AgileTour Dublin 2013 – Limited Capacity – Register Today!

The Annual AgileTour Event will take place in Dublin on 10th October in the Grand Canal Hotel. Building on previous years, we’re extending the event to a full day, starting with parallel workshop and tool tracks in the morning, and expert speakers and experience reports in the afternoon.

The AgileTour series is run every October in major cities around the world by volunteers – its a great opportunity to find out about agile and lean in IT, meet and share with others using agile, hear from experienced practitioners, and connect with experts that may be able to help advise you. This year we will have sessions for agile novices, executives looking at business benefits, tools to help get the most from agile and specific focused sessions on topics like agile testing.

The event is co-sponsored by AgileInnovation and InspireQS – we provide training, consulting and coaching in Agile/Lean methods like Scrum and Kanban. We do more than classroom training – we are experienced agile practitioners and can guide to realizing the full benefits of agile with embedded coaching, on site workshops and executive support.

This year the AgileTour organisers have introduced a nominal €10 registration charge to help cover the cost of lunch and coffee breaks. The event is limited to 100 attendees so register today!


Here is the current agenda – subject to change:





Welcome & Agenda Overview

TRACK 1 – Workshops


Executive Briefing – What Agile and Lean IT means for your business – Benefits, Challenges and Next Steps (abstract) – Colm O’hEocha (bio), AgileInnovation

11:15 – 12:30

User Stories (abstract) – Fran O’Hara (bio), InspireQS

TRACK 2 – Tools Demos




Storm (TFS)






Storm (TFS)





TRACK 1 – Experience Reports


Agile Adoption in Ericsson (abstract) – John Coogan (bio), Ericsson


Applying Agile in FINEOS (abstract) David McGuiness (bio) – FINEOS/p>

TRACK 2 – Expert Speakers


Managing Multiple Product Lines with Agile (abstract) – Paraic Hegarty (bio), Akari


Measured agile development (abstract) Alistair Bishop (bio), ThoughtWorks





Scrum Is Easy (abstract) – Leo Blonk (bio), Duolog


Agile in Paddy Power (abstract) – Ger Hartnett (bio) and Thierry Michel – Paddy Power



What has Agile done for Testing? (abstract) – Ken Brannock (bio)


Why do larger Agile projects still take twice as long as expected? (abstract) – Daragh Farrell (bio), HMH


Panel Q&A


Speakers and Abstracts

Colm O’hEocha: In roles from programmer to Chief Technical Architect to Director of R&D, Colm has over 20 years experience in IT. Introducing agile and lean software development methods to companies since 2001, Colm has huge experience of the opportunities and pitfalls organisations face introducing and scaling methods such as Scrum and Kanban in real enterprise development environments. As both agile team member and manager, he has guided agile adoption strategy in diverse development environments such as web applications, enterprise systems, firmware and data streaming platforms. Colm provides executive and team level training, consulting, coaching and assessment services in Scrum, Lean and Kanban methods.

Abstract: Targeted at Senior Managers, this intensive session examines how agile benefits the bottom line, the challenges you’re likely to see as it changes the way work is carried out, and some steps you can take to ensure your adoption isn’t just another failed initiative.
Agile applies Lean Thinking to software development and operations. We’ll look at the benefits from three perspectives:
Project Economics: We discuss the ‘Economies of Speed’ and illustrate the benefits by an example
Systems Thinking: Looking at development as a complex adaptive system can help us see waste, bottlenecks and inefficiencies
Physiological/Cognitive: How agile supports Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Motivation
But to gain these benefits, agile demands real changes throughout your organisation, not just in IT. Here we look at some of the ‘friction points’ and likely barriers you’ll face.. We’ll review possible changes to roles, responsibilities and structure, commercial contracts, the relationship of IT to the business and the importance of investing in your development capability for long-term competitiveness.

Paraic Hegarty: Paraic is CTO of Akari Software, a Cork-based software company developing Curriculum Design & Management tools for Higher Education. Paraic has a BA in Computer Science and a PGDip in Technology Commercialisation. His 25 years IT experience includes programming, project management & leadership roles in software and technology consulting organisations. Paraic has been a Scrum Product Owner for just over a year and is beginning to realise how little he knows. He is currently failing to write a book on Radical Self-Organising Systems.
Abstract: Based on a joint paper with University of Ulster presented at the EuroSPI2013 conference, Paraic’s presentation is on the Application of Agile Practices to multiple Product Lines.

John Coogan:
Abstract: Here we outline the benefits and challenges in introdiucing agile testing to a new project in the OSS development unit in Athlone. Scaling of Agile, tester mindset and profile, continuous integration and the agile testing quadrants will be discussed.

David McGuiness: Development Lead role, managing a medium-sized team to deliver R&D projects in FINEOS’ Strategic Product Group. David has worked across a broad range of industries at home and abroad, ranging from Insurance claims management systems, to Mobile Internet, and technical consultancy. David is an advocate of Agile techniques for software development, and to this end his team is endeavouring to foster a culture of collaboration, self-organisation, continuous improvement and the evolution of new practices.
Abstract: Davids presentation will focus on his personal, on-the-ground experience working in an Agile environment in FINEOS. From early days, how and why the team started using Scrum, its evolution in the intervening time, challenges, mistakes made, and lessons learned, some tips, what he sees as the benefits, and planned next steps.

Ger Hartnet: Ger is CTO of Goshido a cloud service for project-collaboration. Ger has 13-years experience in running successful projects using agile/scrum and sometimes provides training and consulting for customers. Prior to Goshido, Ger held senior technical positions at Intel, Tellabs, Digital and Motorola.
Abstract: This talk will describe lessons learned implementing a phased rollout of agile and scrum across the PaddyPower organisation.

Leo Blonk:Leo Blonk, VP Engineering Development: Leo has over 20 years experience in the development and management of a wide range of software products and projects. Before Duolog he worked for FotoNation managing a multi-site, multi-disciplined team of engineers and researchers developing of advanced image processing software such as face detection and motion blur removal. Previous he worked at Silicon & Software Systems, Electronic Publishing and at Industrial Control Systems in the Netherlands.
Abstract: Scrum is easy: just follow the procedures and tweak as necessary. Scrum is hard: people are asked to change their mindset. I present what we have done to introduce Scrum, what has worked well and what has not worked, and the issues around getting people to truly adopt the scrum values.

Daragh Farrell: Daragh has worked in the IT industry for over 16 years. The last 10 years have been focused on Agile software development and Lean. He is passionate about helping companies to adapt and transform their organisations using Agile and Lean. He focuses on helping organisations to deliver more of what customers want, faster with excellent quality. By putting customers first, we create products and services that customers love.  His personal goal is to democratize the workplace by promoting self-organizing teams, self-directed goal-setting and pull systems for all work selection. Daragh is currently working as Agile Coach with HMH in Dublin.

Why do larger Agile projects still take twice as long as expected? Agile Planning and Estimation for Big Projects.  Agile is often hailed as the silver bullet for delivering quickly. This is certainly true for smaller teams where work can be broken into independent pieces and released in discrete independent releases.  However if your minimum viable product is large and the teams cannot operate independently, how can you still estimate and plan in a way that is reliable?  This talk focuses on planning and estimation techniques for multiples team developing a single product concurrently with high interdependence between the teams and the elements of the solution. Programs of 30+ and releases longer than 6 months.  


Ken Brannock
Abstract: What has Agile done for Testing?

As IT professionals we are always trying to improve the software development lifecycle, faster times to market, better quality and producing software more cost effectively. Agile methodologies have supported this objectives by encouraging team to continuously review, question and consider how software is produced. However, for over the last decade or so, testers seem to struggle with the Agile practices. This presentation and discussion will consider;

– What is the role of the tester in software development and process improvement?

– What is it with Agile methodologies that appear to cut across the gain of most testers?

– And ultimately can Agile support better testing?

Fran O’Hara
Abstract: User stories are simple, brief descriptions of functionality told from the perspective of a user. In Scrum or any agile development project, they are written to capture functionality a user or customer wants and they form the basis of the product backlog. This workshop will discuss, with examples and short exercises, how to write effective user stories including acceptance criteria. It will discuss the roles involved in their development, typical pitfalls and how stories can be used to estimate and support release planning

Alistair Bishop: Alistair has

 been working at ThoughtWorks as a business analyst for almost 2 years and he has had the opportunity to experience various different flavours of agile in a variety of domains including publishing, price comparison and aerospace.


Coming up with a process to prioritise development based on what will deliver the most value, and finding out whether what your building is having an impact is something that teams do not invest enough time and effort into. Yet these are fundamental building blocks in understanding not only your domain and your customer base but also in finding out whether the business case behind your project holds true. I will be talking about how to get teams focussing on delivering valuable software through the introduction of some lightweight processes that will help with prioritisation and reduce the uncertainty of the impact of what the team is developing.

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