Let's stop zombie Agile!

Agile Day Riga
  • July 19-20, 2018
  • Radisson Blu Daugava
  • 250+ Participants
  • 20+ Speakers
  • 2 Awesome Days
Agile Day Riga 2018 preparation

Welcome to Agile Day Riga 2018

We are organising Agile Day Riga conference, so that we together learn more of:

  • Asking 'Why?' over blindly copying what others are doing.
  • Focusing on mindset and culture over practices.
  • Building safety and trust over process and tools.
  • Working together over roles.
Join us and let’s enjoy what we are doing together!

Agile Latvia Team working on ADR

What is Agile Day Riga?

Our goal is to enable and nurture Agile and Lean community of people in Latvia for collaboration, information sharing, discussions, and, as an agile community, to enable self-organization. ADR is:

  • Completely non-profit.
  • Organised for over six years without any need of formal structures or management
  • Is all about practitioners which actully work Agile and Lean.
  • Since 2011, volunteers from Agile Latvia network have organized annual (un-)conferences to meet old and new friends, to exchange opinions and learn or share.

Agile Day Riga
Open Space

What is Open Space?

It is an agenda-less event where people come together, create agenda under specific theme, and then learn from each other in small groups. Items in agenda can be anything: problems, situations, experiences, approaches, lectures, etc. related to the specific theme. Please take a read and watch couple of videos below to get you into the mood and ‘be prepared to be surprised’ on July 20!

You can find more details about Open Space format here.

What is Scrum Alliance User Group?

Training and certification is the initial step on your journey, but joining a user group is just as important. User groups help you stay current on best practices, share experiences and knowledge. You also earn 16 SEUs this year too, just don't forget to register those toward your certification through events organized by User Groups.

Official Scrum Alliance User Group
Agile Latvia

What is Agile Latvia?

Agile Latvia is a community with a goal to spread information about Agile practices amongst Latvian software development professionals and industry newcomers. Scrum Alliance User Groups number in the hundreds and are located around the world. Agile Latvia is the one near you and we are happy to help you!

Gold Sponsors


Europe’s largest online and mobile consumer lending group. We get money to people when they need it – quickly, conveniently and responsibly. We use cutting edge technology and data to offer convenient loans to customers across 17 countries. Since we were established in 2008, we have provided more than 11,500,000 Single Payment, Line of Credit and Instalment Loans totalling over EUR 4.0 billion. 4finance is a responsible lender. We do not believe in burdening people, in hard selling, or in hidden charges and penalties. We are upfront and transparent about the loans we offer. We are a consumer finance group for today’s fast-moving world, a proven alternative to conventional bank lending. And we are growing fast.

Silver Sponsors

Scrum Alliance

Become part of something bigger than you alone. Founded in 2001, Scrum Alliance® is the largest, most established and influential professional membership and certification organization in the Agile community. Scrum Alliance® is a nonprofit association, having certified more than 450,000 individuals worldwide. Its vision is to 'Transform the World of Work' with a mission to guide and inspire individuals, leaders, and organizations with practices, principles, and values that create workplaces that are joyful, prosperous, and sustainable. Come sprint with us at www.ScrumAlliance.org.


Cognizant is an American multinational company providing information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services. It dedicates itself to help the world's leading companies build stronger businesses. Cognizant combines passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise. With over 100 development and delivery centers worldwide Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. To augment our European Delivery, we are looking for future colleagues like you. Visit our career site to find out more: www.Cognizant.lv.


Day 1

Agility in the Face of Perplexity (10:00 - 11:00; Daugava 1+2)

Scrum was officially presented in 1995. In 2001, 17 software development leaders published the "Manifesto for Agile Software Development". Agile gradually started replacing the industrial way of thinking, with Scrum being the most adopted technique to achieve a higher state of agility. Today, 2018, the Agile paradigm is more needed than ever, to avoid complexity turning into perplexity. Gunther aspires disentangling the clew that ’Scrum’ and ‘Agile’ turned into and show the value and their originality. Gunther has considered what Agile means to him, what it is that makes Agile work, what it is that makes Scrum work, and will share his views on the future state of Scrum and Agile.

Gunther Verheyen

Gunther Verheyen

Gunther Verheyen (Belgium) is a longtime Scrum practitioner (2003). After a standing career as a consultant, he became partner to Ken Schwaber and Director of the Professional Scrum series at Scrum.org (2013-2016). Gunther nowadays engages with people and organizations as an independent Scrum Caretaker. In 2013 Gunther published the acclaimed book "Scrum - A Pocket Guide".

Fragile Agile: Coaching a Tired Team (11:15 - 12:00; Daugava 1)

As an Agile Coach or Scrum Master do you want to add energy to your team that looks not enthusiastic or resists change? Is is possible to cause harm to your team even with proper Agile coaching? Yes, if you are working with tired, exhausted or even burned-out teams, they do need special treatment, usually counterintuitive to the coaches. Would you like to learn special set of actions, taken from the medical practice, tailored to work with exhausted people? Would you like to experience an upward spiral from tiredness to the true intristic motivation and creativity? Join me in the self test and practical steps discussion what needs to be modified in the coaching and facilitation techniques and in the Agile process that you as a coach or a scrum master can help your worn out team to transition into a better process and produce steady results.

Anna Obukhova

Anna Obukhova

Anna Obukhova is an Agile Coach working with Agile approach since 2004 as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, Project/Program Manager and recently as Agile Portfolio Delivery Manager for a large investment bank in London. Anna is mainly interested in distributed and dispersed projects and effectiveness of team communication in such conditions. Her passion is to collect and share best industry and company practices in Agile management. Additionally, Anna Obukhova is using neuroscience and biology to explain Agile productivity and enhance Agile coaching techniques. This perspective of Neuroscience and Agile was agreed to be novel and worth sharing by many conferences, to name a few: ALE Bucharest, Agile Days Moscow, Global Scrum Gathering Paris, Agile Cambridge, Agile Tour London, Agile on the Beach (UK), Agile 2017 (Orlando, USA)... She uses her educations in Biology, Psychology and Coaching to connect working tips and recommendations with the natural processes that happen in our bodies (especially in the brain).

How does a technical guy become an Agile Leader? (11:15 - 12:00; Casino)

Olaf Lewitz is going to share with you some insights about the journey from an introvert engineer to an Agile Leader! According to him, everyone who is involved in software development can become an Agile Leader. Olaf thinks that all engineers like structure, processes, predictability, and simple design. Most of today’s managers in software organisations have an engineering background. They have taken responsibility in organisations that were designed for stability and success in stable markets. Now, the conditions change. Organisations change. Business agility and leadership agility are called for. How do we make that change? In his speech he will share his personal learnings and insights, his successes and failures. He will share patterns and strategies that worked for him, and tools that may help all of us deliver leadership as an Agile service.

Olaf Lewitz

Olaf Lewitz

Olaf Lewitz, Trust Artist, TrustTemenos Leadership Academy. As Trust Artist and CEC, Olaf is a leader in the international agile community. He has helped hundreds of individuals and organisations to transform. His specialty: making sense of leadership. His strategy: increasing trust and responsibility through invitation and clarity. Olaf and Christine Neidhardt founded TrustTemenos Leadership Academy. They work with leaders increasing their clarity of identity and intent, and help growing organisations where people want to show up and grow. In 2016 they published a workbook for leaders: 'Showing Up'. Let’s trust ourselves and others. Olaf believes you deserve to love what you do.

Handle With Care. Scaling Your Agile. (11:15 - 12:00; Daugava 2)

I’m going to share my experience in scaling work across different teams and even across countries. Insights on how to organise work of a distributed team, how to share codebase between different teams, how to onboard new developers efficiently, what are preconditions for scaling, what could make a scaling attempt to fail and etc. Can you have two agile teams instead of one in a short period of time? Can some company with two offices work as smoothly as a company, where all employees are sitting in the same building? Can you have the same values in different teams? My answer is "yes", but everything comes with a price. This session tells about what price you have to pay in order to scale your software development business. Also it is going to explore which aspects of corporate culture can prevent or can support scaling process, what kind scaling aspects require more attention than others, how to setup a distributed teams in distributed company. case study. real-life story. + will compare different approaches including SAFe + team/company onboarding to new process + lessons learned

Dmitry Lebedev

Dmitry Lebedev

Dmitry started his job as a software engineer 20 years ago, has delivered many software projects, failed a few, learned a lot of things from other people and now he is willing to share his stories of success and failures with broader audience. The ultimate goal of his activities is that software could be developed pragmatically, based on an engineering approach and mutual respect between all involved parts.

What I learned about Kanban on a 400km hike on the Santiago de Camino (12:00 - 12:45; Daugava 1)

Every journey begins with a single step. Walking the Camino de Santiago for two weeks took me 586444. In this very personal talk I will share what I've learned about the practices of Kanban after applying them to learn about myself and make changes along the way. Learning Outcomes: Learn about Kanban's core practices in a gripping story about suffering and achievement. Get ideas about how you can apply these practices to your personal endeavors, too.

Markus Wissekal

Markus Wissekal

Markus is accredited Kanban trainer, Agile Coach and LegoSeriousPlay Facilitator. In the past he was a programmer writing code that makes things work and do cool stuff. Now he concentrates his talents on helping teams to work better together and make even cooler stuff. Markus is really passionate about what he does and loves hearing about, and trying out new ideas within Agile. This is what led him from Scrum to become Switzerlands first Accredited Kanban Trainer and this is what will continue to lead him into a more agile, lean and positive future.

3 reasons why your company is deadly far from agility (12:00 - 12:45; Daugava 2)

For the last 14 years I was observing enterprises from small to big striving to improve their business processes and improve results of the business. Once, consulting a 3-months old company of my friend, I got it clear. Although those problems of big and small enterprises are very different, the roots of that problems are quite the same. The same patterns keeps from org to org, and these patterns constitute the most hard impediments on the way to agility. In my speech I’m going to share the insights on the nature of this patterns, show how they work, and give ideas on what could be done to move away from the dead point.

Andrey Tolmachev

Andrey Tolmachev

Andrey Tolmachev is a Business Trainer, Agile Coach, Scrum Trainer (PST certification is in progress) and certified Coach ICTA

Top-7 Scrum Anti-Patterns and 5 Ways to Fix them (12:00 - 12:45; Casino)

Scrum is the most spread Agile-framework on the planet yet many times companies do not unlock its full potential and in the worst cases suffer and fail miserably. If your Scrum adoption does not work, if you’re stuck and can’t find a way out, if you feel that something is wrong with your Scrum, then this talk is for you! Mark will share the collective experience of his clients from the past 7 years and boil down the Top-7 Scrum Anti-Patterns he has been seeing in the wide range of companies - from small startups to huge international banks, telecom and insurance companies. Mark will also present 5 Ways to address this Anti-Patterns which will help prevent your Scrum adoption from failing.

Mark Kachanov

Mark Kachanov

Mark Kachanov (Russia) is an Agile Coach and certified Professional Scrum Trainer via Scrum.org. Having more than 7 years of experience in Scrum he kicked-off more than 25 teams and taught more than 500 people from all over the world. His primary areas of interest are business agility and underlying scaled scrum adoptions involving structural changes of organizations. Mark has been consulting a wide variety of companies from small startups to huge international banks, telecom and insurance companies.

Scrum master. The Dark Side of the Moon, or What Scrum Guide does not write about it. (13:45 - 14:30; Casino)

The topic is about role of Scrum Masters and things which are not written in Scrum Guide but belongs to this role.

Dmitriy Emelyanov

Dmitriy Emelyanov

Dmitriy Emelyanov (Moscow, Russia) is the only one Russian Advanced Certified Scrum Master. More than 5 years in IT, hardware project management and software product development. Scrum practitioner, Agile coach at tutu.ru and facilitator from regular Scrum events to meetings at top management level. He is helping organisations to transform and be agile, creates awesome teams and helps Scrum Masters to perfect their skills with teaching, coaching and mentoring.

How to lead a DevOps team of 125 at a Fortune100 company (14:30 - 15:15; Daugava 1)

Rules how to do business in 400k people company are very different from what people are used to in small and mid-size companies. It's similar to running your own company but few things are very different. I'll tell more about environment I live in, what targets we have as team and why we are being so successful. Last year at world class conference "All Day DevOps" I told about my journey how we grew from 0 to 100. Guess what - it didn't solve all our issues. This year I'm happy to continue my story with new things we implemented to build foundation for further growth. This can be treated as "management talk" but DevOps is never just about tools. This talk covers cultural and business side which are very important to be the best in DevOps and IT world in general.

Uldis Karlov-Karlovskis

Uldis Karlov-Karlovskis

I believe there is no single me. While being technician and problem solver in my heart, during last 6-7 years I have been very much interested in group psychology and therapy. Some 5 years I spent doing a lot of acting and directing in theatre. In March of 2018 I started building my own theatre troupe. Luckily my role in company gives me the opportunity to try out different methods and experiment with culture and hierarchies. I hate reading books but currently that’s the only way how to open my mind for new ideas.

Have We Lost the Real Meaning of Agile? (16:00 - 17:00; Daugava 1+2)

In this talk I will try to shed some light on the history of Agile. I was talking to Manifesto signatories reconstructing the talks they had about the deeper meaning of Agile and looking around 17 years later, I can say that we have lost the real meaning of this word. I want to share with you my findings about the What and about the How of Agile. We will be discussing three goals of Agility and talking about the reasons why different companies are starting on this path. I will tell you about a few wrong reasons and a couple of good ones. I will also answer the question many people are asking now: is Agile dead?, should we switch to building Real organisations instead?

Sergey Dmitriev

Sergey Dmitriev

Sergey Dmitriev (Russia) is an agile and scrum evangelist focused on improvement of business processes, modern approaches to management and strategy consulting. I can help your organization transform to agile or to improve your existing agile practices. I do executive and team coaching and workshop facilitation. My mission is to convince the World that traditional approach to managing knowledge workers is broken. My hobby is diving. Interested in deep and wreck diving or a combination of both :) I am a father of 4 and a happy man.

Day 2

Attentioneering: Guiding Richer Conversations. (09:30 - 10:15; Abava / Amata - 2nd floor)

In this highly-interactive session, participants will: Learn about "the nearest thing FBI negotiators have to a Jedi mind trick" for building trust quickly and easily Find out how to use this approach to develop psychological safety in working relationships, especially those which cross organisational and cultural boundaries Hear how it has been used to reduce conflict and misunderstandings while maintaining the creative tension that’s essential to innovation Experiment with the technique in a series of lightning - and enlightening - conversations Plan to apply all of this straight away, so that they get even better value from the rest of the conference.

Judy Rees

Judy Rees

Judy Rees (UK) works with senior leaders, operational managers, teams, coaches, and all kinds of "change professionals" to develop advanced communication skills. Her specialism is supporting highly intelligent and highly diverse teams to connect effectively, even when members rarely (or never) meet in person. As a former news journalist and media executive, she’s been working with geographically distributed teams since long before it became mainstream. Her approaches have been designed to be effective both in person and remotely, and many of her training workshops happen via video conference calls. She’s the co-author of the specialist bestseller Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds as well as a number of ebooks and online courses, including Virtual Leadership Secrets. She is based in London.

Avoid Agile transformations (16:45 - 17:30; Abava / Amata - 2nd floor)

Agile is no longer a set of software development methods used by a bunch of innovators. Nowadays Agile is arguably the most popular and successful product development strategy. Therefore many organisations decided to start their "Agile transformation" to become a different organisation that is able to operate in a new business paradigm….. Or not? Is it possible to transform an organisation? Is it viable to influence the culture, structure and processes in an organization to successfully operate as an entirely different entity? Is a transformation needed to succed in business? I will use Complexity thinking and Cynefin in practice to answer this questions from a experimental perspective. By making sense of the different business contexts, and understanding what are the more suitable practices for each context you will be able to understand when Agility makes sense and how to make business Agility happen. In this talk I’ll share my thoughts about Agile transformations: why this is becoming important in this moment of history, why Agile emerges in the software industry, how is agile connected to the 21st century customer, how Agile addresses the need of continuous innovation and why the concept of "Agile Transformation" can be an stopper for organisations to achieve a real growth. Learning Outcomes: Understand Business Agility, Describe why Agile is not always the answer, Understand why "Agile transformations" are often failing, Explain why the concept "Agile transformation" should be substituted by "Incorporating experimentation capabilities", Define an Strategy for business Agility based on complexity thinking, Understanding of the core of agile, contextualize Agile in the current world of business. Powerful and proven arguments to encourage business people to get involved in Agile initiatives.

Angel Diaz-Maroto

Angel Diaz-Maroto

Angel is a very energetic Agile coach who truly enjoys challenges. Putting in place Lean and Agile concepts and practices in very complex environments is his specialty and passion. As an Agile coach, trainer, and mentor, he’s supported several multinational organizations in their Agile journeys during the last 10 years. Throughout his over 18 years of experience in IT Angel has worked in various roles: agile coach, R&D manager, software developer, software architect, ScrumMaster, and trainer. Angel is recognized worldwide as an expert in Agile and Scrum and he holds the three highest level certifications in the field: CST (Certified Scrum Trainer), CEC (Certified Enterprise Coach) and CAL Educator (Certified Agile Leadership Educator) by the Scrum Alliance. This is a very unique set of credentials as there are only 24 CAL Educators, 94 CEC’s and 232 CST’s worldwide, as for today. Angel is also a co-active coach, specialized in team coaching and systemic leadership, and Management 3.0 licensed trainer. Additionally, he teaches video game production at ESNE (University of Design, Innovation and technology) and Design Thinking at LaSalle University. Angel is as well a frequent speaker having participated in more than 40 international conferences and Agile events in Europe, Asia and the Americas.