Managing Stakeholder and Executive Expectations

Host: Stacy Schatz
Date: Thursday, 2/6/14
Time: 1:00 - 2:00
Location: Orange ballons
Format: Open discussion with attendees

This was a session that I proposed with the purpose of having attendees share their challenges, insights, techniques, and success stories of managing expectations of stakeholders and executives in their organizations.  When introducing this session to the morning group, I mentioned that I certainly don't have all the answers, and was interested in input from others as part of the learnings and insights that all participants, including myself, could take away.  Below are photographs of the notes, with some commentary on each.

We started to list some issues and some techniques:

The top three bullet points are issues that some people have faced, and the bottom three were some techniques that were used. Here is some more context for a few that aren't self-explanatory: 


The Roles of the Agile Manager (w/ Photos)

Brent Barton and Dhaval Panchal

For photos from the session, go here.

A facilitation exercise for reframing the role of manager in your Agile organization.

In an Agile company, managers are often sidelined and feel threatened that their role is no longer "needed". Through this exercise we try to illuminate various functions that we appreciate our managers perform and highlight shifts in their role that must happen for Agile to thrive and sustain in your organization.

The goal is to turn this into a new form of leadership that can be adopted and sustained in your organization based on your context.

Facilitation Steps:
( What we did at the Open Space event )

(1) Define Individual Contributor (IC), Manager and Executive roles.

(2)Prepare two sets of charts:
"Fine in Agile" , "No longer needed in Agile" , "In conflict with Agile" ( SET )

Teaching Pairing

Session host: Moss Collum

Designing Programming Languages for Agile

Session host: Moss Collum

When Management Threatens to Kill Agility

Sylvia Taylor, Brent Barton

This experiment emerged using the Oracle exercise. It went well!

Adaptive execution + any planning = agile


Phoning it in since 2010

Thus Sayeth the Oracle...

CREATE Quality Code

David Bernstein

Stuck? Root cause analysis

Jeremy Lightsmith

Sent from my Windows Phone

Legacy Code (Part 2 of 2)

Legacy Code (Part 1 of 2)


How to be an Awesome Product Manager

Host: Sarah Adams

Measuring Team Productivity

Convener: Ted Bardusch

35+ people attended

Topics covered:

Some teams much more productive than others – how do you know if all teams are living up to potential
  • There is no silver bullet (as Fred Brooks wrote)
  • Points don't work
  • Differing debt and complexity make teams appear different that really aren't
  • Whatever measure you invent can be gamed (developers do invent algorithms for a living)
  • Why measure? 
  • Measuring can be used for differential rewards
  • Measuring can be abused when poorly understood
  • Repeat: there is no silver bullet

Agile: the day after...

Hosts: Valerie Morris, Tom Perry

Visualizing Teams

Host: Tom Perry

project planning in an agile environment

Session Host - Mary Panza

Projects vs backlog items? - create a separate backlog of project level requests

Planning horizons: 1 yr - vague plan and project description. Continue to refine. Teams should have a more solid plan 6 months out, continue to refine quarterly.

You can use generic velocity based on past performance to gauge known work and determine available capacity. Give a rough estimate based on scope to determine budget or based on budget/timeline to determine feasible scope. (Feature-driven projects vs date or budget -driven)

Get clarity on the important stuff early, not necessarily the details. Define what is in scope and what isn't. If you can't prioritize features, do you really know what you want?

Spend some time and money early to decide whether to spend more, I.e. is this project worth it?

Considerations for the value of the project:
- ROI? The value can be purely monetary or based on market factors.
- Cost/Benefit of the project and the project vs other possible projects. What is the opportunity cost and the opportunity lost for this project in general or the timing of this project compared to others?

- How does this project align with business initiatives and goals?

Ask the Five Why's for the project. Define a clear problem statement.

The Question Every Project Team Should Answer

The Principles of Product Development Flow by Donald Reinertsen

Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams and Projects by Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies

Sent from my iPad


Lonny Cross


Format of the Meeting:


Explained how to read a CFD

Went through the various scenarios as a group to discuss the stories they tell



Some of the Insights:


CFD's are great Information Radiators

CFD’s tell great stories

It's important to have context of the CFD

Great way to see the flow of work

Could be used at a sprint level, release level, entire company level etc.




CyberSource, a VISA Company
Phone: 425-586-6035