Agile Boston OPEN SPACE, Agile Boston
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Cost is only $29 and includes Lunch. REGISTER HERE.

April 28, 9:00AM to 5:00PM


Join the Agile Boston user group as we gather for AGILE BOSTON OPEN SPACE 2010 on Wednesday April 28, in Waltham Massachusetts. This is your fun, informative, convenient, content-rich, no-empty-calories, 100% Boston agile community event. We put it together for your enjoyment, in one great day.

Come and learn the latest techniques and trends in Agile and Scrum. Come and learn from experts on Lean, Kanban, Scrum, organizational learning, facilitation, and more!!


Who Can Benefit Most from Attendance:

Managers, Developers and Project Sponsors who are NEW TO AGILE

Experienced Agile Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Coaches

PMP-certified and other project managers who want to extend their knowledge of Agile & skills

Developers and Testers and others who are affected by Agile and Scrum initiatives at work


This festive event includes great speakers, great food, great socializing, and great Scrum authorities-- including Ken Schwaber, Amr Esslamadisy, Steven "Doc" List, Dan Mezick and Michael de la Maza.

However, these speakers are not the star of the show-- YOU are.

This is an OPEN SPACE event!! If you have never attended an Open Space event, you are in for a lot of fun !

For this event, the morning agenda is fixed, and the invited speakers present sessions, in a standard classroom-style format.

But then after lunch, the agenda for the rest is self-organized by the attendees, with guidance and assistance from our World-class facilitator: Steven "Doc" List.

The Open Space format provides you with an opportunity to talk about the topics that are important to you.

You will create the agenda, and in doing so you will have the chance to focus discussions on the things you care about, want to learn about, and want to share.

Whether you're new to Scrum and want to learn more, or experienced in leading Agile teams and want to learn what's working for others, bring it here and propose a session.

Open Space is a working example of self-organization and community ownership in action. The format is being used throughout the world to facilitate group decision making in organizations of all sizes.

Learn more about the OPEN SPACE conference format via these links:

The History of Open Space by Open Space originator Harrison Owen

Open Space California- Web Site of the annual event hosted by Bay APLN in SanFrancisco CS

Open Space World - Open Space Conference format described

Working in Open Space- A Guided Tour

Pictures of Open Space conferences

The Open Space User's Guide by originator Harrison Owen

For our event here, the OPEN SPACE event occurs after lunch.

In the morning we have Ken Schwaber giving the keynote, followed by concurrent instructor-led breakout sessions. Then lunch-- and the OPEN SPACE event !!

The speakers from the AM sessions are committed to participating in the OPEN SPACE as students, as teachers and as community members.


An Open Space event opening, where the agenda takes shape.


This promises to be a great event !

The day ends at 5PM. At 6PM we reconvene to run our regular monthly meeting.

Our Sessions and Speakers: Click here to view all sessions



AMR ELSSAMADISY on Scaling Up by Scaling Down: A (re)Focus on Individuals


LIVE MUSIC on acoustic guitar from BOB MAC WILLIAMS


SPECIAL THANKS to BOB MAC WILLIAMS for the LIVE MUSIC during the break !!


Register here to RESERVE YOUR SEAT:


Cost is only $29 and includes Lunch. REGISTER HERE.




Bob MacWIlliams plays eclectic instrumentals and songs on acoustic guitar. Bob hails from AUBURNDALE, Massachusetts and plays for us during the break

Bob MacWilliams on MySpace: links, MP3 audio, song clips, more



NOTE: You have access to a rich day of learning here. You are attending 2 sessions in the morning and at least 3 in the afternoon! The event includes lunch !

08:30AM Doors open, check in, socialize

09:00AM Seating; Welcome and convene. Dan Mezick on: CANONICAL SCRUM

09:30AM KEYNOTE: Ken Schwaber on:


10:30AM MICHAEL de la MAZA, AMR ELSSAMADISY breakout sessions (sessions listed below)

11:30PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS END. Reorganize room/chairs for Open Space event

12:00PM LUNCH. Live music from BOB MAC WILLIAMS. Socializing over some good food & beverages.

01:00PM AGILE OPEN SPACE EVENT: OPENING & ORGANIZATION with Facilitator Steven "Doc" List. We build an agenda with 3 sessions per hour, running concurrently. The Open Space format ground-rules allow you to move around, and experience each session as you see fit!!

02:00-0:300PM OPEN SPACE Part 1 (3 sessions)

03:00-04:00PM OPEN SPACE Part 2 (3 sessions)

04:00-05:00PM OPEN SPACE Part 3 (3 sessions)




Ken Schwaber is the pioneer who created Scrum with Jeff Sutherland and founded the Scrum Alliance. The result is a proliferation of Scrum worldwide. Over 64 THOUSAND people throughout the world are certified as Scrum Master through Ken's development of the Scrum Alliance. See Ken's bio here


Steven “Doc” List (generally known as Doc) is currently a principal consultant with ThoughtWorks, a highly respected international technology consulting company. Doc’s focus is on organizational transformation and agile adoption.

Doc teaches agile and Scrum and delivers agile coaching for ThoughWorks. In this role, he has facilitated Open Space conferences all over the world and in recognized as an expert in facilitated group decision-making. Doc is active in helping lead the Agile community, most recently as the Stage Producer of the New To Agile Stage of the Agile2009 conference held in Chicago last August.

Doc's experience includes a software technology career spanning three decades. He has worked on all types of hardware and operating systems, multiple languages and environments.

NOTE: Doc is facilitating the Open Space!! He intends to participate during the entire day.


Amr Elssamadisy, a partner at Gemba Systems is a software development practitioner who helps his clients build better software that is more valuable to their organizations. Amr and
his colleagues at Gemba Systems help both small and large development teams learn new technologies, adopt and adapt appropriate Agile development practices, and focus their efforts
to maximize the value they bring to their organizations. Amr's technical background and experience in C/C++, Java/J2EE, and .NET, allows him to appreciate the problems of and support development teams 'in the trenches'.

At the same time, he realizes that most problems - even in software - are "people problems", and therefore are not solved by tools and technology. Therefore, Amr and his colleagues at Gemba Systems are focused on helping their clients build better software within their
organizations by focusing on issues such as personal agility, team-building, communication, feedback, and all of the other soft skills that distinguish excellent teams. Amr is also the author of Agile Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Success, Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption: The
Technical Cluster, lead editor for the AgileQ at InfoQ and a frequent presenter at software development conferences.

MICHAEL de la MAZA is an is Agile coach and trainer whose clients include Intuit, EMC, and Verizon Wireless. According to Dan Mezick (and many others) , Michael is a true innovator in the world of Agile training and is a leader in the development and leveraged use of Agile learning games.

Michael is the Agile Practice Lead at Knowledge United, and developed the nineteen course KnowAgile curriculum which is taught throughout the country. Prior to becoming an agile coach, Michael was VP of Corporate Strategy at Softricity, co-founded Answerfriend (now Inquira), and was a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from MIT. Get more detail on Michael here.


Dan Mezick is an organizatonal change advisor, Agile coach, and the leader and organizer of Agile Boston.

Dan is an Agile expert and trusted adviser to executives, directors and managers seeking genuine Agile expertise on Lean, Scrum, and Kanban. He is an invited speaker to Agile2007, Agile2008, Agile2009 and Scrum Gathering 2010 (Orlando)

At Agile2009 he organized the [Manifesting Agility] stage, where group-level Psychology and Cognition were granted formal, authorized space at the Agile conference for the very first time. Dan's articles on agile topics appear in Agile Journal and the Scrum Alliance web site. His session 'Team Intimacy and the Hyper-Productive State' was selected for presentation at the 2010 Scrum Gathering in Orlando.

Dan provides Agile coaching in Boston, Hartford and NYC. Dan's Agile coaching clients include The Hartford insurance company, Travelers Insurance, the Red Cross, Dun and Bradstreet, and several mid-market enterprises located throughout MA, CT and RI.

See Dan's Scrum Alliance profile here, and his more detailed profile here.





Christel Reeve is an experienced software test manager, and sometimes hands-on tester. She is passionate about creating effective software test teams that are responsive to business needs, and increasing the value of testing. Chris has worked for companies both large and small in such areas as data storage, fault tolerant software, public safety software and networking software.

Chris started her career as an industrial engineer, improving both in-house and suppliers' processes. She leverages that background to find easier ways to work and reduce cycle time throughout software development. Her interest in lightweight methods and "just enough" process led her to study and practice agile methods.

Chris holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from WPI, and an MBA with a concentration on Operations Management from Babson College, in addition to many continuing education courses. She is a Certified Scrum Master.

NOTE: Chris plans to bring all of her experience with her and attend the Open Space in the afternoon.




Paul Culling is a prominent member of the woldwide agile/Scrum community. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Paul is currently on the board of the Agile Alliance and has been on the board of his local user group, Agile Vancouver, for the past four years. Paul is a trained innovation games facilitator and is experienced with open space facilitation. Paul has worked extensively with Agile community groups at local, regional and international levels and is the founder and editor of the Agile Chronicles newsletter for VersionOne. Paul is a technology marketing professional with 17 years experience in the development and marketing of both packaged and service based offerings. As part of his role as Director of Marketing at VersionOne, Paul also has been working as part of a team using the scrum framework outside of a development environment. Working from Vancouver, BC with the majority of the team in Atlanta, Georgia, Paul also has first-hand experience with distributed Agile practices.

NOTE: Paul's company VersionOne is a strong supporter of Agile Boston and this event. Paul plans to participate in the Open Space. Having Paul in the room substantially increases the magnitude and quality of our event.




Kathy Harman is a partner at Real Results, the Leadership and Team Coaching company based in Richmond, Virginia. She is a coach, a Scrum Master and Leadership Coach with over 30 years in IT as a developer, systems analyst, and project manager. She specializes in helping teams become self-managed and high-performing, developing team-level awareness of team dynamics, handling conflicts, and creating a single Team Entity. She is currently working as an Agile Coach on several non-technical projects, and is pleased at the success of using the Scrum framework to deliver non-technical business value early and often.

Kathy plans to participate in the Open Space event.



Damon Poole is Founder and CTO of AccuRev, a leading provider of Agile Development tools. Damon is a methodology and process improvement expert specializing in helping companies discover and implement their ideal process. His twenty years of experience spans the gamut from small collocated teams all the way up to 10,000-person shops doing global development. Damon is President of the Agile Bazaar in Boston and is a Certified Scrum Master. He writes frequently on the topic of Agile development, is the author of the web book "Do It Yourself Agile," and a pioneer in the area of Multistage Continuous Integration. Damon has spoken at SD Best Practices, Software Test & Performance, Q-Con, Deep Lean, Agile 2008 and 2009, and Agile Development Practices and has also consulted with numerous companies including Ford, Intercall, ITA Software, Orbitz, Texas Instruments, and Verizon Wireless. He earned his BS in Computer Science at the University of Vermont in 1987. His "Do It Yourself Agile" blog is at .

Damon plans to participate in the Open Space event.



Johanna Rothman of Rothman Consulting Group works with companies to improve how they manage their product development--to maximize management and technical staff productivity and to improve product quality. Johanna is a prolific author on project management topics. Johanna is a leader in the Agile community. She is most recently the Chair of the Agile2009 conference ( In her role as Chair of Agile2009, she is responsible for collaboratively leading a mostly-volunteer workforce, consisting of hundreds of people, to produce what is arguably the most important Agile conference in the world. Agile2009 drew 1350 attendees in 2009.

Johanna is the author of:

- Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects
- Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
- Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
- Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People

Johanna plans to participate in the Open Space event.



Ben Carey is an Agile Coach with Rally Software in Raleigh, North Carolina. His experience includes over 10 years in the software development industry. Ben has participated on Agile teams as an Architect, Team Lead, Developer, Tester, Analyst, Designer, and ScrumMaster. Ben has worked as an Agile Coach within a variety of industry verticals and with Agile programs spanning multiple teams, time zones, and continents. His passions include enabling the fast and effective delivery of software, helping teams reach high-performance, and helping find the essence of great software.

Ben plans to participate in the Open Space event.



Mike Dwyer is a Principal Agile Coach at BigVisible Solutions. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer and his practice focuses on transforming an organization’s product lifecycle into hyper-productive Agile teams.

Mike is successful implementing Agile teams beyond development including support, help desks, product visioning, maintenance, operations, architecture, and infrastructure. He has experience delivering Agile in the healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, public sector, and professional services industries. Mike is a well known and respected contributor within the Scrum, Agile, and Lean software community where he is invited to speak, give workshops in Agile and Testing as well as contribute to the testing community’s transition to Agile workframes. Prior to BigVisible, Mike founded 3SidedCoin, an Agile innovation company where he developed his ground breaking work bringing Testing Agility to Operations and Support. Mike has worked extensively in all phases of a product’s life cycle and holds MBA from Boston College.

Ben plans to participate in the Open Space event.



Register here to RESERVE YOUR SEAT:


Cost is only $29 and includes Lunch. REGISTER HERE.



SPECIAL THANKS to BOB MAC WILLIAMS for the LIVE MUSIC during the break !!

Session Descriptions:



Ken's organization Scrum.Org creates authoritative assessments, guidance, training and certifications in Scrum. In this session, Ken describes how assessments and continued, advanced training, and higher professional standards are THE next wave in mastery of the Scrum framework. Ken describes a new and higher level of professional training, assessment and certification standards that are taking Scrum professionalism to the next level.


* How courses in Scrum development using Java and .NET technologies are the next wave in Scrum professional training

* How Total Cost of Ownership and ROI can-- and must-- justify your Scrum adoption

* How to use Scrum.Org assessments to determine where and what you need to focus on to become a true Scrum professional

* How advanced training, assessments raise the bar of our our profession

* How the Scrum Guide document from Ken and Jeff Sutherland is sustaining and evolving Scrum

NOTE: Ken plans to participate in the Open Space in the afternoon


10:30AM Breakout Session: AMR ELSSAMADISY on: Scaling Up by Scaling Down: A (re)Focus on Individuals

Have you ever seen a successful pilot of agile techniques followed by miserable failure in wider adoption or scaling? The current focus for scaling Agile seems to be on practices, process, and tools. I assert that the success of any Agile adoption effort depends first on the individuals, their interpersonal and self-leadership skills, and the organization’s support of these skills.

Over the years I’ve come to believe that the number one reason for the success of any agile adoption effort are the individuals, their skills and their personalities. All other aspects of agile adoptions – that is the teams and their “gelling”, and the software development practices themselves are functions of individuals and their interactions. This does not mean they are not important – they are – but they are not primary. I’ll go further by saying that agile methods were so successful in the early days because they self-selected individuals with the proper skill set and pushed them to grow these skills.

This session is a mix of a survey and a tutorial. I plan to present a few models quickly and use them to pose questions and setup simple exercises.


* Understand and explain the essential connection between ownership behavior and agility. Recognize why and how people avoid ownership, and why and how people take it.

* Learn the fundamental relationship between a team and their assigned task. Discover why your group will not function as a team if their task is too small. Learn how scaling and distribution can either help or hurt this issue.

* Distinguish between responsibility and accountability, and understand the role of each in high performance product development teams.

* Recognize the essential role of peer accountability in a high performance software development team, what prevents peer accountability, and what you can do about it.

* Discover specific skills you can acquire individually which can transform your team or organization.

NOTE: Amr intends to participate in the Open Space in the afternoon



Adopting agile and Scrum means dealing with and adjusting existing cultural context. This context includes how the organization documents work, how the organization deals with human emotions, and how the organization selects and sustains leaders.

Scrum is about new ways of working that are empirical, emergent and adaptive. Support for a switch to this style of working requires attention to artifacts, ceremonies, emotions and leadership. Attend this session and learn about how to address the often messy internals of transitioning to agile and Scrum.

Like all the training sessions I do, this one has a participatory exercise or two which helps punctuate the main ideas of this session. Arrive ready to participate in a group setting.


Scrum Under the Microscope: An examination of the artifacts, meetings, and experience of a company that is transitioning to Scrum

Emotional State During Scrum Transitions: A discussion of the often intense emotions (the fear, dread, and distrust, followed by the and wonder, joy, and satisfaction) that people feel while transitioning to Scrum.

Psychopaths in Power: An exploration of why we SAY we prefer collabortive behavior but, collectively, we actually place people who exhibit command-and-control behavior in power.

NOTE: Michael intends to participate in the Open Space in the afternoon



Scrum in its canonical form is strongly sustained by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the originators of Scrum.

I have been using the term 'canonical Scrum' for several years and I believe it is time to formalize what 'canonical Scrum' actually is. In this session I do exactly that.

As it turns out, no one actually implements canonical Scrum. This is because canonical Scrum in practice is NEVER instanced, but rather, inherited as a base upon you build your custom and unique Scrum implementation-- WITHIN YOUR UNIQUE CONTEXT.

Attend this kickoff, 1/2 hour pre-keynote and learn:

* There is no standard Scrum implementation, and what this means about the Scrum described in the Scrum Guide from Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

* How Canonical Scrum in the Scrum Guide is essential to effective Scrum practice

* How the Canonical Scrum in the Scrum Guide definition is sustained by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber

See also:

Community Note: Canonical Scrum

NOTE: Dan intends to participate in the Open Space in the afternoon



The AGILE BOSTON OPEN SPACE event promises to be a very significant event for the Boston agile community. We have invited thought leaders from the Lean community, the Group Relations community and other communities of practice that are Agile-related and strong in the Boston area.

If you have never experienced an Open Space event, you are in for a treat.

If you know the Open Space format, you know how much FUN these events are !!

I look forward to seeing you there !


Register here to RESERVE YOUR SEAT:


Cost is only $29 and includes Lunch. REGISTER HERE.


SPECIAL THANKS to BOB MAC WILLIAMS for the LIVE MUSIC during the break !!