Launching Agile Release Trains: Why Start at the Program Level? …with Dean Leffingwell

Many organizations are tempted to begin their agile transformation with a series of low risk, stand-alone pilots. While these pilots may prove that teams can adopt a new process, they don’t prove that enterprise teams can work together to drive out dependencies, gain alignment across stakeholders, provide program-wide transparency, and deliver end-to-end value.

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6 Agile Planning and Analysis Practices to Try

Recently I spoke at a Fortune 50 PMO gathering of all their PMs – where the CIO encouraged them to “try” new things to deliver value faster to customers.  Several of the ideas I shared with them are listed in a great article at ebg Consulting.

Someone asked:

“What Agile techniques would you suggest introducing to a software development team that is currently not using the Agile approach but would like to get a flavor for the methodology?”

Several key fundamentals for doing and being agile in the Planning & Analysis area shared included:

  • Analysis is the “entire teams responsibility”
  • Expect to “fail” to learn
  • Value is in the eyes of the beholder

Read much more detail in the entire article here.


Successful Projects through Agile Project Management

Successful projects are found when project managers (PM) learn to

* Lead a team and not just manage it

* Enable the team to collaborate and self-direct, not just wait to be told what to do

* Facilitate and encourage innovation and creativity in solving problems, not just act as a foreman

Staying aware of the triple constraints (scope, time and resources) is critical, but managing them through the use of a project plan can make it very hard to adjust with changes that inevitably come your way during the project.  Rather, changes can be seen as opportunities to improve the solution and make it fit bestt for the customer / business.

Agile project management is done through the collaboration of teams that consist of the customer, the business, and the project implementation team.

Project Times | Successful Projects through Agile Project Management


Running an Agile Release Planning Meeting, with Dean Leffingwell and Jennifer Fawcett

Release planning is the “pacemaker” of enterprise agility and the Agile Release Train (ART) which aligns the Agile program to a common mission.  Based on nearly a decade of experience, Dean Leffingwell and Scaled Agile have developed a process which has worked with small trains of 40 people to larger trains of 180.

This webinar explains what it takes to run a successful Agile release planning meeting from a scaled point of view (100’s of teams).  Hear real stories and feel what it’s like to be a Release Train Engineer!

What you’ll learn:

  • Overview of Agile Release Planning
  • How to prepare, content preparation, executive, product, and architectural briefings
  • Release Planning Days 1 & 2, ceremonies and timelines
  • Beyond the basics, logistics, and evolution

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WEBINAR SERIES – Business & Agility

As Agile has matured, it also has diverged.  That is, there are not only more and more methods, there are more and more mindsets.  Some believe a team-centric approach is best, others believe one must start with an enterprise view.  Some believe you are best starting with those writing the code, others believe you should start with those deciding what products/features need to be built.  Some believe explicit workflows are a slippery slope back to waterfall while others have seen them result in faster than expected learning.  Other issues revolve around design, portfolio management, culture, transition methods and more.  How can one get to where the trure value of Agile is? How does one adopt Agile in a way that makes sense for their organization? Read more


Case Study into Leveraging Scaled Agile Framework™ in Mixed Waterfall and Agile Environments

While the adoption of Agile practices has become more and more prevalent in the industry, it’s clear that many large organizations are often unable to go “all in.” Even as we attempt to isolate initial use of Lean and Agile methods in a “pilot” environment, external forces often exist that prevent a “pure” implementation.  Waterfall and Agile/Lean can co-exist.

This Agilista PM webinar will dive into 3 real life situations with mixed Agile/Waterfall environments to show you:

  •   How Agile projects can align their plans to a Waterfall project when they are not in sync?
  •   How Waterfall projects can operate within a fixed cadence?
  •   How to deal with potential issues that may arise in these mixed environments?
  •   How to know when things are not working and when to make some changes?

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Scaled Agile Framework – Q&A RoundTable with Dean Leffingwell

Listen to a great Q&A Session on the Scaled Agile Framework™ answered by the Scaled Agile Partner team of Dean Leffingwell, Drew Jemilo and Colin O’Neill who are the founders of SAFe.  They have been using the framework to scale Agile at clients like BMC, John Deer -while leveraging Scrum, Kanban and XP practices.   They explain how you too can leverage SAFe at your organizatino as well.

Questions discussed include:

  • Provide an example of how Agile was successfully scaled, size of org, and keys to your success
  • Pricing models prevalent in the industry of large Agile transformations
  • How to use estimations to build up roadmaps
  • Delivering on time without imposing due dates on teams
  • Managing teams that are not co-located or even in the same timezone (offshore resources)
  • How SAFe enhances quality
  • How can scaled Agile be used effectiely with limited resources
  • What is the role of PMO and Project Manager in the Scaled Agile Framework?
  • and much more….

SPEAKERS: Dean Leffingwell – entrepreneur, executive, author and consulting methodologist who provides agile transformation consulting services to large software enterprises. Dean was the chief methodologist to Rally Software where he focused on the application of agile development methods to large scale software development. Dean also served as Sr. Vice President to Rational Software (now IBM’s Rational Division), where his responsibilities included development and commercialization of the Rational Unified Process (RUP), ClearQuest, RequisitePro and the company’s methodology and product training courses. Dean is the author of several books, Agile Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise ; Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises , and Managing Software Requirements: First and Second Editions.

Drew Jemilo has over 20 years of experience using Agile, Lean, and traditional methodologies in companies ranging from lean startups to global corporations. He has worked in the US and Europe applying technical and leadership experience in Agile program and portfolio management, change management, organizational design, coaching, and training. He has worked with Dean Leffingwell on a large global client to synchronize distributed teams in the US, India and Eastern and Western Europe, with a significant number of mostly independent, yet necessarily cooperative, Agile Release Trains.

Colin O’Neill has been a successful IT consultant for 26 years. He has led and coached numerous organizations in enterprise Agile and Unified Process (UP) systems development and integration efforts, business process re-engineering and improvement, requirements definition, data modeling, object modeling, enterprise architecture, risk management, quality assurance, testing, change & configuration management, system deployment, training, and mentoring. Colin has worked hands-on in every lifecycle phase and discipline. He is known for quickly increasing technical organization efficiency and speeding product delivery.

PDU: 1 *** PDU info is provided in recording ***
COST: Free


Scaling Agile Requirements: User Stories to Agile Portfolio Management

In Dean Leffingwell’s recent webinar on scaling Lean|Agile development, he introduced the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) <click here for Dean’s recording>. SAFe is a public-facing set of practices which have been used to successfully scale Lean|Agile development to hundreds — and even thousands — of practitioners at companies like BMC Corporation and John Deere.

You will gain these valuable insights as we cover the following topics…

  • What are best practices for writing team-based User Stories and non-functional Agile requirements?
  • How do these scale to the program and portfolio levels?
  • How can you work more strategically with upper management to achieve the highest business value for your company and customers?

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Scaling Lean-Agile Development

Meet the Scaled Agile Framework™

by Dean Leffingwell

Are you tired of the myth that Scrum, XP and Kanban do not scale to the needs of the larger software enterprise? Are you tired of the ideologies that prevent your enterprise from even trying to apply them? If the answer to either of the above is yes, this presentation is for you.

In this presentation, Dean Leffingwell will finally dispel these myths and ideologies by describing the Scaled Agile Framework™, a public-facing set of practices which have been used to successfully scale Lean|Agile development to hundreds—and even thousands—of practitioners at companies like BMC Corporation, John Deere and others.

He’ll describe five key scaling mechanisms:
•    SCALING VALUE: Not everything is a User Story
•    SCALING DESIGN: Complex systems require intentional architecture.
•    SCALING TEAM AND TIMEBOX: Aligning teams to a common mission with the Agile Release Train
•    SCALING PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: Addressing legacy mindsets
•    SCALING LEADERSHIP: Your enterprise can be no leaner than your executives thinking.

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Scaling Agile Across the Enterprise

Agile software development has been gaining momentum and mind share in software development circles for well over a decade. Its emphasis on incrementally delivering business value by teams that are both cross-functional and self-organized has resulted in getting innovative products to market faster. However, most large enterprises have failed to embrace the Agile movement even though they have earnestly tried by sending scores of their people through Certified Scrum Master and similar Agile training programs. What has been lacking is an Agile framework that addresses the needs beyond the Team.  In order to succeed, the Program and Portfolio levels of an organization must be fully engaged in building an Agile Enterprise.

This webinar will discuss “proven” advances in enterprise scale Agility and present a framework that has been proven to scale to meet the needs of large product development organizations such as BMC,, Google, John Deere and Nokia.


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