ICR Agile is a one day virtual event to bring together members of the agile community and those interested in embracing the agile mindset to learn and network with peers. This conference is a collaboration between NewBoCo and members of Eastern Iowa Agile.

Agile is a way of thinking about how we work. It enables people to solve complex and adaptive problems by collaborating to integrate feedback through rapid iteration. Agile addresses the types of problems many organizations struggle to solve today and is used by leading companies nationally and locally as a strategic differentiator to move their businesses forward.


Scott Grimes

Northrup Grumman Corporation

Allison Pollard


Melissa Boggs

Scrum Alliance

Christine Seeman


Zuzi Sochova


Jeff Bubolz

Humane Consulting

Chad Beier


Richard Lawrence

Agile For All

Tricia Broderick

Agile For All

Trace Pickering

Iowa Big

Charlie Goetzinger

Iowa Big

Ayn Thoreson

Spencer High School

Will Dible

Spencer High School

Nate Adams


Dion Stewart

Dojo and Co

Eric Engelmann



Team Professional Development Challenges

Speaker: Scott Grimes

There is more to creating a culture of professional development than making resources available or hiring the right people.

If Engineers cannot learn in their current positions, the results are either engineers who leave the project/company, or worse yet engineers who learn nothing new and stay on the project. The speakers current project encourages continuous professional development by intrinsically motivating team members to participate in Team Professional Development Challenges. There is value in fostering a culture where the motivation for professional development is through a desire for mastery and not external motivating factors i.e. material rewards. This internal drive provides a stronger motivation, and allows for a sustained improvement effort among team members. The team members compete and celebrate each other’s successes in areas such as education, community outreach, training of peers, and sharpening-the-saw activities like weekly workouts and triathlons. This presentation will detail how the program was set up, how it has evolved over past years, and the results within the teams. The discussion will cover how this type of intrinsic motivation works and how the results can be achieved with relatively few financial resources. The presentation will also cover what can be done to encourage high participation and what pitfalls must be avoided that can discourage the behaviors you are trying to promote.

Talking and Not Talking - Finding Balance as a Coach

Speaker: Allison Pollard

Ever find yourself struggling to know when to say something and when to stay quiet with your teams?

Self-organizing teams might not learn to solve their own problems if we continually step in as a coaches. Conversely, what value are we adding if we primarily observe? This session will explore both ends of the talking spectrum so Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches can feel more confident in their actions.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: The Power of Storytelling in Cultural Change

Speaker: Melissa Boggs

Organizations everywhere are seeking real, sustainable cultural change. But culture is built one story–one experience–at a time.

From ancient tribes to modern businesses, storytelling creates and curates cultural DNA. Learn 4 types of stories that influence the spirit of your organization–who you are and who you need to be.

Hack Your Brain - Ways to Improve Your Thought Processes

Speaker: Christine Seeman

Your job isn’t 100% code/managing/scrum, so improving skills like how you learn, how to focus, and coping mechanisms need to be worked on just like learning a new framework.

Everyone has struggles, whether it is accepting criticism, managing stress, or finding time for passion projects. But those don’t have to hold us back! We’ll learn 4 techniques to help with these exact issues. Even if you never go to “soft skills” talks, these techniques can help you grow, improve and maybe stick with a new habit for once.

Agile Leadership

Speaker: Zuzi Sochova

Organizations are constantly evolving, they change their structures, processes, and rules. Last decade they’ve been changing into Agile, and surprisingly despite all the effort and money they put into transformation, they’ve been often failing.

The same way as culture follows an organization, the culture follows leaders. Companies were trying to break that rule for years and change the culture without changing leadership style. Nowadays this rule seems to win and organizations are moving towards different leadership styles and surprisingly becoming successful. In order to change organization, leaders have to change first. Be one of them and turn your organization into a successful Agile organization.

From Zombie Scrum to Professional Scrum: How to Maximize Agility

Speaker: Jeff Bubolz

Speaker: Chad Beier

The Scrum framework can help a team or organization transform how they deliver value.

However, adding or removing things from the core of the framework can have major impacts on the effectiveness of value delivery and agility. Join us for a deep dive discussion of the critical parts of the Scrum framework that you may want to avoid overlooking and why and how they may prevent you from maximizing the agility you can get from using Scrum.

Why Choose This Pain?

Speaker: Richard Lawrence

Business strategy inevitably involves tradeoffs. Choosing to optimize for one thing means choosing to sub optimize for something else.

Things go better when you know what tradeoffs you’re making. Agile brings all kinds of great benefits for organizations, teams, and individuals. But what tradeoffs do you make by choosing an agile approach to your work, why are those tradeoffs worth it, and how do you make the most of them?

Learning Through Experience

Speaker: Tricia Broderick

Have you ever been skeptical about something until you tried it? That is a pretty common reaction, yet, we seem to forget this when we are leading others.

Tricia Broderick says that most people attempt to lecture others or simply state things like “you’re now empowered”; yet, rarely get the intended results. Join Tricia to engage first-hand in the power of using exercises to experience a key value/message. Dissect and explore interactive exercises to gain insights into self-organization, empowerment, communication, wisdom of the crowd, vulnerability, and responding to change. Leave with higher expectations and tools for helping people directly experience the learning desired.

Leveraging the Agile Mindset to Drive Deeper Learning

Speaker: Trace Pickering

Speaker: Charlie Goetzinger

As the pace of technological advancement increased at an unprecedented rate over the last several decades, the complexity of the accompanying problems began to outstrip the capability of many organizations’ processes and the mindsets supporting them.

In response, groups of grass roots thought workers began experiments with unconventional new ways of thinking about how to solve these problems, and the Agile mindset was born. Flash forward to the present, where the Agile mindset has allowed companies to stay competitive in a world where change is the only constant, demand for continuous evolution of products and services is the de facto expectation, and high-functioning, collaborative teams are must-haves. Agile solves problems and creates opportunity by encouraging small, safe iterations of work with robust feedback. One primary focus?  Learning as quickly as possible. Why should this mindset, one that is enabling humans to solve incredibly complex problems faster than ever before, be in the domain of education? Because Agile is a mindset of learning; and the job of school is learning. This session will provide an introduction to the Agile mindset. You’ll quickly see how the simple tenets of Agile empower and engage students ways that traditional learning simply can’t. The ideas presented aren’t theoretical. Agile is driving dramatic improvement in schools focused on producing deeper learning and strong agency through authentic projects. One such school, Iowa BIG, has implemented Agile and has dramatically improved an already strong approach to learning. Hear directly from Iowa BIG about how Agile is fundamentally changing outcomes for students and teachers.

[POSTPONED] Agile Education Panel

Speaker: Will Dible

Speaker: Ayn Thoreson

Join a group of Iowa educators, administrators and students who are using an Agile mindset in their classrooms to talk about the changes they’ve made and the outcomes they’ve seen.

This panel discussion will be a fishbowl-style conversation. Come with questions and an open mind!

Applying an Agile Mindset Outside Software/Product Development

Speaker: Nate Adams

If you’ve ever sat down in front of your favorite search engine and tried to learn more about Agile, you quickly come away with one certain conclusion; Agile is about software development.

There’s a grain of truth there. The current most popular Agile methodologies grew out of software development and have matured on teams focused on delivering an (often digital) product. The online Agile community can sometimes feel a bit closed off and, honestly, a little hostile to folks outside the software industry. It turns out, though, the mindset behind the methodologies has been around for centuries and are focused on learning and applying that knowledge, and we want you to be a part of it with us!

In this talk, I’ll brush away the buzzwords and demystify the mindset so we can start talking about how this extremely powerful mindset can be used in your organization, in your classroom, or on your teams. No software or product development knowledge needed!

Blending Product Thinking with Architecture

Speaker: Dion Stewart

Too much design up front and you are bumping into the design all of the time (and losing time). Not enough design and your system can crumble in reality.

How do you blend architecture so you have the right decisions at the right time, and give them enough due dilligence? How do you embrace cloud and microservices and not risk getting into different failure scenarios or overly complicated maintenance and ripple effects?

In this session we will walk through visualizations that help teams blend product thinking with architecture. Along the way, we will look at microservices and domain modeling as well as chaos engineering and fault tolerance – blending all of these into a context that is consumable by all and gives the right emphasis at the right time.

Leave this session with simple visualizations and approaches that you can apply immediately to start blending product with architecture, especially if you are looking to run in a cloud world.

Adapting to Pandemics in Real Time with Organizational Agility

Speaker: Eric Engelmann

Agile Schedule

ICR Agile Sponsors

Registration and online ticket sales will be accepted through April 29, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. but viewing kits may not be received in time for tickets purchased after April 23. Registration is subject to the NewBoCo Event Cancellation Policy.