Sneak Preview: Coming Up at AgileDC

Excella at Agile DC

Organiza­tions facing complex IT problems often turn to Agile to ensure that they can deliver solutions on time and on budget. Taking an Agile approach to IT solutions enables product owners to quickly deliver value and easily adapt to changes by aligning software development with specific customer needs and organizational goals.



On Tuesday, October 21, five Excella Consultants will share their Agile knowledge and experience with attendees of AgileDC, the premier Agile event in the Washington, D.C. area. Curious what lessons we’ll be sharing with the Agile community?



Read on to learn more about what our team has to share at AgileDC! Let us know if any of these topic resonate with you:



Topic 1: Agile in the Federal Government 

Interested in learning how Agile can find success in high-visibility federal government projects? Check out Training Lead and CST Richard Cheng’s presentation on Agile in the Federal Government. Rich will explore why programs decided to take an Agile approach, major hurdles and obstacles, patterns of success and end results.

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Best IT Events for October

October is shaping up to be an exciting month of conferences, Meetups, and user group meetings! Here are the IT events we are looking forward to attending this month around Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Hope to see you there!


Agile Leadership Network DC Chapter (ALN DC)

The Villains of Decision Making (Presented by Quentin Gilbert)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Vienna, VA



10 Things Statistics Taught Us About Big Data Analytics

DC Business Intelligentsia

Monday, October 6, 2014

6 PM – 8 PM

Arlington, VA


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What Do Good Agile Coaches Do?

A good Agile Coach can help new and existing teams successfully adopt Agile and strengthen their established Agile practices. A bad Agile Coach can leave a team stymied, frustrated, and wondering where to go next.


Once a team has decided that they need an Agile Coach, they must find a Coach who is right for them. But what distinguishes a good coach from a bad coach?


In this post, published on his blog “IT’s A Nice Life,” Co-Founder and Partner Jeff Gallimore discusses four things that good Agile coaches do.


Check it out and tell us what you think. How have Agile Coaches helped your team?

Node.js Challenges: Why MEAN Doesn’t Work, But a Hapi “LEBRON” Does

When I first started working with Node.js, the MEAN stack seemed to be the most popular and sensible stack to roll with. The MEAN Stack is MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS and NodeJS. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for good seed projects and examples of these technologies working in harmony.


After my trip to NodeConf this past summer, I got a chance to see what the Node community is doing and I was introduced to some new and simpler packages that make working with Node a pure pleasure. Since NodeConf, I’ve been working on a stack that makes it much easier to use and teach Node. I call this stack Hapi LEBRON. LEBRON is a combination of LevelDB, Browserify and npm. Hapi is a rich applications and services framework built by Walmart Labs.


You might want to check this out if you are interested in rapid prototyping, doubled developer productivity by streamlining development technologies and real-time, highly concurrent or high I/O applications.

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Where Can Business Analysts Find Help?

When talking about IT the conversation is likely to going to be about new products, tools, apps or software. Talk about the people who work in IT and you’re most likely going to be talking about the developers, programmer and engineers. Follow that talk up with a little research into professional development resources for IT, and you’re bound to find no shortage of conferences, training, meetups and other groups that support technical professionals and help them improve their craft.


This is terrific because the tech industry thrives on collaboration and learning. However, if you’re on the non-technical side of IT – those who work with alongside developers to figure out what software and systems should do – it can sometimes feel like there aren’t enough resources or opportunities to help you do your job and expand your skill set. This may leave a business analyst or project manager asking, where do I go for help?

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What is Agile Program Management?

Agile Program Management


Agile + Program Management = Agile Program Management. Easy, right?


Not so much.


Agile Program Management means different things to different people. It could mean the management of multiple Agile projects (“the scrum of scrums“); it could mean something as challenging as implementing the Scaled Agile Framework; it could be as simple as implementing daily stand-ups for program managers.


So what does it mean?

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Best IT Events For September

Here are the IT events we are looking forward to attending this month around Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Hope to see you there!


DC Python

Jim Fulton: ZODB

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

7 PM

Washington, DC



Agile Leadership Network (ALNDC)

Agile Requirements Management (Presented by Don Wilson)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Vienna, VA



DC Business Intelligentsia and DC Business Intelligence & Analytics – Networking & Learning (co-organizing)

How to Really Go Agile-Continuous Integration with BI and Analytics Tools

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Arlington, VA


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How To Create Transparency with Agile Dashboards

Nothing stops an IT project in its tracks like surprises and confusion. Your team could be iterating away, making great progress (or so you thought), and one misinformed or misunderstood stakeholder could suddenly throw everything off course. Not good.


The solution for this, as supported in the Agile manifesto, is more clarity and collaboration to ensure everyone involved in a project on the same page. But how can you get there?


In this post, published on his blog “IT’s A Nice Life,” Co-Founder and Partner Jeff Gallimore explores this issue and the solutions needed to create clear, transparent communication via dashboarding that can keep you, your team, and your stakeholders on track.


Give it a read here and tell us what you think. What types of solutions are you using to help increase clarity and transparency across your teams and projects?


Chart Magic: Tools for Data Visualization

Presenting data to users is often a key part of software development and business intelligence projects – whether projects cater to the public or internal executives.  Over the past two years, the ability to present this data in a browser has increased a great deal. Browsers not only handle JavaScript more quickly, which enables larger data sets to be presented, but the tool ecosystem has also seen a number of excellent contributions that bring powerful, interactive visualizations to life.


My recent exploration into these tools inspired a short lightning talk that specifically addresses three of these tools: D3.js, Crossfilter, and DC.js.


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Warning!…Three MORE Signs Your IT Project May  Fail 

Delivering on project goals is hard work.  It’s hard work for Agile teams and it’s hard work for Waterfall teams.  As a project manager, I’ve come to recognize the warning signs of a failing IT project and learned the best methods to get the project back on track.


Earlier this year we published a post identifying three ways to tell that your project may fail. And, well, we weren’t finished! Read on for three MORE things to keep an eye out for –  and what to do if you find yourself experiencing these common issues.  If you’re using an Agile methodology such as Scrum in your project, then each of these is addressed by one or more Agile principles and supporting Scrum processes.

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