Speaking, Training, Coaching

I am available as a speaker for software development related events as well as training and coaching. This includes conferences, seminars, webinars, and internal company events. To discuss engaging my services, send an e-mail to damonbpoole@gmail.com .

My bio is here . Here's a video of me presenting at AgileEE.

The following are abstracts from some of my prepared sessions and training.

Scrum and Kanban Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
As you adopt Scrum across your enterprise, you will find that synchronizing the work of interdependent Scrum teams is a challenge. Kanban has a number of principles and practices that can aid this synchronization and thus smooth out your adoption. This session will introduce Kanban from a Scrum perspective, show how the Lean practice of “One Piece Flow” is the key to both, and get into the nuts and bolts of specific practices and concepts from Kanban that can be adopted by an existing multi-team Scrum program.

Agile Whole Team Training
This is a unique one day course which introduces Agile to the whole team and is also a great team-building opportunity. This course is for anybody involved in development: management, product managers, business analysts, designers, developers, testers, DBAs, technical writers, project managers, etc. You'll form into cross-functional teams, pick your own software product to build, and do hands-on exercises as a team. Bring an existing team or join a team during training.

You will get a complete introduction to the principles and practices of Agile and learn how to apply them via two popular methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. Topics covered include user stories, story points, Planning Poker, continuous integration, unit tests, refactoring, cross functional and self-organizing teams, backlogs, iterations, stand-up meetings, retrospectives, one piece flow, and release planning.

The Economics of Agile
Traditionally, many organizations have measured their software development efforts solely in terms of process efficiency and cost. When teams introduce Agile methods, they are suddenly able to measure their efforts from a broader business perspective - such as impact to the top and bottom line. This session discusses how to measure and optimize the economics of your software development, make economics-based decisions, measure and reduce the cost of delay, gauge the full cost of development within an Agile environment, and discover and validate the value of your user stories.

Modern Best Practices for Software Development and Process Improvement
The past ten years has seen the introduction of many new software development practices. Many of these techniques have been billed as Agile techniques, but are just as applicable and just as useful regardless of what methodology you are currently using.

This session provides an overview of the following modern practices: continuous integration, refactoring, unit tests, multi-stage continuous integration, one piece flow, cross-functional teams, product backlog, story point estimation, user stories, and burn-up charts.

The Top Ten Agile Blindspots
Traditional development has created an ingrained set of habits, opinions, mental models, and core beliefs both at the individual and cultural levels that don’t work in an Agile environment: blindspots. These blindspots can produce “faux Agile” which leads to few if any benefits and sometimes produces more harm than good. Take this opportunity discover which blind spots you or your organization may have so that you can work towards removing them and start experiencing the full benefits that true Agility offers.

The top ten Agile blindspots are:

“We’re already Agile”
“Agile is easy, we’ve done all that before”
“There’s no real benefit for individuals”
“There’s no real benefit for organizations”
“Traditional development is tried and true”
“The value of work is the work itself”
“Agile only affects the development teams”
“Reducing costs works, improvement efforts don’t”
“Individuals are the cause of the problems”
“People can’t be trusted/aren’t self-motivated”

Each blindspot is described with one or more illustrative anecdotes/examples which is then followed by a strategy to overcome it (your mileage may vary). Each of the ten blindspots will also have a recommended resource so that participants can decide which blindspot they most need to address and then go learn more about how to address it. For instance, for #10, I recommend reading the book “Leading Self-Directed Work Teams” by Kimball Fischer.

Smashing Through the Barriers to Innovation and Profit
Solving problems, adapting to new technologies, and conquering new markets requires creativity. But do we create creativity-friendly environments? What do people think when they see people staring into space, pondering? Creating a culture that supports innovation requires a commitment both inside and outside the team.

Explore the unique opportunities for fostering innovation that Agile provides and discover the invisible organizational and cultural barriers that can reduce it. Unlock the full innovation potential of your team and organization and unlock new paths to increased profits.

Getting Engineers and Managers Out of Each Other's Hair
As a manager, you’ve heard a lot about the benefits of self-organizing teams, but you’re not sure where to start, and you suspect self-organization may lead to chaos. You could just take a leap of faith, set self-organization as a goal and then look for ways to achieve self-organization. But there is another way.

We’ll cover self-organization from the bottom up using concrete examples of twelve widely adopted Agile practices: user stories, story points, product owner, product backlog, standup meetings, whole teams, collocation, assignment and estimation of tasks by team members, short iterations, Scrum master, burn-up charts, and retrospectives. You’ll learn how each practice contributes to self-organization by reducing and/or redistributing traditional management activities. These practices also help to reduce the temptation to get wrapped up in the details; provide a framework for delegation, communication and coordination; encourage team ownership, commitment and accountability; and create management artifacts that are appreciated by all.

The inevitable question that results from talking about self-organization is “what does a manager do in an Agile workplace?” We’ll wrap up with a group exercise that not only answers that question but also shows that Agile provides more leverage for managers to use the skills they already have.