Past Events

8/5/2010: "Getting Managers and Engineers Out of Each Other’s Hair" - Damon Poole (Slides)


Damon Poole 
As a manager, you’ve heard a lot about the benefits of self-organizing teams, but you’re not sure where to start, and you suspect self-organization may lead to chaos.
 You could just take a leap of faith, set self-organization as a goal and then look for ways to achieve self-organization. But there is another way.
We’ll cover self-organization from the bottom up using concrete examples of twelve widely adopted Agile practices: user stories, story points, product owner, product backlog, standup meetings, whole teams, collocation, assignment and estimation of tasks by team members, short iterations, Scrum master, burn-up charts, and retrospectives. You’ll learn how each practice contributes to self-organization by reducing and/or redistributing traditional management activities. These practices also help to reduce the temptation to get wrapped up in the details; provide a framework for delegation, communication and coordination; encourage team ownership, commitment and accountability; and create management artifacts that are appreciated by all.
The inevitable question that results from talking about self-organization is “what does a manager do in an Agile workplace?” We’ll wrap up with a group exercise that not only answers that question but also shows that Agile provides more leverage for managers to use the skills they already have.
Speaker bio:
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 New England ( 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, Q-Con, ESDC, Agile 2008 and 2009, and Agile Development Practices and will also be speaking at Agile 2010. He has done Agile consulting 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