Come for an evening of dialogue with Diana Larsen, doyenne and sojourner in the many various fields of Agile. With no prepared slides or lecture, we’ll rely on everyone’s experience to hold a spontaneous dialogue with you and your colleagues about real challenges you face today. We’ll focus on your specific, real-time questions, challenges, dilemmas, and issues about agile, adoptions, teams, retrospectives, liftoffs, managing, leadership, complexity, learning, and more. Invite Diana to discuss whatever is top of your mind! Our moderator will collect and aggregate questions, sort them into topic areas, and invite the questioners to join Diana in a time-boxed conversation. We’ll get through as many topic areas as possible between networking and close. Join us!

Diana is a founding partner of FutureWorks Consulting. She is considered an international authority in the areas of Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. Deeply in tune with how work teams grow, adapt, and develop, she co-authored “Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great”; “Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams and Projects”; “Quickstart Guide to Five Rules for Accelerated Learning”; and most recently the Path Through Agile Fluency model, described in the article, “Your Path Through Agile Fluency: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile” at www.agilefluency.com

An active contributor to her professional community, Diana is a former chair and board member for Agile Alliance, and current board member of Organization Design Forum, Agile Open Northwest, and Language Hunters. She is also an Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute. Follow her on Twitter (@DianaOfPortland) and (@FutureWks).

Since this is a rare appearance by Diana in San Diego, space will be limited. Please register here for a free ticket.

Diana’s visit was made possible by a grant from the Agile Alliance speaker reimbursement program.


SendGrid started in 2009 with three developers and a shared vision for making email easy for developers. Now with over 200 employees, they deliver over 8 billion emails a month for our customers. Agile practices have helped them scale both their teams and their product, and they are still learning from their mistakes. In this presentation you will hear Vic Bonacci‘s first-hand account of SendGrid’s history with Agile, highlighting the pitfalls and successes along the way.

Vic has worked in IT since 1998 (webmaster, developer, project manager, agile coach). He has been an Agile coach at SendGrid since early 2011. Before that he spent five years as a project manager in a traditional waterfall environment at Panasonic in Lake Forest. Vic earned his MBA from USC in 2004 and his PMP certification a few years after that. He tweets infrequently at @AgileCoffee and hosts meetups in Orange County under the same name.

NOTE: This meeting will be held at our new location at Mitchell at 6pm. The address is 6220 Greenwich Dr, San Diego, CA. Take the Governor Drive exit off the 805 and go west. Pizza and beer will be provided courtesy of Rally.


Peter Green has been leading a grass roots agile adoption at Adobe since 2008. In 2013, the majority of teams at Adobe say they use scrum, but the change to an agile culture has been successful only in pockets. We’ve attempted to measure the adoption in many ways, including looking at data, conducting surveys, facilitating large group retrospectives, and conducting interviews, and have learned a few things about what makes the shift lasting and deep, rather than a shift in terminology and process only. I’ll share some snapshots of the progress as well as what we’re working on these days to try to make the change a lasting cultural one.

NOTE: This meeting will be held at our new location at Mitchell, and we are meeting a little earlier at 6pm. The address is 6220 Greenwich Dr, San Diego, CA. Take the Governor Drive exit off the 805 and go west. Pizza and beer will be provided.


NOTE: This meeting will be held at our new location at Mitchell.

The street address is 6220 Greenwich Dr, San Diego, CA.  Take the Governor Drive exit off the 805 and go west.  We will begin at 6 PM.  I recommend coming early to figure out parking and give yourself time to find the new meeting space.


Bring your laptop to try out a koan (puzzles for learning). A Koan is a set of failing unit tests. Learning by doing with koan puzzles is fun, engaging, and produces remarkably quick results. Koans can be used to learn a variety of programming skills including languages and APIs. This session will challenge you in group and individual settings to complete these puzzles to get the unit tests to pass. After you decode the puzzle, we will reflect on what and how you have learned. Finally we will look into how to create your own koans for your particular testing needs.

This is a unique session will explore the use of the open source library Approval Tests to facilitate better unit testing verification in a collaborative fun workshop.

Bio: Llewellyn Falco
Llewellyn Falco is an Instructor for DevelopMentor. He is a international speaker and the creator of the open source testing tool ApprovalTests( www.approvaltests.com ). He spends most of his time programing in Java and C#. He also volunteers creating courseware and teaching kids to program ( www.teachingkidsprogramming.org ). Find his blog at llewellynfalco.blogspot.com

With little fanfare, the official Scrum Guide was revised and published in July 2013.  Join us on Thursday, September 5th at 6 PM when Gary Moore will present what has changed since the last revision of the Scrum Guide was published in 2011, and lead a group discussion of how these changes might influence the way you do your work going forward.

Gary Moore is a Certified Scrum Professional who has led the adoption of the Scrum Framework and other Agile methods at several companies in the greater San Diego area since 2008.  Gary is currently coaching Agile teams at Sony Network Entertainment.

Couple of other announcements regarding this meeting:

1) This will be our first meeting at our new location at Mitchell.  The street address is 6220 Greenwich Dr, San Diego, CA.  Take the Governor Drive exit off the 805 and go west.  We will begin at 6 PM.  I recommend coming early to figure out parking and give yourself time to find the new meeting space.

2) I will be giving away a free seat to my Certified ScrumMaster class on Sept 9th & 10th.  If you are interested in attending this two-day class for free, you must be present to win.


Our annual Summer Social get together is this Thursday (Aug 1), at 6:30-8:00 pm – although you can hang out pretty much as late as you want.
The location:

Ali Baba’s cave is in Sorrento Valley, and it’s very close to the Coaster station. They have a Mediterranean Restaurant, full bar, and a selection of great beers on tap.
We will be giving away a Free Pass for the Agile Open SoCal event at UC Irvine (a $250 value) which is coming up September 11, 12, 13.
So… please join all your Agile-thinking cohorts and for a great evening of sharing, discussing, and polite debate this Thursday at Ali Baba’s Cave!


Increase Productivity by Changing Perspectives

Productivity means more than just keeping busy all the time. For businesses, true productivity is measured at the bottom line. Increases in productivity can often be gained by simple changes in policy or viewpoint, without the need to add resources or to work longer or harder. Perhaps surprisingly, some of the easiest gains in productivity can be had by working less, not more.

And therein lies the wrinkle. How can we help people become more productive when that requires them to work less, especially when external pressure by management or internal pressure from the people themselves tells them to always stay busy, or at least to look busy?

In this hands-on workshop we’ll examine what productivity is and how to represent it as we explore ways to adopt new perspectives that enable productivity gains.

About the Presenter

Steve Bockman is a software developer turned productivity consultant. He is the founder of Agile Unlimited, a company in Northern California that focuses on helping organizations enhance their effectiveness.

Steve is the originator of Team Estimation, a technique for collaboratively estimating work effort. He is also the author of Predictability, a business novel about creating reliable project schedules.


Mob Programming Is Here To Stay – By The Hunter Application Development Team

Mob Programming is a development practice where the whole team works on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.

This is a “Whole Team” approach to doing all the work the team does – including coding, designing, testing, and working with the “customer” (partner, Product Owner, user, etc).  We have expanded the “team” nature of all the work we do – not just planning, retrospectives, and a daily stand-up or other meeting – but all the work that the team does.  This could be thought of as Pair Programming++, or continuous collaboration, perhaps.

In other words, this is an evolutionary step beyond the pair programming, face-to-face communication, team alignment, collaboration,  and “self organizing team” concepts of the Agile approach to software development.

We’ll share how we’ve been using this practice to super-charge our development efforts and deliver high value software for almost 2 years. We’ll see what it looks like, the benefits, and how to do it yourself.  In our workplace we “Mob Program” all day, every day, but we’ll also explore some ideas on how you can employ all of the concepts and practices (and get the benefits) of “Mob Programming” in your own company even if you can’t do it “all day, every day”.

Help Us Break the World Record for a Group Hug

The whole Mob will be there, and we invite you to join in as we have a group hug.  We are trying to break the World Record for the most participants in a group hug, which is currently at 10,554 ( Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 7 May 2010), so bring your neighbors, friends, relations, enemies, strangers, and everyone else, plus deodorant or perfume, (or nose-plugs) and join in the fun.

About the Presenters

Woody, Gordon, Dexter, Chris, and Aaron (the “funny” one) are all amped up and ready to show you how they discovered and developed their “Mob Programming” style.  This Mop-Top band of Agile Misfits will thrill and entertain you for the entire evening.  Watch them as they perform their crazy antics just like monkeys in the zoo, but without the feces.

Mob Programming Blog

Mob Programming Time-Lapse Video


Happy New Year!  Another year has come to a close and it is time again for us to look back and recognize all the Agile excellence happening in San Diego County – the Agile Award.  Each year, Agile San Diego searches for the individuals and teams that are doing great work to promote or support Agile in our county.

You may not know this, but Agile San Diego offers a Team Excellence Award to a team that embodies a true Agile sprit and we have yet to learn of a team in San Diego willing to share their success with the broader community.  This is surprising, but true.  We know these teams exist and we want to make sure that you are aware of them as well.  Please do not be shy about your accomplishments – if you don’t tell us about how truly great your team is, we cannot share that with the rest of the world.

To receive this award as team, you must deliver solid business value, support an Agile culture, be engaged with your customer and provide technical excellence.  To learn more about either award please contact agile award_at_agilesandiego.org


Are your Team members focused on just getting their tasks done? Are all the conversations about what we can’t do, rather than what we can do for the customer?  These behaviors are signs of decay. Decay is a serious problem with many Teams and diminishes your ability to deliver value fast to the customer.  The problem of team decay has been difficult to address because the Scrum community does not have the vocabulary with which to talk about it.  Leveraging the book, Leadership Is An Art by Max DePree, this interactive presentation will introduce a new way of talking about, and combating, Team decay.

In this session Carlton Nettleton and Lisa Montaño discuss ways to recognize the signs of decay and the seven core competencies of a Servant Leader that lift Teams out of decay and inspire them to return to what made Scrum fun. Following identification of the common indicators of Team decay and concrete examples from the presenters’ consulting experience, this presentation will then focus on the seven core competencies of a Servant Leader as an antidote to Team decay.  Participants will have the opportunity to connect their own experiences to the empowering tools of the Servant Leader.  Be ready to share your personal experiences and learn from others how to combat decay.


Lisa Montaño, MBA, CSM, CSPO is based in Southern California and has over 15 years experience in start-up and entrepreneurial companies working as a business analyst and functional lead. Beginning as a Product Owner in 2008, Lisa has continued her Scrum practice as a Scrum Coach and Trainer. Lisa’s passion for Scrum lies in inspiring teams to deliver exceptional business value through collaboration, trust, and commitment across teams and organizations. Lisa’s experience includes leading cross-functional teams to implement customized web interfaces, e-commerce capability, and workflow automation projects.

Carlton Nettleton is the President of Look Forward Consulting and a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).  Carlton is an international speaker, trainer and author of the book, Fourteen Observations of Good Scrum Practice, which has been published in both English and Spanish.  Carlton’s passion is to share his excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement with teams and organizations as they reach for higher levels of performance and engagement.  Look Forward Consulting strives to help businesses grow and flourish.