Agile 2010 Day 5 Review

The final day of Agile 2010 was all about keynotes. Before they kicked off, the Agile 2011 committee was announced (to be held in Salt Lake City), as were the Gordon Pask winners (it was awesome to see Elisabeth Hendrickson take the award along with Liz Keogh). They also thanked the organisers and sponsors (it was a first for me to have my picture up on the big screen for this reason!)


Here are my notes:

Keynote: Product Centric – A hot new trend for IT organizations

Dave West from Forrester Research delivered this keynote.


  • difference between a methodologist and a terrorist is you can reason with a terrorist
  • success of any process is a movement – passion and energy
  • IT departments are acting like product companies – it’s insane
  • pragmatism is important – one size does not fit all
  • software is a key catalyst to innovation – was cost and quality but now innovation, speed and agility are top of CIO minds
  • software is getting more complex – space shuttle has 2 million lines of code whilst the new S class Mercedes is 20 million lines of code – for new cars, software is 10-15% of the R&D cost
  • projects still fail, agile is seeing 70% success however
  • disconnect between software and the business – we usually try to bridge the gap with a PMO
  • mess of many – we tend to automate business processes and end up with a mess between the business and software processes – we spend a lot of time testing because we don’t know the impacts or understand them, not because we changed a lot
  • Agile is the predominant methodology (35%) although the second most popular was no methodology at all (30%), iterative 21% and waterfall 13%
  • CSM means you have just gone to your first disco but that doesn’t mean you can dance
  • we build better software when we know WE have to maintain it
  • organisations moving to product-centric operating model
  • people – learn more about the business, better developers are 10-20% more productive than average developers as they deliver real business value
  • organisation – measure as a team (need to eat, argue and drink together), aligned to a business process
  • process – release and software process is usually separate because the infrastructure is constrained and allows development to deliver, designers being dropped into a team force you to think in a different way
  • need clear business traction – need to work with the business to solve problems – deliver a product that creates business value
  • measure by business value, be incentivised by business results, learn about the business not just technology
  • separation between IT and the business gets in the way of speedy cadence
  • much simpler world – simplify the budget process, cut the red tape to get projects started
  • IT to business is too complicated – make it simpler, simple value chains and exploit it the simplest way you can
  • learnt when they built RUP they made it too complicated

Keynote: Stuck in Ha

Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson delivered this keynote. I found it fun, but I wonder if people who were not familiar with Ron and Chet’s style would have walked away a little confused…


  • shu, ha, ri – you are doing it wrong
  • scrum is so simple if you actually did it it would have to work – but it is not enough
  • we spend a lot of time trying to change the process, we need to change the situation
  • we tell first timers to inspect and adapt – unfortunately it can take long time if you are just picking practices
  • context is just the decisions that were made before you
  • agile skills project – map of things you need to know to do agile well
  • Alistair Cockburn is also mapping knowledge
  • need to explore the whole map
  • Scrum is a doorway to agile, it is an entry point not a destination
  • idea from conference – there is lots of ideas out there, and we need to look at every darn one of them
  • doing it better is not harder, it is easier — do it better!

Keynote: ADAPTing to Agile for Continued Success

Mike Cohn delivered this keynote, the slides are available here.


  • agile is the second wave of OO – many of the luminaries came from here
  • the number of lines of code in Ford vehicles has jumped from 2.5 million lines of code in 2005 to 10 million lines of code in 2010
  • claim that agile is 5-10% faster – very few teams have achieved this, this is not the norm
  • agile is a standard set of things – people started with waterfall-but, it’s not about strict adherence, continual
  • process of inspect and adapt and become the best we can be
  • doing Agile is easy – getting better results but it is not easy
  • agile is not something you become, it is something you become more of
  • need to raise the bar on each other
  • don’t need to be perfect, just need to be 1% better than your competition – Google is not the perfect search engine, if they were we would just hit I’m feeling lucky


  • awareness that there is room for improvement
  • desire to change
  • ability to work in an agile manner
  • promote early successes to build momentum and get others to follow
  • transfer the impact of agile throughout the organization so that it sticks
  • awareness, desire and ability is what we need to look at when others frustrated, communicate the problem, use metrics (maybe metric per employee), expose the new people and experiences, start with a few practices
  • desire – create a sense of urgency, communicate a better way, take a test drive and build momentum, overcome waterfallacies
  • ability – coaching and training, hold others accountable, just get started don’t wait
  • promote – agile safari at Google to go and see a team doing it right, to see agile in the wild
  • transfer – break out of organisational gravity otherwise you will get sucked back to status quo (plus daily standups)
  • need to iterate towards agility – use an enterprise transition community in conjunction with improvement communities (formed around the passion of a small number of people)
  • create an improvement backlog – create communities and tackle improvements
  • return next year more agile than you are today!
  • let’s make it software development and not agile software development

The Happiest Place On Earth

And with the conference wrapped up at lunch time, I used the rest of the day to visit Disney Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom!


One thought on “Agile 2010 Day 5 Review

  1. Pingback: Twitter Summary September 2010 « CDS 43

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