June 01, 2017, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Vistaprint Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

This month's meeting is being held at Vistaprint, 275 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451


Our monthly meeting on June 1 will be a special event to celebrate the founding of Agile New England a decade and a half ago. (Did you know we were originally called Agile Bazaar?) It will feature special food, music, and socializing.

Three current and past presidents (Damon Poole, David Grabel and Tom Woundy) and illustrious surprise guests will offer short observations about Agile New England, Agile, and related topics over the past 15 years and into the future.

 Damon Poole 150x188David GrabelTom Woundy

Chapter Board Elections at the June 01 meeting

The elections for the Agile New England board of directors for 2017-2018 will be held at the June 1 meeting. The four elected positions are President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Online nominations are open through May 29, and nominations can also be made at the meeting. Chapter members may nominate themselves or other chapter members by sending an email to Ron Morsicato at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Agile Dojo

The "Agile Dojo," meets from 5:30 to 6:30 in a corner of the main room.

The Agile Dojo gives Agile practitioners an opportunity to improve Agile techniques. Participants practice an Agile skill such as facilitation, requirements elicitation, or estimation, then receive feedback. The group meets from 5:30 to 6:30 and is facilitated by Richard Kasperowski, Bruce Conner, and Wendy Wong. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Scrum Master/Agile Coach Lean Coffee Circle

The group will meet from 5:45 to 6:45 in the main room to exchange ideas and advice on any Agile related topics. Up to 15 people, first come first served. At the start, we will choose from topics proposed by those attending. Every attendee is invited to share his or her perspective. Evie Fan and David Grabel will facilitate. Questions or advice? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Why volunteer with Agile New England? Evie Phan explains her reasons


Agile 101 for May 04, 2017

Topic: Writing User Stories: It's Not as Difficult as You Think

angelo firenze 150x188We used to write hundreds of pages of software documentation spelling out every detail of the system to be built. Every business domain object. Every property. Every screen.

"The system shall do this..." and "The system shall do that..." They were works of art. The only problem? No one ever read them. Today the foundation of the Agile process is user stories, a lightweight technique to rapidly capture business requirements that gets the team on-vision and successfully deliver on stakeholder needs.

In this session Angelo Firenze will walk you step-by-step through the process of creating and managing user stories, both before a project begins as well as when the project is underway.

Presented by: Angelo Firenze

Angelo Firenze is the VP of Business Development for Ascendle, a contract software engineering firm headquartered in North Hampton, NH founded in 2012. Ascendle specializes in commercial-grade cloud and mobile app development, and has a vibrant Agile and Scrum coaching and training practice. Prior to joining Ascendle, Angelo was putting lean principles to work in a more traditional manufacturing setting. Angelo founded and grew The Firenze Gelato Company. Conceived in 2001, this business eventually grew to become the largest regional producer of gelato in New England.

Agile 101 and Kanban 101 courses run from 6:00 to 6:45 during the networking period
of the monthly meeting. A sign-up sheet is posted at 5:30 near the check-in table.
Capacity is limited to 10 people per class, and sign-up  is first come, first served.

Leading with Customer Value: Mario E. Moreira

May 04, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Constant Contact , Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Topic: Building and Running a True Customer Value-Driven Enterprise

Mario Moreira Dec2014 150x188

Are you looking for ways to ensure your teams are always working on the highest customer value work?  Do you want to more quickly adapt to the incoming high value ideas?  Do you want to have end-to-end visibility of the work from inception to delivery? If so, this session will help you craft an Agile customer value-driven enterprise that utilizes concepts such as the enterprise kanban, cost of delay, Agile budgeting, discovery mindset, incremental thinking, customer feedback loops, and more. It will also help you avoid the dangers of certainty thinking, annual planning, big batches, and big upfront thinking.The result: your enterprise and teams will build the highest value products and services for customers. 

 Download the slides      Download the comments

Speaker: Mario E. Moreira

Mario E. Moreira is an Enterprise Agile consultant and Master Agile Coach. He specializes in transforming enterprises to Agile and introducing cutting edge business and Agile concepts and practices. He coaches and educates executives, management, and distributed teams in Agile mindset, concepts, methods and practices such as Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean, VFQ, Story Mapping, Value Stream Mapping, Psychological Safety, Self-organizing teams, and more.



Agile 101 for Apr 06, 2017

Topic: Release Planning 101

Mark Howes 150x188Learn release planning by playing a simulation game. Learn how stake holders and cross functional team work together to maximize value while minimizing costs. Start with a deck of sample stories. Team A (the cross functional team) estimate the stories and determine story dependencies and Team B (stakeholders) prioritize when stories need to be released to production. Next both teams come together to negotiate schedule of when stories in the prioritized backlog will be released.

Led by Mark W. Howes

Mark has been active in helping insurance, banking, retail, telecom and software industries building high value business tools and solutions for past 30 years as a trainer, developer, team lead, mentor, dev manager, and scrum master. He currently leads scrum training and certification process for Mountain Willow Software Solutions to help business transition to a more continuous release process. Mark is a certified Scrum Master and a Microsoft Certified Trainer.

Executive Keynote for the Mob Programming 2017 Conference

Rich Sheridan and bookFight Fear, Embrace Change: Run The Experiment - Establishing the Curious Culture: Presented by Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations

How do some organizations succeed in a transformation to pair programming while others struggle? In this talk, Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations and author of "Joy,Inc.: How we Build a Workplace People Love," will explore the pairing culture fostered at Menlo Innovations since 2001. In this talk, Sheridan will discuss the "Run The Experiment" attitude and approach to psychological safety that allow Menlo to try a wide variety of new approaches without endless debate. Menlo has embraced pair programming since its inception and now pairs every role within the company.

Information and Registration

Lightning Talks! Highlights from the Agile Games & Mob Programming conferences


Apr 06,2017, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Microsoft NERD , Cambridge, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

April 6 Monthly Meeting

Location change! This will be a joint presentation with the Agile Games and Mob Programming 2017 conferences,
held at the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge, not at Constant Contact in Waltham!

Lightning Talks!

Highlights from the Agile Games & Mob Programming conferences

It's a special edition of Agile New England! We're hosting the Agile Games and Mob Programming conferences during the week of April 6.  That's the same week as our monthly meeting. We'll share highlights from both conferences via a series of lightning talks.

Want a quick taste of Agile Games? Curious about Mob Programming? Join us April 6, and you won't be disappointed.

Featured lightning talk speakers include:

Kim PflugerJonathan OdoWendy WongWoody ZuillGillian Lee

Harold ShinsatoMarah RosenbergDavid GrabelWendy ClossonLlewellyn Falco


Unconscious Biases We See in Product Development: Catherine Louis

Mar 02, 2017, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Constant Contact , Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Catherine Louis

Catherine Louis

Download the slides

Download the comments


Studying the unconscious decisions we make can be critical when it comes to designing products or software people use, or when trying to uncover precisely what’s wrong with our workplace today. In this session we will share five different kinds of unconscious biases, including a hands-on exercise involving a very common bias we see in the workplace, “The Affinity Bias.”

Catherine has provided 20 cognitive biases.pdf with the following comment, "Here was the hand out that I was referring to right after the visuals of 'john for CEO or the blond lady' (vs the affinity handout which came later)." It was a nice hand out in case folks want to have to refer to it!

About the speaker:

Catherine Louis is an independent Agile coach, a Certified Scrum Trainer™, and founder of both CLL-Group.com and PoDojo.com. Catherine has over 20 years of experience in complex product development in both software & hardware, has previously led Agile transition efforts in top telecommunications firms and worked with North Carolina State University to conduct research on Agile Test-Driven development.  Catherine regularly speaks at Agile20XX conferences, is a frequent co lead for the “Working With Customers” track, and runs the AgileRTP meetup group, one of the largest Agile meetup groups in the US.


Agile 101 for Jan 05, 2017

Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Topic: An Intro to Whole-Company Agile

This session will briefly explain why Agile software practices cannot fully succeed unless a company makes changes outside of software development teams. Then we'll review what is being discovered by the Learning Consortium about real companies' attempts to bring Agile principles to all their business functions.

The Learning Consortium is a nonprofit, peer-to-peer group of 11 businesses that are sharing information with each other about the successes and failures they've encountered in making their whole organization agile. The group was started 18 months ago by Forbes business columnist, Steve Denning, under the auspices of the Scrum Alliance.

Led by Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Nancy is an Agile enterprise coach, founder of Lean-Agile Partners, and former president of Agile New England.

Making Teams More Awesome: Bruce McCarthy

Feb 02, 2017, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Constant Contact , Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Bruce McCarthy

Bruce McCarthy


Most of us can remember being part of a truly awesome team. We were hyper-effective. We were constantly in a groove. We looked forward to coming to work, even to meetings. We had that indefinable sense that things were going right, and we could do whatever it took together.

If your team has lost that sense of awesomeness, I can show you a simple technique you can use to take it back. I’ll walk you through a new and better way to run retrospectives that puts the power back in the hands of the team and makes them more and more awesome with each cycle. And I’ll show you how it has transformed my teams in just a few sprints.

I’ll also show you a simple way to track progress, keep teams accountable to their own decisions, and escalate key blockers to those in charge.

About the speaker:

Bruce McCarthy is CEO of UpUp Labs and President of the Boston Product Management Association. Having spent a lifetime as a builder and innovator, Bruce has a passion for helping cross-functional product development teams work better together to deliver great products to market faster. Bruce is an internationally-recognized thought-leader and sought-after speaker on product roadmapping, prioritization and team effectiveness. Bruce and his team work with companies such as Vistaprint, Localytics, Zipcar, Johnson & Johnson, and Huawei, providing coaching, mentoring, and tools such as Awesomeness, a solution for measurably enhancing team effectiveness. He is currently at work on a book for O’Reilly, tentatively titled Product Roadmapping: A Practical Guide to Prioritizing Opportunities, Aligning Teams, and Delivering Value to Customers and Stakeholders.