ALM Chicago 2013 Sessions
Keynote | Why We Need DevOps Now: A Fourteen Year Study Of High Performing IT Organizations
| Gene Kim
Gene Kim has been studying high-performing IT organizations since 1999. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Visible Ops Handbook
, The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
, and founder of Tripwire, Inc.
He will be presenting his findings from an ongoing study of how high-performing IT organizations simultaneously deliver stellar service levels and deliver fast flow of new features into the production environment. To successfully deliver against what on the surface appear to be conflicting objectives, (i.e. preserving service levels while introducing significant amounts of change into production), requires creating a highly-coordinated collection of teams where Development, QA, IT Operations, as well as Product Management and Information Security genuinely work together to solve business objectives.
Gene will describe what successful transformations look like, and how those transformations were achieved from a software development and service operations perspective. He will draw upon fourteen years of research of high-performing IT organizations, as well as work he's done since 2008 to help some of the largest Internet companies increase feature flow and production stability through applications of DevOps principles.
Transitioning to Agile in the Middle of Extreme Growth | Bill Driegert
Coyote Logistics has grown from zero to a billion dollar enterprise in six short years, and shepherded new technology and innovations into a very staid old-tech industry. A fierce entrepreneurial instinct throughout the company often came at the expense of process, and for the first five years we tackled everything in front of us with an ad-hoc, code-like-hell approach. It worked when we had four people in a room, but it didn't scale. We needed an answer. We needed a process. We found Agile. In this talk, I will discuss the issues that come with quickly scaling a technology department within a quickly scaling organization, the challenges with and motivations behind our journey to agile, and the never-ending process of organizational evolution.
Better product definition with Lean UX and Design Thinking | Jeff Gothelf
Requirements-driven product definition is a sure-fire way to get 100% of the wrong product launched. The assumptions that requirements are based on are usually not accurate enough to determine the exact solution those requirements dictate. Instead, teams should focus on creating a series of hypotheses that define potential solutions to their business problem and then work together to learn which of these hypotheses are keepers and which ideas to kill.
Systems Thinking: A Foxy Approach | Venkatesh Rao
Most people associate the term "systems thinking" with incomprehensible block diagrams and the annoying armchair philosophers who manufacture them (while whining about how nobody appreciates them). This perception, unfortunately, is justified, because the term has become narrowly associated with a fragile philosophy that focuses on "big picture" thinking using a single, complex and rich model. Often, this single, complex model is made further incomprehensible by the use of needlessly overpowered methodologies like "system dynamics" (based on stock-flow models) that require complex software and training, and are inappropriate for most situations.
I call this approach "hedgehog thinking" as in the famous proverb, "the fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows one big thing." Hedgehog systems thinking is to fox systems thinking as waterfall planning is to agile planning in software.
In this talk/interactive workshop I will introduce an alternative approach to systems thinking, based on using many small, simple models instead of one big and complex model. Instead of abstruse methodologies that require extensive training and complex tools, we will focus on developing foxy design principles and "cognitive hygiene" habits around everyday constructs such as 2x2 diagrams and mind-maps. Above all, we will focus on iterative and people-driven approaches to conquer VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
Metrics that Matter | Erik Weber
Metrics and measurements are standard practice in waterfall projects due to long project times, extensive costs, and high-risk outcomes. Agile projects limit this risk and therefore the use of traditional waterfall metrics no longer apply. Having a better understanding of the psychological and behavioral aspects of motivating people, we can eliminate the use of old, vanity metrics and standardize the use of new, agile measures. This presentation combines theoretical background with real-life examples and successfully applied agile metrics.
Behavior-Driven Development and Agile Testing | Elizabeth Keogh
BDD is a set of practices which help software development teams to have conversations about the behavior of their system and how it delivers value to the project stakeholders. BDD has changed from its early roots as a replacement to TDD and now works as a mini-methodology across the whole software lifecycle. Over the last few years the adoption of BDD has grown globally, with dozens of tools created, used by hundreds of projects around the world. In this talk we look at the original reasons behind the creation of BDD, bringing the focus back to the language and conversations which lie at its heart. We look at how BDD’s patterns can be applied at multiple scales – from the initial project vision all the way to the code – to deliberately discover and address ignorance in every aspect of software development, producing reliable, maintainable software that matters.
Beyond Scrum | Chad Albrecht
Many organizations think of Scrum and agile as one in the same. However, agile is simple the ability to respond to changes in the business environment. There are many ways to do this. Scrum by far has been the most popular within product development teams. But what about the rest of the business? How does Finance become agile? How does HR (people operations) become agile? Dean Leffingwell has SAFe and Ken Schwaber has CIF. Are these sufficient?
There are a few frameworks out there that try to achieve business agility. Namely the B-Ax framework. However, most of these take a one or the other approach to discussing agility (either business only or product development only). One rigid framework does not fit for all organizations and that more of a toolbox approach is required. These tools all follow Craig Larman's "Try/Avoid" approach used in his scaling books. In this presentation Chad Albrecht will touch on items like Kanban, Performance Management, motivation, finance, workspaces (desks, lighting, etc.), sales and marketing and agile contracts.