Humanizing Work is three days of advanced, brain-friendly learning and valuable connections. You’ll benefit from the varied experience and expertise of our coaches and other attendees. And no matter how much Agile experience you’ve had, you’ll still find yourself considering new ideas.

2017 Program is below. The 2018 Program will be posted in early 2018.

July 11, 2017 8:00 AM-9:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM-10:15 AM Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Let’s have some fun getting organized for a great few days of intense but fun learning.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman, Peter Green, Richard Lawrence, Tricia Broderick

10:35 AM-11:50 AM 5 things the media hasn’t told you about Agile Leadership

An overview of the behaviors associated with effective Agile Leadership, including Relating, Self-Awareness, Authenticity, Systems Awareness, and Achieving

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Jake Calabrese, Peter Green
Track: Agile Leadership  

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Why You Should Be Modeling Value and How to Do It TODAY

We talk a lot about value in the Agile community, but can you explain specifically how the feature your team’s currently working on has an impact on your business? Learn how to model value for your stories, features, and projects, and improve your decision-making and communication.

Session Leaders: Richard Lawrence, Steve Spearman
Track: Product Ownership  

10:35 AM-11:50 AM The Six Trumps to Effective Meetings & Trainings

Ever walk out of a meeting or training class struggling to remember what was just discussed? Or annoyed that people request information you’ve already shared? You are not alone! Leaders struggle with how to create an engaging environment that results in high collaboration and learning. Come experience first-hand learning within learning to leverage six trumps that have a significant impact to learning retention. Oh, and it will be FUN!

Session Leaders: Tricia Broderick

12:00 PM-12:50 PM Lunch

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Shift your Blind Spots to Bling Spots for Agile Success!

As leaders, we often talk about how we wished people or teams would step-up. We dream of teams taking the initiative. We spend our time wondering “why empowered people won’t act?” Instead of wondering, we need to start by taking a hard look at ourselves – our blind spots may be the impediment to our people’s, team’s, and organization’s success! Of course, the funny thing about blind spots is, people hear about them and say, “whew, I’m sure glad I don’t have any!” Should you feel that you don’t have any blind spots, you are welcome to attend for a “friend.”

We will introduce a straightforward model you can utilize when you find yourself questioning someone’s motives or applying blame. While questioning and blaming are normal human reactions, we can’t afford to be stuck in that head-space. We must lead by example, improving ourselves, and then helping the people we lead improve! Attendees will have the opportunity to work through scenarios that are relevant to them, unraveling blind spots, adapting the model, questioning assumptions, and learning countermeasures to turn blind spots into Bling Spots – so everyone can shine!

Session Leaders: Jake Calabrese, Tricia Broderick
Track: Agile Leadership  

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Roadmap? You keep using that word…

Not only is the typical approach to long-term planning fundamentally anti-Agile, it’s even contrary to the word used to describe it. Road maps in real life provide more options than your so-called feature roadmap probably does. In this session, we’ll look at tools and artifacts you can use for planning beyond the sprint in a truly Agile way.

Session Leaders: Richard Lawrence, Steve Spearman
Track: Product Ownership  

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Non-violent Communication

Self-organizing teams, when faced with conflict, need to be self-regulating and self-mediating. Yet most teams do not have the skills to comfortably mediate their own conflicts. In this session, we will use a protocol from NonViolent Communication that you can apply right away to help your team transform conflict into connection.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Rob Myers
Track: ScrumMaster & Coaching Skills  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM Agile Architecture Aikido – How to approach architecture in an Agile way!

We’ve all been there. The technically oriented team members say that we can’t start creating value until either the architecture is understood, or we need to develop the infrastructure first. In this session we’ll discuss how you can address traditional architecture methods using Agile techniques.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Rob Myers, Steve Spearman
Track: Product Ownership  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM Are You Prepared for These Difficult Facilitation Challenges?

Some parts of facilitation can be straightforward and we will share some key tips that are important to keep in mind when facilitating a great session. We also run into difficult challenges and it is important to have options in your toolbox to address these. Equally important is to know when you need help and how to deal with that during a session. Come join us to work through a number of examples (e.g. there is a major conflict in the session, people in the session focus frustration about the topic on you as the facilitator, a major distraction occurs during the session, etc.).

We plan to have some fun here, modeling some situations for you to observe – so come and join us to learn (and laugh).

Session Leaders: Jake Calabrese, Richard Lawrence
Track: ScrumMaster & Coaching Skills  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM How Authentic Agile will change the way you think about everything

Your organization has a culture. It might be a different culture from those where Agile emerged. BUT, agile practices can help your culture reach what it values. We’ll look at different values and how to create an agile approach that meets those values.

Session Leaders: Peter Green

4:10 PM-5:00 PM Finishing well (and getting ready to party!)

Closing day 1 with plenty of surprises and celebrations.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman

6:00 PM-9:00 PM Conference Party!

You will have to wait to find out…


July 12, 2017 8:00 AM-9:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM-10:15 AM Exploring our favorite tool for leadership development

Isn’t it frustrating when leaders have a blindspot when it comes to their own weaknesses? Agile For All runs into this all the time while helping leaders transform their organizations. We’ve started using the Leadership Circle Profile tool to help people see and understand their strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to be transparent and share some of the results for Agile For All employees themselves, and how we used the results to improve ourselves. We’ll then explain how we envision this tool being useful for you and your company.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman, Peter Green

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Stay in the Coaching Stance and Stop Your Content Knowledge from Derailing You!

After quick review of the coaching framework and some basic methods of coaching, we’ll look at situational examples to uncover where, when and why our content knowledge may drag us out of coaching! From that experience we’ll learn how to better say in a Coaching stance.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Jake Calabrese
Track: ScrumMaster & Coaching Skills  

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Are these cognitive biases killing your ability to be a great Product Owner?

All humans have cognitive biases – in this session we’ll explore the impact of cognitive biases and explore great questions Product Owners can ask that help mitigate them.

Session Leaders: Peter Green, Peter Saddington

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Evaluating the True Benefits of Agile Technical Practices

We often wish things could be better: Better quality, quicker time-to-market, less team conflict. Many of the benefits of Agile Technical Practices would make things better, but only when started early enough and practiced diligently across the program. Let’s explore how to choose between supporting a team’s technical excellence, and the alternative: typically, deep regret. Come to discuss the pros and cons, costs and benefits, of the most powerful and popular practices: TDD, Diligent Refactoring, Pair Programming, Continuous Integration, and others.

Session Leaders: Rob Myers, Tricia Broderick

12:00 PM-12:50 PM Lunch

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Do You Make These Simple Mistakes In Organization Change Efforts?

Organization Change is a complex problem. Applying a linear, top-down process doesn’t work well. In this session, we’ll look at the four ground conditions for effective change, and then practice one of our favorite facilitation tools that helps organizations adopt change that is meaningful and lasting.

Session Leaders: Peter Green
Track: Agile Leadership  

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Why your brain’s survival instinct might be derailing your leadership abilities.

Have you said something and immediately regretted it? Have others said things to you that don’t seem to align with what you know about them? Our brains, nonconsciously (a real word), drive most of our behaviors. Learn how to hack your brain using the S.A.F.E.T.Y. model to look at social needs and threats and rewards that drive your behavior.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Jake Calabrese, Tricia Broderick
Track: Agile Leadership  

1:00 PM-2:15 PM How Technical Practices Facilitate Disruptive Innovation

We will share stories from folks who have used agile technical practices on long-term programs, resulting in surprising product adaptations that resulted in multiplying user productivity, opening whole new markets, or delighting and retaining critical customers. We will discuss which of the practices are the most powerful, and which practices play a supportive role.

Session Leaders: Richard Lawrence, Rob Myers
Track: Product Ownership  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM “Sh*t Bad POs Say”

Familiar with the video “Sh*t (sic) Bad Scrum Masters Say”? In this session we’ll create a similar video for the PO role. Along the way, we’ll generate concrete examples of behaviors we need to change to be more effective Product Owners.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Steve Spearman
Track: Product Ownership  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM Exploring my Agile Journey

Come to have conversations about the possibilities have to continously grow as an Agilist. For some, this may focus in on certifications. For others, this may explore alternative opportunities, such as a coach, as a speaker, as a mentor, etc.

Session Leaders: Peter Saddington, Tricia Broderick

2:45 PM-4:00 PM Theory of Constraints Getting You Down? Combine it with Positive Change

The Theory of Constraints is a high-leverage approach to change. By focusing on just the thing holding you back, you can see immediate improvements. But this approach can be tiring and discouraging to some people. “Why are we always talking about what’s wrong?” So, some people are attracted to alternative approaches, like Appreciative Inquiry, that emphasize building on strengths. In this session, we’ll explore whether ToC and positive change approaches can be combined to get the leverage of the one and the energy of the other.

Session Leaders: Richard Lawrence

4:10 PM-5:00 PM Presentation Karaoke

Presentation Karaoke is a chance to practice your ‘on the spot’ and thinking skills, have a lot of fun laughing, learn about some interesting topics, and learn about yourself.

Session Leaders: Richard Lawrence, Tricia Broderick

July 13, 2017 8:00 AM-9:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM-10:15 AM Learning from each other

Let’s take some time bragging about the things we do well. Help others avoid hitting all the potholes you hit to get there.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Pre-frontal Cortex Methods of Building Trust on Teams

Using the ‘Love Questions’ we’ll experience building trust amongst those attending the session. Kind of a social experiment! Then share other methods to build trust via PFC engagement.

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer
Track: Agile Leadership, ScrumMaster & Coaching Skills  

10:35 AM-11:50 AM 3 ways to use influence to trump power

Remember the last time you needed someone above you in the org chart to do something but you couldn’t convince them to do it? How frustrating was that??? Come to this session to learn some practical techniques for “coaching up” by using your influence to overcome the power you don’t have.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman, Steve Spearman

10:35 AM-11:50 AM Real-World Distributed Decision-Making

From Geonetric’s radical financial fluency to Agile For All’s experiments with the advice process, this session will look at real-world examples of distributed decision-making in organizations and what’s required to make it work. Join us to share your stories and struggles.

Session Leaders: Peter Green, Richard Lawrence

12:00 PM-12:50 PM Lunch

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Don’t Just Sit There! Transform Your Product Vision

You know the basics of how to create a product vision. Take your current vision to the next level in this master class. We’ll work together to review and improve participants’ vision statements. In the process, you’ll learn what makes a great vision and how to create one every time.

Session Leaders: Peter Green, Richard Lawrence

1:00 PM-2:15 PM What is Mindfulness, Really, and Why Should I Care?

“Mindfulness” has become the latest marketing buzzword. Google teaches mindfulness classes to its employees. The new tower will have specially-designed meditation spaces. We’ll investigate the real benefits and the hype, and how to support these practices in a way that is secularized without throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Session Leaders: Rob Myers

1:00 PM-2:15 PM Value Every 2 Weeks with Improvement Slicing and Incremental Improvement Boards

Organizations and departments outside of software are being driven to adopt agile approaches to keep up with information technology and competitors. They are often get stuck trying to apply practices that aren’t a fit for them. We should be focused on the organizations work, purpose, flow of value, and incrementally improving that flow rather than on practices that are not effective. In this session, we will look at the ways organizations view and structure their work, common impediments to the flow of value, and potential improvement ideas we can inject to mitigate impediments.

We will explore an Incremental Improvement Board to make improvements transparent. The Board includes provisions where we decouple (a) Improvement Ideas, (b), refinement and research of improvement ideas, and (c) actions that can be taken to incrementally improve – which is the goal! We will work through examples and exercises to create a Board for each attendee and discuss options to slice improvements into actionable 2-week chunks. To make it fun, we will use the sample improvement: “make all meetings effective, efficient, and waste free!” Of course, this can’t be done in 2-weeks, but researching it for 6-months is absurd! Instead, as with all improvements, we want to slice it into actionable 2-week chunks that can be used to incrementally improve and learn. #agilecompanies #agileoutsidesoftware #agilebeyondsoftware

Session Leaders: Henry Dittmer, Jake Calabrese

2:45 PM-4:00 PM How the Best POs Communicate with their Stakeholders

You may have your team building the best product ever, but how and when you communicate with your stakeholders is key to your success. In this session, we’ll look at the visuals, artifacts, conversations, and meetings you need to maximize the effectiveness of your stakeholder communication.

Session Leaders: Peter Saddington, Richard Lawrence
Track: Product Ownership  

2:45 PM-4:00 PM Cracking the Secrets of Retrospectives

If no two sprints are the same, neither are retrospectives. They should be considered special snowflakes. Come to experience and learn first-hand a variety of retrospective frameworks and the different outcomes from each.

Session Leaders: Jake Calabrese, Tricia Broderick

2:45 PM-4:00 PM How To Let Go As A Leader And Still Get Awesome Results

One of the hardest things to do as a leader is to let go of control – you’re a leader because you’re great at what you do! We’ll explore how letting go of control almost always leads to better results for your team, and when you may still want to hang on to control.

Session Leaders: Peter Green, Steve Spearman

4:10 PM-5:00 PM Celebrate good times!

Let’s look back while also looking forward. Where have we been this week and where will we go in the future. Let’s celebrate an amazing few days together.

Session Leaders: Bob Hartman