Upcoming Agile Events

Note that March 11-16 is "Be Agile" week in Tucson.  On Friday March 15th there is a one-day open space conference, followed by a one-day coaches camp on Saturday March 16th.  Get all the details and register here!

Feb 21st [South] - Writing and Grooming User Stories (With an emphasis on splitting), Todd Sussman.  This is a a great topic, that we've not really had before.  Hope to see you all there!

March 5th [North] - TBD

This month's sponsors include IntraEdge for venue and food, Axosoft for venue and Solutions IQ for food.


Remember, we'd be in a parking lot - hungry and thirsty if it weren't for our sponsors!  :-)

South Meeting


The slides from the Dec 5th meeting have been postedSee them here!


IntraEdge    (Google Map)
5660 W Chandler Blvd #1
Chandler, AZ 85226

6:00 Registration Food and Drink
6:25 Announcements
6:30 Begin the Meeting
8:00 Closing Messages and Announcements

Description:  Agile at Play – Using Lego Serious Play to accelerate the value cycle

Whether your team develops hardware or software three elements are crucial to successful value creation:

  • Communicating effectively – both externally with stakeholders and end-users and internally among the design team members.
  • Making informed design decisions – i.e. testing assumptions through prototyping.
  • Matching methods with the type of knowledge task – ensuring that incentives and activities support your goal.

In this session you will learn about a novel model for understanding knowledge-driven value creation processes called The Wheel of Knowledge (WoK), which provides a framework for navigating the development process and a language for discussing next steps for accelerating the value cycle. The different stages of the model reflect how all knowledge-based value originates from tacit knowledge (e.g. and idea). Next, the challenge is to make the knowledge explicit so that it can be shared between individuals and developed into a solid solution. Finally, once a satisfying solution has been reached it is time to bring it to scale and to market. Different facilitation methods serve different purposes that are conducive to high engagement in different stages of the process. Knowing which type of approach to prescribe to a given knowledge conversion challenge is a key contribution of Dr. Jensen’s research.

Next, you get to be playful! Dr. Jensen will demo different LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® activities that can help accelerate the different stages of the value creation process. In the debrief you will be encouraged to share how challenges your teams face map to the Wheel of Knowledge.

Speaker Bio:  Camilla Nørgaard Jensen, PhD

Camilla Nørgaard Jensen, PhD, is an innovation scholar and process consultant certified in the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) facilitation method. Since leaving her career in Industrial Design Engineering to return to graduate school and complete her dissertation, “Constructive Conversations: Serious Play Approaches for Creating, Sharing, and Mobilizing Tacit Knowledge in Cross-disciplinary Settings”, she has dedicated her career to enable cross-functional teams to work well together while tackling complex problems. In 2013 Jensen landed a grant from the National Science Foundation to introduce LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in a cross-disciplinary class at Arizona State University. She has since worked with several industry clients, contributed to the book “Serious Work”, and served twice as the invited keynote speaker at the annual LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® conference for the Americas and Oceania.


Where:  Amazon (Please See Directions!)
222 South Mill Ave,
Tempe, AZ 85281.

6:00 Registration Food and Drink
6:25 Announcements
6:30 Begin the Meeting
8:00 Closing Messages and Announcements

Description: What’s New in SAFe 4.5?

The Scaled Agile Framework has released SAFe 4.5, which is to be leaner, more Agile, and more supportive of faster innovation and learning than any of its predecessors. Moreover, SAFe 4.5 helps enterprises get better, business results, faster, more consistently and reliably.

SAFe 4.5 can be configured to match your organization’s needs. This new version allows companies to:

  • Test ideas more quickly using the Lean Startup Cycle and Lean User Experience (Lean UX)
  • Deliver much faster with Scalable DevOps and the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.
  • Simplify governance and improve portfolio performance with Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) and Lean Budgets.

SAFe 4.5 maximizes the speed of product or service delivery, from initial idea to release, and from customer feedback to enhancements, providing a 360-degree build-measure-learn feedback cycle.

The SAFe 4.5 release focuses on the following key areas of improvements:

  1. Essential SAFe and Configurability
  2. Innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UX
  3. Scalable DevOps & Continuous Delivery
  4. Implementation Roadmap
  5. Other Important Stuff

Speaker Bio:  Rapana Togiai

Rapana Togiai is currently an Agile Coach and Release Train Engineer (RTE) for Vantiv Inc., the largest payment processor in the U.S., and soon to be the largest in the world with the upcoming merger with WorldPay. He is leading Agile Release Trains (ART’s) to become more efficient through faster deliveries. In addition, he has supported the Agile and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) transformation company-wide.  See the case study here: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/vantiv-case-study.

In the past, Rapana has assisted other companies in the Phoenix area, such as Apollo Group and Choice Hotels, in their Agile ventures.

Rapana is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), SAFe Scaled Agile Program Consultant (SPC), and PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.  He regularly provides SAFe training and has recently participated in the inaugural SAFe RTE training. He has been assisting enterprises by using Agile methodologies to deliver significant value and superior products to their customers. Fast, efficient, and great quality is what he is passionate about. As a change agent, he enjoys teaching and coaching organizations to reach their full potential by embracing Agile values and Lean thinking.

Where:  Cohoots    (Google Map)  Want to learn more about Cohoots? (click here!)
221 E Indianola Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

6:00 Registration Food and Drink
6:25 Announcements
6:30 Begin the Meeting
8:00 Closing Messages and Announcements

Description: When are we going to ship? (Answering the hardest “easy question” in software development)

When are we going to ship? It’s a question that’s easy to ask and exceedingly challenging to answer. This talk will focus on what’s required to answer it well, including:

  • Command of agile principles
  • Effective use of agile practices
  • Strong “gut feel” for team dynamics
  • Understanding of risks encountered and tradeoffs made
  • Clear communication to, and resetting expectations of, stakeholders of varying roles, responsibilities, and perspectives

Speaker Bio:  Dave Lesser

Dave Lesser is the Director of Product Innovation for Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC) where he leads blue-sky/greenfield product engineering and is jointly-accountable for overall company technology vision, strategy, and execution.  STC is a health technology innovation and services company that facilitates public health information exchange between the clinical care community and health agencies.

In past lives he served as Director of Project Management for Unicon (an education-focused professional services organization), co-founded a $100 MM “extrapreneurial” global trade consulting venture inside of DHL, managed large-scale technology infrastructure projects, and wrote more lines of COBOL than he cares to admit publicly.

*** SEE THE SLIDES:  3 Strategies to create Visibility & Predictability, and you can get the Google spreadsheet here ***

   (Google Map)  Want to learn more about Galvanize? (click here!)
515 E Grant St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

6:00 Registration Food and Drink
6:25 Announcements
6:30 Begin the Meeting
8:00 Closing Messages and Announcements

Description:  Three Strategies to Create Highly Visible and Predictable Teams

Join Jeremy Wilson, as he introduces you to three proven strategies that will help to create project and initiative visibility as well as team backlog predictability. Provide your organization with much better estimates when things will be done, and create a cycle of shared ownership and responsibility for the product plan and outcomes.

Speaker Bio:  Jeremy Wilson

I specialize in leading organizations to be more principled in decision making using Agile in the SDLC, with an emphasis on autonomous teams with a high degree of accountability. My key areas of focus are removing process and impediments, adding automation, creating visibility and teams achieving mastery; which are all essential in a mature engineering organization. I also have extensive experience in replacing legacy software systems with an iterative approach so value can be continuously delivered and the organization can see immediate and frequent value without disrupting the roadmap.

I am at heart an Agile evangelist and have incorporated Agile thought leadership into organizations early on to fundamentally transform software delivery in the enterprise. I work to provide visibility, accountability and predictability into the software development organization.

Hobbies: I am also a published music producer with works on over 20 syndicated TV episodes and have been on 9 major TV networks.