McMenamins Ringlers Pub
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
FridayDec 13 2013AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Manager's Role in Agile Orgs
PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE FOR DECEMBER.
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.
Past events that happened here
FridayNov 1 2013AgilePDX 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.
WednesdayOct 9 2013Pitch 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.
FridayOct 4 2013AgilePDX 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 email@example.com so we know whether we have to rearrange the furniture and so we can give the restaurant a head’s up on numbers.
FridayAug 2 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayJul 12 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayJun 7 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayMay 3 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayApr 5 2013AgilePDX 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
FridayMar 1 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayFeb 1 2013AgilePDX 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 email@example.com 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.
FridayJan 4 2013AgilePDX 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.
FridayDec 7 2012AgilePDX 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.
FridayNov 2 2012AgilePDX 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.
FridayOct 5 2012AgilePDX 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.
FridaySep 7 2012AgilePDX 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!
FridayAug 3 2012AgilePDX 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.
FridayJul 13 2012AgilePDX 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.
FridayJun 1 2012AgilePDX 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?
FridayMay 4 2012AgilePDX 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?
ThursdayJan 22 2009IxDA 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.