Project image
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$13,209
pledged of $44,000pledged of $44,000 goal
34
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, June 21 2014 12:00 AM UTC +00:00

The Agile Fluency Project

September 22-26 in Portland, Oregon: A five-day immersion into fluent Agile practices

The Agile Fluency Project

September 22-26 in Portland, Oregon: A five-day immersion into fluent Agile practices

$13,209
pledged of $44,000pledged of $44,000 goal
34
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, June 21 2014 12:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

“Diana and Jim’s Agile Fluency Model very nicely describes teams I’ve observed. I believe we can all use it to guide a team’s Agile improvement, without regard to a specific method or process.” —Ron Jeffries

"The Agile Fluency model is an important contribution for its excellent blend of rigour and relevance in presenting the contemporary status of Agile implementation, and for its value as a practical resource for improvement." —Jaana Nyfjord

"[T]hese workshops really brought everything together. As a result, I’m able to understand the big picture and help translate and mentor others in our organization on the value I see of using Agile processes." —Chris Rupp, Release Manager, PGE

"After practicing XP for several years, I found [the workshop] energized me to do even better work... [Our organization] benefitted by common shared experience among our teammates who were on several different projects." —Daniel Wellman, Director of Technology, Intent Media

Summary

We (Diana Larsen and James Shore) are hosting an intensive five-day workshop in Portland, Oregon, USA from September 22nd to 26th, 2014. The workshop gives attendees the ability to make real and significant improvements in the way their organizations develop software with Agile.

Click here to read the business case for the Agile Fluency workshop.

The workshop costs $2,495 per person. (Special arrangements are available for teams; contact James Shore at jshore@jamesshore.com for details.) To sign up, click the "AGILE FLUENCY WORKSHOP" box to the right and put in your company credit card when prompted. (Pledge $4,990 to send two people, $7,485 for three, and $9,980 for four. For more than four people, or for alternate methods of payment, contact James Shore.) Your card will not be charged until funding closes on June 20th.

On-Time Delivery Guarantee: If you pay for the workshop, you (or a colleague of your choice) are guaranteed admission to the workshop in Portland, OR on Sept 22-26, 2014. We will refund your fee if the workshop does not take place as promised on these dates.

Zero-Risk Guarantee: We will refund 100% of your workshop fee if you are dissatisfied for any reason whatsoever, so long as you request the refund before October 26, 2014.

And now for all the details...

Agile Done Well

Agile has a problem. When we started out with Agile, people used it because it made their lives and products better. But now, in too many cases, it seems that Agile is just another excuse for dysfunction. When we started, Agile was a vibrant and innovative grass-roots movement focused on collaboration, adapting to business needs, and team autonomy. Now people complain that Agile is about meetings, top-down mandates, and wasting time.

We can do better. It's time for a change.

The Agile Fluency™ Model

"The Agile Fluency model is the best I know for conversations about goals of an agile adoption or the current state and possible goals for improvement for an agile process.” - Sebastian Sanitz, it-Agile

We started working on this problem many years ago. The result was the Agile Fluency Model, first published with Martin Fowler as "Your Path Through Agile Fluency" in 2012.

The Agile Fluency Model describes how we see teams grow in their understanding of Agile over time. It's a descriptive model, because it reflects what happens in the real world, and in it's an aspirational model, because you can use it to understand how to invest in improving your teams.

One of the most important features of the model is that any step along the path is a useful and valuable place to stop. We describe four possibilities, or "stars," each building on the previous. Each star carries increased benefits... and increased costs. The model shows how to choose the investment tradeoff that's best for you. That can range anywhere from a modest use of stories, stand-ups, and retrospectives all the way to a radically-self-organizing culture where teams deploy continuously and set organizational strategy collaboratively.

Anywhere between these extremes is valuable. The fluency model shows how to choose the number of stars that are right for you, how to reach that level of fluent proficiency, and what to expect along the way.

Our Goal

“As an Agile coach, in the last 4 months Agile Fluency has been an effective tool for me to help tell the agility story to the entire organization.” - Brent D. Strange, Go-Daddy

We've found the model very useful for helping teams, managers, and executives understand what they can get from Agile and what they need to invest in order to get those results. We've found that the model's emphasis on concrete outcomes means executives are open—even eager—to devote the effort needed. Executives appreciate being able to see the tradeoffs and make a strategic decision, and teams thrive when given meaningful goals and the time and resources needed to achieve them.

We've heard the same thing from colleagues using the model. It works. Now we want to spread these ideas further.

The Agile Fluency Project is an ambitious effort to help everyone get what they want out of Agile. We want to build a community of practitioners who will apply, explore and extend the fluency model in ways that bring benefit to everyone who chooses to embark on an Agile journey.

It's an audacious goal. Fluency takes work. Will that turn people off? Is there enough interest in Agile Done Well? In true Agile fashion, we're conducting this crowdfunding campaign to find out.

The Agile Fluency Workshop: Sept 22-26 in Portland, Oregon

"I tell anybody that will listen that the Art of Agile workshop is the best training I ever attended." - Katie Gengler, CTO, Funding Gates

Your pledge grants you admission to the Agile Fluency Workshop: a five-day workshop immersing you in fluent Agile practice. The workshop is focused on giving you the ability to make real and significant improvements in the way your organization develops software with Agile. It's an updated version of the "Art of Agile" workshops that we originally used to help develop the Agile Fluency model. It's a proven, polished course that participants still rave about.

(See this update for a detailed look at the workshop curriculum.)

We understand that five days is a serious time commitment. We've chosen it because we're serious about giving you the ability to transform the way your organization understands and practices Agile. Five days gives us time for several important things:

DEPTH

"[The workshop is] the truest immersion into the heart and practice of agile software development I’ve ever experienced"

In five days, we're able to discuss Agile principles and practices in unusual depth. We give you what you need to reach the third star of the fluency model.

One star teams understand the fundamentals of Agile: teamwork, focusing on value, and reflecting and adapting. We cover Scrum practices such as user stories, iterations, team formation, stand-up meetings, and retrospectives. You may have seen these practices before, but we bring our own unique twist, and Diana literally wrote the book on agile retrospectives.

Two star teams ship low-defect software on the market's cadence. We cover XP practices such as test-driven development, continuous integration, refactoring, and evolutionary design, as well as release planning, risk management, slack, and other techniques needed to reliably deliver despite software's many uncertainties. James' book, The Art of Agile Development, is widely regarded as one of the best books for bringing these topics together into a cohesive whole.

Three star teams adapt their plans and conduct market experiments so they can ship the most valuable product possible given the resources available. We cover market-focused techniques such as adaptive planning, impact mapping, and customer discovery. James and Diana have years of experience using these techniques in their own entrepreneurial efforts.

EXPERIENCE

"What an ending. I've just finished the most interactive training class I've ever taken. I spent much of the last two days on a real Agile team producing a real product in 90-minute iterations. In a word, it was intense... Seriously, I could take this team back and start solving some real problems very, very soon." —John Hines

Five days also gives you time to experience the topics being discussed. You'll spend the vast majority of the workshop in hands-on experiences. We have focused exercises and simulations for every significant topic.

The highlight of the workshop is the class project, which you'll work on in stages throughout the week. We spend four development iterations building real software using all the techniques described above. You'll participate as part of a cross-functional team working to understand your market, write real code, integrate over a real network, and ship a working product.

By the end of the course, you'll have actually experienced three-star Agile. You'll know what it feels like to be on a high-performance team, and you'll be ready to take those insights back to your organization.

IMPACT

"The things we learned at Art of Agile changed us forever... It helped us become better consultants and in turn serve our clients better." —Debbie Madden, CEO, Stride

In the workshop, we help you experience "Camelot:" the shining ideal of what you can achieve from three-star Agile. We temper that focus with wisdom about the reality of most organizations. We help you understand how to use the fluency model to choose a realistic goal for your situation, and how to discuss tradeoffs with peers, managers, and executives.

We also teach you techniques for introducing change, and we dedicate much of the final day of the course to helping you understand the specific needs of your organization. You'll understand what you want to change, how you're going to shepherd that change, and what concrete steps you'll take next.

With insight gained from hands-on experience and skills for guiding change, you'll leave the workshop eager and able to make real and significant improvements to how your organization approaches Agile.

Who Will Benefit

"[I’m] still basking in the beauty of iteration 4! So much fun!!!"

The workshop is appropriate for anyone eager to influence the way Agile is practiced in their organization. We have hands-on roles for programmers, business representatives, product managers, and testers. IT/ops, business analysts, project managers, functional managers, program managers, HR partners, etc.—in short, anyone who influences or is affected by the software development effort—could also benefit. The workshop is fit for individual participants or for teams to attend together.

Every level of Agile experience is welcome. We start with no assumptions and build a thorough and rigorous approach to three-star Agile. If you’re new to Agile, we’ll cover everything you need. And if you already have a lot of Agile experience, be prepared to be surprised. We have a unique perspective that will spark new insights from the first day, and you’ll find plenty of challenges as the week progresses.

For participants taking the "programmer" role, we'll be using JavaScript during coding exercises. Don't worry: if you aren't familiar with JavaScript, we'll make sure you're on a team with someone who is. (And if you don't like JavaScript, we have some tricks to make it better than you expect.)

How to Attend (Signup Deadline: June 20th!)

The workshop costs $2,495 per person. (Special arrangements are available for teams; contact James Shore at jshore@jamesshore.com for details.) To sign up, click the "AGILE FLUENCY WORKSHOP" box to the right and put in your company credit card when prompted. (Pledge $4,990 to send two people, $7,485 for three, and $9,980 for four. For more than four people, or for alternate methods of payment, contact James Shore.)

Need help convincing your manager to send you to the workshop? Show them the business case.

Your card will not be charged until funding closes on June 20th. If we do not reach our funding goal ($44K, or about 18 attendees), your card will not be charged and the workshop will not take place.

On-Time Delivery Guarantee: If you pay for the workshop, you (or a colleague of your choice) are guaranteed admission to the workshop in Portland, OR on Sept 22-26, 2014. We will refund your fee if the workshop does not take place as promised on these dates.

Zero-Risk Guarantee: We will refund 100% of your workshop fee if you are dissatisfied for any reason whatsoever, so long as you request the refund before October 26, 2014.

(For more information about how Kickstarter works, see the Kickstarter FAQ.)

Beautiful, Sustainability-Focused, Portland Oregon

We’re hosting the workshop in Portland, Oregon. Portland is a beautiful, quirky city, and it’s especially delightful in September. Portland is known as a center for sustainable practices, design, and innovation—and it’s also a mecca for Open Source, Startups, Mobile, DevOps, Lean, and Agile practitioners.

We’ll convene in the Doubletree hotel in the Lloyd Center district, a great venue and area that’s steps away from light rail to the airport and downtown, and within easy walking distance of Portland’s tax-free shopping and acclaimed restaurant scene.

About Us

We are James Shore and Diana Larsen. We want Agile to work again.

James has been leading and coaching teams using Agile methods for over 14 years. He's a recipient of the Agile Alliance's Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice, co-author of The Art of Agile Development, and host of the Let's Code: Test-Driven JavaScript screencast.

Diana is an early adopter of Agile with an extensive background in work process design, team development, and influencing organizational change. She is a former chair of the Agile Alliance board of directors and co-author of Agile Retrospectives and Liftoff.

Thanks for Your Support!

Agile is a great approach to software development that's suffered some challenges in implementation. With this project, and the workshop as a first step, we hope to spread skills and knowledge for Agile Done Well further than before. With your help, we can do it. Thanks for your support!

Risks and challenges

For a workshop of this scope, there are three main risks. Here's how we addressed them:

1. Content

The workshop is an updated version of the "Art of Agile" workshops that we used to help develop the Agile Fluency model. It's a proven, polished course that attendees love.

2. Venue

We've worked with the Doubletree before and we know they're professionals who provide great service. We've picked the exact room we want and secured it with a substantial deposit.

3. Attendance

The workshop can succeed with as few as ten participants, but it really shines when there's more than 15. We've chosen our funding goal to ensure we have at least 18.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FIRST IN LINE: Can't attend, but love the idea? Choose this reward to express your support and get early notice about future events. Note! This reward DOES NOT include admission to the workshop.

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    Pledge $2,495 or more About $2,495

    AGILE FLUENCY WORKSHOP: Attend the Agile Fluency Workshop in Portland, OR from September 22-26! Travel expenses are your responsibility.

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Funding period

- (31 days)