Sessions are distributed into stages.  The stages and the stage organizers are:



Assistant or Co-Producer

Adoption & Transformation

Brandon Carlson

Lasse Koskela

Agile Boot Camp

Joe Chao

Jeff Nielsen

Agile for Embedded Systems Development

James Grenning

Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Agile Show and Tell - Lightning Talks

Laurent Bossavit

Henrik Kniberg

Business and Project Management

Robbie Mac Iver

Hans Samios

Coaching & Mentoring

Ola Ellnestam

Mark Levison

Collaboration, Culture, & Teams

Esther Derby

Jukka Lindström

Development Languages, Practices and Techniques

Dean Wampler

Venkat Subramaniam

Enterprise Agile

Steve Adolph

Jutta Eckstein

Hands-on Learning

Kay Johansen

Kenji Hiranabe

Insights - Experience Reports

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Linda Rising


Mitch Lacey

Michael Corrigan

New Horizons & New Voices

Diana Larsen

Andrew Shafer

Open Jam Steven "Doc" List Rachel Davies

Research at Work

Nils Brede Moe

Torgeir Dingsøyr

Testing & Quality Assurance

Ken Collier

Lisa Shoop

User Experience and Interaction Design

Darci Dutcher

Ron Vutpakdi

Working with Customers

Catherine Louis

Shane Hastie


Adoption & Transformation 

Have you considered the switch to Agile but not know where to start? Are you practicing Agile but not getting the results you expect? If you answered yes to either of these questions then the Adoption & Transformation stage could be your first stop on the road to better business results through agility. Whether you're just getting started or starting to "get it" you'll find valuable information on what it takes to execute a successful adoption and organizational transformation – not to mention the pitfalls you should avoid along the way as others share their most painful experiences and greatest moments of insight.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What is it about an organization's culture that makes it a fit for Agile adoption?
  • How long does it take in order to receive lasting benefits from an Agile transition?
  • Where do I start a transition?
  • Why transition to Agile?
  • Who should be involved with the transition?
  • How many false starts did it take before becoming successful within your organization?
  • What are the barriers to success?
  • When is my organization "ready" to begin an adoption?
  • How do I know when my organization is Agile?
  • How do I know we’re getting better at it?
  • How does Agile transform your organization's culture?
  • How has Agile had an impact on your organization's bottom line?
  • What tools do I have for successfully achieving Agility?
  • Now that my coach is gone, how long before we go back to our old ways?
  • What does a "transformation" look like?

Agile Bootcamp 

The goal of Agile Boot Camp is to provide those who are new to agile development with a brief but systematic overview of agile concepts, terminology, methodologies, and practices. Upon completion of the boot camp, all attendees should feel comfortable discussing basic agile development principles and practices, and have a mental framework to help them get the most possible out of the remainder of the conference.

The Agile Boot Camp consists of two parts: an intensive first day curriculum providing a solid introduction to agile concepts, methods, and practices; and a second day of hands-on workshops providing deeper exploration of important topics.  On the first day, stage participants will learn about 1) a history/overview of agile development and methodologies, 2) agile planning and project management, 3) agile engineering, and 4) agile teamwork and context.  In-depth workshops on the second day will include topics like TDD, continuous integration, agile testing, and agile requirements.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What is Agile Software Development?
  • What are the basic concepts, principles, and practices behind agile software development?
  • What do I personally need to know to be successful with Agile Software Development?
  • What topics do I want to learn more about at this conference?

Agile for Embedded Systems

Agile is making inroads into embedded development.  Some of you have been applying agile to embedded for the last decade, while others are just hearing about it now.  Embedded systems development suffers from many of the same problems as software developed for the desktop and the web: inconsistent delivery, unrealistic expectations, defects late in the development cycle and burned out individuals and teams.  At the same time, embedded has some unique challenges: cross platform development, hardware/software/mechanical integration, real time constraints, and product safety to name a few.   One of Agile’s strengths is the emphasis on adaptability. Agile can be adapted to the challenges of embedded systems development.

The goal for this stage is to provide a forum for practitioners to exchange their many lessons learned and a place for those new to Agile, but not embedded, to see how to apply Agile to the challenges of embedded systems development. Because embedded systems always involve more than software, a further goal is to explore: 

  • Agility for product development involving hardware, software, mechanics, ...
  • Making the transition from lean manufacturing to lean development

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How will incremental planning and delivery help when there is no incremental delivery possible?
  • How do I turn product requirements into stories?
  • How do we deal with regulatory issues?  What will my auditors say?
  • What is continuous integration in an embedded product development effort?
  • How do we use TDD and automated acceptance testing without a lab full of specialized equipment?
  • Our engineers are specialists, how can we deliver features and show progress when the platform is not ready?
  • Can I use agile on a one engineer product?
  • Our product has a lot of third party off-the-shelf software, how can agile help?
  • What does Lean Product Development have to do with Lean Manufacturing?
  • How can we make progress on the software when the hardware won’t be ready for months?
  • How do we get meaningful customer feedback before it is too late?

Agile Show and Tell

What makes or breaks a software project? Certainly not the labels people pick as tribal affiliations: "Agile", "Scrum", or "Extreme" are mere words, powerless to bring about outcomes. What truly matters is what we DO - practices, insights turned into action and decisions. This stage is intended to maximize attendees' exposure to novel or useful ideas of things they can DO on returning to work after the conference, through very short talks (8 minutes) followed up in Open Space sessions. We have targeted talks accompanied by visuals (photos, videos) or artifacts from real projects - no elaborate PowerPoints, no tool demos - just practitioners showing and telling.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What interesting stuff have you learnt lately?
  • If we visited your team, what would we see that would blow us away?
  • What has worked well enough for you that you want to inspire others to try it?
  • What has bombed so badly for you that you want to warn people away from it?

Business & Project Management

Agile principles and practices are well established in the execution of software development projects and agility is increasingly thought of as the "right" or at least most effective way to approach these projects. The Business & Project Management stage looks at a broader spectrum to examine how agile principles and practices can be used beyond the domain of software development projects. 

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How can agility help answer the important value-added question, “what is the right work to do?”
  • How can agile values, principles, and practices be adapted to achieve the benefits of agility in the execution of projects outside the software development domain?
  • How can the benefits of agile values and principles be realized in the broader business organization outside of project work?
  • Experiences of using agile approaches in non software projects. How were these projects selected? What benefits were gained from agile approaches?
  • How is portfolio management being performed in an agile manner?
  • How is a portfolio of projects using both agile and phase based approaches to project management managed? What are the issues in transitioning from more traditional portfolio management techniques?
  • How are agile techniques used for initiative and project selection and governance? How are projects getting started? How does the business know a project is delivering what was expected?
  • What other business areas are using agile approaches? What processes are being managed? How were these selected? How was the transition made?>

Coaching & Mentoring                  Sponsored by:  agile_coaching_institute.png

Are you a new Agile Coach? Have you been dropped into your current role? Do you want help in transitioning from a technical role to Agile Coach? Not sure where to start? Then this stage is a good place to start your journey and become a person who focuses on helping others. Come and learn techniques, listen to the experience of peer coaches, and see how you can better support technical teams in their day to day struggles.

Maybe you’re a seasoned coach or a veteran of many teams, then we need you too. We would like to know what makes you different, and what your most effective tools are. Please come out and learn what makes your peers great, both in the formal sessions and hallway conversations.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What kind of skills do I need to coach someone in the Agile Principles? Technical Skills? Other skills?
  • What is my next step as a coach? What are common difficulties when coaching?
  • Where do I start and when do I end?
  • How do I coach mature teams?
  • What technique can I use to address dysfunction ?
  • How can I tell I’m not sub optimizing a process by intervening?
  • What techniques are you finding most effective?
  • What have you borrowed from other fields (i.e. organizational development, psychology, executive coaching, neuroscience and anything else you think is relevant)?
  • What differentiates you from other Agile coaches?

Collaboration, Culture & Teams

As we framed this stage, thinking about Collaboration, Culture and Teams, one word came up over and over--entangled. We see that as the essential nature of this stage. We could simplify things by pulling the three concepts apart into three separate buckets, but it would be less useful, we think.

Collaboration is a way to accomplish interdependent goals.  Collaboration is an approach to work a set of skills, an approach to conflict, a reflection of culture. Teams collaborate within one boundary; but releasing software requires collaboration across the organization, across companies, and across cultures.

Culture is an expression of group values in action. Culture shapes what people can talk about, and what’s undiscussable; what’s acceptable and what is not; what’s important, what’s valuable; who is important, who is valuable.

Teams are social units that exist within a culture, and work through collaboration. The presence of many cultures--national, professional, organizational--within a team will bring challenges and great possibilities for team work.

You see why “entangled” came up.

In this stage, we explore the interplay between Collaboration, Culture, and Teams, not as artificially separated concepts, but entangled, as they really are.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How do different levels of team self-responsibility affect individuals, culture, and results?
  • How does collaboration between the team and other parts of the organization support or limit successful realization of goals?
  • What aspects of culture (both organizational culture and the cultures people bring as individuals) affect successful collaboration and teamwork?
  • What has worked to help support collaboration across cultural and organizational boundaries?
  • What structures (physical, organizational, policies, contracts) have increased cross-organizational collaboration? How have they changed the nature of the relationship between the organizations?
  • What will help teams develop robust collaboration when there are cultural differences?
  • How can teams recognize favorable and limiting aspect of organizational culture and shape a new culture within the team?
  • How can we help teams overcome narrow job descriptions and a culture of specialization and build robust cross-functional collaboration?

Development Languages, Practices & Techniques

This stage explores the fundamental, even disruptive role that programming languages, practices and techniques play in achieving the goals of agility. This isn't the stage to find conventional talks of the form "How to do TDD in the FooBar language." Rather, this stage challenges the conventional thinking about agility, or reaffirms it in novel ways, based on the characteristics of particular languages, practices, and techniques. This is a stage for the experienced agile developer who wants to explore new territory.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How can new development languages, practices, and techniques revolutionize the Agile experience?
  • After more than a decade of experience using Agile, how have our tools and techniques changed?
  • Are we developing new kinds of applications that force strategic changes in how we work?
  • How does TDD change when using Functional Programming languages?
  • What is the role of Domain-Specific Languages in transforming the development process?
  • What are some of the practices, tools, or techniques that can enable a sustainable pace in agile development
  • Are there tools, techniques, and approaches that you have found to motivate and improve the use of code reviews?
  • Are there unique lessons to be learned from applying Agile in new domains, such as mixed hardware/software projects, research settings, etc.?

Enterprise Agile

The Enterprise Agile stage is dedicated to sharing insights from large scale, distributed, complex projects and projects operating in organizationally complex eco-systems. We will have practitioners and evangelists shed light on real-world challenges and share their success and horror stories, and practices for interpreting agile principles and evolving agile practices. We hope to provide pearls of wisdom for teams considering or already in enterprise set ups. This stage will stress the practical applications and implications of evolving Agile values and practices to enterprise scale projects.

Enterprise software development is often large in scale and widely distributed. Enterprise software development takes place in a confusing and chaotic mix of software methods, enterprise policies, competing interests, personal agendas, personality types, formal and informal relationships. In ecological terms, there is a great deal of bio-diversity and enterprises are anything but mono-cultures. Just like all other successful species Agile must evolve and adapt to survive and thrive in this complex environment.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How have you interpreted agile principles and evolve agile practices to cope with the reality of the enterprise?
  • How to scale from the classical Scrum model of a Product Owner, Scrum Master and a seven plus or minus 2 member delivery team to a project with 100, 200, 300 or more?
    • What does the backlog look like? How is it managed? How is it governed?
    • What are the roles?
    • How are the teams coordinated? Is a Scrum of Scrums sufficient?
  • What happens when the continuous flow of agile hits the enterprise’s stage gate funding and governance practices?
  • How do you work with non-agile teams within and outside of the enterprise?
  • How to work with teams that are scattered not only across an enterprise development campus but also around the world? 
  • How to evolve agile practices to cope with the reality of the enterprise?

Hands-On Stage

Nothing is more convincing than a personal experience.

The Agile community views software development as a learning process, through collaboration of people. Agile is all about learning by doing!

The Hands-On stage provides learning experiences for all levels of Agile practitioners through highly interactive sessions. Sessions can be of two main types:  experiential workshops, or peer-to-peer exchanges.  All sessions will have at least 50% of the time allocated for direct participation by attendees.

Some examples of hands-on session formats:

  • Experience-based workshops
  • Collaboration games
  • Role-playing simulations
  • Peer-to-peer exchanges
  • Think tanks


An Insight presentation shares first-hand information and reflections: "We saw this, did that, and consider this-and-that about our experiences." Insight reports are where agile development teams, project and program managers, leaders, and individuals share observations, hard fought wisdom, and practical advice.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How did you uniquely scale up, blend, adapt or evolve agile practices?
  • What mistakes did you make? What insights have you gained that others need to know about?
  • How successful were you in overcoming challenges? What challenges remain?
  • If you’ve been doing agile development for a long time, how have your values or ways of working changed? What are you doing now and why?
  • How have you uniquely tackled architecture, design, usability, quality assurance, deployment, marketing, product definition, requirements or documentation?

Each Insights presentation will be 30 minutes long and will be a summary of a 6-8 page paper which is in the conference proceedings.

Leadership                                    Sponsored by: derby_logo.png

By now we know that agile does not mean anarchy. It is simple yet disciplined. Leadership plays an important part in its success. We heard, learned, and experienced the characteristics and behavior required for an agile transition as well as continuous adaption and improvement. Agile leadership can be strong, powerful, and subtle. In this stage we explore what leadership approaches, techniques, tools, and styles have been used successfully and not so successfully. We learn from our mistakes as well as our successes.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • How is leadership similar or different for various roles such as ScrumMaster, project manager, functional manager, director or executive leader?
  • How do agile leadership roles and responsibilities differ from traditional leadership roles and responsibilities? Do they change depending on the enterprise goals?
  • How can heroic leaders transform themselves to post-heroic?
  • How does leadership style affect the team?
  • How do servant leaders take a back seat yet influence, facilitate, coach, and rally teams to success?
  • We need a new kind of leadership. But what does it look like?

New Horizons & New Voices

The New Horizons & New Voices stage is dedicated to uncovering, supporting and giving space to previously little known or unheard ideas and individuals that are stretching the Agile envelope. We want to explore the interplay of ideas and experiences, examine real world experience to challenge conventional wisdom, make unexpected connections, and learn what new things people are trying in their environments and hear how it's worked for them.

 Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What have we not seen before that is influencing the direction/evolution of Agile SW?
  • What have we not seen before that Agile is influencing in unexpected ways?

Open Jam

Open from 3:00pm Sunday until 12:30pm Friday, Open Jam is a place to share questions and quandaries, talk to the experts, demonstrate software and techniques, and experiment with emerging Agile practices and ideas.

Sessions don't need to be formal, like the ones on the program (in fact it's more fun if they are not). Anyone can convene a session at the Open Jam stage based on a passion and a commitment to make the session happen.

To share ideas, you can talk, write, play, or engage in the excitement of PechaKucha: up to ten people doing 20 slides set at 20 seconds each, for a total of six minutes and forty seconds per person. We'll be having a PechaKucha each evening just after the end of the programmed sessions. Come share your excitement and your passion for any topic that interests you!

Bring your crucial issues and ideas, your passion and your commitment to the Open Jam. Walk away with valuable new insights into topics that are relevant to you today.

The "Park Bench" within Open Jam  
The Agile Manifesto Signatories will be stopping by the "Park Bench" throughout the week-long conference to make themselves available to attendees.  Visit the "Park Bench" -- a casual, comfortable setting to share ideas, ask questions, challenge perspectives, and grow new possibilities. Come, share, ask, interact, learn and create.

Coaches Corner within Open Jam  - Sponsored by Scrum Alliance
New to Agile Coaching or new to Agile? Trying to get your head wrapped around how to help people without any official authority? Need to know how to convince your teams to listen? Have a tough coaching problem your not sure how to handle?  
We may not be able to solve all your problems but we can help start down the right path. Come to Agile 2011 Coaches Corner within Open Jam. Unlike the Canadian hockey version  ( it won't be loud brash former coaches telling it like it is, it will be a clinic where you can catch some time with an experienced coach. During office hours: 8-9, 12-1, 5-7 - daily - just drop by for a chat. Otherwise write a question on an index card and leave it in the "Ask a Pro Coach Box". Questions will be discussed in OpenJam and after the conference on the Agile Coach Support mailing list.


Research at Work

Do you wonder why a method, tool or practice is working, why it is not working or why something that works in one setting is difficult to introduce in another? The Research at Work stage of the Agile Conference focuses on bringing the results of rigorous scientific research on agile software development to practitioners and researchers. We aim at bridging the gap between research and practice, by presenting case studies, action research studies, experiments, surveys and literature reviews with focus on practical implications.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What can we learn from studies of agile software development techniques?
  • What are the theoretical underpinnings of agile and lean development, and the agile manifesto?
  • What can software developers learn from other research fields?
  • What topics should be researched in the future?

Testing & Quality Assurance

The Testing and QA Stage sessions are designed to help testers and anyone who is part of an agile team succeed in delivering high quality software.  The presentation of new and innovative techniques and ideas for ensuring high quality results is an important purpose of this stage. The sessions in this stage will give you practical ideas and techniques to take back to your workplace. These sessions will be highly interactive to allow for experiences to be shared and learning from each other.  If you're a tester, developer, business analyst, coach, manager, or anyone else with a stake in delivering high-quality software, you'll find practical information here.

Questions the stage will attempt to answer:

  • How do quality metrics improve testing practices?
  • How to effectively managing technical debt in test suites?
  • How to ensure that testing "keeps up" with the fast pace of agile development?
  • What skills should agile teams have to ensure high quality?
  • What is the role of a QA specialist on an agile team?
  • What is the relationship between developer testing and tester testing?
  • How to test nonfunctional requirements on agile projects (load, performance, security, usability, stress, etc.)?
  • How to create and maintain non-brittle test suites?
  • How do distributed agile teams practice effective, continuous testing?
  • How can agile testing help with compliance requirements (e.g., FDA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.)

User Experience and Interaction Design

The User Experience/Interaction Design stage is for agile team members passionate about creating a great user experience.  Our goals include:

  • Putting practical user experience skills into the hands of the people who need them – regardless of their official role
  • Communicating that user experience is a rich, deep discipline that can help agile teams build better products

A great user experience must be rooted in an understanding of user needs. Good user interface design is not enough. The best products come from entire teams understanding and applying user experience skills and practices throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.

In Agile development, the whole team must accept responsibility for the quality of the user experience.

Questions the stage will attempt to answer:

  • As a user experience specialist, how can I best work with the rest of the Agile team?
  • As an Agile team member, what can a user experience specialist do for us?
  • How can traditional user experience and usability practices be adapted for an Agile environment?
  • What are some of the best tricks, tips, and practices that work in less than ideal environments?
  • What are some of the best tricks, tips, and practices that work on teams new to user experience or new to Agile?
  • Want can we do when we don't have a user experience specialist on the team?

Working with Customers

The "Working with Customers" stage explores the interactions between the customer community and Agile development teams, focusing on the non-technology functions as well as the Agile development teams themselves. 

We see the “customer” as a many-headed Hydra ranging from executives and managers who sponsor and pay for projects, to internal “users” (horrible term – are they addicted to our software?) to the ultimate customer who purchases or consumes our product.  Even the end consumer comes in varied flavors – e.g. on a website often the funding comes from advertising revenue but the primary functionality is to provide a service or product to a member of the public who visits the site.

Questions this stage will attempt to answer:

  • What does "working with customers" mean when you have an Agile team delivering to multiple customers and multiple end-users? (For example, in Telecoms or Financial Services)
  • Do Agile customer relations incite different sales and marketing techniques?  If so what are they, and what does this look like?
  • How are Agile contracts structured to support collaborative flexibility and progressive elaboration between customers and business?
  • What is the level of interaction between Agile sales and Marketing teams and Agile developments teams, do they working as one team, can they work as one team, should they work as one team?
  • How engaged are the development teams with the end consumers of the services and products we produce? What does this interaction look like and how is this different from traditional "waterfall" development?
  • How is "pull" created with the varied customer communities and how does this change the interaction with the Agile development team?
  • How does the work-life balance change when the Agile teams are working across varied customer communities? Is this more stressful or less?
  • Does an Agile development team working with across customer communities promote increased innovation?
  • How do you reconcile conflicting customer goals through collaboration? What are the conversations, tensions between customer communities, customer facing teams, and the Agile team?
  • What happens when you work with customers and deliver in a regular cadence, and what happens when they like what you deliver versus when they do not? 
  • How do you ensure that the Agile team gets feedback from the whole spectrum of customers?
  • How closely coupled should the Agile project delivery cadence be with the marketing release cycle?



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