Keynote Speech 1: Fragmented Complexity - Using social computing to organise software development

Speaker: Dave Snowden

In order to successful scale any method or practice has to have some basis in theory.  This presentation will use insights from complex adaptive systems theory and the cognitive sciences to lay a foundation for that theory.  Seeing software development as a problem of knowledge management the theory will elaborate a understanding of applications as the emergent property of a co-evolutionary interactions between technology capability and unarticulated user requirements.

Having established a basic theory a range of methods and tools will be elaborated.  These include:

- Narrative based approaches to requirements capture (not to be confused with Story telling or story boarding) which gather thousands of fragmented self-signified anecdotes relating to real and imagined needs within a user community and allow interpretation and integration into project planning.

- Approaches to project planning and implementation that focus on the creation of self-organising teams of specialists and users to create novel approaches, supported by evidence to previously intractable problems.  This is particularly relevant to the 5-10% of any major project which creates 95-90% of the grief.

- The integration of tools such as blogs, wiki's etc into the development environment.   Too often corporate engionments over-constrain those tools into over rigid structures which destroy their utility.


Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge. His work involves the application of natural science to systems, and the symbiosis of human and machine intelligence. His work on complex adaptive systems theory has already received recognition within the AGILE community in respect of project management and system design. He pioneered the development of narrative approaches to knowledge management and understanding cultural and other social systems. The various concepts and ideas were incorporated into the Singapore Government's Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning System and are now marketed by Cognitive Edge as SenseMaker™. This follows several years of funding from DARPA in respect of antiterrorist programmes. A frequent and well respected keynote speaker, he is known as a formidable realist, his iconoclastic style and pragmatic cynicism. He holds various academic appointments in Europe, Asia and Africa as well as advisory positions to Governments and Industry.

Keynote Speech 2: Back to the well - from talking to doing

Speaker: Sean Hanly

After several years of teaching and talking about agile principles, Sean Hanly is now successfully applying these with TicketSolve.  In this keynote he shares his experiences of putting theory into practice.

Sean Hanly

Sean Hanly, CTO, Exoftware. Overseeing all of Exoftware's services, Sean is responsible for ensuring clients achieve their Agile goals. He has worked directly with many of Exoftware's clients both in Europe and abroad, and brings an unparalleled level of pragmatism and industry knowledge to each client engagement. With a background in software engineering, as well as software management, Sean advises companies on how to maximize Agile processes.

Sean is a leading Agile speaker, bringing his diverse views on management, engineering and Agility into his very popular talks and seminars. Prior to joining Exoftware, Sean has lead software development teams at companies such as American Management Systems, Jeffries and Company and Allied Irish Bank.


Keynote Speech 3: Juggling with the paradoxes of agile transformation

Speaker: Kati Vilkki

Click here to download the presentation.

In this speech I want to share our experience of agile transformation first in Nokia Networks and now in Nokia Siemens Networks. During the last three years many of our products have done the transformation from very traditional, water-fall development to agile development. Most of these products have big amount legacy code and technologies, do multi-site development of embedded software and are part of big systems of systems.

How to do the agile transformation in this kind of environment? There are no simple answers; the change is full of paradoxes. Driving agile transformation is about living with the paradoxes and finding a dynamic balance between things, which on the surface seem completely

Here are some of the paradoxes:
- Bottom-up and top-down: some things in the agile transformation should be driven bottom-up and some things require top-down approach. It's a big challenge for management to support the change sufficiently and not to over-drive it.
- Gradual change and big bang: There is always an existing organizational set-up and people, current reality, which the change starts with. Learning takes time, one can't jump immediately to the future state, but there are many steps to take. On the other hand, in some cases big bang is needed.
- Common processes and teams owning their own processes: We need to have some level of common processes to be able to develop and deliver systems of systems and we want combine sufficient level of common processes with self-organizing teams who own their own processes.
- Similar enough and different enough: Organizational culture needs to change in any big transformation and it also has a huge impact on how to drive changes. The key messages of the change and the way of delivering them have to be different enough and similar enough to the existing culture. If the message is too distant from the current reality, people will perceive it as unrealistic and do not trust the change. On the other hand, there has to be real change and the message has to reflect that.

We have also learned about efficient ways of resisting the change and blocking the agile transformation; what to do, it you don't want to make this happen.


Kati Vikki


Kati Vilkki is currently heading Business Improvement in Nokia Siemens Networks Communication Technology and Operations Organization (COO) and is responsible for driving strategic business improvement programs within the COO. She has M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Helsinki University. She joined Nokia in 1994 and has since held various management and development positions mostly within product development, R&D and supporting functions. She has headed quality and process management, managed SW process and other improvement programs, driven operational mode development and been the change agent in many different projects. Starting in 2005 one of the key improvement actions has been moving towards agile and iterative development in large scale programs and in organization, which is mostly used to traditional, water-fallish development modes. There has been remarkably fast change in the organization in this area and now agile development is firmly established in the SW process. Kati Vilkki has also wide experience in organizational and leadership development.


Keynote Speech 4: Situated agility

Speaker: Philippe Kruchten, Ph.D., P.Eng., CSDP

There are little doubt about the intrinsic value of agile practices: well applied by the right people, they do wonder, on the right problem. But are they always suited to the task? Software projects and software development organizations cover a wide spectrum. I will contend that most of the value of any software development practice depends on its context; and that Agility for an organization is not defined by simply embracing a labeled set of practices; nor even by a level of conformance to the agile manifesto. Agility should be defined relative to the value it brings to the business, namely the capacity of an organization to react and adapt faster than its environment can change. How agile an organization is, or can afford to be, will depend not on the practices alone, but on the context in which they are applied: how fit to that context are they. How do we define "context"? What elements or attributes of this context have a bearing on the selection of the set of practices an organization should adopt, and therefore how 'agile' it should strive to be? I'll share some experience of applying agile practices far from their sweet spot, leading to the concept of situated agile processes.



Philippe Kruchten is professor of software engineering in the department of electrical and computer engineering of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. He joined UBC in 2004 after a 30+ year career in industry, where he worked mostly in with large software-intensive systems design, in the domains of telecommunication, defense, aerospace and transportation. Some of his experience is embodied in the Rational Unified Process (RUP) whose development he directed from 1995 until 2003, when Rational Software was bought by IBM. RUP includes an architectural design method, known as “RUP 4+1 views”. Philippe’s current research interests still reside mostly with software architecture, and in particular architectural decisions and the decision process, as well as software engineering processes, in particular the application of agile processes in large and globally distributed teams. He is a senior member of IEEE CS, the cofounder of Agile Vancouver, and a Professional Engineer in BC.



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Page last updated: 16/12/2008