April 28, 2010

User Conference Preview: Hansoft's Patric Palm to present on Distributed Agile Development Environment

MERGE User Conference

I recently caught up with Patric Palm, founder and chief executive of Hansoft, to ask him about his upcoming User Conference presentation titled, Large Products, Large Teams, Large Backlogs--Making it Work in a Distributed Agile Development Environment.

How do you define ‘large’ teams?

When I refer to ‘large’ I’m talking about several teams working in parallel on one product. For the purpose of this speech I’m basing it on 50-200 people or more working on a single product.

Can you give us a brief overview of your presentation?

I will focus on four main areas.

-- How to scale the agile implementation in the organization: When we talk about large teams, large products, large backlogs, the first question is how do you scale this in the first place. And, simply put you either have a big bang introduction or you introduce it incrementally. I will be talking about those two approaches. And, I will explain how a combination can actually work best. Starting small gives you the opportunity to develop a solid product and establish knowledge and understanding in the organization first. Then you can roll it out more widely.

-- Working with geographically distributed teams: I’ll discuss the whole notion of being geographically distributed and how to address these challenges.

-- Structuring the large work: Here I’ll really discuss 'structure.' How do you actually structure the organization? How do you structure the product backlog and all of these things as you continue to grow.

-- Achieving a living plan and backlog: The last one I will discuss is how to develop a living plan and a living backlog. This is really getting to the core of the presentation.

What information will attendees “take away” from your presentation?

I would like to achieve the same thing we achieve when we meet with companies one on one. Hopefully attendees will identify with examples I use and they’ll be able to take-home some of these solutions so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

When Patric isn’t flying around the world, visiting clients in about 25 countries, he enjoys entertaining friends with inventive new dishes and creative cocktails.