2017 GOAT Conference


Agility in the face of Perplexity

Gunther Verheyen

In February 2001, 17 software development leaders published the common ground to their views on software development in the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”.

The Agile paradigm gradually started replacing the industrial way of thinking, and is more needed than ever, in and beyond software development. We need the Agile thinking and behavioral tools more than ever in our age of perplexity.

In 2013, my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” was published. I am currently creating a new book, about ‘Agile’. I disentangle the clew that ‘Agile’ turned into, to show the value and the originality of ‘Agile’. I have considered what Agile means to me, what it is that makes Agile work, what it is that makes Scrum work, and distill it into more substantive guidance based on the Prime Agile Tenets I identified.

‘Tis Better to be Effective Than Efficient

Kent McDonald

Better. Faster. Cheaper. Many organizations constantly seek the “best” practices that will deliver those characteristics. The fact that they continue to search indicates they haven’t found them yet.

It could be they are looking in the wrong place. Most efforts around achieving better, faster, cheaper center around becoming ultra efficient.

Effectiveness may just be the better target.

Join Kent McDonald to explore the difference between efficiency and effectiveness and learn three simple, yet powerful, techniques that he has found can help teams be more effective.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a shared understanding of the problem you are trying to solve
  • Establish clear guard rails for distributed decision making
  • Measure progress based on outcome, not output

Along the way he’ll share stories about how he has used these techniques and help you figure out when these techniques may work in your situation.

You may be able to get faster and cheaper with efficiency, but in order to get better outcomes, you need to be effective. This talk will show you how.

Evidence-Based Management and Metrics

Patricia Kong

At the core of all Agile approaches is the practice of inspection and adaptation. The same principles that work for software delivery can be applied to enterprise adoption of Agile practices, but it is easy for organizations to fall into a predictive, plan-driven approach to transforming their organizations.

In plan-driven approaches, Agile adoption is a goal in itself that misses the real point: improving business results. Plan-driven approaches also fail to transform teams and cultures by under-cutting self-organization and accountability for results.

Guiding Agile adoption by focusing on improving key measures enables teams and organizations to focus on areas where they need to improve, guiding them toward specific practices that can help them improve their results. This empowers teams, improves their ability to self-direct, and ultimately helps them to be accountable for results.

This session will provide anyone involved in bringing Agile approaches to their organization with insights into how they can use continuous measurement to help their organization to improve, incrementally and continuously.

The key measures discussed are focused on the value the organization delivers (customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, the product cost ratio, and revenue per employee), the time it takes the organization to deliver that value (cycle time, release stabilization time, and release frequency), and the ability for the organization to innovate (innovation rate, the installed version index, the usage index, and defects).

The purpose of using these measures is to help organizations focus on where they would like to improve, and what specific practices can they use to improve each of the measures. The measures and related practices can be used at a product, line of business, or organizational level.

Master of Ceremony GOAT 2017

Natasha D’Souza

She is a creative engineer who is passionate about helping people build and leverage technology in the most impactful way. She is the founder of Virtual EyeSee where she helps her clients with change and transformation related to technology or business processes.

A project that is near and dear to her heart is Zeely AdventuresTM an app to help special needs kids and adults learn emotions, develop their fine motor and visual perception skills.

She is an active member in her community and co-founder of an annual mobile bike rodeo called Pedal Play and a mentor to a high school robotics team.

When she has some spare time she likes to experiment with CNC machines and 3D printers.



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 in the bright open space of the Shaw Centre.

In this cozy spot, take the chance to ask questions and get advice!

We greatly appreciate our Agile Coaches’ contribution to the community!

Glenn Waters

Glenn is a seasoned Agile Coach with over 25 years of expertise in all aspects of the software industry. Glenn has served in developer-coach roles helping to transition large corporations and government organizations to agile methodologies. He has successfully worked with Agile at all levels of an organization from working on teams delivering business software up to introducing Agile methodology to the CIO and CTO. Glenn is a co-founder of  the Agile Ottawa group. His training has received praise from organizations around the world. When not helping clients, Glenn can often be found in the kitchen planning and preparing gourmet meals.

Bryan Beecham

Bryan Beecham is known for providing passionate and innovative software development guidance. As a consultant with companies ranging from small startups to large, Fortune 500 companies, he matches his advice to their needs and capabilities. He has a particular interest in helping individuals and teams simplify their process to help achieve their goals. Bryan has a published training video on TDD, Refactoring and Pair Programming and speaks regularly at conferences internationally.
He volunteers as a hockey coach and loves talking about hockey, guitars, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Caroline Sauve

Thoughtful curiosity leads to insight. She is continually growing her coaching skills and is a recent graduate from Integral Coaching Canada. Whether speaking or facilitating sessions at conferences or offering insights via InsideOutAgile – Caroline is energized when creating connections, building capabilities, and sharing ideas towards creating a more respectful and compassionate work and life.

Jill Graves

Jill Graves is an Agile Coach and Trainer with over 8 years experience implementing Scrum in a government environment. Jill is passionate about having teams succeed and she brings her experience as a Scrum.org trainer, and course steward, to all her teams.

Lidia Rojco

Lidia has been working in software development/IT consulting for over 10 years. Her expertise covers framing clients’ needs and defining solutions, as well as supporting and guiding the final delivery of a desired product.  As an agile coach, she empowers and helps teams to reach project realization in the most efficient way with a main focus on ensuring team success. The transition and change management aimed to continuous improvement of a process is her practical expertise. She is passionate about contributing her knowledge and experience to help strengthen team competence with Agile practices.

Mike Lowery

Mike Lowery is a full time Agile coach working for IFS. He has been an Agile practitioner since 2005 where he was introduced to the wonders of Agility at the BBC. He has worked in the UK, New Zealand and Canada helping diverse companies from 20 to 10,000 people successfully adopt Agile practices and improve their delivery. Mike has presented at major Agile conferences around the world and is the Co-Chair for the Agile 2018 coaching and mentoring track.

Simon Bourk

Simon is a Software Developer, an 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 joins 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 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.

Simon speaks, reads, writes fluently in English and in French.


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The Gatineau Ottawa Agile Tour is lovingly organized by a group of volunteers, and is a success due to the many members of the community willing to attend and to contribute to our rich conversations.

Here are some of this year’s organizers:

Dag Rowe

Dag Rowe

Jonathan Clarkin

Jonathan Clarkin

Todd Keuleman

Todd Keuleman

Simon Bourk

Simon Bourk

Larisa Christensen

Larisa Christensen

Jigish Parghi

Jigish Parghi

Ronald Davies

Ronald Davies

Lidia Rojco

Lidia Rojco

Diana Navitaniuc

Diana Navitaniuc

Natasha D’Souza
Matt Diotte

Matt Diotte