Lunch Panel - Real World Agile


More and more companies are leveraging the benefits of Agile by adopting it organization-wide. However, successful adoption involves deep changes at the individual, team and organization levels. Learn how two of Improving’s customers actually made the transition - what worked, what didn’t and what to avoid at all costs. Join our lunch panel discussion, Real World Agile, with Kim Fisher, George Simpson and Jay Spears, moderated by Gary McCants.


  • Gary McCants

    1 Recording
    Gary McCants is a Principal Consultant with Improving Enterprises Agile Practice. He entered the craft in 1986 and has played roles from Analyst Programmer to educator to CIO. Gary’s passion is centered in forming and nurturing high-performance teams, and he has found agile methods to be the perfect companion. Being an old fogey, he is witnessing the pendulum swinging back to the simpler, common-sense methods that prevailed when our industry was newer and it was fun to solve our friends’ problems with shiny new technology. His appreciation for technical excellence and higher thinking formed during his time at ObjectSpace, where he met the founders of Improving and many of the other speakers at this conference. Gary is a Certified Scrum Master about to turn Certified Scrum Practitioner and possesses strength in product, project, requirements, and testing management.
  • George Simpson

    1 Recording
    George Simpson is head of the firm wide Testing Tool and Services Strategy group at JPMorgan Chase. He has spent almost eight years writing, testing and operating software at JPMorgan. George learned about off-balance sheet accounting at Enron while acting as the Tactical Architect for a straight through processing system for commodities. George is a software developer who wrote his first program in Basic on a TRS-80, and his last program in Pogo on 16-core x86. Software engineering is a second career for George. He spent 12 years as a television engineer working in broadcast sports and entertainment. His clients included ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, CNN, and Showtime. His work is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Jay Spears

    1 Recording
    Jay Spears is the Director of Enterprise Development at KPMG LLP. KPMG is an audit, tax, and advisory services firm with more than 23,000 employees and partners in 87 offices throughout the U.S. Jay has been with KPMG over 14 years, and rose through the ranks from Project Manager to Director. Prior to joining KPMG, he worked as an analyst, developer, project manager, and department leader. He has delivered successful projects in a variety of vertical markets including advertising, retail and mortgage banking, aerospace manufacturing, software consulting, and financial consulting. Jay studied Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. Jay has been an advocate of iterative and agile methods since the early 90’s. He values the individuals that really make teams work, and empowers teams by building an environment that inspires personal development, excellence, and mutual respect.
  • Kim Fisher

    1 Recording
    Kim Fisher is the Chief Information Officer for American Fidelity Assurance Co., headquartered in Oklahoma City. Kim was appointed to the CIO role in April of 2009, and has been with the company for 22 years. Prior to becoming CIO, Kim served in a variety of positions including Director of Applications Development and Director of the Project Development Office. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development/Social Services from the University of Maine at Orono, Kim veered from her course and headed for the technology field. Starting out as a Business Systems Analyst for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York City, she quickly became intrigued with the human side of technology adaptation. Since that time - both as a developer and a manager - Kim has learned that the best business technology solutions for an organization cannot provide desired value in the absence of inspired teams, solid processes and Executive support. Agile (Scrum) is providing American Fidelity a better means to achieve their goals, and bridge IT and the business in new and motivational ways.

Recorded At:

Recorded on:

Feb 25, 2011

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