Dave Thomas

YOW! Nights Sydney – Dave Thomas – 19 May

Improving the Quality and Productivity of Backlogs Through Envisioning:


Collaborative Agile Product Analysis, Architecture and Design

Good backlogs are essential to the flow of work through agile teams. Hence they have a clear impact on productivity and quality. While simple in principle, we find that backlogs are often of highly variable quality. Lumpy backlogs stress the team resulting in poor estimates, more rework and poorer quality. Bloated and lumpy backlogs place excessive demands on product owners and business analysts making it hard for them to keep up with the development team.s. In large organizations, there is often a tendency to use independent backlogs to manage maximize portfolios of features while paying lip service to any dependencies and common architecture. This situation becomes even more problematic when product owners, business analysts, developers, and testers are remotely distributed from each other.

In this talk, we describe discuss how to create and maintain high quality backlogs. We begin by defining the properties of a good backlog. Then we discuss the practices used during Envisioning by integrated product teams of Product Analysts, Owners, Designers, Customers, Architects, Developers and Testers. We explain how Envisioning facilitates portfolio management, improves acceptance testing, reduces business and technical risk; and integrates the voice of the customer into the backlog. We show how envisioning practices help bridge the gap between the developer, designer, analyst, and architect roles in the organization.


Dave Thomasis a popular humorous albeit opinionated keynote speaker. Dave Thomas is a founding director of the Agile Alliance and is a Managing Director for Object Mentor a leader in XP, Craftmanship and Lean and Agile in the Large. Dave is doing the opening keynote for the Agile 2010 Conference.

Dave Thomas has an unusual depth and breadth in the software industry spanning developer to executive and investor. Dave is founder and CEO of Bedarra Corporation; which provides virtual CTO, CFO and CEO, business mentoring and seed investment to emerging companies. He is chairman of Bedarra Research Labs which undertakes speculative client funded applied research using emerging technologies. Current Projects are Collaborative Analytics and Next Generation Pervasive Platforms.

He was founder and CEO Object Technology International Inc. (OTI) (now IBM OTI Labs) and led the commercial introduction of object and component technology. The company is often cited as the ideal model of a software technology company. In the late 1980s Dave pioneered an early Lean and Agile process called Just In Time Software portions of which appear today in IBM Team Concert.

He was the principal technical and business visionary and architect for IBM VisualAge Smalltalk and Java tools and virtual machines including the popular Eclipse.org IDE. OTI pioneered the use of virtual machines in embedded systems with Tektronix shipping the first commercial products in 1988. He was instrumental in the establishment of IBM’s Pervasive computing efforts and in particular the Java tooling.

Dave is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University, and Queensland University of Technology and is widely published. Dave is the organizer of the YOW! Conference and on the program committee for JAOO Conferences as well numerous other program committees.

Schedule of Events

5.45pm – 6.15pm Registration Open

6.00pm – 6.25pm Coffee, Tea, light food

6.30pm – 7.30pmPresentation by Dave Thomas

7.30pm – 7.45pm Q & A

8.00pm Networking with drinks and food at St. James Hotel (114 Castlereagh Street)