on delivering

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