Board of Directors – August 18, 2020

Published by Board of Directors on

ATTENDEES: Ronica Roth, Trevor Peterson, Christen McLemore, Jen Krieger, Richard Dolman

Zoom from the meetup invite:


  2. ROLL CALL/Introductions  

      • BoD attendees: Ronica Roth, Trevor Peterson, Christen McLemore, Jen Krieger, Richard Dolman
      • Community attendees:  Lori Langston, Alex Griffith, Ron Blanco, Nancy Failla, Frank Vega
  3. Connect to Our Craft

    • 10 minutes to go around the room and share something we learned or did in the last month.
  1. Christen – If I use Trello to create another board, it’s not a bad thing. You sometimes just need to organize all the crap you should be doing
  2. Ronica – I had some pro tips on a Trello board. I got to co-teach SAFe’s Agile Management Course with Luke Colman. Getting to teach with him and hear the original track was amazing
  3. Trevor – After Frank’s kanban CoP, where we talked about patterns, and that got me thinking about patterns at work. I accidentally asked the right person the right question, regarding our system and if it could be described as tightly coupled with low cohesion and that led into a discussion of domain-driven design and a better way of discussing our systemic problems with developers in their own language.
  4. Lori – When corps get bigger and adopt SAFe, they get strict on titles – Agile Coach vs Enterprise Coach. It’s new to be limited in your influence. Figuring out to fight the right fight.
  5. Alex – Run strategy of a small Agile consulting firm, we switched from Trello to Jira and I find that a much better tool for getting things done. Very successful so far.
  6. Jen – Just finished an article that is publishing on with the title “How to spot fake Agile”. White guys was too feisty; guys is ok.
  7. Ron – First time on this call. Observation mode. Interested to get plugged in. Completed my SAFe 5.0 certification.
  8. Frank – We had an interesting presentation for the Kanban CoP. I shared “The three economies” by Jabe Bloom
  9. Richard – Got to pair with a former colleague and we co-facilitated a IC Agile workshop. Finally broke through and doing IC at the end of last year before I moved on to another place. It was cool to go back and do this work with Daniel. I’m also completing my CAL Educator certification – collaborating to get this locked in and excited to provide this as option for people coming through my leadership workshops
  10. Nancy – I wrote my first blog ever associated with Rally. Very scary! On call to do another one.

  1. Community Forum (30 minutes max)

    1. None tonight
  2. Election!

    1. Hear from each nominee: Tell us about your agile journey, and why you’d like to be on the board. Also, what will you bring the board?
      • Nancy – I started in IT as a QA. I have a bachelors in equine science, Masters in Organizational management. I spent about 15 years working as a tester person for Level 3. I went to work for a company as a QA for a company that decided to transform all in to Agile. One of the best transformations ever! Great example and I fell in love with it. I found a job then that was partial tester and partial Scrum Master. Got certified. Been Agile coaching for 6-7 years now. I organize Agile Boulder and I help co-organize Agile Denver North. I would not be where I am without participating in those Meet-ups. Giving back is super important to me.
        • What I bring to the board – all of you are icons to me and you surround yourself with greatness. I can maybe bring a different perspective to the board, learn alot, and give back.
      • Lori – I worked for the old phone company when I was a kid. Did the whole track for mobility in that employment. I was a manual QA at one point. Someone gave us a presentation on how we would build customer centric requirements called stories. It was Jean Tabaka. I look back on that now and we were building that culture of trying to change that old buttoned down culture. I had a degree in technical communication, but I was still craving that improvement of people and culture. I tried to find places doing Agile adoption. I started going to the Agile Denver coaching meetup. I had gone to a few places and ended up in odd hybrid situations, which brought more desire to bring Agile to a wider audience. Finally got hired by the person running the meetup and took over the responsibility for the meetup.  
        • I want to be on the board to be able to do more than as just a SIG owner. I could use the motivation from the board to get that moving more. It is important for me to build a community of inclusion because that changes lives. If I wasn’t getting invited back to those meetings, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I want to be sure we’re creating that opportunity for all of our community. I love all you guys on the board also. 
      • Alex – I began my career in technical roles as an algorithm developer after finishing my MS in EE. Always in the Defense & Space industry, government contracting. In 2012, a project manager introduced us to Scrum, then I was asked if I could use the same principles for an IT team. Scrum failed, but Kanban worked. I got excited about agile, quickly learned, and got my Scrum Master certification. I stayed technical and served as Scrum Master and Product Owner over the years. I also completed an MBA. Got an opportunity a year and a half ago to join a startup for Agile Consulting within my industry. Love the work I do on a daily basis. I also run the strategy of the company. We run a lot of experiments. I co-organize the Heart of Agile meetup in Boulder. I love this community and want to give back. I have a lot of agile expertise but also have experience in management and leadership.
      • Ronica – This would be my third term, and I’ve been President for the last term. It’s always a hard decision to see if I can meet the commitment if I make it. For me, it’s about what inspires me now. My colleague asked how can I catalyze you? Having a couple of conversations, we talked about what leadership might be needed next and needed in nurturing this community. As a giveback opportunity, I got to facilitate a dysfunctional board of directors. Those things coming together led me to an idea of OKRs, True North, making all of our activities more effective. I want to play with that with you guys. Some new ideas for us to try.
      • Lori for Jeff – He came to the Coaching meetup about 2 years ago. Showed care for the community and I could count on him to be there. At first it was about his attending and getting more involved. I saw how he blossomed professionally and how the group was helping him. Be able to contribute to the group helped him with challenges. It really gave me a view of how our community helps.
    2. Open Q&A (nominees should feel free to ask board, and each other, questions)
      • Our circle of voters is board members, SIG leaders, former board members
      • Anyone have bolstering nominators as well. Speak up anyone that you want to add on to their comments
      • Have you served on a board before?
        • Ronica – before this board I was on the board for the Colorado Burning Man event. I joined when it went from the founder to expand to replace them and create a year round community that was better at leveraging the volunteer energy of the folks. I was on that board for about 4 years and joined Agile Denver’s board 4 years ago.
        • Lori – I’ve been on the board of my HOA. Not exciting, but it’s things that have to be done. I was on the board of a LARP group – outreach for kids to learn how to interact with each other.
        • Nancy – I have not been on a board, many committees
        • Alex – I have not been on a board, I should mention I know Christen – she coached our company – she led us through a passion test. I put on my 3-5 year plan to serve on boards in the area to help give back.
      • Lori – I’m a SAFe certified 5 
      • We have a huge community issue, we have 15-20 active members in Slack, the meetups are locational based – North and South don’t mix. We don’t do consistent messaging. Many of our members don’t know that there is a board or that we put on a conference. What are some of your ideas?
        • Lori – I think in the beginning I was not good at explaining to the members of my SIG about explaining Agile Denver being the umbrella organization. It took me a while to put together how things are related. One thing I want to tackle is with Christen’s survey. We still have this mentality that we are geographically or even topic limited. I think this is a result of the Meetup structure. I think we need to deconstruct what we have done, tear it down, and build it fresh that it would apply to any SIG. And that we could send out a consistent message. I was hoping that the talk we hear at other SIGs about the Slack, etc, would increase engagement, but we’re not seeing it yet.
        • Alex – What is the real issue/problem? People in Meetup will sign up and not attend. But the issue may be that excitement is waning. And this may be a good fit for OKRs, since we can define what we are really trying to achieve – something ambitious – as measured by the key results. Increasing the click through rate for example. Then as a board it’s up to us to say this is what we will do to attempt to meet that KR. I think the OKR structure could get us to the answer.
        • Ronica – I love that someone said could we blow it all up. I don’t even know where the SIGs came from. I went away for awhile from Agile Denver and came back to SIGs. I wonder if we can experiment rapidly because of virtual. I often been the analysis paralysis problem, can we just declare victory or failure faster, even if there isn’t data. I want to try things faster. 
      • Given that we are purely a volunteer based non-profit, there is a different dynamic. How do we as a board not get too insular and invite people in, create a sense of openness? If it is not the 5 people on the board, how do we get it done?
        • Lori – Charles Vogel’s keynote talked about a community of belonging. I’m not sure we tried those ideas. Reaching out to people to invite them back. Email or web something. Helping people remember that without them we don’t exist or function. We want to show that we’re still giving them opportunities, so that when we can reach them.  When I do that for my SIG, reminded them at the beginning of the year that I can’t do this without them, please show up and I had the highest attendance of the year.
        • Nancy – I’m curious, what kind of association do we have with the certifying organizations? I’m wondering if there is some way to be some kind of sponsor or something. I never hear about Agile Denver unless I’m at a Meetup. If we want to create some cohesive community, there are so many certifying organizations, that Agile Denver wants to look like a different thing. 
          1. Richard – we don’t have those and the extent of any relationship is MHA sponsorship. That might be an opportunity space for us
          2. Lori – Agile Scaled and Scrum Alliance has put Coaching SIG on the calendar
          3. Ronica – Agile Alliance lists us as a community group
        • Alex – Those are good ideas in addressing attendance and engagement. This is tough since we are all volunteers. There is a bit of expectation setting needed. We have to dial it down to the most important thing. Focus on the one or two things, get those right, and then move on to the next. We need a focused strategy by having a focused set of goals. That means we have to intentionally ignore the others.
      • Why is Trevor stepping down?
        • Trevor is stepping away from the board because he feels he does not have enough time to devote to the board anymore.
        • Richard – Trevor has done a great job of filling the secretary position. He has done an admirable job – we appreciate Trevor for fulfilling that role
        • This opens up an official officer role as Secretary
    3. Review election logistics
      • Eligible voters include: former and current board members, former and current Mile High Agile Organizing Committee members, and former and current SIG leaders
      • What’s our timeline? Next meeting is our Annual meeting. Voting will be completed between now and the September meeting. We need to figure out the rest of our logistics
      • We like asynchronous voting; we want the meeting to be resetting and looking ahead. New board members would start immediately. Voting will be the week of September 1st. 
      • A week for voting. Do we do the questionnaire? Invite conversation with the nominees in the Slack instead – Approved
      • Does someone record a conversation with Jeff? Lori will! Sent a request to Jeff with candidate times for this week and will record his nomination presentation.
      • Can we create a temporary channel in Slack for voting members and nominees to link all of the recordings/docs/etc. Voting will be outside the slack channel – Unanimously Approved (Ronica creating)
  3. Treasurer Update

    1. QB audit and reconciliation coming to a close.  No major issues, just a few minor clean up items.  Final review with accountant pending – should get that scheduled within the week.  
    2. 2019 Tax return preparation
  4. MHA 2021 & Beyond

    1. Erin Bolk and Christen – We will move the official conference from May to October 2021. One day format with a smaller venue and audience – 450-500 range. Lowers the cost hopefully! And lower the cost of a ticket to give people another option for a conference that they may not normally have. The logistics might have more options with just one day.
    2. Trying to connect with hotels for options.
    3. Everything we spent and got returned – we are under $500 loss for the 2020 conference
    4. Org committee is on monthly meetings for now, January will be the ramp up time.
  5. Meetup Mashup

    1. Our first one was with Austin in July
    2. Have one for September with Memphis  Lori is helping organize
      • Leading to the creation of a structure for getting talks organized
    3. Have an October one with Southern California. Trying some different styles – 15 minutes for SoCal person, 15 min for Denver, shared Q&A then – may be good for shorter attention span audiences
    4. Michael Brown will give a special talk about how he used Agile to kick off the first Juneteenth conference


  1. Trello Board: Review board right to left

    1. Agile Denver Youtube page – 7 different recordings published – 4 in the chamber. Be sure to make a clear introduction of the speaker and the topic. It will help Christen know where to edit and cut the video. Even saying Action first and then going into it. 
      • Marketing email has access to our Youtube channel. There was an abusive post that seems to have been removed, but it still shows in the notification. See if we can find the setting to allow approval of comments before posting. Jen taking a look.

  1. What coordinated announcements will we deliver at the SIGs?

    1. September Board Meeting will announce results of election, and work on goals for next 6-9mo
    2. Updates on decisions from MHA team
      1. 1 day conference, October in 2021, targeting a more intimate experience. More details will be decided in January 2021.
  2. Other needed communications?

    1. N/A
  1. NEXT MEETING :  Tuesday Sept 15th, 2020

  1. As of now, who plans to be in-person vs remote vs absent?  [Note: In-person v remote depends on external factors. –RR]
    1. RR will be visiting family, but I should be able to attend.


Categories: Meeting Minutes