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schedule of events

march 7th, 2024

8:00am - 9:00am

breakfast & networking

Breakfast Menu

Assorted baked breakfast pastries and cut fruit.

Served with regular coffee, decaf coffee, water and juice.

Get your badge, grab some breakfast, and meet some new colleagues! Don't forget to visit the Conference Sponsor booths!​

9:00am - 9:15am

welcome to kaa 2024

big tex

Join Agile Austin President, Max Ekesi in the Big Tex Room as he welcomes all of you to the Keep Austin Agile conference.

9:15am - 10:00am

keynote speaker:
bob galen

2023 - Bob Galen2.jpg

big tex

Mindset + Growth = Resilience

In this keynote, Bob Galen will leverage his decades of experience to explore three distinct notions. First, what is his experience with his own agile mindset? He’s been working on it for over 20 years, so he has much to say. Throughout that journey, he’ll also explore how his mindset has changed and how he’s grown it, when the going was easy and when the going was tough.

But the key to this keynote is the result of the equation—Resilience. In today’s (and tomorrow’s) challenges, how do we take the responsibility to build and fortify our resilience?

10:00am - 10:15am


10:15am - 11:00am

1st breakout session

big tex

lyn barrett
& tonya guadiz

Leading with Agility: Unleash Your Inner Leader Without the C-Suite Swagger

In a world where executives wear fancy suits and make important decisions behind closed doors, what's a passionate Agile enthusiast to do? Fear not, we’re here to help you become the leader you were born to be, without needing a corner office, a tie, or a suit that only comes out for weddings and funerals! This presentation delves into the art of inspiring and influencing others through collaboration and support. Discover how demonstrating initiative and embracing new leadership roles can unlock opportunities for personal growth while also fostering a culture of trust, creativity, and self-organization that propels your organization forward. Whether you're a Scrum Master, Product Owner, or a self-proclaimed Agile rockstar, this session will arm you with the tools you need to lead with charisma, influence, and a dash of humor. After all, in the world of Agile, the only tie you need is a strong team bond!

lil' tex

dr. Natalia Kuzmina
& leland newsom


Improving Flow

for Better

Business Agility

According to a research summary by Zippia, at least 71% of U.S. companies are now using Agile. These companies are using Agile transformation to compete in today’s ever-changing digital marketplace and accelerate their time to market. As they progress through the transformation, one thing stands out as a prerequisite to support their improved time to market – establishing flow from the customer request to product delivery. ​ In this presentation, we’ll share our experience with improving flow, team structures and metrics for visibility into how the value flows.


candase hokanson


Practical Prioritization


Product People

Most agile methodologies say a team should have a prioritized backlog for the development team to pull from, but how does that backlog get prioritized? It's easy to say business value and end there or even business value divided by the cost. And both of those are great ways to prioritize, but they miss out on other levers that practically impact the prioritization of the product backlog. Come learn some tips and tricks about how a practical PO (or any level product person) prioritizes their backlog- from business value, MVPs, and even dependencies! We'll learn about 3 different prioritization techniques as well as the pros and cons of each and when each prioritization mechanism shines! We'll then practice prioritizing given a method to illustrate the differences and end with other considerations to keep in mind regardless of the method of prioritization you start with!

11:00am - 11:15am


11:15am - 12:00pm

2nd breakout session

big tex

David Hendrawirawan


Agile Practice


Trustworthy AI

Machine Learning (ML) Ops is the application of Agile practices and DevOps tools to Data and Models. In the era of pervasive AI, it is crucial for organizations to get adept with ML Ops and incorporate data governance, privacy, and model risk management policies into the AI development and deployment. Governed ML Ops adoption has been hampered due to an inadequate understanding of data risks and harms, limited access to technical expertise, and the lack of transparency in legal requirements for data collection, usage, and sharing practices. This presentation aims to arm enterprise data architects, governance, and data scientists with an introduction to foundational content as they embark on the journey to adopt ML Ops and AI Governance best practice.

lil' tex

Jonathan Maziarz


Psychological Safety as the Foundation for an Agile Transformation

Follow the journey of an IT organization within a 150-year-old pharmaceutical company as it transcends its conservative, SOP-driven culture to embrace modern agility. The primary objective? Cultivating a learning organization fueled by psychological safety and cultural metamorphosis. Although building agility initially appeared daunting, Merck embarked on a transformative quest driven by the imperative to adapt and thrive. Recognizing that psychological safety was crucial, the organization embarked on a culture-shifting mission. Creating an environment where individuals felt secure to share their ideas became paramount. By embracing discomfort, leaders demonstrated the change they wished to see. Join us as we explore Merck’s journey toward becoming a participative organization rooted in continuous learning. This session delves into the strategies, challenges, and triumphs encountered during an enterprise- scale transformation in an old-school, regulated industry. By sharing our experiences, we aim to inspire and equip agile practitioners, inside and outside of pharma, with practical guidance and insights outside of pharma, with practical guidance and insights.


Dhaval Panchal


“Traveler, there is no path. We make the road by walking.”- Introduction to Systems Thinking

We have been here before. A decade of trying to install agile frameworks has not led to the changes we hoped for. The problems from before remain trenched despite ongoing efforts to resolve them.

12:00pm - 1:15pm


lunch Menu

Turkey, ham or grilled veggie sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato on sliced wheat bread.

Cut fruit, chips, and a brownie.

Served with bottled water or soda.

1:15pm - 2:00pm

3rd breakout session

big tex

david hawks



the Art of

Remote Leadership

Many return-to-office (RTO) approaches are about managers trying to regain control, but after three years of remote work and the flexibility it provides, employees aren’t interested in being micromanaged. How do managers strike the right balance as we move forward into hybrid work policies? Come learn about the art of remote leadership. In this session, we will explore approaches to leading a distributed workforce, new leadership skills, anti-patterns, and critical environmental conditions leaders need to foster high performing remote teams. We will also identify when it makes sense to work together in a physical location.

lil' tex

Ximena Blake, Jim Martin, & Shelby Mayi


Cultivating Excellence:

Harmonizing Metrics for

Positive Team Dynamics

Uncover the art of utilizing metrics to fuel success, foster collaboration, and weave a positive work culture, all while maintaining the delicate balance that ensures team dynamics remain robust and harmonious.


Jennifer Hubley


KPIs Measure

What Matters

(3 Steps to Drive Results)

This session empowers participants to identify, implement, and manage KPIs to drive meaningful results by following a 3-step approach to measure and improve performance while ensuring alignment with organizational goals to deliver value. Participants will be able to describe the role of KPIs in driving behavior and improving business outcomes, thereby contributing to the overall success of projects and programs within the organization. Don't miss the chance to learn the 3-step approach to reaching goals and transforming your approach to create a dynamic, results-driven culture with KPIs.

2:00pm - 2:15pm


2:15pm - 3:00pm

4th breakout session

big tex

Neeley Neal


Return of the Trust Fall: Overcome the Dark Forces of Fear and Uncertainty for Courageous Risk-Taking

In this session, you’ll learn to enable Agile Mindset & Trust Mastery skills within your teams, as a force for courage, adaptability, collaboration, and “jedi-level” continuous improvement. In this developmental interactive workshop, you’ll face the dark forces of fear & uncertainty to champion courageous risk-taking and elevate your teams’ growth & impact.

lil' tex

Josh Fryer


Survive to Thrive:

A Tale of

Two Layoffs

Embark on a transformative journey with Josh Fryer as he unfolds the gripping tales of two Fortune100 layoffs. Gain exclusive access to the patterns and flags that turned job loss from unexpected to predictable. This session is not just a retrospective; it's a proactive guide to safeguarding your career. Join Josh as he reveals actionable steps you can implement today to strengthen your professional standing. Don't let the fear of layoffs linger—be the architect of your career destiny. Secure your seat for a session that promises to shift your perspective and empower you to thrive against the odds.


Daniel Walsh


Scaling an Agile

Mindset with

Behavioral Markers

Scaling an Agile mindset across teams often involves reshaping behaviors, cultivating new interactions, and improving team dynamics. How might we empower coaches, scrum masters, and team members to identify and fix behaviors detrimental to team performance? This session introduces the concept of behavioral markers, which are distinct, observable actions that influence team performance, either positively or negatively. Originating from Crew Resource Management research in aviation and healthcare, behavioral marker systems serve a dual purpose. They provide a framework (scaffolding) for teams to build better behaviors and act as a reflective tool (mirror) for self-assessment and improvement in high-stakes team environments. Participants will discover actionable tools and strategies to implement behavioral marker systems, enabling them to witness firsthand the transformation in team performance and collaboration.

3:00pm - 3:15pm


3:15pm - 4:00pm

Panel discussion
& awards

big tex

Let's all gather together in the Big Tex Auditorium for a rousing panel discussion and to hand out a few awards!

4:00pm - 5:00pm

happy hour

happy hour Menu

1 Beverage

Salsa, Chips, and Pretzels

UT Commons Conference Center map

20 Rooms Map for Website (1).png
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