11 - 13 May 2016

thestudio, Manchester, UK

Pacing sprints

Emma Jane Hogbin Westby UN-OCHA

Session type: Case Study
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Case Study

Do you know the difference between a steady pace and a death march? If you've ever trained for any kind of endurance event, you probably do. In 1998, I trained for my first (and only) marathon. I failed to finish that marathon, but learned a lot that helps me in my work today as a project manager for the United Nations. In this session you will learn how I apply the principles of exercise progressions to successfully pace teams in agile sprints.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • define and map progression, which includes building strength, rest weeks and tapering
  • adjust a sprint plan to account for atypical weeks and multi-part problems
  • identify and mitigate individual and team habits that indicate boredom and burnout
  • adapt your sprint plan when unexpected emergencies arise

By implementing the ideas in this session, your teams will experience higher engagement, improved performance and an overall boost in morale and confidence. There will be time at the end for discussion around how to introduce these concepts for the personalities you work with.

About the Speaker

Since 1996, Emma Jane Hogbin Westby has been been bringing people together through education, collaboration, and technology. Her latest book, 'Git for Teams' (O"Reilly, 2015), outlines real-world strategies for more than just software development; it shows how teams can harness both technology and collaboration to work more efficiently, ensure project goals are met, and make the whole greater than simply the sum of its parts.

Emma works with UN-OCHA as a technical project manager, building software tools to help humanitarian responders connect and collaborate in times of disaster. You can follow her adventures on Twitter at @emmajanehw.


To buy tickets to see this fantastic talk, and many others like it head over to our ticket page.

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.