About Agile New England

Agile 101 for July 6, 2017

Topic: Agile Principles and ValuesWriting

Tom Woundy 150x188Let’s go back to the beginning. What is Agile, really?  In this session we will examine the true foundation of Agile Software Development; the Agile Manifesto itself.

Presented by: Tom Woundy

Tom has been an internal agile coach and ScrumMaster at Mentor Graphics, a Siemens Business, since 2008.  Prior to that, he worked in various QA and QA Management capacities at Mentor since 1992. He is a CSM, CSPO and CSP. He just finished his second term as President of Agile New England. He is the Treasurer of Boston SPIN. Tom has a bachelor's degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

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.

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.

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Large Scale Scrum: More with LeSS: Ram Srinivasan

July 06, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Constant Contact , Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

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Topic: Large Scale Scrum: More with LeSS

Ram Srinivasan 150x188

How can an organization be Agile when multiple teams need to work together? What kind of patterns and structures can support self-organization at scale? How do you get started?   This session explores the rules, principles, and guides behind Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). LeSS applies the principles, purpose, elements, and elegance of Scrum in a large-scale context, but in a simple form. This “barely sufficient” and "intentionally incomplete" approach promotes empiricism, learning, and local ownership. LeSS also provides guidelines on simplifying the design of the organization to support these outcomes and to achieve "more with LeSS".

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Speaker: Ram Srinivasan

Ram has unique credentials, being a Certified Scrum Trainer, a Systems (ORSC) Coach, and a ToP Facilitator. His mission is to help his clients build great organizations by focusing on people, process, and product development. To help clients achieve these he draws upon his knowledge and experience in Systems Thinking, Complexity,  Lean Management, Innovation Games®, and the principles of neuroscience. Ram holds multiple Agile, professional coaching, and facilitation certifications. He is a frequent speaker and co-organizer for many Agile conferences, and reviewer for many Agile publications.

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.

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

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Catherine Louis

Catherine Louis

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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.


Kanban 101 for Mar 03, 2016

David Grabel

David Grabel

Topic: The Online GetKanban Game

The GetKanban Board Game is a physical game designed to teach the concepts and mechanics of Kanban for software development in a class or workshop setting. It's hands-on, engaging, and fun! The game is designed to be played by a team of people. It involves frequent decision making, and can sometimes suffer from lengthy analysis.

We will be using an online version of the board game to teach Kanban in an interactive and fun environment.

Led by David Grabel

David Grabel is a passionate enterprise agile coach. He has introduced Scrum, Kanban, XP, and SAFe to organizations of sizes varying from single team startups to large organizations with over 500 teams. Previous clients include PayPal, Bose, and Trizetto. He helped develop a process for integrating Lean UX design with Scrum delivery teams that was rolled out to 15 Lean UX teams supporting over 100 delivery teams around the world. He is certified as CSM, CSP & SPC and is studying at the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. He recently presented a workshop at Agile 2015 on Patterns for Scaling Agile.

David is a past president of Agile New England. He is currently bringing agile beyond engineering at Vistaprint. Previously, he was Vice President of Engineering at Monetrics a startup that was acquired by JM Family Enterprises. Other previous senior management positions include Vice President of Product Technology at Thomson and Vice President of Development at Politzer & Haney.

Managing for Happiness: Jurgen Appelo

Aug 04, 2016, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  Constant Contact , Waltham, MA: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Note: This meeting will be held on the third floor of the Constant Contact building, not on the first floor.

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Jurgen Appelo

Jurgen Appelo


Making the workplace happy keeps employees motivated and keeps customers coming back. It's not about gimmicks or perks that disrupt productivity; it's about finding the passion that drives your business, and making it contagious.

In this session Jurgen will present practical things that people can do next Monday morning to make the organization a happier place to work, with people who run experiments and drive innovation. He will discuss real solutions for common management problems such as defining roles and responsibilities, creating meaningful team metrics, and replacing performance appraisals with something more useful. These techniques are relevant not only for managers, but for everyone who is concerned about the organization.

About the speaker:

Jurgen Appelo is an internationally known writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, dreamer and blogger. His insights on Agile management, organizational change, and personal development have led to Inc.com calling him a Top 50 Leadership Expert, a Top 50 Leadership Innovator and a Top 100 Great Leadership Speaker. He is the author of  Management 3.0 and Managing for Happiness, which offers practical ideas to engage workers, improve work, and delight clients. Jurgen was a popular keynote speaker at our Agile Games 2013 conference, and blogs at NOOP.NL.

Book Signing! Copies of Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team will be available at the meeting for sale, and for signing by Jurgen.

Read more: Managing for Happiness: Jurgen Appelo

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

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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


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

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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.


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.


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

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Note location change to Vistaprint, 275 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451
Park in the garage behind building - 1st floor or above - not in the basement.
Enter  through main entrance on first floor.


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.

Current and past presidents of Agile New England and illustrious  guests will offer short observations about Agile, Agile New England, and related topics over the past 15 years and into the future.

 David GrabelDavid Grabel

Vistaprint, Past President of Agile New England

Helping bring our best ideas to customers faster


Damon Poole 150x188

 Damon Poole

Nexxle, Past President of Agile New England

Reflections on the past, present and future of Agile



Tom Woundy 150x188Tom Woundy

Mentor Graphics, Current President of Agile New England

Reflections on Agile New England and the role of the president


Brian Bozzuto 150x188

Brian Bozzuto

athenahealth, Founder of the Agile Games Conference

Looking at Agile transformations from the perspective of an internal coach


Steve Daukas 150x188Steve Daukas


Tips on how to get leadership to support Scrum transformation across the organization





To allow more time for eating, drinking and socializing, there will be no
Agile 101, Lean Coffee Circle or Agile Dojo sessions at this meeting

Agile 101 for July 07, 2016 - two sessions

Adonis El Fakih

Adonis El Fakih

Topic: What is Dragging Down Your Agile  Teams?

Learn how to use agile stream metrics to quantify the impact of impediments and streamline business value delivery. This is a hands-on session on how to use Agile stream metrics.

Led by Adonis El Fakih

Adonis El Fakih is an entrepreneur, software executive, consultant and author. He is a founder and former CEO and CTO of several technology companies, and the author of Agile Stream Thinking, an Agile Management Approach to Accelerate Agile Adoption and Streamline Business Value Delivery. Adonis is Certified as CSP, CSM, CSPO, ICP, ICP ATF and ICP ACC.





Brian Shoemaker

Brian Shoemaker

Topic: Agile for Developing Medical Devices

Details to come...


Led by Brian Shoemaker

Brian Shoemaker, Ph.D., is the Principal Consultant at ShoeBar Associates. He has more than 20 years’ experience with software quality and validation in the FDA-regulated industry. Brian has conducted validation both on product software and on internal software, developed software quality systems, audited software quality processes (including agile methodology), and evaluated 21 CFR Part 11 compliance.  Previous to founding ShoeBar Associates, Brian had quality roles at PPD Informatics, Doxis, Inc., and Behring Diagnostics, Inc. Brian earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois; he has achieved the ASQ Software Quality Engineer certification.


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.