Give Thanks For Scrum 2019


Scrum@Scale: Scaling with Patterns – Jeff Sutherland

Successful Scrum People – David West

EBM Workshop – Patrica Kong

Inside Business Agility – Joseph DeAngelis


Join us on Tuesday November 26, 2019 in Burlington Massachusetts for Agile Boston’s 11th Annual Give Thanks For Scrum event.

You may not know that Scrum was born in Boston and thus its very appropriate that Give Thanks For Scrum has become a true Agile Boston tradition!  Register now and get Jeff Sutherland, David West, and Daniel Mezick for the WHOLE DAY, where they will give individual presentations and then join forces to answer your toughest Scrum questions in a special afternoon Q&A session.


Success With Scrum!

As a group who has worked with a lot with Scrum teams, it never ceases to puzzle us how so many people could misunderstand Scrum so badly, even after being trained and having access to the Scrum Guide.  Because organizations implementing Scrum often need clear guidance, sometimes there is very high demand for a set of A-B-C instructions. This can lead to a dogmatic and highly prescriptive approach– the exact opposite of what Scrum intends.

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the co-creators of Scrum, have been discussing for some time the need to explain how to play Scrum well without being prescriptive. The Scrum Guide focuses on what Scrum is, but real success comes from the way you practically implement Scrum.  We call this implementation the The Spirit of Scrum; a spirit of freedom: freedom to tell the truth, freedom to innovate, and freedom to improve. Together.

Thus our theme for Give Thanks For Scrum 2019 will focus on achieving real success implementing Scrum, focusing on the best ideas and patterns that enable great Scrum teams to become hyper-productive and life-changing for the participants.




8:45-  9:30am Welcome – Breakfast Served!
9:30-  9:45am Setting the Stage / Introduction
9:45-10:30am Jeff Sutherland Keynote (Achieving Business Agility with Patterns)
10:30-10:45am Ice Breaker
10:45-11:00am BREAK
11:00-12:15pm Q&A with Jeff Sutherland and David West
12:15-  1:00pm LUNCH
1:00-  2:30pm Success with Scrum Workshops
2:30-  2:45pm BREAK
2:45-  3:15pm Daniel Mezick Keynote (Explicit Agreements In Scrum)
3:15-  4:00pm David West Keynote (Successful Scrum People)
4:00-  4:10pm Raffle
4:15pm DONE!


Jeff Sutherland

JEFF SUTHERLAND is one of the inventors of the Scrum software development process. Together with Ken Schwaber, he created Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA ’95.  Jeff helped to write the Agile Manifesto in 2001 and is a co-author (along with Ken Schwaber) of The Scrum Guide.  Jeff has also founded Scrum Inc, a leading authority on Scrum that has provided training, consulting, and counsel to hundreds of companies and individuals.

Jeff will present: Achieving Business Agility with Patterns in Scrum@Scale

The Scrum Patterns Group spent 10 years developing “A Scrum Book: The Spirit of the Game.” During the entire time we operated under the assumption that there were no scaling patterns. At the end of the day we had Mitosis (splitting teams as they grew too large), Product Owner Team, Scrum of Scrums, and Metascrum. These patterns were used to create Scrum@Scale, the minimum viable bureaucracy essential to achieving linear scalability.   Jeff Sutherland will discuss how his prototype of Scrum@Scale for 150 banks in 1983 was formalized into Scrum@Scale in 2017. He will describe how it is a new operating system for an entire organization and involves Scrumming the leadership and every domain within an enterprise.


Dave West -

DAVID WEST is the product owner at  David is a frequent keynote speaker and is a widely published author of articles, along with his acclaimed book: Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design.  David led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and then worked with Ivar Jacobson running the North American business for IJI. Then managed the software delivery practice at Forrester research where he was VP and research director.  Prior to joining David was Chief Product Officer at Tasktop where he was responsible for product management, engineering and architecture.

David will present: Successful Scrum People:  How the Agile Personality is or is not important

Are some people just more able to ‘do’ Scrum than others? That is the question that we have all
asked when visiting clients or forming new teams. Some people just seem more ‘Scrummy’ than
others. This question led to a joint research project between and McKinsey and
Company. The Research studied the personality traits and work values in the two crucial roles
of Team Member and The Product Owner. In this talk Dave West, CEO and Product Owner describes the findings of the study, and the implications for Scrum Teams and the organizations they reside. He describes a new, people-centric focus for work and how that will shape the forming, selection and coaching of teams.


DANIEL MEZICK is an authorized ScrumAtScale Trainer, an expert on business agility, and an author of three books on organizational change. A frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences, Daniels first book on business agility was published in 2012. THE CULTURE GAME described 16 specific patterns that extend Agile ideas across the organization, beyond software. In 2014 he built upon those patterns and formulated the OpenSpace Agility method. OSA is a flexible template and engagement model for enabling lasting change in your organization. Daniel is the primary author of the OPEN SPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK , published in 2015 with several co-authors.  In 2018 Daniel co-authored INVITING LEADERSHIP: Invitation-Based Change in the New World or Work™.


Implementing Scrum is not simple. To keep it as simple as possible, but no simpler, it is a very
good idea to get explicit agreement with everyone, before you begin. If you are doing Scrum
today and having, you know exactly what I am talking about. The antidote is to get clear agreements about Scrum’s decision-rights…UP FRONT. In this session, Daniel Mezick walks you through a step-by-step method for achieving exactly that. He shares stories about getting these agreements….and some stories about NOT getting them. Along with what happens when those who agreed to the rules are called to accountability when those boundaries and agreements are breached. Everyone attending this session receives the READY FOR SCRUM Checklist from Daniel’s book, INVITING LEADERSHIP: Invitation-Based Change™ in the New World of Work.


PATRICIA KONG is co-author of “The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum” published by Pearson. She is also a public speaker and mentor. Patricia is the Product Owner of the enterprise solutions program which includes the Nexus Framework, Evidence-Based Management, Scrum Studio and Scrum Development Kit. She also created and launched the Partners in Principle Program. Patricia is a people advocate and fascinated by organizational behavior and mis-behaviors. She emerged through the financial services industry and has led product development, product management and marketing for several early stage companies in the US and Europe. At Forrester Research, Patricia worked with their largest clients focusing on business development and delivery engagements. Patricia lived in France and now lives in her hometown of Boston. Patricia is fluent in 4 languages.


Teaching Scrum for over 12 years, Stacia is a noted authority on Scrum, a Business Agility Coach, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) & Coach, and an author of The Professional ScrumMaster’s Handbook.  Stacia was one of the very first Certified Scrum Trainers in the USA, taught by Ken Schwaber himself.

Stacia is an expert on enabling high-performance business agility through the application of Open principles.  Her forthcoming book FailAgility provides a set of guidelines and specific step-by-step advise on what to do, and what not to do, when the goal is enterprise-wide improvement.

JOSEPH DeANGELIS is an enterprise agile consultant, executive coach and transformation leader with over 20 years experience working with companies such as Cisco, Adobe, Fidelity, Liberty Mutual, State Street and most recently Nuance Communications.  Joseph has successfully trained hundreds of people in the foundations of Agile and Scrum, and implemented Scrum, Scrum@Scale and SAFe in many organizations across a broad spectrum of business lines, including Software, Hardware, AI, Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance.


How to keep your Scrum from Losing its “Why”: An Introduction to Measuring with Evidence-Based Management

Facilitator: Patricia Kong from

Scrum helps organizations more effectively deliver value under conditions of uncertainty. However, when organizations forget that Scrum and agility are a means to an end and not the end itself, they often lose sight of their real goal of improving the value they deliver.

Evidence-Based Management (EBM) systemically uses the best available evidence to lead an organization to ever improving customer outcomes and business impacts. The practices of EBM enable organizations to help them manage and relentlessly improve the value they derive from their product delivery. It is developed and sustained by Ken Schwaber and


This workshop introduces the EBM Framework and the 4 Key Value Areas (KVAs) organizations can examine to improve outcomes, reduce risks and optimize investments. Through a set of interactive exercises, attendees will learn how to use evidence to make better decisions in the organization in order to continuously improve toward strategic goals and objectives.

Students will leave the workshop understanding:

  • How to leverage the EBM Framework and the 4 Key Value Areas of EBM for better-informed decisions
  • Techniques to improve transparency of progress toward value and goals
  • How KVAs and measures can support the importance of a holistic view of organizational processes, systems, and policies


  • Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Managers who want to better understand how their teams are affecting organizational goals and objectives.
  • Leaders and consultants at all levels desiring to make the best decisions possible while finding the best evidence for transparency, clarity, and new goals and objectives.


Facilitator: Joseph DeAngelis

Let’s face it, there are many agile scaling frameworks out there, SAFe, Less, Scrum@Scale, Nexus; all with a specific stated purpose to achieve true Business Agility.  Each scaling framework has a defined a set of guidelines that describe what to do, but because they are frameworks they do not offer insights into how to do it, or even how to get started. That is left to blogs, training classes, certifications and even on site consultation.

In a nutshell, Business Agility is the ability of an organization to respond rapidly to changes in their environment without losing momentum or vision.  What frequently stops organizations from achieving this is its inability prioritize, continuously deliver and refactor when necessary.  In order to do this well, organizations must achieve a high level of three forms of Agility: Leadership Agility, Product Agility and Organizational Agility.

In this presentation Joseph will explore each form of Agility, what it is, how to start achieving it and ultimately how you will know when you have achieved it.  Everything you learn in this workshop can be directly applied to your organizations the nest day no matter what scaling framework you use, since what is covered here is foundational to all scaling frameworks.


Participants of this workshop will better understand:

  • Engaging Executive Leadership
  • Case Study: practical use of the Open Space meeting format
  • The roles of Management in an Agile organization
  • Outcomes over outputs Product Management
  • How to build the right thing, building the thing right and build the thing fast
  • How to define MVE’s and MVP’s
  • Necessity to define Values Streams, horizons and budget guardrails
  • Developing a Team of Teams and Duel Operating System
  • The most important Scrum Patterns
  • Case study: Measuring Agile maturity using Jira/EazyBi


  • Executive and Senior Leaders
  • Middle Management
  • Scrum Masters and Product Owners


Konstas (Chuck) Yannakopoulos  is currently the VP of Cloud Center Of Excellence at Nuance Communications.  Chuck Agile Transformation and Software Development leader who helps organizations meet their goals of delivering high customer value and experience faster, with quality for 20+ years. During that time, he has a successful track record of delivering Premises and SaaS based products to market for SMB and Enterprise while creating a culture of entrepreneurship, purpose, empowerment, collaboration, and innovation.


Facilitator:  Daniel Mezick

Worldwide, Scrum is implemented without really getting everyone on board. And it usually
“doesn’t work.” Scrum is “rolled out,”, often with complete disregard for the concerns of those
affected. Organizations that have problems with Scrum are actually having problems with
forcing Scrum on teams and the wider organization.

Open At Scale solves this problem by adding an Engagement Model to the process. An
engagement model is a template for building an engagement plan. By building in a plan for
engaging the workforce, it is possible to avoid 90% of the typical problems you are probably
already experiencing with Scrum.

This 90-minute Workshop addresses all of the elements of an overall plan for scaling Scrum,
called OpenAtScale. Daniel provides several stories about how these elements, when combined
together, can ease the way for real change in your organization:

The framework, Scrum At Scale: What is it? How does it work?

The Engagement Model, OpenSpace Agility: Why is whole-group process essential for scaling
Scrum? What is Open Space Technology?

The Interaction Norms and Protocols, The Core Commitments: Why is agreement on
communication protocols essential to achieving at-scale change? What are the Core
Commitments and Core Protocols?

Everyone who attends this session receives a kit of valuable PDF resources and tools for
implementing OpenAtScale: Instructions, checklists and more, in one complete package.


Facilitator: Stacia Heimgartner Viscardi

In this day and age wherein corporate lifespan is encroaching yet another half-life – going from

75 years, to 35, and now 15* – organizational resilience is a necessity. Recovering from
difficulties is essential so that organizations may remain agile, truly agile in the most generic
sense: in their ability to “adapt quickly and effectively to all forms of change to deliver
maximum value and customer experience.”  Resilience is, by definition, the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Much has been written, meme’d, and committed to social memory regarding resilience, or “grit.” Sure, we should have grit. Ok, now what?

Without a keen sense of what those forms of change look like, or honing the skills necessary for quick and effective adaptation, business are sure to become dinosaurs. Failagility is the process by which a person, team, and/or organization improves its resilience. In a world that becomes smaller by the day, a slight edge on identifying and responding to stimulus can make or break an organization. Honing failagility skills becomes a competitive play. It’s one thing to be told that “grit is something we should have.” It’s another altogether to be told how to achieve that. This workshop will break it down for you.

Failagility is essential for survival. Since organizations are only as agile as their people and teams, it is essential that all employees understand the failagility system as a way to improve resilience and shorten the distance between disappointment and desired outcome. Doing so will allow greater personal, team, product, and organizational agility. Agility in the generic sense: the basic ability to respond to all forms of change to maximize value and customer experience.
We will explore the key failagility components and a scaled framework to help you, your team, and your organization become more comfortable with this concept.
Key Failagility Components:
1. Openness to imperfection
2. Recognizing disappointment of expectations
3. Identifying the desired outcome
4. Formulating a plan
5. Executing
6. Measuring/responding