Brown Bag Sessions

Agile Brown Bag sessions are usually held monthly on Mondays from noon - 1:30pm.  Locations vary. 


Upcoming and Recent Sessions

Wednesday 5/15/19 | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
Creating Stories for Services and Projects | Slide-deck
PRESENTER: Jon Conhaim, Manager, Technology Program Office

Session Descriptions: As campus professionals, it is important for us to be able to clearly communicate about the services we offer and demonstrate how our work supports the campus mission. Telling effective and memorable stories is a powerful way to communicate the benefits your services deliver. Good stories help you:

  • Generate an understanding of and excitement about using your current service.
  • Create a clear and shareable vision of the new service you are developing including the benefits it will deliver.
  • Demonstrate to campus decision-makers the value of your services and the importance of funding it.

During this Agile Brown Bag session, you will learn how to create effective stories about your services including:

  • Why telling character-driven stories is a better way to communicate to the campus community about why your service or IT project is important to them.
  • How to define the elements and structure of an effective story for your service.
  • How to create an effective elevator pitch to generate interest in using your service or supporting your project.



Previous sessions

3/11/19 | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
Agile Product Owner
PRESENTER: Rosemary Hossenlopp, MBA, PMP

Rosemary has worked to ensure successful product launches in top Silicon Valley firms. She focuses on project assessments, PMO implementations and working with leaders to ensure project outcomes are aligned with strategic needs. She works on large, complex projects in both commercial and government environments. 

Agile product owners create paths for success by envisioning and evangelizing solutions. These solutions are business models that are based in understanding the context in which they work to propose a clear solution to improve outcomes.

Product owners collaborate with stakeholders to define, prioritize and manage requirements for the development of solutions and services. Through the application of Agile discovery processes and a customer journey, they manage the business requirements process. This process ensures that project’s business outcomes meets user needs while providing value as early as possible.

1/28/19 | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
Introduction to Agile
Devin Jones, Berkeley Law
"Agile" is a way of managing work and projects that is well suited for environments with ongoing change or uncertain requirements.
We'll cover the basics:
- why use Agile?
- where did it come from?
- what's different when doing things in an Agile way?
- how are people using Agile at Berkeley?
- how to learn more
Learn how this method can help others benefits from your efforts, and improve the likelihood that your efforts will have value.

12/10/18 | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
How to Cultivate Teams that Learn & Innovate | Presentation folder
Jon Conhaim
, Manager of the Technology Program Office

As the complexity of our work continues to grow, we need to collaborate in effective teams to create and deliver valuable services to the campus community. To create and maintain these services, our teams must learn quickly and adapt to our rapidly changing environment, that which includes changes in technology, organization, funding, and the introduction of new mandates.

Jon will present an overview of the book, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy by Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. In her book, Amy C. Edmondson has outlines a framework that can help UC Berkeley teams work together more successfully.  The book describes:

  • How to create a psychologically safe environment so that teams can perform their best work.
  • How to build a shared vision of what the team is seeking to achieve for the campus community.
  • What leaders need to do to promote team learning and effective collaboration.

The presentation will include specific practices that campus teams can use.

The book, Teaming: How Organizations Learn,, Innovate and and Compete in the Knowledge Economy is available online to all faculty, students and staff via The Library’s web site.


11/5/18  | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
Lean Kanban
Veronica Padilla, Earth & PLanetary Science
Kanban Documents
Kanban Resources

Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne De Maria Barry

Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for your Technology Business by David J. Anderson

The Principles of Product Development Flow by Donald Reinersten

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt

The Machine that Changed the World by James Womack


Kanban Training:

10/22/18 | 12-1:30PM | California Hall, Room 20 (RSVP via bCal recommended)
Agile and Project Management Training at UC Berkeley Extension 
Tim Bombosch, Program Director at UC Berkeley Extension
Tim will discuss Agile and Project Management related programs at UC Berkeley Extension.
  • What programs and courses are available?
  • New program offerings and changes
  • How do you enroll, receieve University reimbursement, and gain valuable credentials?
  • Related programs: Business Analysis and Business Process Improvement



9/17/18  Creating Value Propositions for IT Projects with Jon Conhain, OCIO Technology Program Office

WHEN:12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: California Hall, Room 20. -- Note location

Session Description
Learn how to work with your customers and fellow team members to create value propositions. A value proposition is a statement of commitment to your customers and key stakeholders of the value delivered by your service, or created by your project, and how they receive these benefits. Value propositions serve as the foundation for the stories that we tell about our services and projects.

You will learn how to:

  • Help key stakeholders and customers understand why your service or project is important to them.

  • Concisely state how your service or project simplifies the work of your customers and stakeholders and helps them achieve the goals they care most about.

  • Help service and project teams transform from a collection of individuals working on a set of tasks to a group with a shared and focused vision of what they are trying to collectively accomplish.

Presenter’s Bio
Jon Conhaim is the manager of the Technology Program Office (TPO). He has been working at UC Berkeley for over of 28 years. He has completed the Project Management Certificate and the Professional Sequence in Agile Management from UC Berkeley Extension. He is also credentialed as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) by the Project Management Institute.


5/21/18  Communicating Your Program or Product Launch with Kendall Moalem


If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Stated differently, if your project drops into a sea of initiatives at UC Berkeley, does your audience perceive it?

Join us on May 21st for our last Brown Bag of the season to consider ways to ensure that when your tree falls in our campus forest it does make a sound; that when you launch your program or product, the people who matter hear it.

Kendall Moalem has been promoting university initiatives and clarifying business processes for over 16 years at Cal. She will share the best of what she's learned and applied to make impact at launch and get change adopted:

    • Distinguishing technical vs. programmatic needs
    • Assessing your audience: who cares?
    • Accessing constituencies: inlets and outlets
    • Getting interest: be sticky and repetitive
    • Identifying internal and external communications: understand needs, develop tools
    • Managing the plan & projects

4/23/18   Lean Coffee with Michelle Bautista
Slide-deck | session recording | Lean Coffee topic notes

DESCRIPTION:  Lean Coffee - a simple tool for agenda-less meetings

Lean Coffee is a method of creating a structure for agenda-less meetings. It initially caught on in coffee shops where independent tech workers convened and wanted a way to chat about their work. It uses a personal Kanban board and basic methodology for voting and consensus. 

In this Brown Bag, learn what Lean Coffee is and get hands on experience using Lean Coffee. Those coming in online will get a chance to try Lean Coffee with other virtual participants but a video camera will be required.

3/19/18  Intro to Agile with Devin Jones and Michelle Bautista
WHEN: Monday, March 19, 2018, noon - 1:30 pm
WHERE: Warren Hall, 101A 
"Agile" is a way of managing work and projects that is well suited for environments with ongoing change or uncertain requirements.
We'll cover the basics:
- why use Agile?
- where did it come from?
- what's different when doing things in an Agile way?
- how are people using Agile at Berkeley?
- how to learn more
Learn how this method can help others benefits from your efforts, and improve the likelihood that your efforts will have value.

2/26/18  Budgets & Scheduling with Jon Conhaim
In this meeting we're circling back upon a topic we discussed in the Fall of 2016 prior to the IT Project Management Policy which was put into place in January 2017. More information about the policy is found here:

This session covers the work-schedule documentation which tracks the key elements of your project that must be completed on-time and on-budget for your project to be successful and therefore require monitoring by the project manager and stakeholders. How you track them depends on the complexity of your project. 

Here are three examples of varying complexity:

1/29/2018   Business Requirements vs User Stories with Michelle Bautista, Assistant Director, Campus Shared Service IT and Agile Management Instructor at UC Extension
Slide-Deck | Video recording (Note that we had a variety of technical issues with audio and sharing the desktop so the visual doesn't match the audio; presentation starts around 9 minutes in.)

Stories are used to manage requirements, understand the user perspective, and define risks. But does that mean you don't need business requirement documents? Many of us are navigating hybrid models utilizing both.

This brown bag discusses the various strengths and weaknesses of business requirements and stories and how might you utilize both and bridge the two.

12/11/17     Fortune Favors the Prepared: Managing Project Risks with Jon Conhaim, Manager, TPO

NOTE TIME CHANGE:  This session runs from 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Specific techniques can help you recognize project risks and avoid potential problems before they occur. 
Please join us for a 90 minute Agile Brown Bag workshop where you will work in groups of 2 to 3 people to learn how to create a risk register to identify, assess, and prioritize project risks.  
Next you will learn how to create plans to avoid risks before they become significant problems.   

Session slide-deck and resources our on our Agile Google Drive

11/13/17     Introduction to Agile, with Devin Jones, Software Development Manager, School of Law, and Michelle Bautista, Assistant Director, CSS-IT

WHEN: Monday, November 13, 2017, noon - 1:30 pm
WHERE: California Hall CR-20 (Note location change)


"Agile" is a way of managing work and projects that is well suited for environments with ongoing change or uncertain requirements.
We'll cover the basics:
- why use Agile?
- where did it come from?
- what's different when doing things in an Agile way?
- how are people using Agile at Berkeley?
- how to learn more
Learn how this method can help others benefits from your efforts, and improve the likelihood that your efforts will have value.

10/23/17     Starting Off Well: How to Create a Project Charter with Jon Conhaim, Manager, TPO

Slide-deck | Charter template | session recording (audio begins at 5:20; presentation shared at 20:40)

To start off a project well, you and your project team need to first answer some important questions like:

  • Why is the project being undertaken?
  • What does the project need to accomplish?
  • What does it mean to successfully complete the project?
  • Who is responsible for what on the project?
  • What are the key constraints like money and time to complete the project?

The project document that contains the answers to these questions and others is called a charter. During the 90 minute brown bag session, you will learn how to create a simple project charter by working in a small group of 2 to 3 people. After completing the session, you will be better prepared to start your next successful project!

09/24/17     Using Agile in a non-Agile Environment with Rich Meyer, Senior Technical Project Manager, OCIO

SLIDE-DECK | Session Recordings (MP4)

Session description
I was ScrumMaster for the CalCentral development team on the Student Information System project (SIS).  CalCentral is the face for much of the SIS project; it integrates the SIS data into a designed and organized portal that is accessed by students, faculty, and staff.
In this presentation, I will share my experience of leading one of ten+ teams working on the SIS project.  My team followed a scrum model using agile, the other teams did not.  I will share the roles, meetings and artifacts we used; highlight how they differed from pure scrum; how it interacted with the larger project, and lessons learned.  Questions are welcome.

5/22/17 (New Date)  Agile within Resource Constraints (on small teams, or micro teams), a conversation with Jon Conhaim, Devin Jones and Shazi Kahn

BlueJeans record (starts around 5:20)

5/1/17    Agile lessons from the Telecom Catalog ServiceNow Implementation with Colette Jackson and team

Slide-deck | Recording

Telecom used Agile methodology to build a business analysis team during the implementation of the Campus TelCat service request system. Find out how the Agile approach worked and how they tweaked it to be more effective on the road to developing an Agile Culture.

Telecom will touch on the following:

  1. Is it a problem, a requirement or was a solution presented? Hear how Telecom applies critical thinking, using agile games, to improve root cause analysis.

  2. Telling the story.  Hear how Telecom transitioned from writing stories to writing statements with Goals, Issues and Value.

  3. Hear how Telecom incorporates business value ranking to ensure they work on the highest-value enhancement requests first.

  4. Should we really continue to work on this? After the problem has been reviewed and understood, the requirements and value may have changed.  Hear how Telecom is exploring how to continually ask “should we really be working on this?”

  5. Resource constrained?  How do you pull workers away from operational work to do the business analysis on tickets that will ultimately improve their operational work, and, at the same time train them in business analysis, and, at the same time have them keep up with their operational work? Hear how Telecom balances operational work with continuous improvement.  

  6. Telecom found that the best ratio is two business analysts paired with one developer and that daily scrum sessions, monthly sprints, with weekly deployment cycles, work best with the Telecom monthly billing cycle.

4/17/17  Agile approach to Reimagining IT with Jenn Stringer, Associate CIO, Academic Engagement at UC Berkeley and member of the Design Team for ReImagining IT.

Recording Part 1 | Recording Part 2

Come join in a overview and discussion of how the Reimagining IT Project is using agile methods to drive a challenging and exciting strategic planning process for UC Berkeley's OneIT community.  We will explore what is working, how we have co-opted the terminology and practices, what is most challenging, and most importantly get your feedback on how we might improve the final stages of the project and then move into implementation!

4/3/17  Our Shared Experiences with Marlita Kahn and Jon Conhaim

BlueJeans recording (poorer quality at times)

Let's have a chat about our experiences using an Agile mindset at Cal.  How are you doing Agile in your workplace?  What are you success stories, and what have been your challenges?  Are there resources that you wish you had access to, or tools that you'd recommend?  This will be an informal conversation, please join us!

3/20/17  Intro to Scrum, with Michelle Bautista and Devin Jones

Want to know what scrum, daily stand-up, and retrospective mean? Want to learn about one of the newest standards in campus project management? How might you incorporate these ideas into your work, with or without a project? This presentation is a great place to start. We’ll provide a gentle overview of Scrum, a form of Agile project management. We’ll show you how the elements of Scrum fit together, clarify the key terms, and illustrate the process. Guests who can stay in-person for the final 30 minutes will do a hands-on exercise. NEW: Slides from this presenation.

3/6/17  Agile in action: ServiceNow at UC Berkeley, with Scott Hall, Manager & Architect - ServiceNow

Learn how the ServiceNow Platform Support team has embraced Agile as a mindset to ​improve service delivery to campus. Hear about what's worked both organizationally and technically, as well as some of the challenges encountered putting Agile into practice.

Session slide-deck | recordings Part 1 (main presentation - starts as 12:20 into the recording) | Part 2 (discussion) | Part 3 (discussion)

2/6/17  Lean Coffee: a simple tool for agenda-less meetings with Michelle Bautista

Lean coffee is a method of creating a structure for agenda-less meetings. It initially caught on in coffee shops where independent tech workers convened and wanted a way to chat about their work. It uses a personal kanban board and basic methodology for voting and consensus. 
In this brown bag, learn what lean coffee is and get hands on experience using lean coffee. Those coming in online will get a chance to try lean coffee with other virtual participants but a video camera will be required.

1/23/17   "But it was in the requirements document".  How conversations and a quick feedback cycle create the difference between getting what you want and getting something else entirely. - with Catherine Simpson, Agile Learning Labs

Overview of session
Come and explore first hand - the age old issue of getting a vision from the person who has it to the people who can build it.

Business Analysts and Product Owners deal with understanding requirements and communicating those requirements to development teams so the developers have the same understanding of the requirements. 

Hopefully this causes the resulting product to satisfy the requirements. Seems simple enough - but how many times have we sat in meetings where it becomes clear that what was built isn’t what is wanted. It would be simple if the people who had the vision could create the product. 

In this workshop we will do a simulation to get first hand knowledge of how this vision transition process works in agile and traditional settings. Then we’ll discuss discuss what’s at play when the requirements process works and when it doesn’t work.

Learning Objectives
After completing this workshop, participants will:

  1. Understand what it feels like to work on a team that is using user stories vs. traditional requirements documents.
  2. Learn how user stories combined with just-in-time conversations lead to more satisfying results for the developers and customers.
  3. Know how the type of specification used impacts the dynamics between those creating requirements and those doing development.
  4. Use this information in your organization for good!

Cathy Simpson has been delivering training and presentations in various industries since 1998. Since 2009 she has facilitated training and workshop sessions at companies in Silicon Valley, Scrum Professionals and Bay Area Agile Coaches meetups, Agile Open Northern California, Agile Camp 2015 and the 2015 Scrum Gathering.  Contaact for information about the recording of this session.  

11/28/16  Project Management Policy Prep: Communication and Change Management - with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office

Covering both communication about the status of the project, and communication with the people who are impacted by changes brought about by the project.

12/12/16  Discussion: Communication and Change Management

A combined discussion on the two topics from the previous meeting - communications planning and change management.

12/19/16  Annual Agile Winter Lunch

11/14/16  Project Management Policy Prep:  Budget Planning and Management - with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office

Session documents | BlueJeans recording

10/31/16  Project Management Policy Prep: Risk Management - with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office

Risk Management is the process of identifying, assessing, and then selecting the risks you want to do something about. In many cases, steps (mitigation) can be taken to reduce either the probability or consequences of the threat.  This documentation helps identify, assess, and plan for important risks.

Session documents | BlueJeans recording (session begins about 4 minutes into recording.)

10/27/16  Creating Core Stories to Build Great Projects: Part 2

This session is hosted by BPAWG
Location: 150 University Hall
Time: 10:30 - 12:00

10/17/16  Project Management Policy Prep: Budgets and Scheduling - with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office

The work-schedule documentation tracks the key elements of your project that must be completed on-time and on-budget for your project to be successful and therefore require monitoring by the project manager and stakeholders.  How you track them depends on the complexity of your project.  

Here are three examples of varying complexity:

Slide-deck | Sample schedule | Work plan schedule | Budget template

10/4/16  Creating Core Stories to Build Great Projects 
Session #4 of the Transferable Professional Skills series
Tuesday, October 4,  2016 | 2:00 - 4:00  | 150 University Hall (different location)

This workshop will help you learn the practices for creating impactful project stories.  The final session of the 4-part presentation series on Transferable Professional Skills for Individual and Organizational Effectiveness. The series is sponsored by Talent and Organizational Performance (TOP).

See full description

9/19/16  Group Discussion: Charters - with Devin Jones, Software Development Manager, School of Law 
We’ve all started projects and created project documentation.  The goal is to start doing so in a common format. Bring your questions and your experiences with the new template.

9/6/16, Tuesday  Project Management Policy Prep: Charters - with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office
Location: Warren Hall, CR-300CNote day and room for this event.  Look for signs directing you to the meeting room.

The Project Charter documents the formal conversation between the Project Sponsor and the Project Manager/Team.  It provides a high-level overview of the project including the definition of project success, and project resource (people and funds) requirements.

6/10/16   Process Improvement Methods and Tools at Campus Shared Services: The role of facilitation, metrics and project management.
With George Noble, Director, Process Transformation and Innovation, CSS and Nick Endsley, Lead Process Transformation Consultant, CSS
Presented by Business Process Analysis Working Group (BPAWG) 
Friday, June 10, 2016 | 10:30 - 12:00 | 150 University Hall
Slide deck

5/16/16  Collaboration Tools II, joint Agile and BPAWG session

  • Slack is a very hot collaboration tool combining chat,  file sharing and connections to Google Drive, Salesforce, and just about any other online system you might use.  Kevin Chan of ETS knows Slack well.  So we are lucky to have him to bring us up to speed on all it can do.
  • Teamwork is the collaboration tool Lawrence Berkeley Lab adopted to help keep their teams on track.  Sandy Chin from LBL was on the team that chose Teamwork and will be demoing the product and talking about how it was chosen.
  • Smartsheet is an online project management software that's getting a lot of use around campus and at the Berkeley Lab.  Pat Tura and Luis Corrales from the Lab will be joining us to show us how Smartsheet can help us get our work out the door.

5/2/16  Understanding Leadership Style with Professor Jo-Ellen Pozner (Please contact for session resources.)

4/18/16  Power Users on Project Management Tools: Jira, SharePoint, Google Docs, and Slack 
Here's a list of the tools and the people who will  be helping us understand them:

  • Asana - Myra Lijek (Tang)
  • Google Docs - Jon Hays (bConnected)
  • SharePoint - Michael Leefers (IST)
  • Jira - Tim Heidinger (SIS)
  • Slack -  Chad Taylor (Law) - Postponed 

4/4/16  Systems Thinking with Jukka-Pekka Vainio 

3/21/16  Organizing Large (and small) Projects -- Finding All The Pieces To The Puzzle with Michelle Bautista, Jon Conhaim, and Marlita Kahn - (BlueJeans recording.  Click on Chapter 2 video) 
Collaboration Tools for Documentation and Decision Tracking | Project Communication Plans | Sample Communication Plan

3/10/16  Advancing Equity & Inclusion: Exploring Best Practices for Engaging Diversity within Teams and Groups 
Session #2 of the Transferable Professional Skill series, presented by Berkeley Facilitators Network (BFN) 
Thursday, March 10, 2016 | 10:30 - 12:00 | 290 Hearst Mining Building

2/8/16  8 Ways To Get Focused And Get Things Done with Judy Dobry, Director of Systems and Technology, Graduate Division - (BlueJeans recording)

1/25/16  Managing Risks for Campus Information Technology Projects with Jon Conhaim, Manager,  Technology Program Office  - (Video; session starts around 8 minutes in.)
Managine Project Risks [draft] | Risk Categories and Sources for IT Projects [draft] | Risk Register Template [draft]

12/7/15  Retrospectives: Amplifying Success, Turning Around Failure with Donna Seaward  - (Video)
Slide-deck (PPTX) | Agile retrospective examples (PPTX)

11/9/15  Agile Mindset with David Chilcott (ReadyTalk slides and audio)

11/6/15  Got Change? Now What? - Change Management Methods & Lessons Learned (slide deck)
TPS series with Andreas Pinterits

10/26/15  Agile User Input and Project Design with Bernadette Geuy - (Video)

10/12/15  Hands on Agile Workshop III: Scheduling Your Agile Project with Wendy Pennell 
Whiteboard diagrams (concepts from Scrum: A breathtakingly brief and agile introduction, Chris Sims & Hillary Louise Johnson, Dymaxicon, 2012.)

10/5/15  Hands on Agile Workshop II: Prioritizing Your Agile Project with Judy Dobry 
Agile Planning: Prioritization (slide deck) 

9/28/15  Hands on Agile Workshop I: Writing a Charter for Your Agile Project with Jon Conhaim (Google+ recording)
Creating A Project Charter (slide deck) | Project Charter Template (9/28/15) (Check the OE website for template updates and the TPO website for other Project Management resources.)

5/18/15  Stop the Pain: Business Process Improvement (BlueJeans recording)
Shelly Sweet, Founder and President of I4 Process
Stop the Pain (slide deck)

5/4/15   Six Sigma with the Process Transformation & Innovation team from Campus Shared Services (BlueJeans recording)

4/27/15  Leading the Lean-Agile Enterprise: An overview of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) (slide deck)
Susan Rafii, Scaled Agile
Scaled Agile Framework diagram (PDF) | SAFe Implementation (PDF)

4/6/15  An interview with Jon Conhaim on Agile Project Management (BlueJeans recording)

Agile Brown Bag FAQ

Who can come to the meetings?
Anyone with an interest in Agile is welcome at the meeting.   We learn by having everyone from Agile neophytes to long time users share their knowledge and experience.

Do you have to register beforehand?
No registration is required.  Just come to the meeting.  But for this meeting I would really appreciate an email RSVP so that we can be sure to have enough room.

How can I get more information about the meetings?
Please get in touch with the meeting coordinator,  Judy Dobry (

Do you have a Web site? is our web site.  It has all kinds of materials for both new and experienced agile users

How do I add myself to your mailing list?
Go to

Do you have any other Agile activities?
We have an hour long introduction to Agile that we are happy to present to any campus group that requests it.  

Who organizes all this?
We have an Organizing Committee that anyone is welcome to join.  Current members include Michelle Bautista(CSS), Kim Carl (VC - Research), Jon Conhaim (TPO), Judy Dobry (Grad Div), Devin Jones (Law), Marlita Kahn (IST), Wendy Pennell (EECS),  Donna Seaward (Haas), Kendall Moalem (CSS) and Ken Sumikawa (SAIT).