Teams & Practices 2016

2016 Line up  ::  Software Delivery Track   ::   Agile Business Track   ::   Agile Teams and Practices Track   ::   Product Design and Management Track    ::   Bonus Doubles Track

Agile Teams & Practices




Karel_BoekhoutAccelerated learning with Mob Programming   – Karel Boekhout


What to do if you have a team that needs to explore a lot of new territories in software development and you don’t have a senior to guide them?  You let them discover it themselves, as group. 

You will learn how we used Mob Programming as a learning mechanism, ending up with a surprisingly strict process for our mobbing sessions.

The Mob Programming technique has proven to be effective with a team of seniors and in this session you’ll discover that it is just as effective with a group of less experienced developers. It can also be used to explore topics outside of just software development.

Impressed by the Mob Programming session at XP2015 in Helsinki, I conducted an experiment with the teams I was coaching.

In this session I will show you how in a few months, with a set of weekly Mob Programming sessions, the teams as a whole and all its individuals have grown much faster than they could have done otherwise. They improved their coding skills, tool mastery, involvement in Scrum ceremonies, estimation skills, process modeling (!) and learned to be much more self-sufficient.

This didn’t happen without plenty of experimentation, and some dead ends. You will learn about the different approaches we tried, how we ended up with a surprisingly strict process for our mobbing sessions, and how acceptance was easier with a team that had fewer ingrained habits of work.

Karel Boekhout is an Agile Coach operating out of the Netherlands with a background in Change Management and Process Management


davelongmanKeeping distributed agile teams ‘face to face’  –  David Longman, Headforwards


Probably most of us would agree that in a perfect world, Agile teams would sit together, but what happens when this is not possible? What can you do to help the team function well together. In this session I’ll describe some low and high-tech solutions I have used to address this.  

You have an agile delivery team but they are scattered around the office, the city, the country or even the world. This is a challenge that many teams, especially in larger organisations have – are they doomed to a sub-optimal agile experience? How can you help them work effectively together when they cannot see each other? Is the latest flashy tele-presence solution the answer?

In this session we’ll look at different types of distributed teams and how their challenges and needs differ. I will propose that you can build high performing distributed teams without spending a fortune and I’ll explain some of the successful low and high-tech solutions we have used to achieve this. To add some balance to the session and to show that it’s not all roses and gold, I’ll discuss a few of the pitfalls I have fallen into and suggest ways you can avoid them.

Dave Longman is a Product Owner and Scrum Master with 6 years experience building distributed agile teams. He currently works for Headforwards leading an agile team split between Cornwall and Kent. Previously he worked for IDBS in Surrey building agile teams split between UK locations and the US.


Judith_11Ship fast!  –  Judith Andresen, BERATUNG JUDITH ANDRESEN


Lead-time measures the time between the generation of ideas and the deployment of the final product to the customer.

The speaker Judith Andresen explains different approaches to shorten the lead time.

To survive in a new market or to grow fast you need a short lead time in your company.  Lead-time measures the time between the generation of ideas and the deployment of the final product to the customer.

To minimize the lead time it is very useful to use agile methods and to focus on small user stories. Having done that, for most teams the lead time is still too long.

Teams still suffer from technical difficulties, merge problems and missing and / or misleading communication between stakerholders, product owner, and the team.

Judith Andresen explains different approaches to shorten the lead time. She puts her focus on team development and the “”vertical view”” of a product.

The team of the BERATUNG JUDITH ANDRESEN wants to make true collaboration possible.

Judith Andresen mainly accompanies as an agile coach companies in their agile transition. She regularly writes in blogs and journals and gives lectures on the insights and experiences of her work.


adampolPerformance Management: the new team responsibility –   Adam Polczyk, APSS (UK) Ltd


Traditional performance reviews are ineffective and especially unsuitable for Agile teams. In this session Adam will share the learning from over a year of experiments with an alternative approach that is aligned with the Agile values of respect and fast feedback. He will argue that it is now possible and desirable for Performance Management to become a team responsibility.          

There is growing recognition that traditional performance reviews don’t improve performance and are an impediment to collaboration and team self-organisation.

What if Performance Management was the responsibility of the whole team? How would that look, would it work and could it be more effective? Agile makes this possible.

In this talk Adam will present an alternative team oriented approach that is aligned with Agile values. One that treats people with respect and enables the frequent exchange of meaningful feedback between all team members. It supports conversations that develop people and help teams stay productive.

He will share data from over a year of trials and propose that with the right approach and support, it is indeed possible and desirable for Performance Management to become a team responsibility.

Adam is an Agile practitioner with 30 years experience of commercial software development. He started programming when he was 11 years old and hasn’t stopped since. For the last 15 years however, his focus has been helping teams and organisations apply Agile values to be more effective and to create a better working experience for their people. He is an accomplished and energetic Scrum Master and Agile Coach who loves sharing great ideas. When he isn’t walking about, he still likes making things and is the creator of


ebenhalfordStringTheory: Hidden Connections in Teams    Eben Halford        Orgology


This session will look at what makes teams different from groups, the structures that enable teams, team motivation, organisational context, appropriate team coaching and intervention models and finally the role of social capital in facilitating teams and enriching business.

With a ball of string and a folder we will explore team dynamics and how the relationships between members can be thought of as a distinct entity that holds the key to success.”   What makes a team, a team? An exercise to explore teams.

This is a quick briefing on what teams are followed by a group exercise to explore the hidden dimension of teams. The objective is to get participants to think about what it means to be a team and to experience how connections and team structure affect the ability of people to perform as a team: a whole, greater than the sum of its individual parts.

This is a facilitated exercise and every time I run it, each group discovers new things about themselves and their part in the greater whole. I don’t know exactly what we will learn from it, it will be a step into the unknown. What I have seen is that the more you share the more you will gain from the experience, each participant building on the experience of their team mates.

Don’t worry – no one will feel exposed or subjected to ridicule – except perhaps me.

Eben is an Executive and Organisational Change Coach with over 20 years experience in the IT Industry. Working with companies from startup to FTSE100 global corporations in a diverse range of industries from finance to advertising and much more in between. During this period, Eben has held a variety of positions from developer to CTO.

Eben now coaches change at the portfolio, program and team level with a focus on systems leadership and effective teamwork. Eben is an accredited coach and a certified LKU Kanban and SAFe trainer.



miaFile_000 (1)Mia Filisch & Hanif Jameel : Empowering Teams To Change: From Components To Features


The organisation of work around siloed component based teams can lead to difficulties in maximising the value delivered by a development process, and introduce coordination overheads which are difficult to resolve. At the same time, managing changes to the structure of teams is often a challenging process, especially if they are directly imposed. In this session we will explore the key lessons and insights gleaned from a developer and product led iterative transition to feature based teams.

This experience report will cover the reorganisation of our development department from teams structured around architectural components to cross-functional, project-based, and much more fluidly structured feature teams which pull work from a single backlog. This transition was developed iteratively and from the ground up, rather than being imposed by management, and adjusted as the team saw fit based on frequent reflection and implementation of any resulting tweaks that were seen as necessary for productivity and team health. This empowerment was arguably a key element for the success of this transition. We will outline the premises and issues prompting this transformation, the initial setup and process which the team started out with, as well as any challenges we had to overcome during the regrouping. In doing so we aim to provide a reflective perspective on the nature of cross-functional feature teams which are aligned with user stories rather than with platform components, and on what the team at 7digital have learned from trying to adopt this structure.

Mia started out at 7digital in the world of customer and client operations, where she enjoyed working with technologists and learning new things so much than in 2014, she finally decided to make a change and become a software developer.

Hanif is a senior software developer at 7digital, responsible for advancing our core platform technology. He has a passionate interest in process improvement and helping teams become as effective as they can be.

Both of them also coordinate 7digital’s internal knowledge sharing events, where different people hold talks, demos or workshops once every week, and have broadened its scope from being a tech team initiative to including sessions for all members of staff.



LauraDelnevoWinning your clients’ trust with Agile project management    Laura Delnevo        Cameron & Wilding


Having worked with a variety of clients and projects in the publishing sector (TMG, Sage Publications, The Economist), winning client’s trust is the underlining common denominator of success for me, as a project manager. For my agency this translate to: happy, satisfied and (hopefully) returning customers. Agile is at the core of all of this!    

Having worked with a wide variety of clients and projects, the underlining common denominator of success for me, as a project manager is happy satisfied and (hopefully) returning customers.

Winning clients’ trust for me has become even smoother with Agile practises as, since I’ve embraced this methodology of working at Cameron and Wilding, I have noticed a few patterns of success across our projects with our clients such as the Telegraph Media Group, Sage Publications, The Economist that I’d like to share with you in today’s session.

Laura has worked with a wide range of clients and platforms throughout her career. She started supporting campaigns within the home entertainment field (Universal, Sony, Disney).

In order to align her professional career to her personal interests and passions, Laura took a step further becoming an account manager for third-section clients and NGOs. It’s at this stage that she became to know and grow a steady interest in open source platforms, and Drupal in particular. Amongst other duties Laura has lead client relationship and website builds of national well known organisations such as The National Trust and Channel 4 (Paralympics website).

At Cameron & Wilding, Laura has been managing the builds of high-profile clients in the publishing sectors such as The Telegraph Media Group, Sage Publications, Oxford University Press and the Royal Society.


ian_hawkinsIncredible Agile Teams – Ian Hawkins, Siemens Healthcare


Is your team incredible? If we had a world agile team league table, where would you come? How would you improve? This session explores what it takes to be a top performing agile team.    

So you run retrospectives every sprint. You make improvements. Working software gets delivered. You’re doing good. But here’s the question, how much could you improve further? If you took the best agile team in the world and had them do your next project, how would they do in comparison? What would they do differently? Can your team be that team? This session explores what it takes to be a top performing agile team.

Ian Hawkins is an experienced scrum master at Siemens Healthcare, working with more than 30 other scrum teams across the world on 3D medical imaging software.  He runs the Agile Oxfordshire user group, bringing together agile enthusiasts from a wide variety of industries and experiences.

In recent years he and his team have explored: Test driven development, Pair programming, Shortened sprints, Simplified estimation, Reference stories, Estimation risk checklists, Team learning sessions, Inter team secondments, Mob testing, Work in progress limits and Communities of practice.  Ian has also run workshops and presented at Agile Cambridge in 2014 on the subject Epic Estimation



robertaAgile values and principles – for non software development teams – Roberta Stafford, Capital One


Think agility is just for software development teams? It isn’tThis session will will help identify and explore practical tricks and tips to help teams embed agile principles and values into their world where their goal isn’t iterative software development.   

Focusing on high level agile principles such as visualising work, delivering early and often, learning with feedback, measuring and managing your flow and starting with the all important “why” we will uncover practical suggestions to aid teams improve how their work together to deliver awesome business results

Roberta Stafford : I have been working as a scrum master and agile coach at Capital One for the last 3 years and am part of the transformation team that is helping  Capital One to change the way it works to become a more nimble, responsive and dynamic organisation.




CDK Logo -AotB
Team Motivation – Putting Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose into Practice – Kwasi Owusu-Asomaning (Autonomy), Andy Bowskill (Mastery), Chris Camacho (Purpose), CDK Global

How do you define Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose? In this session 3 speakers will share their thoughts on these concepts along with an open and honest view of the Agile journey they have had so far and the lessons they have learned along the way.

We all know agile development is a team sport, we need to build a shared understanding, respect and drive to deliver the very best for our customers and make sure we develop and grow doing it. This concept is often summarised as Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose and forms the bedrock for any Agile culture.

cdkTeam - AotBIn this session 3 speakers who represent product management (Chris Camacho), development (Andy Bowskill) and scrum mastery (Kwasi Owusu-Asomaning) will give their thoughts on these topics. The aim of this is to build a picture from different perspectives on this core concept, what it means to different parties and how in Agile the sum is clearly greater than the parts.

3 speakers from CDK who represent, product management (Chris Camacho), development (Andy Bowskill) and scrum mastery (Kwasi Owusu-Asomaning) all with a mixture of experience and time at CDK.

All three work across multiple international teams and are responsible for designing, building and delivering a quality dealer management software and making sure they have fun doing it!


Design a Degree 2.0 – Toby Parkins & Lyssa Fee-Crump, Headforwards & Software Cornwall



A few years ago at AOTB we ran a Design a Degree session because we were constantly hearing from employers in the industry that the education system was failing to produce enough high quality IT graduates. This year we are taking it to the next level.

We want our universities to be producing graduates with the right skills to walk into a workplace. That is why we want to speak to employers, to industry professionals, to graduates and to students to find out what they think should be being covered on a computer science degree.

We are all working hard to bridge the IT skills gap and one of the ways we are doing this is by encouraging the next generation of developers to go to university. But what happens if those universities are failing them?

What happens if they graduate with out-dated skills that won’t be of help in the modern workplace?

As working professionals in the tech industry you have insider knowledge on what is needed to succeed.  You know what you would skills and attributes you would want an employee to have.
We want to know what you wish you had been taught at university, what you wish you weren’t taught and how you think we could better help today’s student.

This is just the first step in a larger plan we have in place to help computer science graduates get the most out of their degrees, but we need input from experts like you.

Toby is a director at outsource software development company Headforwards as well as at the technical web agency UKNetWeb. He is also the president of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and a Hall for Cornwall Trustee. He has over 21 years experience working in the tech industry. @tobyparkins

Lyssa is Marketing Manager at Headforwards, a Committee Member at Software Cornwall as well as being a STEM Ambassador.  She has been an agile evangelist in the marketing world for a number of years and is passionate about finding new ways for tech to improve our customer relationships. @LyssaCrump

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2016 Line up  ::  Software Delivery Track   ::   Agile Business Track   ::   Agile Teams and Practices Track   ::   Product Design and Management Track    ::   Bonus Doubles Track


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