Product Conf 2016 Speakers

About Don

Don is the President of Reinertsen & Associates, a consulting firm specialized in the management of product development. He has worked with leading product development organizations for over 30 years, and taught executive courses at Caltech for 14 years. He is the author/co-author of three best-selling books on product development. His latest awarding winning book, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development, has been praised as, “… quite simply the most advanced product development book you can buy.”

Don will also be giving Lean Product Development workshop the week of Product Conf. You can find information and registration for that here.

Don Reinertsen

An Introduction to Second Generation Lean Product Development

Lean methods have been used for over 50 years in production processes, producing huge economic benefits. They are based on many principles that are transferable to product development. In fact, these methods are the only practical way to simultaneously achieve large
improvements in the speed, quality, and cost of product development. However, using lean methods in product development requires some insight. Certain methods that work in Lean Manufacturing are toxic in a product development environment. For example, if we try to eliminate all variability we will, as an unfortunate side effect, eliminate all innovation.

This talk will introduce you to the science and some of the practical methods of Lean Product Development. It draws upon ideas from a variety of domains including queueing theory, telecommunication network design, computer operating systems, and lean manufacturing. It will introduce you some key lean methods such as economic models, queue management, batch size reduction, WIP constraints, and cadence. It is intended to provide a quick exposure to some of the most important ideas of second generation lean product development.

About Jeff

Jeff is a designer, product strategist, team leader and author. He’s been teaching teams across the world to rave reviews. Jeff has been creating software products for over 17 years with companies like AOL, Fidelity, WebTrends & TheLadders and Neo Innovation.

Jeff Gothelf

Scaling Lean: Project, Program, Portfolio

The term Lean has become widely popular, particularly with the word “startup” attached to it. This has led many people to believe this is an approach to work relevant only to new companies or initiatives. Lean-curious companies who have tried to implement these ideals often stall at one or two teams citing organizational complexities, politics and dependencies as insurmountable obstacles to Lean Startup at scale. Can Lean Startup practices be scaled — not just as culture and philosophy but as tactical process? In this practical presentation, Jeff will share several methods for scaling Lean Startup techniques in large organizations exemplified in detailed case studies and professional experience. Jeff will cover knowledge management, intra-team dependencies, infrastructure requirements and several other elements of ensuring successful Lean Startup practices in companies of any size.

About Jez

Jez Humble is co-author of the Jolt Award winning Continuous Delivery, published in Martin Fowler’s Signature Series (Addison Wesley, 2010), and Lean Enterprise, in Eric Ries’ Lean series (O’Reilly, 2015). He has spent his career tinkering with code, infrastructure, and product development in companies of varying sizes across three continents. He is currently researching how to build high performing teams, and helping to create a cloud platform for government. He works at 18F, teaches at UC Berkeley, and is co-founder of DevOps Research and Assessment LLC.

Jez Humble

The Culture of Lean Product Development

The modern lean/agile paradigm for product development takes an experimental, iterative approach to building new products. However many organizations demand certainty in the outcomes of their product development process. In this talk Jez will explore the science behind high performing organizations, and present principles and practices that can work even in large, traditional organizations.

About Jeremy

Jeremy Kriegel has been designing great user experiences (UX) for 18 years. Just as we need to understand the needs and context of users to craft a design solution, Jeremy believes that success also requires us to look at the business context to craft an appropriate design process. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, as a consultant or on an internal team, he has seen a lot of different scenarios that each required their own approach. He brings this diversity of experience to bear in adapting UX to agile methodologies, finding the balance appropriate for each business. Currently, Jeremy is the UX Manager for BzzAgent, which helps generate word-of-mouth marketing content.

Jeremy Kriegel

Sketch You Can!
Demystifying a Powerful Collaboration Technique

“This meeting is a waste of my time.” When was the last time you had that thought? Was it because the conversation wasn’t focused, or people couldn’t agree, or maybe they were in violent agreement, but couldn’t see it? How easily do you think you can get this meeting back on track? In this session, you will learn a skill that you can apply on the spot that will help you focus the conversation and drive to consensus. Everything you need is probably already in the room.

In this engaging workshop, you will learn how to create a basic sketch of an interface using some simple sketching techniques and UX principles as well as practice thinking-on-your-feet that will help you comfortably do this with a group.

“But I can’t draw!” Neither can I, and I’ve been successfully using this technique for over 15 years. If you can draw a straight-ish line, an oval, and a box, you have all the drawing skills necessary.

About Mary

Mary Poppendieck has been in the Information Technology industry for over forty years. She has managed software development, supply chain management, manufacturing operations, and new product development.

A popular writer and speaker, Poppendieck is the coauthor of four books: Lean Software Development, 2003. Implementing Lean Software Development, 2006. Leading Lean Software Development, 2009 and Lean Mindset, 2013.

Mary Poppendieck

Platforms Beat Products – Almost Every Time

Have you taken a look at the really successful internet companies lately? Have you noticed that they are no longer sell software products? They host software platforms – marketplaces where some parties display their wares and others find something valuable among the offerings. And somehow, successful platform provider seems to make a very good profit. How does that work?

Platforms work differently than products. If you become a platform provider, your offerings are not products and your economic focus is not profits. Instead, your success depends upon your ability to influence the actions of third parties. Therefore, you concentrate on massive scale, deep learning, and reliable transactions. And even if you do everything right, you need a lot of luck to succeed.

This talk is about the pitfalls and the rewards of hosting a platform.

About Jeff

Jeff Sussna is an internationally recognized IT consultant and design thinking practitioner. He is known throughout the DevOps community for introducing DevOps to the importance of empathy. Jeff has 30 years of experience in software development, QA, and operations, and has led projects for Fortune 500 enterprises, major technology companies, software service startups, and media conglomerates. He is the author of Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy, and is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker on topics across the Agile/DevOps/Design Thinking spectrum.

Jeff Sussna

Beyond Products: Unifying Design and Operations

In the digital service economy we need to go beyond product thinking and design for service, not just software. Faced with ever increasing complexity and uncertainty, we have to design for failure and operate to learn. Shipping features is necessary but not sufficient; we also need to transform operations into an input to design.
This talk will introduce the new challenges posed by service, digital infusion, complexity, and disruption. It will present a new model of IT that emerges from rethinking the relationship between design and operations. Finally, it will describe what happens when we surrender our attachment to “being done”, and instead begin to approach system and organizational design as continuous and inseparable.

About David

David teaches and coaches product discovery through iterative delivery. He has spent the last 15 years coaching agility and producing products for companies of all sizes around the world. David’s coaching is non-dogmatic and pragmatic. His focus on getting to know a project community allows him to seed self-discovery and avoid falling into the expert trap of simply telling people what they “should do”. David spends most of his time with teams, helping them create and validate product ideas and roadmaps with responsive engineering. He also works with leadership teams to pragmatically introduce the type of lasting agility that fosters innovation and creates a competitive edge.

David Hussman

From Progress to Product: How do we get there?

We’ve spent years working on helping teams and programs visualize progress and work to get more done. In some places where flow was more of a constant, the focus switched from getting more down, to learning faster, sometime learning that what was getting done was not really needed or valuable. This talk will explore the importance of where were have been as a vehicle for where we can go. It will explore both product discovery and product delivery, examining how to blend them at a frequency that is right for the product and not driven by the process. We will look at lightweight product delivery with small independent teams as well as producing real market value when working in large scale systems. Warning: Scrum heresy will take place and open skepticism that promotes an evolution towards better progress over yet more process will be honored, amplified and cherished.

About Anne

Anne is a product coach at DevJam. She helps teams apply practical techniques for bringing market, customer, and user voices into the product development process.

Anne Steiner

Building the Wrong Thing Faster:  Two Delivery Successes That Led to Product Failure

Anne shares the story of two product development efforts that were wildly successful in terms of delivery but were misses in the market. She’ll discuss the ups and downs of each and how delivery remained king even after market challenges were revealed. You’ll learn to avoid this by putting learning ahead of (or at least equal to) delivery.

About Shivani

Shivani Stumpf is the Sr. Director of Retail Solutions at SPS Commerce and is a frequent speaker at industry events. At SPS, Ms. Stumpf is responsible for utilizing cloud technology and graph-based architecture to advance the company’s Retail Business Network for its 65,000 customers. Ms. Stumpf has an extensive background in shaping mobile strategies and leading development of innovative products utilizing lean product development methodologies.

Ms. Stumpf holds a Master of Sciences degree in Computer Science from St. Cloud State University and a Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree from Manipal Institute of Technology in India.

Twitter: @sk_shivani


Shivani Stumpf

Find reps who like putting numbers on the board, you’re ok. Find engineers who like putting numbers on the board, and you’re invincible.

What I would like to talk about through story telling is how product-market fit trumps everything – including the best designed/best engineered products.

About Anita

Anita Ganjegunte

Lessons From the Game of Thrones – Our Journey From Project to Product in a Large Company

The agile transformation game in large companies –  from Project to Product focus. How the agile approach shifted the thinking from large, single delivery linear projects to smaller, incremental continuously delivered features.

About Anna

Anna Bliss is an associate product manager working with Best Buy’s public API services. Anna has worked in the tech arena for 15 years, taking a circuitous route to product management with roles ranging from business analyst to technical writer to project coordinator. These varied roles, along with some entirely unrelated to software development (such as theatrical scenic design) have built up a unique skill set that she wasn’t entirely sure how to integrate until she stumbled on product management.

Anna Bliss

Product Managers Do Not Spring Forth from the Head of Zeus Fully Formed

There are not (yet) college degree programs or courses for a career in product management. While product managers often come from the engineering ranks, they might also come from finance, marketing, business analysis or project management roles. Or in the case of Anna and Viv, prior gigs ranging from theatrical design to entrepreneurship. Anna and Viv will take you on their journeys that lead them to discovering product management and making their own paths into it. A key portion of both of their journeys was the guidance and support from the product community, both formal and informal. As they walk through that journey, they hope you will find actions you can take to develop yourself, other (future) product managers, and the discipline.

About Vivienne

Vivienne Whitfield is an eCommerce product manager working with Bluestem Brand’s checkout and sign-in capabilities. Her background includes roles in eCommerce category management, digital analytics and small business ownership. Never one to take “no” for an answer, Viv wove these roles together to make a place for herself in the product management world.

Vivienne Whitfield

Product Managers Do Not Spring Forth from the Head of Zeus Fully Formed

There are not (yet) college degree programs or courses for a career in product management. While product managers often come from the engineering ranks, they might also come from finance, marketing, business analysis or project management roles. Or in the case of Anna and Viv, prior gigs ranging from theatrical design to entrepreneurship. Anna and Viv will take you on their journeys that lead them to discovering product management and making their own paths into it. A key portion of both of their journeys was the guidance and support from the product community, both formal and informal. As they walk through that journey, they hope you will find actions you can take to develop yourself, other (future) product managers, and the discipline.

About Dion

Dion Stewart is an independent software developer and agile coach. He has long held the view that software development is a craft. Prior to starting his career as a professional developer he spent a year in retreat on a residential Guitar Craft seminar. His view of software development as a craft is strongly influenced by the values and principles he learned while studying guitar as a Guitar Craft participant. He has a Masters degree in Software Engineering and undergraduate degrees in Music and English Literature. His work as a professional software developer is also influenced by his study of Zen philosophy and Tai Chi.

Dion Stewart

Annotated Journeys: Story Mapping Evolved

Story Maps and Journeys are tools that help us focus product delivery around the question – “what do we want to learn next?” Annotating journeys drives collaborative discovery and delivery around UX, creating measurable outcomes and key results (OKRs), and defining product-driven architecture. Learn how Dion is using annotated Journeys with the teams he coaches and how you and your teams can improve by using this practice.

About Angie

Angie Franks has over 25 years of technology leadership experience ranging from sales and marketing for a pre-revenue start-up in Kansas City to CEO of a hospital information systems company.

Currently, Angie is the Chief Marketing Officer for SportsEngine, a division of NBC Sports. SportsEngine is a technology company serving the youth and amateur sports industry. Her responsibilities include overall leadership for the brand, communications, marketing and product functions.

Angie and her family reside in the Twin Cities.

Angie Franks

Designing Products with a Market Driven Approach

The best products are designed and built with a vision to solve a problem. Not just any problem, but one that someone will pay to have solved. In today’s agile, 2-week sprints, move fast…no, even faster environment, how do we design products with a market driven approach? And do so quickly, with a vision and the voice of the market shining through? During this session, we will discuss how to drive a deeper, market driven approach into your organization and translate that approach into products that are adopted faster and drive more revenue for your organization.

About John

John Willis is a Director of Ecosystem Development for Docker, which he joined after the company he co-founded (SocketPlane, which focused on SDN for containers) was acquired by Docker in March 2015.  Previous to founding SocketPlane in Fall 2014, John was the Chief DevOps Evangelist at Dell, which he joined following the Enstratius acquisition in May 2013. He has also held past executive roles at Opscode/Chef and Canonical/Ubuntu. John is the author of 7 IBM Redbooks and is co-author of the “Devops Handbook” along with authors Gene Kim and Jez Humble. The best way to reach John is through his twitter handle @botchagalupe.

John Willis

Immutable Service Delivery

High performance organizations know how to be fast, effective and reliable at the same time.  When combining Devops,Immutable Delivery and Supply chain models you can get all three.  In this presentation we will look at how Devops increases speed and reliability.  How Immutable Delivery models using Docker can increase effectiveness. Then how combining Devops and containers with Toyota Supply Chain delivery models can super size speed and reliability.  We will also look at how immutable delivery and Toyota Supply chain can drive 4VL (Increase Variety, Velocity and Visibility and decrease Variation).

About Farzana

Farzana Ashraf is the Vice President of Product Engineering and Quality at Pearson VUE.   Ms. Ashraf has many years of technology experience in a variety of roles ranging from software development to large-scale technology and business leadership; currently managing product engineering, DevOps, software quality assurance, release management and technical project management teams. Together, these groups provide a suite of applications, platforms and services delivering over fifteen millions high-stakes examinations annually through a distributed network of twenty thousand test centers world-wide.

Farzana Ashraf

Product Delivery With a Twist

How do you feel about committing to numerous multi-million dollar customer contracts simultaneously that come with pre-determined delivery dates while the scope is not fully understood? This talk will unveil how to use the art of agility to be successful in a complex product delivery business model.