The Central Ohio Agile Association presents:

The Path to Agility

and featuring The Path to Craftsmanship

May 22 + 23 2019
Columbus, Ohio


Keynote Speakers

Esther Derby @estherderby

Micro Shifts, Macro Results

Esther Derby draws on four decades of experience leading, observing, and living through organizational change. In 1997, she founded esther derby associates, inc. and works with a broad array of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start ups. Her approach blends attention to humans and deep knowledge of complex adaptive systems.

In addition to consulting, Esther has an extensive background in designing and leading experiential learning. She teaches workshops both on-line and in-person around the world. Her workshops support leaders to explore how they can adapt the environment to amplify empowerment, engage in joint problem-solving, and evolve their systems towards better results.

Dave West @DavidJWest

The Agile Personality: Selecting and Developing Individuals for Successful Agile Teams

‘To help people deliver software just a little bit better’

Dave West is the product owner at He is a frequent keynote at major industry conferences and is a widely published author of articles and research reports, along with his acclaimed book: Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, that helped define new software modeling and application development processes. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for IBM/Rational. After IBM/Rational, West returned to consulting and managed Ivar Jacobson Consulting for North America. Then as VP, research director Forrester research where he ran the software development and delivery practice. Prior to joining he was Chief Product Officer at Tasktop where he was responsible for product management, engineering and architecture. As a member of the company’s executive management team was also instrumental in growing Tasktop from a services business into a VC backed product business with a team of almost 100.

Featured Speakers

Don Gray @donaldegray

GROWS Method Workshop/Future-Proofing Your Career

Having worked in software for 30 years I focus my energy and efforts working with executives to create the conditions where teams can flourish developing business value. I facilitate team learning and interdependent work. This includes assessments, focused coaching, public and private workshops.

I lead sessions at Agile meetups across the southeast, from Richmond, VA to Knoxville, TN to Charleston, SC. Topics range from Agile fundamentals to team dynamics to shaping Agile Adoptions.

I co-wrote two books with Jerry Weinberg, Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman: “Center Enter Turn Sustain: Essays on Change Artistry” and “Readings for Problems-Solving Leadership” You can find the articles I’ve written for free at

Andy Hunt @PragmaticAndyr

GROWS Method Workshop

Andy started in the do-it-yourself days of CP/M and the S100 bus, of Heathkits and Radio Electronics. Andy wrote his first real program, a combination text editor and database manager, for an Ohio Scientific Challenger 4P. It was a great era for tinkering. Andy started hacking in 6502 assembler, modifying operating systems, and wrote his first commercial program (a Manufacturing Resources Planning system) in 1981. He taught himself Unix and C, and began to design and architect larger, more connected systems.

Working at large companies, Andy kept an ear on Usenet, and started his early email habit via a direct bang-path to ihnp4. Next he settled into electronic pre-press and computer graphics, and worked on that wondrous eye-candy that was Silicon Graphics machines. By now a firm command of several flavors of Unix, from BSD to System V, led Andy to try consulting. His knack for stirring things up really began to come in handy, and it soon became obvious that many of his clients each suffered similar problems—-problems that Andy had already seen and fixed before.

Andy joined up with Dave Thomas and they wrote the seminal software development book, The Pragmatic Programmer, followed a year later by the original Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide, which introduced the Western world to this new language from Japan. Together they founded The Pragmatic Programmers and have became increasingly well known, as founders of the agile movement and authors of the Agile Manifesto, as well as proponents of Ruby and more flexible programming paradigms, and their Pragmatic Bookshelf publishing business, helping keep developers at the top of their game.

Andy is a founder of the Pragmatic Programmers, founder of the Agile Alliance and author of the Agile Manifesto, and author of seven books. He is an active musician and woodworker, and continues looking for new areas where he can stir things up.

Christopher Avery @christopheraver

The Responsibility Process® Powerful Teams Framework

Christopher Avery—The Responsibility Process® Guy—supports leaders, teams, and coaches who prefer freedom, choice, and power over obligation, terminal mediocrity, and powerlessness. He is the author of two popular books on personal and shared responsibility and leadership. A favorite speaker at agile and leadership conferences worldwide, Christopher is CEO of The Responsibility Company (formerly Partnerwerks, Inc.).

Michael Mah @MichaelCMah

A 10-Year Columbus Agile Recap, the Columbus Agile Benchmark Study, Driving Market Disruptions and Outcomes -- What the Future Holds

Michael Mah first applied agile techniques like Pairing and Test Driven Development before those names existed, while Group Leader for System Testing on the Trident II Nuclear Submarine Program which aimed for “99.99 percent” reliability. Michael teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile. He is the managing partner at QSM Associates Inc. and past director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium, a US-based IT think-tank. He is a mediator trained at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and also a private pilot, living in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. His non-profit work is with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, as seen on the television series Whale Wars. He can be reached at


Allison Pollard Allison Pollard @Allison_Pollard

The Nitty-Gritty Practices of Agile Coaching/Creating a Successful DevOps Culture

Allison Pollard helps people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, Allison enjoys mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In her experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. Allison is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

Amit Bansal

The Nitty-Gritty Practices of Agile Coaching

As a Senior Consultant with Improving, an Agile Software Consulting Company headquartered in Plano, Texas, Amit Bansal assists teams in making a successful transition to cloud technologies. He is a sports fanatic and believes in living life to its fullest. Amit recently went skiing for the first time in his life. When he is not daydreaming about traveling to the different parts of the world, Amit enjoys watching movies with his wife and girls, working out at the gym, reading and learning new technologies (yes, that is one of his passions).

Hunter McCluer Hunter McCluer @eliassengroup

Selling the Value of Agile at Scale and Business Agility

Hunter’s 25+ years of professional experience has been focused on helping commercial, federal, and technical organizations transform and achieve success. A seasoned Agile Coach / Business Agility Transformation Architect, Mr. McCluer’s industry experience includes Finance, Mortgage Banking, State and Federal Government, Department of Defense, Aerospace, Telecommunications, Military and Civilian Health Care, Education, Cable Television, Internet and Mobile Advertising.

Hunter oversees the delivery of our Strategic Consulting Services (Business Agility, Enterprise Agility, Creative, DevOps, and Managed Services), in our Central and Mid-Atlantic regions. Focused on the support, growth, and success of our clients, Hunter works with our Regional and National Sales, Delivery, and Recruiting teams to help design and deliver world-class client services, solutions, and success.

Rob Keefer Rob Keefer @rbkeefer

Tranquility Over Turbulence

Rob Keefer, PhD is the Director of Data Science at Illumination Works, a software development consultancy. He has advanced degrees in both human factors engineering and computer science, and has practiced Agile Software Development methods since his days with Extreme Programming in 2003. When he is not building systems that make people awesome, Rob enjoys distance running and cycling.

Pranay Chanda Pranay Chanda @agile4future

Realizing Business Agility with Adaptive Management

Pranay Chanda is a Lean Agile Transformation Leader, Design Thinking Coach and thought leader helping client’s along their digital Transformation journey from ideation to sustain, working closely with large IT transformation programs to setup teams and deliver using value streams within portfolios, formulate HR strategy and Agile Organization design, lead change identification and governance to provide greater speed, enhance outcome and quality in the delivery process to adjust evolving business needs.

Pranay is an avid speaker with latest talk on “Realizing Business Agility with Adaptive Management” at Agile2018 conference in San Diego, CA.

Rebecca Scott Vivid Spring @vividsprings

The Time Trials: How to Invest Time in Success and Win Calendar Wars

Rebecca Scott is a Business Technologist, a Strategy Consultant and the founder of Vivid Spring Solutions. She has a 20 year career that spans Healthcare, Finance, Technology and Business Analysis, and has spoken at numerous local and international conferences on topics including Agile, Innovation, Team Dynamics and Employee Success. Rebecca has a strong history of driving projects and innovation initiatives and has a keen eye toward continual improvement and self-development.

Matt Eakin

Working With Offshore Teams

Matt is a Testing Strategist for Centric Consulting. With over 20 years of technical, leadership and planning experience, he brings a unique, thorough and comprehensive perspective to every project. Extensive expertise around all aspects of the SDLC, combined with development skills, makes him an effective Agile practitioner and coach. Matt talks extensively on Gherkin Scripting and is in high-demand as a BDD (Behavior-Driven Development)/ATDD (Acceptance Test Driven Development) coach.

Laura Fernandes Laura Fernandes

My Kingdom for a Rosetta Stone: Documentation in Agile Development

Laura Fernandes, has twelve years’ experience as a practitioner and people leader in the business/systems analysis profession. She is currently a Systems Analysis Lead for Alliance Data, focused on learning and coaching initiatives. In her career in software development, Laura has also been a scrum master, acting product owner, application developer, and quality analyst.

Matthew Badgley @agilebaconbeer

The Science of Trust

With a career in Information Technology that has officially reached drinking age, Matt has worn one too many hats in roles from Systems Analyst to Programmer to IT Manager to Programmer to Director. He’s a seeker of new ideas and learning new things. Matt’s passion has been working with product delivery teams to develop into their own identity and build valuable solutions by making great software. Matt has been applying Lean / Agile ideas for a long time and leveraging their underlying practices with both a pragmatic and experimental purpose. At the end of the day, Matt believes in integrity, hard work, trial-and-error, people, and faith.

You can learn more about Matt at or read his blog at or connect with him via Twitter, his handle is @agilebaconbeer.

Paul Boos @paul_boos

Team Dynamics on the Forbidden Island/Polarity Management of the Agile Paradox

Paul is an IT Executive Coach with Excella Consulting helping managers and teams improve their game. He focuses on pragmatic ways Agile, Lean, and leadership techniques can applied to create more effective organizations. Paul has led small teams to large groups as a Federal, commercial, and contractor software development manager and coached numerous organizations in the private and public sectors. As an active Agile community member, he has founded numerous groups to help coaches and Scrum Masters, including the Agile Influencers of DC and the Games for Agility, Learning, and Engagement (GALEDC). He serves as the chair for the Agile Alliance’s Agile Coach Camp Initiative and a reviewer of the Agile2019 Coaching & Mentoring track.

Jon Kruger @JonKruger

The Art & Science of Team Motivation

Hi, I’m Jon Kruger and I’m a technical leader in Columbus, OH. I specialize in technical leadership, software solutions, and Agile coaching and training and I have experience in a wide range of industries and environments. I use my experience as a leader and software developer to find ways to create better quality software, improve the software development process, and maximize value. You can follow me on my blog ( or on Twitter (@JonKruger).

Jennifer Bentley

Impact Mapping

Jennifer Bentley is a Director of IT Analysis for Nationwide located in Columbus, Ohio where she is responsible for infusing end-to-end lean agile techniques and tools to expedite the delivery of business value for large scale strategic initiatives. She has over 30 years of diverse IT leadership experience spanning application development, program management and requirements management. Jennifer has been instrumental in the adoption of agile visual facilitation techniques to streamline the software development life cycle throughout Nationwide. Jennifer was a 2014 IAF Facilitation Impact Gold recipient and a 2015 IAF Facilitation Impact Sliver recipient. She is a Certified Agile Leader (CAL1), a Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM) and holds a Masters Certification in Project Management from George Washington University.