We Hope You Enjoyed

Agile Open Northwest

February 22-24, 2021

Thank you to all who attended AONW 2021. You can find session notes here. Our next annual conference will be AONW 2022 in Portland (or virtual, if necessary), to be held in February 2022. Follow us on Twitter or join our email interest list to stay up to date with all the latest info.

Original announcement from the now concluded AONW 2021:

Agile Open Northwest, a non-profit alliance of agile practitioners in the US Pacific Northwest region, presents our 15th annual Open Space conference about agile practices and techniques! It will be held February 22-24, 2021 (4 hours each day). We are dedicated to a low-cost conference, and are pleased to hold the rate to only $59 (plus Eventbrite fees) for the 3-day event.

This will be a virtual Open Space event, held over the course of 3 days, lasting from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm each day. Over the last several months, there’s been a great blossoming of tools and techniques for online events. We are excited to bring together the best of the best to make this an inclusive, engaging, and valuable event for all our old friends, and for those new to AONW.

You can also follow us on Twitter or join our email interest list to stay up to date with all the latest info.

Keep an eye on our home page for information about other upcoming events!

More about the 2021 Conference, held in February:

Due to attendee demand, this year’s conference is a full three days long!


It’s all virtual this year!


February 22-24, 2021 (4 hours each day).


YOU and other experienced, collaborative, committed agile practitioners. Registration will be limited, so watch this space or join our email interest list to be notified when registration opens.


The registration fee is $59 (plus Eventbrite fees) for the three-day virtual event.


Registration is now open using the button at the top of this page! In order to keep the conference small, space will be limited to 250 attendees. Contact us at info@agileopennorthwest.org to get added to our email list for a reminder.


After registering, check your email - instructions will be sent to the same email address you used to register. Look for the subject line “Participation Instructions for Agile Open Northwest 2021” from notifications@qiqochat.com.

If you don’t find that message, go to our event page, click RSVP, then create an account using the email address you registered with.

If you’re still having trouble, reach us on our event Slack in the #tech-support channel, or send us a message at aonw2021@agileopennorthwest.org.


  • Update your Qiqo profile with a picture, location, and connection details if you desire.
  • Tour the space and snoop around !
  • Watch this two-minute video demonstrating how to use QiqoChat and Zoom together.
  • Update your Zoom application.
  • Join our Slack. This is optional, but if you’re comfortable in Slack, it can be a great additional way to connect with other participants.


Yes you can! Agile Open Northwest depends on sponsorship support to keep registration costs affordable. See our Sponsors section, or contact us at sponsor@agileopennorthwest.org for more information.

Conference Schedule

Below is the schedule for the 2021 conference. All sessions will be virtual, and will occur over the course of 4 hours on each of the 3 days. Check your email (the one you registered with) for information on how to join the virtual conference.


8:00 am Speed Networking, Lean Coffee (Spatial Chat)
9:00 am Opening Circle
9:15 am Grounding, Purpose, Building Agenda
10:30 am Sessions
12:30 pm Afternoon News
1:00 pm Social (Spatial Chat)


8:00 am Speed Networking, Early Bird Sessions, Lean Coffee (Spatial Chat)
9:00 am Opening Circle
10:00 am Sessions
12:30 pm Afternoon News
1:00 pm Social (Spatial Chat)


8:00 am Speed Networking, Early Bird Sessions, Lean Coffee (Spatial Chat)
9:00 am Opening Circle
10:00 am Sessions
12:15 pm Closing Circle
1:00 pm Social (Spatial Chat)

Session Notes

You can view session notes at session notes.


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At Agile Rising, we believe in optimizing agility based on your needs. From the Tasktop Flow Framework® to our SAFe® Gold Partner status, we are equipped to help enterprise and government groups implement agility. Founded by SAFe SPCT Chris Ruch, Agile Rising has helped groups like NASA, Daimler, & Emerson implement Agility. We work with the top consultants in the agile world to help you achieve your goals. Visit our website today at agilerising.com to learn more about our work!

AIM Consulting, an Addison Group company, is an award-winning industry leader in technology consulting and solutions delivery. AIM’s differentiation is our collaborative engagement model that provides cross-functional results. We work with clients, shoulder to shoulder, for one goal – their success. Founded in 2006, with offices in Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Houston, and Chicago, we are ranked among the fastest growing private companies and best companies to work for due to a long track record of success with our partners and consultants. Our long-term relationships with the best technology consulting talent allows us to deliver on expectations, execute on roadmaps, and drive modern technology initiatives.

Apex Learning is a digital curriculum company powered by smart people passionate about learning and motivated by results. We create award winning educational software guided by the Agile methodologies principles, mainly employing the Scrum framework. An industry leader with deep expertise in digital instruction, Apex Learning works closely with school districts across the country to implement proven solutions that increase on-time graduation rates and create opportunities for student success in school and beyond. The company is driven by the understanding that supporting the needs of all students – from struggling to accelerated – strengthens schools and creates stronger communities, brighter futures and a more equitable world.

Full Presence Coaching brings heart, wisdom, and vision to the challenges of this complex and chaotic world. We help organizations unlock leadership talent and end-to-end flow at all levels, liberating the collaborative, creative power and resonance of the organization, and supporting employee engagement. Full Presence Coaching uniquely blends deep adult development expertise with a seasoned perspective on business and software agility, built with decades of experience in Agile change and business leadership. And for individuals: personal coaching can help you reach your highest and deepest goals and move into powerful, life-affirming action. What really matters to you?

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Qumulo is the leading file data platform for multi-cloud environments, providing unrivaled freedom, control and real-time visibility for file data at massive scale. Fortune 500 companies, major film studios, and the largest research facilities in the world trust Qumulo to help them innovate with their mission-critical digital files. The Qumulo experience makes file data management simple with continuous new features, a single solution for all workloads, and access to customer success experts on your schedule.

Raintree Systems has a passion to solve the real-world problems and challenges of businesses and individuals working, managing and running offices in a specialized field of medicine. For over 30 years, our focus has been to build products and solutions that make a positive impact on medical professionals as well as the healthcare industry. As medicine and healthcare delivery becomes more complex, real people have to deal with the new changes and challenges that arise. Raintree seeks to reduce the complexity of modern medicine by leveraging software and technology so medical providers can focus on what really counts… improving patient care and medical outcomes.

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Personal connection at global scale. Across the US, UK, and Canada, Slalom teams have autonomy to move fast and do what’s right for our clients, making us more personal and nimble than traditional consulting firms. We care deeply about helping you tackle your biggest agile adoption and transformation challenges and turn your vision into reality. With Slalom, it’s never just about the engagement at hand. It’s about building trust and enabling your long-term success. We meet you where you are on your transformation journey, embed our people with yours, and share our skills every step of the way.

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Find out how your company can become a sponsor of Agile Open Northwest


AONW 2021 is brought to you by our conference chairs, Open Space faciliator, and the Agile Open Northwest Board of Directors

AONW 2021 Conference Chair

Michael Kelly

Michael first encountered Agile (uppercase “A”) in 1998 in an IEEE Software Magazine article by Kent Beck about this thing called eXtreme Programming. It was a life transforming event. It wasn’t long before he was writing unit tests, organizing the work into “stories”, organizing the stories into “sprints”, estimating “points”, standing up, and retrospecting.

But more than that, agile (lowercase “a”) became a guiding principle in his life. He used it in his relationships at work, the raising of his children, efforts to stay mentally and physically healthy, and the pursuit of marital bliss. His wife has occasionally complained that agile became the hammer for a world suddenly full of nails.

Out of respect for his wife, he has tried to step outside his agile bias, knowing full well that all models attempting to explain the complex world around us are wrong. But despite his best efforts, he’s yet to find something better. He continues to see the world as a place full of nails for which agile (lowercase “a”) is the only rational hammer.

AONW 2021 Open Space Facilitator

April Jefferson

April leads with empathy and courage while partnering with others to help unlock their full potential. She believes the path to authentic growth and change begins with invitation and a people-centered approach. She favors a blended mindset of agile, lean, design thinking, open space, and improvisation when engaging. April values connecting people to ownership of their needs and goals. You may find April coaching organizations, speaking at conferences, facilitating social change as a Design Action Lab partner, or mentoring youth.

AONW Board of Directors

Aki Namioka

Aki has been an Agile practitioner since 2002 and a Certified Scrum Master since 2010. She specializes in Agile coaching, and has helped several organizations transform into high-functioning Agile teams, using XP, Scrum, and Kanban. Aki’s background includes Boeing, IBM Global Services, and Cisco Systems. Aki enjoys learning from others in the Agile community, and is active in BeyondAgile and Agile Open Northwest.

April Jefferson

April leads with empathy and courage while partnering with others to help unlock their full potential. She believes the path to authentic growth and change begins with invitation and a people-centered approach. She favors a blended mindset of agile, lean, design thinking, open space, and improvisation when engaging. April values connecting people to ownership of their needs and goals. You may find April coaching organizations, speaking at conferences, facilitating social change as a Design Action Lab partner, or mentoring youth.

Ian Savage

A quality evangelist, Ian Savage is a veteran software developer, quality engineer, and manager with experience in manufacturing, financial services, construction project estimating, and software security. For more than thirty years, he has worked to improve productivity and software quality through rigorous development methods and processes and now through the pragmatic application of agile methods.

He founded/co-founded various Pacific Northwest software and quality volunteer organizations. By day he works with the Quality Initiatives Team at McAfee focusing on metrics, static analysis, and quality systems. His present interests are software security, insourcing vs. outsourcing, and quality training. Like many others, Ian looks forward to retirement or Career 2.0.

Michaela Hutfles

Michaela Hutfles is a sideways E-shaped person (rather than T) with three major depths: agile software development, earth-building and performing arts of all flavors. For a salary, they coach agile thinking and self-management to software developers and keep teams focused on continuous improvement, growth mindset, and general meta-cognition. At the moment they do this at Qumulo. They’re building a tiny house on the Olympic Peninsula using clay, straw, and sand. They dream of someday starting a tiny arts foundation called Dionysus Giving. Because it amuses them, Michaela often claims to raise champion naked mole rats.

Nora Beyerle

I journeyed into technology via a music education. Working in the software industry since 2000, I’ve explored responsibilities of business analysis, project management, and people management. It was the agile values and principles that resonated strongest with me, and I have since focused on coaching agile development teams and championing individuals. I appreciate all the learning opportunities within our agile community of practice! I enjoy volunteering at AgilePDX, and now joining Agile Open Northwest. Additionally I am looking forward to further collaborate with Future of Work communities. I believe that people can change the world, and that we can achieve this by being curious, open, and kind.

I hesitantly tweet at @sunhiltb.

Troy Frever

Troy Frever discovered XP in 2000, after two decades as a professional software developer. Since then he has been an Extreme Programmer and Coach for a number of companies in the Seattle area, including Smilebox, Aviarc, RealNetworks, and more. He was recenlty co-founder and CTO of Blok24, and is currently having a grand time as VP of Engineering at LiquidPlanner. When he’s not writing unit tests or refactoring mercilessly, Troy enjoys backpacking and skiing with his family and playing Ultimate Frisbee. Troy is also a former organizer of the Seattle Extreme Programming Users Group (SXPUG) and a co-founder of Seattle’s Beyond Agile user group.


To Be Announced