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McMenamins Ringlers Pub

1332 W Burnside St.
Portland, Oregon 97209, US (map)
(503) 225-0627
Public WiFi

Nestled underneath the floating-floored Crystal Ballroom & Lola's Room in downtown Portland, Ringlers Pub is housed in what was once an automotive service garage. How much more convivial it is now! Named for the Crystal's originator -- dance aficionado and entrepreneur Montrose Ringler -- Ringlers features a tall, wooden-beamed ceiling and massive, tiled bar. The crack of pool cues make a merry soundtrack in the cavernous interior. Before or after a concert upstairs, treat yourself to ales from the Crystal's brewery along with some hearty pub fare. Or check out one of Ringlers regular DJ'd events ... there's never a cover!

Future events happening here

  • - No events -

Past events that happened here

  • Friday
    Nov 6 2015
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Care and Feeding of Agile Teams

    Teams are the engine of an Agile effort, but sometimes it seems that the organization sees them as a mere “resource.” They can get chewed up in organizational processes. As Agilists we need to be smart and proactive about the care and feeding of teams. So, what is the ideal size and composition a team? 7 +/- 2? Generalizing specialists? How do you scale teams? Do you have to scale teams? Do you always need the whole team in every conversation?

    You have your opinions and experiences. Come help your colleagues avoid the mistakes you have learned from. If you have current issues you’re worrying yourself over, bring them to those who have been there. We gather on the first Friday of every month in the back room at Ringlers.

    RSVP's to agilepdxcoordinating@googlegroups.com are welcome but not required.

  • Friday
    Oct 2 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Extremely Short Planning Sessions

    Team complaining about too many meetings? Planning day is two days long? How did this happen?

    Many teams are learning how to create shorter sprint transition planning sessions. Various techniques are used with various risks and benefits. One pub luncher believes he has the secret sauce for teaching teams to drastically shorten their planning days.

    Want to be a hero? Come to this session and take tips and tricks back to your team for shortening planning so you can get on with the work.

    You know the drill: We'll be in the back. RSVP's to jean@azuregate.net welcome but not required.

  • Friday
    Sep 4 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Retrospectives and Inertia

    Last month the pub lunchers pointed back to a perennially sticky topic. We know retrospectives are a key aspect of continuous improvement and progressive agility. Most of us do retrospectives regularly. Many of use use the standard references like Derby and Larsen's /Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great/. And, many, if not all of us have had the experience of nothing the team agreed to change during the retrospective actually being changed. My personal favorite was a recent retro where the team rescinded all agreements made during the retro within 90 minutes of making them. In fact, within about 5 minutes of facing the Product Owner in the planning meeting.

    So, is it a lack of resolve? Is it poor facilitation on our part? Is it taking on too much? Is it not taking on doable things? What the heck?

    But, sometimes things go well. Sometimes teams dig in and use their retrospectives to improve something every sprint. Sometimes team members eagerly take on facilitating their own retrospectives and teams look forward to the next retrospective even as they are planning the current sprint. Sometimes they summarize data showing the existence of organizational impediments, for a task force, and take their data to executive leadership with a viable plan for change--which is actually accepted.

    What can we spot about retro's that do NOT result in change so we can call out those smells when we scent them, so we stop a sterile retro in its tracks and turn things around? Or, ensure that we develop a pattern of potency in our retrospectives?

    Join us Friday, 9/4, from 12p to 1p for pub grub, beer, conversation, commiseration and a few smashingly good ideas to help you or others turn your retrospective experience around once and for all.

    We'll be in the back room. Show up a few minutes early to chat with the friends and colleagues you haven't seen all summer and hang around as long as you like after to make new friends.

    RSVP's to jean@azuregate.net are welcome but not required. It helps know how and whether to move the furniture, which saves us having to do it after the discussion has begun.

  • Friday
    Aug 7 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Making the Business and Technical Case for Pair Programming and TDD

    This June Cotten Blackwell's Agile team started a 3-month pilot adoption of pair programming and TDD – almost exactly as practiced during Coderetreats (http://coderetreat.org/facilitating/structure-of-a-coderetreat), which they used to kick off their pilot and can’t recommend strongly enough.

    So exactly how did they get management and team approval (and active support) for TDD/pair programming?

    Well, they are definitely blessed with Product Managers (and Directors) who are very big-picture, and highly open to persuasive business cases grounded in data and metrics. But, they think that how they made the business and technical case for pair programming and TDD is worth sharing – and that much of it might be highly applicable to your team.

    Bio: Cotten Blackwell is an engineering manager, Agile champion and Swift developer with over 15 years experience leading, coaching and mentoring software development teams. For the last four years he’s been doing that at Huron Consulting Group, where he’s known for his focus on improving team health and employee development and retention. Cotten has driven continuous improvements in Huron’s mastery of Agile and Lean Startup fundamentals, and has leveraged multiple software teams to more consistently, more deeply engage in risk identification, analysis and mitigation.

    RSVP's to jean@azuregate.net very welcome but not required.

  • Friday
    Jul 10 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: How to be an Outstanding Servant Leader

    Is being an "outstanding Servant Leader" a contradiction in terms? How does someone who facilitates the success of others see progress along a desirable career trajectory? How do you know whether you're being the best Servant Leader you can be? Where can you learn more?

    The Pub Lunchers chose this topic as an evolution of the discussion on managers and power.

    The Scrum Guide identifies Servant Leadership as the model that Scrum Masters should use, and this approach to leadership is considered desirable among Agilists whether or not they are Scrum Masters. But, what is servant leadership?

    Come on down to Ringlers on Burnside on 7/10 (NOTE CHANGE TO ADJUST FOR JULY 4th) and talk it through with people who have been there, done the homework, have the stripes to prove it or want to be there do that and get the stripes.

    We'll be in the back starting promptly at noon to wrestle with this perennially attractive topic.

    RSVP's to jean@azuregate.net are very welcome but not required.

  • Friday
    May 1 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Teams Connecting Across Space and Time

    Software companies have been employing distributed teams for decades—longer than many of their current workers have been on the planet. Some distributed teams cohere and work fluidly together. Others never seem to develop a sense of “team” and have ongoing human dynamics challenges which frustrate or halt the work they are asked to do together.

    Changing online collaboration tools is not the answer in many of these cases. Some organizations try boosting face time through periodic on-sites—which is an excellent thing to do. But, when problems come up, teams are caught up in organizational or market changes, team membership changes, and so on, the same unhelpful patterns can re-emerge. What to do?

    This month’s pub lunch—following up on topics raised last month—will look specifically at what we do that nurture’s true human connection across space and time. We’ll share observations on common social anti-patterns that can emerge and inquire into possible ways to address them. The simplicity of some of these things may surprise you!

    So, grab your co-located colleagues and come on down to Ringler’s this Friday to get up close and personal across the table and learn to do the same across space and time. We’re returning to our usual format of friendly and forthright conversation among a circle of supportive folks. We’ll be in the back room from 12p to 1p and stop at 12:55 to choose next month’s topic. RSVP’s are helpful but not required.

  • Friday
    Apr 3 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Agile Distributed Teams

    Distributed teams . . . virtual teams . . . remote workers . . . are a part of the daily life of most teams aspiring to agility. This is ironic given that "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation."

    Many teams are finding ways to work around lack of co-location. These include things such as portable webcams carried around documentary style, telepresence tools which are becoming more affordable, team agreements to support the needs of co-located and telecommuting workers, and frequent trips to meet face-to-face at critical times, such as at sprint transitions. What have you tried in your organization? What works--or doesn't?

    In April, the Downtown Pub Lunchers will be chewing over the distributed teams aspiring to agility problem. Thank goodness there will be beer! See you all there. You know the drill:

    We'll be in the back. Bring your war stories, your conundrums, your friends, and people you want to be friends with. But--wait--here's a new twist:

    Our attendance is getting to be large enough that RSVP's are becoming important. If it looks like we'll have a crowd again this month (and the word is we will) we're going to try a slightly different format to get all the goodness we can out of the hour. So, RSVP to jean@azuregate.net saying how many you expect to bring with you. We'll move the furniture and get going right at 12p.

  • Friday
    Mar 6 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Scaling Agile Across the Organization

    Can we be agile if the organization isn't agile? Does agile have to roll across the organization in order to thrive? And, if it must, how do we do this? What organizations in town are agile beyond the engineering group?

    The Downtown Pub Lunchers voted this topic most desirable for their March discussion.

    Come on down and share the wealth of your knowledge. Questions? Answers? All are welcome.

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. You'll find us in the back. RSVP's (jean@azuregate.net) are encouraged but not required.

  • Friday
    Feb 6 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Estimation of Business Value

    Last month the Pub Lunchers overwhelmingly voted to talk about estimation of business value, so here we go!

    Does your product management team talk about business value in terms that confound you? When you ask which story is more valuable to deliver now are you told “it’s all high priority”? Do you wonder whether it’s possible to estimate business value? Does your PO have this down pat and never blinks an eye when rapidly and masterfully prioritizing the backlog in flawless priority order?

    Well, then, come on down to Ringlers on Burnside for lunch on February 6th for we will be there to edify, exhort, and console you over pub grub and your favorite Friday afternoon libation. Bring your questions, stories, and hard won lessons to this roundtable where you will find your Agile comrades in arms, co-conspirators, and sages for a day.

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. You’ll find us in the back. RSVP’s to jean@azuregate.net are appreciated, but not required. We were 27 last month, and such numbers mean alerting the wait staff and moving the furniture are in order on the day.

  • Friday
    Jan 9 2015
    AgilePDX Dntn Pub Lunch: Choosing Scrum--or Kanban

    This month we're having a roundtable discussion on choosing Scrum or Kanban. Everyone has her opinion about whether teams should start with one and evolve to the other, whether Scrumban is the ideal, and whether Kanban is even feasible in some kinds of situations--or absolutely required in others. This is likely to be a lively discussion.

    If you use either framework, have used both, or are just curious about what all the fuss is about, come on down to Ringler's the SECOND Friday of January and join in the fray. We'll be in the back room. RSVP's are appreciated. It helps me know whether or not to rearrange the furniture and warn the restaurant to call in more staff. Sometimes we're a pretty big crowd. RSVP's to jean@azuregate.net.

  • Friday
    Aug 1 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: How Much Agility Is Enough?

    There are so many reasons that people decide to adopt agile principles, practices, and frameworks. Going fast is just one of them—though it may be the one that gets the most press.

    This Friday, let’s talk about “How much agility is enough” and everything that goes along with that. Why did your organization adopt agile? Why do you gravitate toward agile? Is there a personal benefit, or is it all about the business. And, if it’s all about the business, how does the group you work in define agility and how much is enough for them?

    Yes, we’re still meeting at Ringler’s on Burnside, still from 12p to 1p the first Friday of the month. That’s this Friday, 8/1.

    I have a meeting right up until 12p, so Phyl will be there to get you all started.

  • Friday
    Jun 6 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Organizational Awareness for Agile Teams

    This month we'll be talking about how to help Agile Teams develop an awareness of the organizational context they are working in. Is this a good idea? Is it necessary? Is it a distraction? How do you do this and still stay focused on meeting commitments?

    And, what is "organizational awareness," anyway?

    We plan to be in the back room. Look for us there. We start and 12p and end at 1p.

    Bring your questions, concerns, and unshakeable opinions. We'll shake them up for you.

    Lunch is on you. The camaraderie we provide.

    RSVP if you can. It helps us arrange the tables.

  • Friday
    May 2 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: What Exactly IS an Agile Project Manager?

    The April attendees chose a topic that should generate a dynamic discussion May:

    What exactly is an ‘agile project manager’?

    What value do ‘project managers’ or ‘agile project managers’ add to an agile organization? They sit outside the team and coordinate between teams, right? Or something else?

    How should they interface with the team? Isn’t what we’re talking about actually program management or release management? If you have teams on different release cycles, someone needs to coordinate all that so they deliver together? What exactly is an ‘agile project manager’ and how can they add value? What if you’re being pushed to have a project manager? How do they fit in? Should agile organizations be leveraging the PMI-ACP?

    Come with your opinions, your experiences, and with your expertise.

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. Strive to be on time: we do. RSVP's appreciated but not required. You'll find us in the back room.

    See you there!

  • Friday
    Apr 4 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Patterns & Anti-Patterns of Adopting ALM tools

    Each year the Downtown Pub Lunchers talk about what's new and cool in agile life cycle management tools. On April 4th, instead of doing a free-for-all about the newest tools, we're going to be talking about the craziness and the goodness that can about from adopting a tool to track what's going on with agile teams. Sometimes even talking about adopting a tool can bring these patterns and anti-patterns up.

    We mean to say: why bother with a tool? And when we need to bother, how can we best adopt a tool without hurting ourselves--and our quest for agility?

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. Strive to be on time: we do. RSVP's appreciated but not required. You'll find us in the back room.

    See you there!

  • Friday
    Mar 7 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Human Systems Dynamics

    On March 7th the Downtown Pub Lunchers will be talking and learning about Human System Dynamics (HSD) with David Whitlock, Scrum Master at Tripwire. David has been trained in HSD and has found it valuable in his work, especially as he helps employees in a newly acquired division become part of Tripwire.

    He’ll come chock full of information to answer questions and spur new thinking. One of the most interesting aspects of HSD is how it approaches change. It can be seen as a protocol-based or pattern-based system (whether it should be or not) for “dancing with change.”

    There is a burgeoning body of knowledge about HSD, some of it quite technical. Here is a good, quick video on the topic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mBx12-yf-U) and a link to the Human System Dynamics Institute’s FAQ (http://www.hsdinstitute.org/about-hsd/what-is-hsd/faq-tools-and-patterns-of-hsd.html) to get you started.

    Perhaps HSD is a pathway toward increasing our capacity to incorporate change?

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. Strive to be on time: we do. RSVP's appreciated but not required. You'll find us in the back room.

    See you there!

  • Friday
    Feb 14 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Keeping it Fresh: New Ideas for Agile Retrospectives

    In February, due to popular demand, we are revisiting retrospectives with our local (and noted international) authority on the topic, Diana Larsen.

    Retrospectives improve any project or process--building on a team’s immediate past experience of success and failure. Smart teams and organizations hold Retrospectives iteratively, throughout the work cycle and at important milestones. In Retrospectives, teams systematically evaluate their own performance, explore their lessons learned, expand their capacity and capability, and forge ways to continuously improve their work and deliverables. Teams can’t truly call themselves Agile if they don’t include Retrospectives among their regular work practices.

    However, over time as Retrospectives become routine, they can also become stale and boring, delivering less value to the team. Or teams may hold pro forma Retrospectives that don't result in real improvements. How can you prevent this? Keep your Retrospective practice fresh through a renewed emphasis on team learning, collective analysis, and collaborative decision making. Bring new activities and group processes to the meeting that will stimulate better thinking and improvements. In this session, Diana Larsen will introduce the Flexible Framework for Retrospectives and how to incorporate the Five Rules for Team Learning in your Retrospective designs. She'll lead a discussion of new team activities to enlarge your repertoire, so bring your favorites to share.

    Bio: Diana Larsen, founding partner of FutureWorks Consulting, is considered an international authority in the areas of Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. Diana works with organizations around the world to design work systems, improve project performance, and support Agile leaders and enterprises. 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 articles about the Agile Fluency model at www.agilefluency.com and http://www.infoq.com/articles/agile-fluency-fit-purpose Follow Diana on Twitter (@DianaOfPortland).

    We’ll be waiting for you at Ringler’s under the Crystal Ballroom on Burnside but will start on time at 12p and end on time at 1p. We’re in the back room. If you miss this opportunity, you miss an opportunity to learn, network, and drink McMenamin’s beer in the middle of day with new friends.

  • Friday
    Jan 3 2014
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Role of the Agile Manager in Non-Agile Organizations

    This is a deepening of the conversation we had last month on "The Manager's Role in an Agile Environment." We're focusing this month on how agile-aligned managers currently working in non-agile-aligned organizations can best function to help move agile forward. Last month, the following references were cited:

    --- /The Future of Management/ by Gary Hamel --- /Management 3.0/ by Jurgen Appelo --- /The Leader's Guide to Radical Management/ by Stephen Denning --- /Wiki Management/ by Rod Collins

    If you are such a manage, expect great (and occasionally irreverent) support in this discussion group. If you know one, bring him or her along. "Your people are at Ringler's on January 3rd."

    We start at 12p and end at 1p. Strive to be on time: we do. RSVP's appreciated but not required.

    Since we're back on the first Friday, we should be able to be back in the back room.

    See you there!

  • Friday
    Dec 13 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Manager's Role in Agile Orgs


    This next month, we’ll be meeting on the second Friday. The hot topic that emerged last month is what to do with managers—or what are managers to do—when the team and the organization—goes agile. There are people who are in favor of assigning the Scrum Master role to functional managers. (I’m not sure any were in attendance last month.) There are people who believe that, now that we’re agile we don’t need any managers. Some folks have spent a fair amount of time explaining what managers should do to maintain the organization around the team, and those arguments sometimes raise the specter of bureaucracy and hierarchy. But, it’s also true that large organizations are drifting toward agile, and therein tend to be lots of layers and policies to be maintained and reporting up and rolling up and down to be done.

    Some people believe there’s an entirely new role for managers—stronger on leadership and vision/context setting and lighter on “following up” and controlling individual actions. Some managers—even those who are agile advocates—struggle with where their job went when the teams get a shot of “empowerment.”

    This next month’s topic looks like it will be juicy, doesn’t it? So, on Friday, December 13, link arms with your favorite manager and toddle on down to Ringler’s on Burnside under the Crystal Ballroom. We’ll be in the backroom and the beer will be flowing. We start at 12p and end at 1p, but you can stay as long as you want afterward to debate (I mean “dialogue”) about the nature and virtues of authoritarianism and whether a benevolent monarchy is the best form of government for humankind.

  • Friday
    Nov 1 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: QA on Agile Teams

    What is the role of QA team members on Agile teams? Should they be full team members and take on non-testing tasks? Can it work well if they're "loaned out" from a central QA organization? Should they be there on Planning Day?

    Or, should there be specialized QA team members, at all? Is it more responsible if everyone tests? Is automated testing more costly than it's worth?

    What do you look for when recruiting for QA skills on an Agile team? And where are all those Agile testers, anyway?

    This Friday, 11/1, we'll be hashing this out over beer and pub grub at the usual time and place. Be there and bring along your Agile QA buddies.

  • Wednesday
    Oct 9 2013
    Pitch to Portland Seed Fund

    Come meet Managing Directors Jim Huston and Angela Jackson and give them your best elevator pitch for a free beer* on Portland Seed Fund. We are always looking to meet new companies and this is a great opportunity to start building a relationship with the fund. Founders of PSF portfolio companies will be on hand to have a few beers and meet you as well.

    Please RSVP: https://psfpitchforabeer.eventbrite.com/

    *Each attendee is limited to one drink ticket.

  • Friday
    Oct 4 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: DevOps for Agile Teams

    It’s first Friday again, so the AgilePDX downtown pub lunchers will be meeting, eating, drinking, and talking about DevOps for Agile teams. This topic was chosen by attendees at last month’s pub lunch, and it seems we’ve hit a nerve. DevOps is never easy but definitely critical. In an Agile environment some people think it’s particularly hard while others believe they have it all figured out.

    Apparently, it’s so gripping a topic that it generated a novel: The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford.
    Anyone read this, yet? (Anyone realize that TAO Executive Leadership Exchange is bringing Gene Kim to a podium to talk on 10/22 to talk more about DevOps?)

    Please RSVP to the Agile PDX list or jean@azuregate.net so we know whether we have to rearrange the furniture and so we can give the restaurant a head’s up on numbers.

  • Friday
    Sep 6 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: A Roundtable

    This month we'll do a roundtable of current issues. Our starting topic will be "what is required to make Portland an agile software development mecca?" All agile-related topics are welcome.

  • Friday
    Aug 2 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Consider the State of Agile in Portland

    Quite a bit is happening with agile in Portland as the pub lunchers know. But where are we going with all this agile experimentation, this retrospecting and iterating? Are we making progress, stuck in a rut, evolving new forms of agility?

    On 8/21 the evening Agile PDX gathering will be all about the future of Agile PDX and what we hope for the future of agile in Portland. This month the pub lunchers will be talking about whether we’re getting what we hoped for out of agile principles and practices, whether we’re getting what we need from Agile PDX, and what we hope for the future. Whether you plan to be at Puppet Labs on 8/21 or not, come this Friday and have your say.

    We’ll also open by polling the group for special issues anyone needs help with or connections anyone is trying to make.

  • Friday
    Jul 12 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: A Roundtable

    After months of speakers, we agreed last month that it would be nice to do a round table discussion again, the format on which this group was founded.

    So, bring your thorny problems, your triumphs, and your favorite soapbox on down to Ringler's on Burnside this Friday at lunch. Each month we fill the room with expert pontification, moral support, and agilista vibe fit to refuel your depleted vim.

    We'll oil the conversational joints with a discussion of an upcoming Agile PDX special event designed to help us figure out if we've lost our way or are appropriately breaking new ground.

  • Friday
    Jun 7 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Team-based Performance Reviews

    Description: To facilitate the highest levels of team performance, your practices need to transcend the ordinary. This includes performance review practices. When you use team-based performance reviews, rather than individual-based, you boost collaboration and coherence in a team, which leads to higher performance. Join us for a discussion on how one Fortune 500 Information Technology group used these practices to help solve complicated technical challenges.

    The Speaker: Jackie Barretta is a successful business change agent. She’s built groundbreaking organizational cultures as a Fortune 500 executive, she’s won a reputation as a leading edge thought leader with her writing and speaking, and, as the Founding Partner of Nura Group, she’s pioneered new ways to conduct business through consulting and training. She is the author of an upcoming book, Primal Teams, which describes the emotional energy of elite teams and helps readers create it in their own teams. She is the former senior vice president and chief information officer for Con way Inc.

  • Friday
    May 3 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Scrum Across the Organization

    Well-functioning agile teams often reach a point where continued improvement requires change in the organization beyond their team. As a team member or change agent, how can you best engage with key figures in the larger organization?

    Adam Light will lead a dialog that examines agile from the perspective of various roles outside the agile team including the CIO (or other IT leader), the leader of Product Management, and the leader of the PMO. Our discussion will consider each role in turn, discussing what people in that role see, hear, and think about, how best to engage the role, and what specific protocols can be effective in each case. Read his related blog post at http://www.sotechadvisors.com/resources/chasing_the_constraint/

    Adam Light is Management Consultant and Principal at SoTech Advisors where he helps managers and teams apply lean and agile methods to unlock greater value from software development. Adam works with enterprise clients to adopt and scale agile methods, design and operate agile work systems, plan and deliver critical projects, and build the knowledge foundation necessary to sustain continuous improvement.

  • Friday
    Apr 5 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Agile Lifecycle Management Tools

    This month we'll be revisiting the ever popular topic of tools to manage our work. What are they? How well do they work? How expensive are they? Are they worth it? Do we need anything more than a good wall and a never ending supply of post it notes and pens?

    This topics packed out our previous venue at Paddy's last year. Come and bring your friends. We have more space now, and even more beer and pub grub.

    See you there! Oh, and hey, if you're coming it helps if you ping me at jean@azuregate.net so I can warn the pub to bring on wait staff reinforcements if we're going to be a horde. This gets you your food faster and adds minutes, if not years, to my lifespan.

  • Friday
    Mar 1 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Cambia's Agile Transformation

    Over the last decade, agile practices continued to gain a foothold in many companies. Many of the practices were first tried on a smaller scale, and tailored to green-field projects. But, as agile practices are adopted at multi-site, larger companies, with complex back office projects, they bring with them additional and unique challenges. Take for example, Cambia Health Solutions, a not-for-profit, health Solutions Company. Cambia has a relatively large IT group, which develops its own software solutions and integrates software from other vendors. It has a distributed workforce that spans four states with many work-at-home employees. Cambia’s mainline business is regulated by various state entities and national agencies. Many of Cambia’s projects are large, mandated compliance projects that have a fixed time box and a set scope. Missing either the deadline or scope could potentially mean losing a significant portion of its business or facing monetary penalties. Can agile practices work and scale to solve business problems facing the company? What if you also operate within an IT organization that is structured with functional silos? And what if you have reluctant business partners who define software requirements and perform final verification of software solutions? To tackle these challenges, Cambia organized an Enterprise Transition Community to lead the transition from a patchwork of agile practices to a large-scale agile implementation. Find out how we carried out this transition, what we have learned along the way, and how that might help organizations of all sizes take on a similar challenge.

    Aashish co-presented a related paper with other Cambia staff at last year's PNSQC. You can find the paper here by searching on Aashish's name on the page: http://www.pnsqc.org/past-conferences/2012-conference/paper-and-presentations/#papers

    Aashish Vaidya is a Technology Manager leading Specialized Teams at Cambia Health Solutions. He is a founding member of Cambia’s Enterprise Transition Community, and other Best Practices Exchanges. He also serves as an internal coach on Agile and QA practices. Aashish has over 20+ years working in technology development and leadership positions for companies such as Compaq, Intel, and Kronos Incorporation. In 2012, Aashish was a Co-Author and presenter at PNSQC. In 2011, Aashish was a panelist on Technology Association of Oregon’s panel discussion: QA’s Role in Agile. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.

  • Friday
    Feb 1 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Estimating Techniques and Tactics

    Estimating stories, sprint commitments, and releases--estimating in general--remains a real bugaboo for all teams. Agile teams have different approaches to estimating. What's worked best for your team?

    Has your team come to consider estimating "waste?" How do you make that work in your environment? What's your rationale and how does it test out in practice?

    Come share your techniques, tactics, strategies, and war stories with colleagues over lunch. Same bat time, same bat station. See you there.

    And, hey, we're about to bust our seams again. If you ping jean@azuregate.net or the AgilePDX list that you're coming, it can help us help the restaurant to provide fast service and the best possible layout for the tables. RSVP's appreciated NOT required.

  • Friday
    Jan 4 2013
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Building Trust with the Execs

    This month’s topic is how to build trust with executives when you’re working with immature teams. This is likely to raise questions such as: • What is an immature Team? • What do we mean by “immaturity?” • How do you help a Team move toward greater maturity? • When we say “executives” do we mean anyone beyond the first level of supervision? Anyone in management? Anyone outside the Team? • Is Team immaturity a valid excuse for missing commitments, and does the responsibility lie with the Team?

    As well as: • Just how do you “build trust,” anyway? • Is building trust even possible if there is no trust to begin with? • How much of my job is about trust building?

    Come stumble in after your holiday revels and have lunch and a beer with like-minded colleagues. Someone please bring an “executive” along so we can hear their point of view, as well.

  • Friday
    Dec 7 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Managing the Backlog

    This month we’re all about managing the backlog:

    Backlog Grooming: What does it mean? How do teams do it? Outside the sprint? What other things can be considered to be done "outside" the scrum team to facilitate a better backlog of stories that are ready for the team? Planning days take too long if the stories aren't ready for the team. It takes effort--how are teams ensuring that it gets done? Should we/ do we consider backlog grooming another of the critical 'scrum ceremonies'?

    Estimating the backlog: How do teams estimate the backlog? Who does it? How do teams accommodate the business pressure to have information about sizing from which to make long term business plans (roadmap planning)? Is estimation a key part of the grooming process?

    PO’s, BA’s, SM’s, and Team members, link hands and make the walk over to Ringlers on Burnside at noon this Friday. Bring your questions, your answers, and your backlog grooming passions.

    Yes, there is still beer.

  • Friday
    Nov 2 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: QA's role on Agile Teams

    This month, we’re talking about QA's role on the Agile Team.

    Fresh from a successful ATONW (Agile Testing Open Northwest) we will delve deeper and discuss what QA's role is on agile teams.

    Same bat time; same bat place: noon on Friday at Ringler’s (not Ringler’s Annex, keep heading east) on Burnside. Good food. Good beer. Good, straight talk.

  • Friday
    Oct 5 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: BA's on Agile Teams

    It’s that time again, and this month we return to the topic we tabled last month in favor of discussing the recent big agile conference. This month, we’re talking about the business analyst role on the Agile Team?

    “What?! A business analyst on an Agile Team?” you may say. Yes, many companies explicitly call out this role on the Team to support the Product Owner or draw from a pool of BA’s to fulfill the Product Owner function. The questions before us are many:

    Is this a good idea? What are the costs and benefits? When does it make sense? What about role boundaries? Doesn’t this institute them? How come the BA would be on the Team? (some actually report into a product management function along with the PO’s.) Why doesn’t my Team do this? Isn’t this anti-Agile?

    Well you might ask. Come down and ask it of a bunch of colleagues primed with questions and answers of their own.

    Same bat time; same bat place: noon on Friday at Ringler’s (not Ringler’s Annex, keep heading east) on Burnside. Good food. Good beer. Good, straight talk.

  • Friday
    Sep 7 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch

    It’s that time again! And, based on discussion on the list earlier this month, we are going with the topic of the recent Agile 2012 conference. If you attended the conference, please come and tell us what you saw and what we should know.

    Looking forward to seeing you all at Ringlers!

  • Friday
    Aug 3 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch

    This month’s roundtable discussion topic is tools, tips, and techniques for engaging effectively—and even happily--with project managers in an Agile environment.

    The project management role has been with us for some time and, in the Agile community, has a certain reputation. While Agile has emerged strongly, the project management role remains, and in many organizations, is metamorphosing along with Agile while in others remains much as it was 5 to 10 years ago.

    Predictive and adaptive approaches to getting work done do not always coexist happily. How does an Agilist work well with a project manager who may constrained to function from a more traditional management perspective? It can and does happen; there are models.

    Come this Friday to Ringler’s on Burnside and bring your stories, your problems, and your PM friends. Beer is available.

  • Friday
    Jul 13 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch

    Agile methods are empirical methods, designed to adapt and improve based on data. So why do many experienced team members recoil at the very mention of metrics? What makes a good metric? How can practitioners avoid using good data to do bad things? July's pub lunch meeting will frame a discussion around selecting and implementing useful metrics for agile work systems.

  • Friday
    Jun 1 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch

    We’re meeting again this Friday at Ringlers on Burnside. This month, in preparation for a more in-depth discussion of metrics next month, we’ll discuss perhaps the most common metric (some would debate whether it’s a metric at all): velocity. To get an interesting perspective on the topic, you might want to read "Velocity is Killing Agility!" a blog post by Jim Highsmith (http://jimhighsmith.com/2011/11/02/velocity-is-killing-agility/).

    Is he right or wrong? Do agile teams need metrics at all? What kinds of issues with or needs for metrics do you find where you work?

  • Friday
    May 4 2012
    AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch

    Have you noticed or felt the need for a difference in the way your lead, follow, or are led since agile methods came into your organization? Do you think you need to see a change in leading or following in order for your organization or team to become more truly agile?

  • Thursday
    Jan 22 2009
    IxDA Portland F2F Gathering (Interaction Designers)

    Come out to rant, rave, engage and connect with fellow Interaction Design practitioners and people interested in Interaction Design. We meet up bi-monthly to network with each other and become inspired together.