Half the sessions at DATFlock2015 are open space sessions. The other half are planned interactive workshops that focus specifically on distributed agile teams.
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Amanda Ross, Director of Agile Practices at

Transatlantic Team Session: Agile Problem Solving In A Virtual Environment

Interactive games are a great way to facilitate learning in an Agile environment, but how do you keep people engaged and actually interacting when your team is distributed?

During this session the participants will play up to four agile games within a truly dispersed, transatlantic setting. While Flock attendees will take part from Berlin, others will log in from all over the world.

Mandy Ross is going to share some techniques and creative ways to use an online office workspace to facilitate fun and fruitful team planning and collaboration.

Bring your notebook and headset along!

Mandy has been a project manager and Scrum Master at Apple, HP and other famous companies. Although her background is in Art (she actually studied sculpture and printmaking) she later ran teams for developing software for unmanned aircrafts. Be ready to meet a smart, interesting and inspiring person with a bold track record in running international projects.

Jutta Eckstein, IT communication: Software Consultant, Change Agent and Team Facilitator

Overcoming Cultural Differences by Focusing on Similarities

One of the challenges global teams are facing, is overcoming cultural differences. Yet, these differences have their origin not only in geography and language, but also in strategies, politics, values and history. A company, no less than the broader society, shapes a culture that influences its employees behavior.

A distributed team needs to leverage this and jointly develop a project culture and keep the project history alive for emphasizing the common culture. This session points out techniques that have helped to create a common culture in different global projects I have been working on.

Jutta is a high profile speaker, author, trainer and consultant. She is known for many books and publications on agile topics such as “Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams”. German Computerwoche Magazin listed her in 2011 as one of the most influential persons in German IT. 

Johannes Mainusch, Agile Evangelist

Management in IT – Understanding Chaos and how to prevent it

Fifteen teams spread across three geographic locations working on 75 software projects provide the right ingredients for unleashing chaos. How can you build an architecture and setup a functioning organization within this environment? The answer lies in understanding and preventing chaos.

  • What chaos is and where does it emerge from
  • Exuberantly growth of software in projects with many interdependencies
  • Organizational structures with lagging feedback loops
  • The 4-D organization for preventing chaos
  • Persistence and change

Johannes has a strong agile track record in large organizations such as Deutsche Post (German Mail), Otto Versand (Germany’s largest mail order company), Xing and Lufthansa. Throughout his career he took on every role from project manager to scrum master and CTO. Johannes gets thrilled by innovation, fast websites and old tube radios. He is also a rock ‘n roller with a knack for saving the world. 

Mark Kilby, Agile Coach at Sonatype

Jim Benson, Co-Author of “Personal Kanban”, Co-Founder of Modus Institute

Tonianne DeMaria-Barry, Co-Author of “Personal Kanban”, Co-Founder of Modus Institute

Running Successful Distributed Teams

Teams are teams.  Every team needs to reach agreement on how they work together, how they will communicate, how they will track their work and how they will improve.  In this workshop, Jim and Tonianne discuss some of the key conversations and agreements that need to be established on any kind of team.  In this workshop, participants will explore how their context might affect these conversations whether they are distributed, disbursed or even partially co-located.  Mark will provide some examples of unique agreements and techniques some distributed agile teams have developed to maintain connection with each other despite hurdles of time, distance and technology.


Mark has coached distributed teams as an agile coach since 2003. Currently he is developing innovative tools and techniques for a unique virtual powerhouse called Sonatype that is equipping software organizations worldwide to realize the promise of software supply chains while navigating and mitigating security, quality and licensing risks.

Jim and Tonianne are are award winning authors and speakers and probably best known for their book “Personal Kanban”. Their latest coup has been starting the Modus Institute which is now focusing on distributed teams. 

Yegor Bugayenko
Yegor Bugayenko, Founder and CTO at

What keeps us motivated and why we get lazy

How do you keep your distributed programmers motivated?” is a questions I often hear from my customers and my friends. Indeed, over the last four years I work only with remote programmers and never meet them personally or in Skype. In this workshop we will try to do a few practical group experiments to understand what really motivates us to achieve and what bores instead. We will try to simulate a distributed working environment and prove that certain mechanisms are real while others are fake.

Yegor is a highly dynamic software developer and entrepreneur who lives and breathes in a remote business. His company,, is fully distributed and offers their clients Teams as a Service®. He is a Venture Investor at and maintains the blog 

Stefanie Albrecht, Product Development & Communication at Saxonia Systems

Vincent Tietz, Software Developer & Scrum Master at Saxonia Systems

Two Locations – One Team building a Lego City the agile way

At Saxonia the team has decided to overcome the issues of two distributed locations by setting up a “real” virtual team room. Saxonia has done so by setting up 55″ screens equipped with cameras, microphones and an additional virtual task boards in such a way that both team rooms literally merge into one.

For our Flock Saxonia is going to bring with them and install two separated team spaces staffed with all their equipment. Attendees will be split into two sub-teams and then run an agile Lego Game within the virtual setup. Their task is to to plan, construct and build a whole city out of Lego bricks. The result will be on display in our conference lounge!

Stefanie is currently working on optimizing communication and transparency in distributed software development teams – utilizing “eteoBoard” – a digital Scrum Board. Another one of her tasks is researching “Lean”-based mindset and work approach in non-software-related companies.
Vincent holds a PhD from TU Dresden. As a Scrum Master he mainly works with distributed teams. He is also part of the team working on the concept ETEO (Ein Team Ein Office) which addresses the needs of distributed Scrum teams as well as co-localized teams.

David Horowitz, CEO and Co-Founder at Retrium, LLC

Let’s Build Something: A Simulation
To participate in this workshop, please bring a laptop or tablet!

Teamwork requires a team to work together. But how can you work as a team when you are distributed?

In this highly interactive workshop, we will split into virtual teams and compete against each other to build the best product. It will be messy. It will require intense collaboration. And it will be a whole lot of fun.

After it’s all over, we’ll run a big, group retrospective. What worked well, what didn’t, and how could we improve next time? The twist, of course, is that the retrospective will be distributed as well. What’s the best way to learn as a group when spread across vast distances?

Put your thinking caps on. This workshop will require your participation and creativity!

David is the CEO and Co-Founder of Retrium, a company that empowers distributed agile teams to run effective retrospectives. He’s a self-described “recovering software developer”, a true agilist, and a big believer that the future of work is “from anywhere, at anytime”. You can follow him on Twitter at @ds_horowitz. 

Judy Rees, Virtual Collaboration And Leadership Coach, Owner at X-Ray Listening

Leadership In Your Distributed Team

An experiential workshop exploring the shape of leadership in your virtual world.

Agile and virtual working are changing leadership. As command-and-control hierarchical structures give way to networks and matrices, leaders are no longer found exclusively at the top – or even out in front.

And leadership still seems essential to get things done. So what kind of leadership actually works?

In this workshop you’ll:

  • discover successful leadership models
  • find out how your thinking about leadership is affecting you and your team
  • plan your next steps in leadership.

Judy is the co-author of the bestselling book “Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds.” Her main focus is on leadership in complex organisations and complex environments – such as distributed teams. 

Hugo Messer, Remote team expert, Co-Founder at, Owner at Bridge

How to structure your distributed team productively

Design your virtual organization in this practical workshop, so you can start producing results on Monday

Many globally distributed teams ‘go with the flow’ – they are formed spontaneously and routines are created step by step. Those are often not the most productive routines. Most teams learn by trial and error and focus on ‘systems’ to facilitate the remote work. Hugo’s vision is that people are the starting point. With the right people in your team, you can design strong processes. And from those processes follows what systems to implement.

Based on 10 years of experience, Hugo has developed a workshop that covers every major aspect of remote collaboration. In this workshop, you will do the work. Based on your own situation, you will design an effective virtual organization, using the Bridge Canvas. The points we will cover:

  1. Process: We look at your current process: what steps do you take from beginning to end. Then we’ll design the process for the (new) distributed setting.
  2. Responsibilities: Who does what? For all people involved, you’ll design the roles and responsibilities. ​
  3. Project Management Tool: how do we track projects? What’s the optimal tool for your situation and what do others in your group use?
  4. Communication: How (often) do we communicate? When do we schedule daily/weekly meetings? What communication tools do you plan to use?
  5. Performance: What & how do we measure individual and team performance​?
  6. (​Coding​)​ standard: What is our standard?​ How do we ensure people use it?​
  7. Team spirit​: How will we perform together+ become friends?​​ How do we make the globally distributed people feel as ‘one team’?​

Hugo is a successful entrepreneur with tremendous experience running distributed software development teams. For ten years he has been running Bridge Global, a fully distributed offshore software company with developers all over the world. Recently he set up, a global market place for hiring software teams. 

Stefan Willuda, Boris Gloger Consulting, Management Consultant

Katja Keller, Boris Gloger Consulting, Management Consultant

Re-linked – Collaboration across a scattered value chain

People over process, skills for remote environments

Distributed Teams are no longer considered evil in the agile community. The scarcity of experts in a growing variety of fields drives the need to increase the effectiveness of remote work and distributed collaboration.

Agile in itself demands a long list of interpersonal skills from individuals and teams which have to be learned and trained when implementing agile methodologies.

Going back to the first principle of the agile manifesto‚ ‘people and interactions over processes and tools’ this workshop is going to focus on on- and offline collaboration techniques. We will give examples on how to develop these skills with your teams in remote environments.

There will be room for the participants to exchange personal experience.

Katja and Stefan are both management consultants at Boris Gloger, a leading German agile training and consultancy companies. In addition, Katja has a strong knack for social initiatives such as gnibble, a platform for giving and sharing daily life goods. 

Iwein Fuld, Business Hacker at StarterSquad

Evolving distributed teams of remote freelancers

More organisations are hiring remote freelancers. They do this to get jobs done in a cost effective way. Building teams from disparate hires is hard. It becomes harder when those hires are remote. And even harder if they compete. StarterSquad has solved this problem. In the workshop Iwein shows how. He works with the audience to find ways to tackle the problem in different contexts.

Iwein is a developer, entrepreneur, and founder StarterSquad, a successful international team of freelance developers building tech startups. His golden rule: “If you can’t verify that it works, you have no business building it.”

Kitty Iding, founder of Agile Cocktails and co-founder of DareDevils and DareStudio

How to use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

A truly hands-on experience on building your OKRs.
Have you been looking for a way to connect your company’s vision with what’s actually going on the trenches? Yearly strategy sessions are too high-level and don’t connect with getting the results we’re all working for. On the other hand, just crushing the numbers doesn’t cut it either, now does it?

Find out how using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) can help you to build bridges between both worlds. Instead of having to face the fact that reality catches up with yearly goals, you have the power to act pro-actively and use a flexible system to continuously improve the alignment and get the results that really count.

You can start implementing OKRs anytime, this workshop is a good example of that. No need for extensive pre-planning and in depth theoretical knowledge: start with how you’re doing right now.

Kitty is an expert in business agility, growth strategy and team performance. Her methods involve a mixture of Lean Startup, Agile Management, Gamification and more.

Petra Liesmons, co-founder of the Belgian community and freelance Agile HR consultant

Fearless feedback, fair reward: a lightning talk with group discussion

All over the media, the message is clear:
– Setting top down KPI’s as a basis for performance feedback and bonuses is evil.
– Failure is no longer a shame, but a “must-have” learning experience.
Dan Pink stated:
– Money is not a motivator, just pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table. Then focus on mastery, autonomy & purpose truly motivate.

So out with the old HR stuff and in with … ermh what exactly?

That was the challenge I was facing when a growing Agile IT company asked me to build them a people approach that would actually result in healthy growth.

Being an Agile enthusiast, I don’t believe in big design upfront, followed by a big bang change project and big results (or big resistance & status quo) as a result. I believe in Lean change management. Running with the system, discovering options to improve, conduct experiments and provide valuable feedback. This is the cornerstone for people and organizations to grow.

This talk is an experience report of how we are building a safe feedback environment that allows people to experiment and grow. I explain how we achieved to link the feedback system with the reward system without damaging the feedback safe zone. You will learn new practices that can be used tomorrow in any feedback environment. And you will get a clear view of the entire feedback & reward process including the good, that bad & the ugly stories of our journey.

Petra is a contagious Agile enthusiast who believes there exists a sweet spot for every organization and individual where they thrive together. Her personal motto is “Let’s have some serious fun, together!”

AgileBill Krebs, Agile Coach, TEKsystems Global Services

Spatial Tools for Distributed Teams

What’s missing in your typical online meeting?  Walls!   Sometimes it’s not just the content we share, or our voice and webcam presence, but also the layout and relationship of people to each other in the room that conveys key meaning.

In this hands on remote session, you will join us using a tool called ‘Sococo’ to learn how to use 2d and 3d virtual technology to improve key Agile meetings.

Note: To join this session install Chrome, and refer to a URL link we will provide to run our Sococo environment.   We will also provide  a short video incase you are not able to connect during our talk.  See you online!

AgileBill has over 20 years of IT experience in development, performance, leading teams, and coaching with large enterprises such as IBM.  As a consultant, he has worked with companies in the telecom, healthcare, and financial industries.  He founded Agile Dimensions LLC in 2010 which specializes in advanced techniques for distributed teams. 

Lucius Bobikiewicz, Trainer for distributed agile teams at SpreadScrum

SpreadScrum – the Dummies way to stress free and effective online collaboration

Experience through a team exercise how easy it can be to run highly productive team meetings.

Many, if not most, distributed teams experiment with different kinds of web-meeting services for their online team meetings. However, for various reasons most of those solutions do not provide a satisfying meeting experience. Therefore those virtual meetings tend to be much more stressful and less effective than real life meetings.

The reason behind this problem is that although virtual team work requires technical solutions, it also requires another set of teamwork skills. And the latter is what defines a team’s capability for successful virtual collaboration.

In this workshop you will experience a new dimension of online team work which does not depend on sophisticated technology but on appropriate facilitation methods. Using a simple spreadsheet we will, as a team, go through a complete problem solving cycle.

We will start with a brainstorm, decide as a team on the most promising options, discuss their pros and cons and finally make a decision. And we will do so in a stress free, highly effective, and surprisingly simple manner.

Notebook and Headset required

Lucius has been running a globally dispersed development team for many years. He currently provides training and coaching for distributed agile teams, through his famous SpreadScrum program. In his spare time, he somehow manages to organize several agile conferences and agile leadership circles.

Lisette Sutherland, Remote Team Manager at Happy Melly, Director at Collaboration Superpowers

How to simulate the office, online!

Increase the togetherness on your remote team by simulating the “human-ness” that we have when working in the same place.

To combat the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, remote teams need to work harder to increase that sense of team and improve communication. In this workshop we will explore the various tools and techniques we can use to simulate the office, online.

Specifically, you will learn:

  • How to create a high bandwidth workspace
  • Tools that allow you to communicate reliably
  • Techniques for keeping everyone on the same page

Lisette is a speaker and trainer fully focused on remote teams. She hosts the Collaboration Superpowers podcast interviewing remote teams doing great things – and is an active evangelist of the Happy Melly network.