If you are a reflective practitioner then please consider putting forward a session for SPA2007 - the Conference for Software Practice Advancement. To be held 25th - 28th March 2007 in Homerton College, Cambridge, UK. This is a conference that prefers leading edge rather tried and tested sessions. We are especially keen in interactive sessions that involve participation rather than lectures. Let's hear your ideas..
More details below or check out conference website.
The British Computer Society's Software Practice Advancement group are putting together a diverse programme of exciting and thought-provoking sessions for the SPA2007 conference. We are seeking sessions that explore emerging practices that software teams can leverage and that create an environment for participation and exchange of ideas.
One of the most rewarding ways to participate in SPA is to lead a session. The sessions - their subjects and formats - define the character of the conference and this is your opportunity to ensure the conference deals with the issues that affect and interest you. You don't necessarily have to be an expert - a good session is one that provides a structured forum for participants to develop their ideas, skills, knowledge and understanding. A well-established shepherding process is in place to provide assistance and support to presenters.
The SPA Conference has a long tradition of active participation. We encourage conference sessions that bring people together to work and learn. In most cases, sessions are highly interactive, involving participants fully with the session leaders and each other. We welcome proposals for sessions on any aspect of contemporary software practice. The topics list is given for indication only and we encourage sessions that cut across these areas, or explore entirely new areas, as well as sessions that fall squarely within them.
Usually sessions are either 75 or 150 minutes long and can take a number of forms including workshops, tutorials, case studies, think tanks, goldfish bowls and working groups.
Themes of interest fall in the broad areas of Technology, People, Process and Practice and particular topics of interest for 2007 are Novel System Structures, What Really Works and Evolving Systems.
The closing date for submissions is 11th September 2006. Proposals must provide a clear outline of the proposed session but do not need to include materials such as completed papers and presentations. Final materials for accepted sessions are due in January 2007.
Further details can be found on the conference web site (www.spaconference.org).
If you have any queries, check the FAQ on the conference web site or contact the programme chair, Eoin Woods (email@example.com).
I am running new training workshop "How to facilitate Retrospectives on Agile projects" on Tuesday 15th August in London.
This training presents foundations of retrospective facilitation with implementation tips and practical exercises so you can try out the techniques yourself. The workshop covers how to plan a retrospective, how to run a retrospective and how to integrate retrospectives into agile development lifecycles.
The workshop is designed for people who would like to facilitate retrospectives on agile teams and assumes that you have some experience of agile software development lifecycle.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by 11th August if you would like to attend this workshop. Places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a "first-come, first-served" basis.
Really enjoyed running "Agile Factors" workshop at Agile2006 with David Hussman. Follow this link to see workshop outputs. The session was all about putting together key questions that it's useful for a team to ask before implementing specific agile practices. The session worked well because we had a mix of novice and experts and we created a session format that allowed them to mingle and work together.
Also ran "Do You Get What You Measure?" workshop (with kind permission of original creators of this session, Jason Gorman and Duncan Pierce). My co-presenter was Bas Vodde from Nokia in Finland. The session ran fairly well considering we had not presented anything together before :-)
We found the key was to ask teams to work in very short iterations of 10 minutes to develop simple metrics and get feedback by asking other teams to "game" their metrics.
For example, one team had the goal of measuring customer satisfaction in a call centre. They initially suggested that low call duration would be a good indicator (as customer enquiries would be resolved swiftly). However, the simplest way to get zero or very low call duration is hang up the call without resolving the customer request or better still - don't answer the phones!
Other learning points from this session were that single dimension metrics almost never work and when defining metrics you should leave no room for interpretation.
At last we have a book available that gives tips and advice on facilitation of end of iteration retrospectives. Esther Derby and Diana Larsen have just published Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. The book will be really useful to agile coaches and team leads who want to apply retrospectices in their teams. Plenty of exercises are described so that your retrospectives won't get boring and will continue to reveal process improvements that help your team optimize their process and stay sharp. This will become a well-thumbed trusty reference for agile teams.