The Uncertainty Advantage

Doc Norton

Michael Norton (Doc) is a software delivery professional working to make the world of software development a better place. His experience covers a wide range of development topics. Doc declares expertise in no single language or methodology and is immediately suspicious of anyone who declares such expertise.

A frequent and well rated international speaker, Doc is passionate about helping others become better developers, working with teams to improve delivery, and building great organizations. In his role at CTO2, Doc is provided opportunities to realize his passion every day.

You can learn more about Doc’s presentations and upcoming speaking engagements. Or feel free to peruse around and read his latest articles on agile, leadership, and culture.

Leading With Imperfect Feet

David Dame

Dave Dame is an experienced change agent, coach and mentor who has helped medium and large organizations transition to agile methodology. In Leading With Imperfect Feet, he explains how a simple walk down a sandy beach last February perfectly encapsulates the struggle involved in changing the behaviour of an organization. Dave has cerebral palsy, a condition that makes it difficult for him to use his arms and legs. His survival has ultimately depended on the help of the people around him. As a result, he’s had to learn how to be vulnerable, face his fear of the unknown, and trust in his “team” to lead an extraordinary life. It’s this same approach that he tries to impart to the people under his guidance as he teaches them to reach their full potential through the empathy, transparency and collaboration. Our cultural attitude toward failure has prevented too many people from taking that difficult first step. But as Dave’s story ultimately illustrates, the unknown at the other end of that journey has rewards not even he could anticipate.

The Power of Play: Transforming Agile Teams

Laura M. Powers

Does a group play because they are a team? Or are they a team because they play?  From hockey teams to agile teams worldwide – the defining factor in a team’s success is often how well the individuals come together to achieve a shared goal.   In 1965, Bruce Tuckman proposed a model for team development – forming, storming, norming and performing.  When the team finally gets to performing – we’ll celebrate – often with play as a group.


But what if play itself is a critical factor in transforming a group of people into a high performing team?  Recent research indicates that play is not a by-product of a great team.  It is actually a critical catalyst.  Play supports higher and more stable team performance, better problem-solving, stronger decision-making, increased resiliency in the face of failure, and greater flexibility when things inevitably change.   In other words – play is a natural antidote for the challenges of the modern business world.


In this fast-paced talk, we will explore the world of play.  Based on the National Bestseller “Play” by Stuart Brown, M.D. – this talk examines the recent research on the benefits of play and the alignment of modern business play with the Agile Manifesto and Tuckman’s Teaming model.  We’ll review the eight “play personalities” proposed by Dr. Brown with practical applications for how they can help transform agile teams.



In the spirit of the community volunteer Agile Coaches can share and exchange ideas with the participants. This year, we have invited all the speakers and coaches participating our conference to join the Coaches’ Corner located at the bright open space close to the curved glass wall.

In this cozy corner, take the chance to ask questions and get advices!

Additional to our speakers , we have the following volunteer coaches who have committed to welcome you at the Coaches’ Corner as well. We appreciate their additional efforts and contribution to the community!


Jesus Mendez

A computer scientist originally from Caracas, Venezuela with more than 16 years of experience in IT projects. My first Agile project was in 2010 and since then, I’ve exploring and trying different ways to make people’s work life better and easier by doing my best to help them find their more authentic self. In February 2015 I released my first workbook “Forming Agile Teams: techniques for structuring and get sustainable Agile teams high-performance ready” which has offered me, many different opportunities, new beautiful connections and amazing experiences.Considered by some a hands-on Scrum Master and high performing Agile Coach, my super power in life is to inspire others by being just myself, a learner who nurtures from people’s interactions, extremely passionate about helping leaders survive and thrive. I would offer you tools and techniques, to get the best out of your leadership journey by sharing what I’ve already tried and experienced. I wish we meet at the coaches corner at GOAT16, hope to meet you there.


Lidia Rojco

Lidia Rojco is an Agile coach with the overall project management experience. Her expertise covers a frame from a proposed solution to a project realization in the most efficient way with a main focus to assure Team Success. She facilitates a complex point in a simple manner, very thoroughly and in an easy-to follow way. The transition and change management aimed to continuous improvement of a process is her practical expertise. She invents and leads team building events, keeps pleased and always positive working environment :).

Lidia is very passionate about trainings and sharing knowledge activities aimed to strengthen audience competence upon Agile practices applied for an efficient project realization.

MBA, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Scrum Master

Shahin Sheidaei

Shahin Sheidaei is an Agile Coach, Change Therapist, Professional Disruptor, Thought Leader & Developer by heart. He enjoys dealing with fresh challenges, learn new techniques, apply them to real problems, observe the outcomes and improve upon through a positive feedback loop. Shahin questions everything and helps everyone. He can lead a group of people from back of the room. He can apply and adapt his talent for the need of the team and/or the induvial.

Shahin has influenced, coached, mentored and guided teams, individuals, leaders and managers to achieve their outmost potentials. He helped them to discover new ways of performing, thinking, collaborating and leading. He can be relied on with his immense knowledge in the Agile and Lean domain, from subtle changes to very complicated organizational transformation.


Gatineau Ottawa Agile Tour 2016 – known as GOAT 2016 is organized by Agile Ottawa community, a group of passionate Agile and Lean practitioners in the Ottawa Gatineau region.

Our events are made possible through the dedicated volunteers who work their magic behind the scenes. The key 2016 team members are in alphabetical order…


Dag Rowe

Dag is a passionate professional who can combine his diverse background in the skilled trades, fine arts, and technology to get things done.

Dag is also an organizer of the Agile Ottawa Meetup, and enjoys applying agile practices in the workplace.


Marie-Christian Legault

Holding a bachelor’s degree in communications, Marie-Christine is a buzz manager using many Anglicisms. She is an ardent fan of building relationships. She has 20 years of street-smart marketing and advertising experience for national and international companies (GE, Quebecor World, Cadbury, Royal Canadian Mint, Hyundai, Nestlé, Pepsi, Lancôme, Robert Mondavi Wines, Crayola, Disney…).

She aims to spread the Agile message and promote Pyxis… via coaching, events, new products and training. Being curious and generous, MC sees and discovers with her eyes with a very “out-of-the-box” practice that allows her to play on the Pyxis field and to dream. The sky is her limit and it guides her to successes and best roads… in order to achieve and reach for the stars.


Natasha D'Souza

Natasha is a creative engineer who imagination knows no bounds. She has a M.Eng. in Technology Innovation Management. She is passionate about technology and works with her clients through Virtual EyeSee, to make their projects a success. Her skills range from a Product Owner to Product Manager, Technical Marketing to Trainer. She is an engaging guest speaker at various conferences.

She is passionate about Agile and it’s practices and sees it uses beyond just technology development. Her personal project is Zeely Adventures which she took from a mere idea to the app store.

She is very active in her community volunteering as a soccer coach and passionate about getting people to use alternative modes of transportation and live healthy lives. Pedal Play, a mobile bike rodeo is here latest project.


Simon Bourk

Simon is a Software Engineer, Agile Coach and Professional Scrum Trainer from Ottawa. He earned an Electrical engineering degree with a minor in Software engineering as a sidekick of his babyfoot championship league and tournaments, that he organized at the university pub.

People often get motivated working with Simon, maybe because of his outstanding enthusiasm or maybe his 6000 km hiking journey in the woods demonstrated it’s ok to dream big.

If not working closely with a client, organizing a monthly Agile Ottawa Event or organizing the Gatineau Ottawa Agile Tour, you can find Simon rock climbing or hiking with his little munchkins and lovely wife, deep in a forest or on top of a mountain somewhere in North America.

Simon’s professional world was flipped upside down when a Scrum Master join his waterfall team back in 2005. He was a miserable programmer in a dark cubicle suffering from other’s tantrum when he would fix their code. Being a Scrum team member for 5 years taught Simon the true potential of a high performance team. Since then, Simon helps his clients experience how it feels to be part of a Professional Scrum Team and how it feels when the Agile Mindset is understood deeply across the organization. Simon is an energetic change agent.

It should be of no surprise to see that the same young man who previously braved the coldest Canadian temperatures while teaching snowboard instructors has now become a recognized Agile Coach and Professional Scrum Trainer later in life.



Steffan is an organizational developer and trainer at Pyxis Technologies. As a coach, he strives to create engaged teams led by inspiring and empowering leaders for the sake of making the software development workplace fun again. Mr. Surdek has worked in IT for over 20 years in collaboration with many distributed teams around the world.

He speaks at many conferences and user groups about leadership and agility with distributed teams. Mr. Surdek is coauthor of the book “A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum”, written in collaboration with the IBM Scrum Community. He blogs about life and agility at Surdek Solutions and about authentic leadership at Provoking Leadership.

He can be reached at



Steve is a seasoned software developer and a reformed executive and project manager with deep experience leading projects in a variety of industries. He leverages his technical background as an Agile Coach, guiding and supporting development teams to deliver solutions that bring “value added” results. Steve is a strong advocate of Lean & Agile software development principles and practices, applying the concepts of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and continuous delivery to release early and often. He is an experienced team facilitator trained via the Agile Coaching Institute (ACI). Steve participates in Agile conferences, meetups, and events (e.g. Agile Coach Camp, Play4Agile North America, Agile Ottawa Meetups, etc.), and has mentored and coached developers, Scrum Masters, and Product Owners while successfully delivering products to market.

Aside from his professional life, Steve can be found on other high-performing teams as a competitive Dragon Boat paddler. He is the current president of his condominium’s Board of Directors, and works for the NHL as an Off-Ice Official during Senator’s home games. As a self-professed “beer snob”, Steve has also been known to reward himself with the occasional craft beer after a good day at the office or on the water.

Victoria Xu

As a newcomer to Canada, Victoria brings her global experience and connections from the US, China and Europe not just in agile communities but also businesses and government. As Head of Global Communications in NTORSA, a non-profit organization in China, her mission is to bridge China with global leading experts in innovation and technology.

We also appreciate the following contributors to GOAT 2016 in alphabetical order:

Bill Bourne, Glenn Waters, Jigish Parghi.