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» Keynote topics
» Speaker topics

Keynote Topics

Beyond Budgeting - a management model for new business and people realities
Bjarte Bogsnes - Author, Beyond Budgeting

Join Bjarte Bogsnes as he talks about:
  • The Statoil implementation journey.
  • The problems with traditional management, including budgeting.
  • The Beyond Budgeting principles and companies on the journey.
  • Statoil's "Ambition to Action" model; redefining performance - dynamic and relative targets and a holistic performance evaluation.
  • Dynamic forecasting and resource allocation and no traditional budgets from calendar-driven to event-driven; a more self-regulating management model.
  • Implementation experiences and advice.

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How We Can Use Agile to Move the Earth
Ryan Martens - Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Rally Software

"Give me a place on which to stand, and I will move the earth." -Archimedes

Archimedes arranged a series of pulleys and cogs that allowed him to pull a ship out of the Syracusan Fleet from the water onto the beach. Today, engineers and business must operate as a cooperative team to "move the earth" toward freedom, justice, opportunity, and sustainable development. - Al Gore, Vice President of United States (1993-2001)

Business is the only force on the planet large enough and pervasive enough to change our broken global systems. We can use the power of business to be a positive force for change. With more citizen engineers working closely with - and within - companies, we can move faster to solve the world's most intractable problems.

We believe one of the keys to unlocking the potential of citizen engineers is using Agile and Lean practices for rapid innovation and learning. Lean Startup and Agile methods are emerging as disciplined approaches to continuous innovation.

Now is the time for our society to encourage and empower citizen engineers. It is going to take time to educate and mobilize engineers who can apply technology iteratively and incrementally in local settings to effectively solve systemic problems with triple-bottom line solutions.

My vision is this:
Using agile and lean practices, bring citizen engineers together with social entrepreneurs to entice visionary, large businesses to create sustainable and equitable solutions that span the globe.

Together citizen engineers and social entrepreneurs can be the giant lever to fix the global systems that create clean water, clean air, rich soil, biodiversity and happiness as a natural by-product of everyday work.

To mobilize citizen engineers to do this, we need to leverage:
  • Design thinking to produce highly desirable solutions that scale quickly
  • Agile thinking to bring the power of small teams to large problems
  • Lean startup to simultaneously solve for feasibility and effectiveness
  • Open source licenses to disseminate learnings and solutions freely across the planet
  • Sociology and biology to design sustainable solutions that work with nature

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The Lean Mindset: The Far Side of Paradox
Mary Poppendieck - Author, Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit

Analysis is a good thing. Being slow and careful is wise. Rewarding people for performance makes perfect sense. Creating a plan and following it is the best way to get things done. And we should strive to be the best at whatever we do. When we adopt a rational mindset, we know these statements are true.

But they aren't the whole truth. Intuition is also a good thing. Being fast produces essential feedback. Purpose works better than incentives for engaging people. Probing a complex environment and adapting to its response is the safest approach to change. And being the best can get in the way of getting even better. When we adopt a responsive mindset, we feel these things are terribly important.

So which mindset is right? For a long time, successful western companies have been biased in favor of a rational mindset, while the responsive mindset fell out of favor. But in the last few years, companies with responsive mindsets seem to be doing surprisingly well. In fact, if we're not careful, those upstart companies might become a threat to our business.

We might try to move toward a more responsive mindset to become more competitive, but abandoning a rational mindset is not necessarily a good idea. It is better to address the paradox presented by the two opposing mindsets and combine them into a single perspective, a lean mindset. Make no mistake, this is not easy. We struggle with tension and ambiguity as we move from paradox to resolution.

From Self-interest vs. Generosity to Cooperation
From Focus vs. Exploration to Adaptability
From Analysis vs. Intuition to Insight
From Slow vs. Fast to Urgency
From Being Good vs. Getting Better to Mastery

This talk we will examine research and case studies to help understand what a lean mindset is and how it can help your company compete in today's fast moving marketplace.

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Managing for Serendipity
Dave Snowden - Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

Major innovations normally happen by accident - think of Penicillin, the microwave oven or Viagra for examples. These are examples of what biologists call exaptation; something evolved for one purpose exapts to deal with a novel and unexpected shift. This presentation will look at how we can manage to enable exaptation.
  • Building discovery networks across silos
  • Getting the modularity of needs and capabilities right for innovation
  • Criticality of distributed cognition (and why it is not the same thing as Crowd Sourcing)
  • Managing in the complex domain of Cynefin

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Speaker Topics

LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
"Run, Moby, Run!" Making infrastructure Agile at Telstra
Lalitha Biddulph - Director IT, Enterprise Services, Telstra
Anna Leibel - General Manager, Delivery, Telstra

Context:
  • Telstra is a huge organisation.
  • Organisations see infrastructure as a cost centre, not an investment.
  • This session is a case study in large-scale transformation pitfalls. Yet, in one year Telstra has crushed its "Time to Application Load" for provisioned servers by over 99.99%—and in the meantime learned the hard way the key techniques to teach the whale agility.
Learning outcomes: First up, the basics ones. They're basic, but you still need to do them.
  • People First. In change programs, process and technology are traditionally addressed first, but we cut cycle time by 50% and cost by 32% through behavioural coaching alone, with the same organisational structure and processes
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. It is not possible to over-communicate the change. We used multiple strategies to tackle the FUD that change triggers.
  • Treat the Agile adoption like an Agile project. Learn how we devised meaningful metrics and milestones for improvements through Agile, and helped our stakeholders get their heads around the adoption.
However, there were some lessons which aren't as well documented, especially for LARGE enterprises:
  • Leverage everything. Show how Agile aligns with everything that has currency in your organisation. IT/corporate strategy, lean, systems thinking, everything. We'll show you how we even used ITIL!
  • Motivating a whale is hard yakka. Fighting decades-ingrained behaviour takes a lot of time and effort over-and-above your existing workload. Be prepared. We can help you estimate how much overhead it will add
  • Work-cells and self-organisation ease workload
  • Agile and infrastructure make an awesome combo. Infrastructure usually gets the Agile treatment last, after Dev, Analysis, Test, UX, and even Stakeholders. But doing it first yields amazing and unexpected benefits

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BUILD + TEST
Evolving mobile architectures at MI9
Cameron Barrie - Director & Technical Lead, Bilue
James Brett - Head of Development, MI9
Stewart Gleadow - Mobile Practice Lead, Thoughtworks

The Jump-in application from MI9 is an example of the tradeoffs product and delivery teams must make as they develop innovative mobile solutions. We all love shiny native apps, but the development time and life cycle of app store approval can conflict with the lightweight, continuous delivery models. The architecture of the Jump-in iPhone and iPad second screen application is designed to leverage the great user experience of native applications with the speed of development and iteration that is possible with the web. This session covers how Jump-in was built from a product and technical point of view to get the best of both worlds. We've discovered the real benefit of hybrid app development is less about reducing cost and more about flexibility and the ability to respond to the constant change in the mobile market.

You will:
  • Understand how your mobile architecture can give you flexibility in an uncertain future
  • Learn how to decide which features makes sense to be done in native and web technologies
  • Gain insight into how to seamlessly integrate different technologies within your mobile applications, and how a hundred lines of Objective C might open up a new world of possibilities
  • Discover how building great mobile apps requires product, design and development all coming together
  • Find out how to bring both the technical and process sides of Agile together with the latest design and delivery practices in order to iterate quickly
  • Learn about the dragons that appear when building large Agile development teams around small, shiny products

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ADOPTION
The case for an Agile legal team
Paul Gordon - Senior Lawyer, REA Group

In recognition of how Agile has benefited REA Group's technology team over the past four years, all REA lines of business and functional teams have now embraced Agile practices. The REA legal team has set the benchmark for non-technology teams' use of Agile and is one of the first legal teams in Australia to apply Agile practices. The team uses Agile on a micro day-to-day planning basis and for macro quarterly planning. This case study includes how early resistance was countered, potential barriers to success were overcome, and how we made Agile work for a the legal team. Also described is how the technology team mentored the legal team through the transition phase, and the collaborative and efficiency benefits of an Agile legal team.

Discover:
  • How to avoid the potential pitfalls of implementing Agile in non-technology teams
  • Practical tips for overcoming resistance - what behaviours need to change
  • How Agile practices can be implemented in your team and incorporated in individual KPIs
  • The benefits of Agile legal teams - how Agile assists prioritisation for your team members, improves throughput, increases visibility of effort within your team and to your stakeholders and provides better reporting to your executive team
  • No more lengthy handover notes!

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ADOPTION
Adopting Leffingwell's Scaled Agile Framework - the theory and practice
Em Campbell-Pretty - General Manager, Strategic Delivery, Telstra
Mark Richards - Director, Richdata Pty Ltd

Dean Leffingwell's Scaled Agile Framework for the Enterprise (SAFe) is gaining considerable traction as a holistic approach to applying Agile at scale. Through a mix of Lean, Scrum and XP, it focuses on using 'the right hammer for each nail' while supplying enough structure to enable self-organisation at scale.

Set in the world of a delivery group that started with a mix of project-based Agile teams and outsourced waterfall projects, this session uses a mix of SAFe theory and situational adaptation to describe the journey to becoming a successful Agile Release Train.

In particular, we address:
  • Transition to a Lean Kanban system for a program level backlog - with emphasis on addressing the boundary between an Agile program and a waterfall governance and funding process
  • Scaling the 'product owner' construct when dealing with multiple sources of funding and disparate stakeholders for a single strategic application
  • Scaling the culture to turn a group of teams into a 'team of teams'
Gain:
  • An understanding of the 'Program' layer of the Scaled Agile Framework
  • Exposure to a working example of a program backlog and Kanban-based lifecycle system for projects
  • Practical insight into the pitfalls and possibilities inherent in transitioning an 'in-flight' program to SAFe
  • Tips on tools for scaling not just management and delivery practices but culture

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INNOVATION
The Girl with the Chisel Tip Marker
Lynne Cazaly - Owner, Lynne Cazaly

One of the quickest ways to achieve greater buy-in, clearer communication and higher levels of engagement with team members, stakeholders, sponsors and business units is to get ‘visual agility’. Using cards, stories, post it notes, visual charts, maps, models, metaphors - and most of all, some hand crafted ‘drawn-in-the-moment’ visuals learn some engaging ways to facilitate with visuals in an Agile world.

Session participants would get the information and insight to:
  • Generate creative ideas and processes, brainstorm and think creatively
  • Engage the most disengaged people and gain their input in meetings, workshops and conversations
  • Communicate business models, value models, key messages and information to stakeholders both internal and external to the business
  • Collaborate across diverse and amorphous teams in the business and client businesses - from marketing to finance, to IT and retail, to projects and sales

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BUILD + TEST
Exploratory Testing in an Agile environment
Anne-Marie Charrett - Test Consultant, Testing Times

Like surf and turf, or fish and chips, Exploratory Testing and Agile work well together. Exploratory Testing is sometimes viewed as random or ad hoc, but this is not true. Skilled Exploratory Testing requires structure or discipline and part of the talk will look at some ways to perform this type of testing in a skilled way.

Exploratory Testing is a great way to help your testers be motivated and excited about testing.

Learning outcomes:
  • What Exploratory Testing is and why it's essential in Agile testing
  • How to perform Exploratory Testing in a skilled way
  • Strategies to use to introduce Exploratory Testing within an Agile team
  • Tips based on practical experience in adopting an Exploratory Testing approach

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INNOVATION
Make a real difference: Community innovations for social good
Pete Cohen - Business Analyst, RHoK Star, DiUS Computing
Julian Smith - Senior Policy Officer - Environment Protection Policy, Department of Sustainability and Environment

Doing social good through technology is a growing global trend on both a corporation and individual level. Corporations are looking to move beyond making a positive impact through a greater level of societal responsibility towards the notion of shared value - the creation of economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges - and technology is a great enabler for this movement. Add to this the many technologists that are interested in volunteering their skills to make a measurable difference in the communities in which they work and live, and it paints a heartening picture.

Despite all this goodwill, bringing together these myriad of resources and skills to successfully design, develop, release and maintain innovative and sustainable technology solutions to particular problems can be difficult.

This session will help you understand how you as an individual, or your business, can get involved in using technology to create this shared value. It looks at the initiatives currently underway in Australian technology communities and the types of challenges being addressed. The importance of problem definition, subject matter experts and product owners to successful solution development is explained, as well as the challenges of creating sustainable solutions.

To showcase how to successfully connect volunteers’ skills with a problem and develop a solution, this session goes through a case study of a recent Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) hackathon in Melbourne that came up with a solution that enables emergency crews to keep track of one another's locations and share real-time information about a fire on their smart devices.

Learning outcomes:
  • Learn about the initiatives currently underway in Australia, including Random Hacks of Kindness
  • Through the example of a case study, understand the lifecycle of a problem through from initial identification through development and beyond.
  • Be equipped to understand how you as an individual, or your business, can get involved in creating this shared value by undertaking initiatives which benefit society as well as yourself.

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BUILD + TEST
Continuous Delivery: The path to Rapid Experimentation
Paul Coia - CTO, Redbubble

The practical elements of Continuous Delivery are no longer news to software engineers. However, the true power of the technique is the way it transforms product development through the enablement of rapid experimentation and evolution of a web product. This talk outlines Redbubble's path towards a model where end user feedback is part and parcel of the product evolution and hypotheses are rapidly tested in the wild thanks to rigorous adherence to Continuous Delivery.

Hear a first hand account of how Redbubble's product approach has been transformed through the combination of Continuous Delivery and Rapid Experimentation. It discusses the process of change to make the scientific method a part of what we do and the tools and techniques learnt along the way. See some of the wrong turns we took along the way and a few of the key wins which helped keep up the commitment to experimentation.

The presentation covers the engineering practices required to make Continuous Delivery a reality in a Ruby on Rails website: continuous integration, one click deploys and feature toggles. You will also see the tools used to execute split tests, where the results are stored and how they are analysed.

There are code samples, in particular implementing feature toggles, the split testing framework and some R code for thrills!

Learning outcomes:
  • How Continuous Delivery will change the way you view your product
  • What tooling is required to make it happen, and keep it there
  • What an experiment is and how to build, run and assess one
  • Onsite, real user testing techniques: Split Tests, in-place surveying
  • Why failure is inevitable and must be embraced
  • How to trust in an approach and not a business case
  • Why culture is the most important ingredient in getting this right

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INNOVATION
"Big Data" Agile Analytics
Ken Collier - Director Agile Analytics, Thoughtworks

We are in the midst of an exciting time. There is an explosion of very interesting data, and emergence of powerful new technologies for harnessing data, and devices that enable humans to receive tremendous benefits from it. What is required are innovative processes that enable the creation and delivery of value from all of that data. More often than not, it is the predictive (what will happen?) and prescriptive (how to make it happen!) analytics that produces this value, not the raw data itself.

Agile software teams are continuously involved in projects that involve rich, complex, and messy data. Often this data represents innovative analytics opportunities. Being analytics-aware gives these teams the opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders to innovate by creating additional value from the data. This session is aimed at making Agile software teams more analytics-aware so that they will recognize these innovation opportunities.

The trouble with conventional analytics (like conventional software development) is that it involves long, phased, sequential steps that take too long and fail to deliver actionable results. This talk will examine the convergence of the following elements of an exciting emerging field called Agile Analytics:
  • sophisticated analytics techniques, plus
  • lean learning principles, plus
  • agile delivery methods, plus
  • so-called "big data" technologies
Learn:
  • The analytical modeling process and techniques
  • How analytical models are deployed using modern technologies
  • The complexities of data discovery, harvesting, and preparation
  • How to apply agile techniques to shorten the analytics development cycle
  • How to apply lean learning principles to develop actionable and valuable analytics
  • How to apply continuous delivery techniques to operationalize analytical models

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INNOVATION
Leave Product Development to the dummies
David Colls - Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks

Stop testing on humans! Auto manufacturers have greatly reduced the harm once caused by inadvertently crash-testing production cars with real people. Now, simulation ensures every new car endures thousands of virtual crashes before even a dummy sets foot inside. Can we do the same for software product delivery?

Simulation can deliver faster feedback than real-world trials, for less cost. Simulation supports agility, improves quality and shortens development cycles. Designers and manufacturers of physical products found this out a long time ago. By contrast, in Agile software development, we aim to ship small increments of real software to real people and use their feedback to guide product development. But what if that's not possible? (And can we still benefit from simulation even when it is?)

The goal of trials remains the same: get a good product to market as quickly as possible (or pivot or kill a bad product as quickly as possible). However, if you have to wait for access to human subjects or real software, or if it's too costly to scale to the breadth and depth of real-world trials required to optimise design and minimise risk, consider simulation.

Learn why simulation was chosen for the design of call centre services (and compare this with crash testing cars), how a simulator was developed, and what benefits the approach brought. You'll leave equipped to decide whether simulation is appropriate for your next innovation project, and with some resources to get you started.

Discover:
  • How and when to use simulation to improve agility
  • The anatomy of a simulator
  • A lean, risk-based approach to developing and validating a simulator
  • Techniques for effectively visualising and communicating simulations
  • Implementing simulated designs in the real world

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ADOPTION
From 100 card walls to none and back again: Lessons learned implementing Activity Based Working alongside Agile at Bankwest
Ed Cortis - Head of Solution Delivery, Bankwest

Following one of the hottest trends in architecture in August 2012, Bankwest joined Macquarie, Microsoft, CBA, NAB and others when it moved into the custom-built Bankwest Place by implementing Activity Based Working (ABW), consolidating four locations and teams of staff into one 'super-location'. With ABW there are no assigned desks, and colleagues choose to work in meeting rooms, cafe-style booths, or along benches in an open-plan office each day.

The new building is acknowledged as one Australia's leading examples of ABW and the benefits of reducing hierarchy, breaking down silos and improving cross-team collaboration and morale make alignment with Agile appear automatic; however, Bankwest faced a surprising number of challenges in aligning the new working style to their existing Agile practices as, for example, putting up a card wall might be considered diametrically opposed to the tenets of ABW as it stakes a claim to an area.

This session will share all the lessons learned, both good and bad, so that others looking to adopt ABW can both avoid making the same mistakes, whilst looking forward to leveraging a new way of working.

Learn about:
  • Pilot
  • Working Environment, noise / quiet spaces
  • Tools, shower curtains, card walls and home-brewed software
  • People, Where HAS my team gone?
  • Logistics - Can I sit here? Personal shrines, war rooms, team-specific equipment

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BUILD + TEST
Automating your JavaScript Tests
Jo Cranford - GreenHopper Developer, Atlassian

The use of JavaScript in building websites has grown considerably over the the last few years, but the number of people writing effective automated tests is still very small.

This session explores introducing JavaScript tests to various web applications, focusing on the issues faced by developers trying to write tests for large, untested javascript code bases.

Learn how automated JavaScript tests can work well as both unit and integration-level tests. Detailed integration-type tests across the JavaScript stack, from UI through to Ajax call, can reduce the number of slow functional tests required for good coverage. This session covers tools including QUnit, Jasmine and Sinon, some of the pitfalls of JavaScript testing, and how to create well-targeted tests that don't become a maintenance headache. For the last part of the session, some code examples will be used to demonstrate how to start writing tests in JavaScript, and how to use Sinon for spying, stubbing and testing Ajax calls.

Learning outcomes:
  • Attendees with some JavaScript experience should be able to set up and run automated JavaScript tests in a browser following this session

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DESIGN + ANALYSIS
How we got everyone at MYOB hooked on UX, and how we are managing their addiction
Megan Dell - User Experience Manager, MYOB
Scott Turner - Senior UX Designer, MYOB

MYOB hasn't been known for its usability and design. In the past 12 months, a UX team has been growing, and their influence on product design and development is continually growing. As User Experience designers and managers of a UX team, getting buy-in from your stakeholders and peers is awesome - especially when you're all new to the company. But what happens when you've increased the interest and buy-in so much that it turns into a monster to manage? You could double the size or your team, or you could do what we're doing - educating the rest of the company about good design and user experience and letting go of the reins a little. Scary? Yes. Learn how we're doing things at MYOB and the exponential change we are seeing in the company culture.

Learning outcomes:
  • Learn how we created a culture at MYOB that empowers staff to integrate Lean principles and techniques into their projects
  • How to incorporate Lean UX into the agile development life-cycle
  • How to turn everyone into a UX Designer at heart
  • Get tips on when to give others the reins to facilitate and the tools or training they'll need to do this effectively
  • Learn what to do and what not to do when setting up a continual loop of usability testing in your workplace

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
Lean Start-up for Project Managers
Michael Dijkstra - Founder, Storyberg
Caroline Gordon - Manager Express Solutions, Optus

This session connects Lean Start-up with Project Management methodologies, focusing on product development projects, and drawing out specifically how Lean Start-up is different to typical Agile project management.

If you are a Project Manager, familiar with different project life cycle approaches but perhaps not be aware how Lean Start-up presents a totally different model suitable for use in contexts of very high uncertainty, this session is for you!

You will:
  • Understand what context Lean Start-up fits best and the problems it helps to solve
  • Learn how to ask key questions about the project you are working on right now: what assumptions have been made that have not been validated? What will you do about it?

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LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
'Seed and feed' leadership
Jesse Dumoff - Head of Group Solutions, Veda Advantage

It's often said that it's easier to seek forgiveness than ask for permission. In line with that approach, by carefully 'seeding' good practices across the organisation and taking care to 'feed' them wisely you can maximise your chances of success.

Leadership is dynamic, so you need to know when to seed and when to feed. In the beginning it's easy, when there are no processes or nothing is working, any ideas are good ideas, it's time to seed. When things start to move, set the course by feeding what's working. As you expand, seed more teams and feed what needs to grow. When it looks like it's all over, consolidate what's been learned and reset, seed and feed again.

But, like the weather, as a leader it's important to accept what you cannot control. There are times when intervention is necessary, when people behave badly and we've made mistakes.

This talk is aimed at leaders who are actively seeking ways to introduce and / or expand Agile practices in their organisation.

Learn:
  • How to identify areas with the best potential for improvement
  • Which Agile practices to start with and why
  • How to set teams up for successful delivery
  • How to 'course correct' to manage ongoing challenges....without destroying what you've created

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LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
In Conversation with Patrick Eltridge, CIO, Telstra
Patrick Eltridge - Chief Information Officer, Telstra
Beverley Head - Freelance Journalist (Interviewer)

Come and hear the leadership lessons Patrick has learnt as Telstra undertakes a huge cultural shift.

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INNOVATION
From WIKISPEED to KiWIKISPEED and back
Gareth Evans - Agile Coach, Assurity
Stefan Sohnchen - Agile Solutions Development Coach, Tait Communications

We are a distributed team of nearly 200 active volunteers - we all have day jobs - in about 20 different countries. We work as Agile teams using Lean software development techniques and design practices. Our members all have different skill sets, collaboratively we engineer, build, and produce, modular ultra-efficient super cars. Cars which are not only affordable and safe but capable of 100 miles per gallon (2.5l/100km).

Moreover, we are a non-profit organisation, and we aim to rapidly solve problems for the social good.

Our car project is the most advanced of our projects. However, there are for example, members who are progressing low cost medical centers and medical devices, developing modularised HydroHubs and creating flat-pack shelters for the homeless in disaster relief situations.

And who knows, presenting at Agile Australia 2013 might help spark an exciting new idea that can generate a critical mass in Australia - so that we can high five a newly established Team WIKISPEED OZ.

Learning outcomes
  • How Agile/Lean can be used in highly distributed grassroots teams.
  • Why open source Agile works and how far it might go. Taking Agile principles and practices out of the office to the people for the people.
  • How Lean manufacturing went to Lean software development and is now heading back to Lean manufacturing.
  • How this new approach to manufacturing may have profound effects as customers actually begin to design and build the products they want to consume.

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ADOPTION
Agile at Australia Post and NAB: Agile adoption at two of Australia's largest organisations
Cameron Gough - General Manager - Digital Delivery Centre, Australia Post
Dylan Verheijden - Capability Uplift Manager, NAB

Using Agile methodologies across a variety of teams, the recently established Digital Delivery Centre at Australia Post is strategically positioned as the vehicle to drive sustainable Agile adoption in the organisation. NAB currently has over 50 teams which have delivered, or are delivering, using Agile methodologies. Both are large organisations. Both have had to tackle similar challenges unique to large organisations. Interestingly, both have followed very different approaches to get to this point. This talk will give insight into the different adoption approaches followed (top-down and grass-roots), challenges faced and lessons learned.

Discover:
  • The different adoption approaches followed at Australia Post and NAB, and key success factors common to both
  • Common challenges unique to large organisations, and associated lessons learned at Australia Post and NAB
  • Current areas of focus to continue to industrialise and make Agile real at Australia Post and NAB

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
Understanding organisational effectiveness
Torbjrn Gyllebring - Development Manager, Cint

Why are some organisations better, sometimes much better, at reaching their goals? Can we explain the different ways that help us transition towards higher performance?

The answer is straightforward, surprisingly simple and actionable. This session is about the surprising power of mindset, at the personal, group, and organisational level.

Discover:
  • Why 'mindset' is important
  • What can we predict from different personal mindsets?
  • How do these findings apply to an organisation?
  • An introduction to the Rightshifting model, to a simple model of organisational effectiveness

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BUILD + TEST
You should be experimenting
Lindsay Holmwood - Software Manager, Bulletproof Networks

Experimentation is crucial to delivering value to the business, but experimentation is widely perceived as risky and not something done in the corporate world. For software projects in particular, the biggest limitation in testing ideas is getting a prototype in front of people quickly.

The key is to reduce risk and make the act of experimentation safe.

This talk covers how to use simple tools to create a safe environment for experimentation, and carry the experimental approaches through from initial prototypes to full blown production apps.

Attendees will learn:
  • How to build a safe environment to experiment and test ideas
  • How to utilise open source utilities to build simple platforms for experimentation
  • Lean on configuration management to provide consistent environments through all stages of the continuous delivery pipeline
  • How monitoring and continuous integration are related, and how to get maximum re-use of tests in production

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
The Guessing Game: Alternatives to Agile estimation
Neil Killick - Agile/Lean Consultant, Iterative

Agile promotes empiricism and change, yet many practitioners continue to scope out and estimate delivery times and costs for software products and projects (albeit with sounder methods and units such as Planning Poker, Affinity Estimation, T-Shirt sizes and story points).

Defenders of the art of estimation claim that we need to estimate software projects in order to answer common business and customer questions such as:
  • Should we go ahead with this project? (go/no-go)
  • How much will it cost? (bottom line)
  • When will it be done? (predictability)
  • Should we do project B instead of A? (prioritisation)
This session challenges participants to flip these questions on their heads and seek alternatives to estimation rituals. It covers the many risks inherent with an estimation culture and demonstrates real, practical alternatives, both at the portfolio and the sprint level.

Discover:
  • How to reduce the uncertainty and risk inherent with popular estimation models and rituals
  • How to determine the price for your customer without estimation
  • rituals
  • How to determine delivery dates and roadmaps without estimation rituals
  • How to determine which projects to pursue without estimation
  • rituals
  • How to do Scrum or XP without estimation rituals
  • When, if ever, is it appropriate to estimate software projects?

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
Agile metrics and the deadly sins of Agile measurement
Steve Lawrence - Agile Coach, Rally Software

Agile metrics can be used to advantage or can also be used to the detriment of teams and an organisation’s Agile success. This session looks at several of the core Agile metrics used to measure success to help you understand what success looks like, why the metric is desirable, and what the metrics can tell us.

Understanding why we want these metrics is critical to actually capturing something of value rather than just doing 'because'.

I will also dive into the negative impacts of some of the Agile Metrics we are sometimes forced to capture, how chasing velocity leads to gaming the system etc.

This presentation showcases some of the good metrics such as those that support an organisation's objectives, optimise learning, guide actions and decisions and can be well understood and adopted.

It also looks at bad metrics, such as the 7 deadly sins of Agile Measurement, like using metrics used as levers rather than feedback. This is Sin number 1. Levers are used to change someone's behaviour. Feedback is used to improve performance- can you see the difference. We will also look at 6 other sins of Agile measurement and how to avoid them in your enterprise.

I will also discuss the negative impact of KPIs and 'bonuses' and why for some teams such metrics as high unit test coverage is counterproductive whereas with others it is a godsend. We will also discuss how to create measures and how to gain real data by experimentation. Ala Lean Start up thinking.

Key Learning Outcomes:
  • Agile metrics that can be used to track and measure Agile success at Team level and also across an enterprise. This talk will get you to ask yourself why am I capturing this data, why is it useful, is it useful? and what other measurements are there that may add value to our team and organisation. I will discuss how using experiments is critical to learning and adapting and how this process aids the capture of Agile metrics. I will use a couple of simple examples of such experiments from my past and the impact of these changes and the metrical data captured.
  • Delegates will understand the following metrics and what elements can impact them:-Productivity, Quality, Responsiveness, Predictability, Customer Satisfaction and Employee Satisfaction. There are also a huge number of different metrics that I will highlight but due to time not delve into detail.
  • The key takeaway is to first understand the objective (the what) and outcome (the why) of the metrics and then how to capture them. Good metrics lead to good actions, Bad Metrics led to disruptive negative behaviour.

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BUILD + TEST
Micro-services: Adaptive architectures and organisations
James Lewis - Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks

For many organisations struggling with bloated legacy systems, keeping pace in today's world of intense competition from upstart competitors is a challenge. Micro-services, small, independently scalable and deployable applications communicating via the web's uniform interface offer a viable alternative. This talk explores the Unix approach to building applications applied at enterprise scale and the challenges faced when building systems of systems including deployment and testing. From monoliths, silos, RPC and integration hell to today's adaptive system designs with organisations deploying hundreds of these tiny applications automatically - we are on the verge of a bright new future.

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DESIGN + ANALYSIS
The intrapreneur's playground - Enabling innovation within the enterprise
Kate Linton - Experience Design Principal, ThoughtWorks
Jonny Schneider - Lead Consultant - Experience Design & Strategy, ThoughtWorks

Is it possible for internal web teams to deliver customer-focused innovation within the rigidly siloed and constrained environments of large, traditional organisations? How do product teams attempt to deliver truly differentiated and valuable new offerings to known and mature markets?

Using recent case studies, this session walks through some techniques for nurturing innovation within such environments, exploring design practices borrowed from lean principles that can achieve the right outcomes in tight timeframes. As customers’ expectations and behaviours change at a rate that defies prediction, an Agile response to digital product innovation will be key to staying relevant and progressive. Learn how to deliver new digital products and services using techniques like gamestorming, collaborative design, and guerilla customer testing.

Discover:
  • Strategies for encouraging innovation within large firms
  • Ways to shape your team to encourage fast prototypes to test with your customers
  • Different approaches to user-testing and customer research

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BUILD + TEST
#winning. Gaming agile development practices for profit and fun
Stuart Liston - Developer, Hooroo
Ash McKenzie - Senior Developer, Hooroo

A characteristic of high-performing development teams is continually striving to find and follow principles of great software development; principles behind code quality, automating things, keeping the build green, good O-O design practices, helping out out customers and experimentation. Another characteristic is an unquenchable appetite for earning badges! At Hooroo, we've combined the two; our delivery team has defined a set of values and practices that help us continually improve crafting great software. And we've gamed it.

"Highlander" (there can be only one) is an application we've built to gamify what we do. Deployed to production today? You earn. Improved the code quality on a class? You earn. Helped out with a customer support request? You earn. Broken the build? Try again. Associating rewards with the things we consider important helps us to define our values and provide a continuous, automated positive feedback loop. It's also a fun and collaborative way to encourage the entire team to get involved in leading our continuous improvement.

Lean about:
  • Hooroo's Agile team practices and goals - continuous delivery, OO design principles, code quality metrics, customer support, automated testing, fast builds, blog posts and ming
  • How a simple idea for a hack day tool has turned into a way to gain a deeper understanding of our team values and encouraged everyone to drive our practices and culture
  • See a demonstration and code walk-through of Highlander and how it integrates multiple API's and services

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
The evils of multi-tasking and ow personal Kanban can help you
Sandy Mamoli - Director of All Things Agile, Nomad8

We know for a fact that multi-tasking slows us down both physically and mentally. Agile, Lean, Scrum and Kanban limit work in progress (WIP) on a team and organisational level but what about the personal level? What practices can we use as individuals to avoid multi-tasking and achieve flow?

This session explains the research on and theory behind why multi-tasking is bad. Through telling the story of Snapper, one of the coolest little Agile companies in Wellington, this session shows how an entire organisation organically adapted Agile practices to extend from the organisational and team level to the personal and individual level.

You will learn how to:
  • Demonstrate to others why multi-tasking slows us down
  • Explain the theory behind multi-tasking and context switching
  • Explain how personal Kanban works
  • Understand how Agile practices can be used on a personal and individual level
  • Improve flow and daily work habits through personal Kanban

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BUILD + TEST
Designing for rapid release
Sam Newman - Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks

This talk focuses on the kinds of constraints we should consider when evolving the architecture of our systems in order to enable rapid, frequent release. So much of the conversation about Continuous Delivery focuses on the design of build pipelines, or the nuts and bolts of CI and infrastructure automation. But often the biggest constraint in being able to incrementally roll out new features are the problems in the design of the system itself. This talk looks at a series of patterns to help you identify ingredients in your own systems when moving towards Continuous Delivery.

You will:
  • Understand how system design can have an impact on how easy it is to release new changes to your software, and what kind of tradeoffs need to be considered
  • Learn how distributed systems can be created in such a way to allow for frequent, incremental change

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PANEL
The agony of choice - Agile coaching
Lachlan Heasman
Bobby Singh - Project Delivery, Infosys
Bernd Schiffer - Agile Coach, Bold Mover
Lynn Shrewsbury - Agile Practitioner, Solnet Solutions
Dylan Verheijden - Capability Uplift Manager, NAB

This panel will explore Agile coaching and different Agile coaching modalities

Discover:
  • What is this Agile coaching stuff?
  • How does what we mean by an 'Agile coach' change depending on how the coach is working?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different Agile coaching modalities
  • Context where a modality might be a good fit, and what that means for the role of the coach
  • Coach selection and responsibilities with the modality

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PANEL
The Search for Sustainable Innovation
Angela Clark - ABC Innovation
Scott Farquhar - Atlassian
Warwick White - Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd
Beverley Head - Freelance Jounalist (Moderator)

Business operates today in a state of permanent volatility - how can enterprises make sure they are not just responding to that permanent volatility, and are instead being truly innovative?

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LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
Scaling Agile for Program Portfolio Management
Nick Payne - Head of Technology, World Nomads Group

This session explores one organisation's approach to scaling Scrum beyond a single team and project in order to manage multiple projects and dependencies. A journey of development as the approach evolved with the changing needs and mindset of the organisation. An honest appraisal of the current shortcoming and ideas about what the next step might entail.

Over the last two years World Nomads Group has evolved from a waterfall in Agile clothing environment to a functioning Scrum shop. This evolution took place through several distinct iterations. Each iteration built on the previous, but was underpinned by consistent principles.

Evolutionary steps included:
  • From impeded to cross functional teams: restructuring teams for the required work
  • From chaos to a predictable program: decomposing and tracking work
  • From hunch to measurable progress: decomposing to a greater granularity and learning to size
  • From general direction to considering portfolio value: decomposing large projects to make decisions about program portfolio
  • From conflict to cooperation: deliberately developing Product Owners and other roles
  • From hope to transparency: data-driven reporting on project progress
Underlying principles driving this evolution included:
  • Repeatable patterns
  • Do it yourself first and then pass it to someone else
  • Proxy roles to maintain patterns
At the end of this session you will be able to:
  • Describe several approaches to managing a portfolio of projects in an Agile context
  • Discuss the importance of taking an evolutionary approach to developing Agile Project Portfolio Management.

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
Agile, Lean, Broken Ribs and a World Champion
James Pierce - Founder and Partner, Luna Tractor

More than 90% of the folks at a conference like Agile Australia 2013 are creating virtual things - intellectual property, software, design or products - not something you can drop on your foot. Yet the foundations of Systems Thinking, Lean and Agile have their roots in manufacturing and factories. Alongside more typical corporate and start-up clients in insurance, services and software, Luna Tractor has had the chance to work with some manufacturing organisations as well.

This session is about one of those companies, Baum Cycles, widely regarded as the Ferraris of the bike world, ridden by world champions who pay their own money and line up like everyone else. From a small, sometimes hot, often cold and dirty factory on the North Shore of Geelong, hear tales of a transformational journey shifting the operation of the entire business, from sales to delivery to an Agile and Lean process.

When the workforce is predominantly blue collar, much factory language is unprintable and the background noise is a constant mixture of Triple M and machinery; some different approaches are required. Hear real world lessons about Lean flow, physical stock management; Agile sales and customer service along with who ended up with the broken ribs.

Discover:
  • Insights from a physical manufacturing environment where Lean and Agile has been applied in many weird and wonderful ways
  • Insights into how people really feel about change, from blue collar workers who don't hold back their feelings and are not bothered by what's a 'professional' way to behave.
  • Practical examples of how to apply Agile and Lean to problems ranging from managing a customer sales pipeline, to ordering, storing and managing a huge range of custom part and raw materials. This, as well as the physical manufacturing process itself.

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LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
The enterprise experiment!!!
Mike Pollard - Agile Coach, Bankwest
Simon Reason - Agile Coach, Bankwest

Ever wondered what it's like to experiment in Agile? Ever thought when you started to scale Agile, you would get it right first time? Ever thought Agile adoption is full of experiments? We did! This session explores real world learning and observations when attempting to mature organisations from single team project based Agile to a Scaled Agile framework.

Using live experiment this session highlights the purpose, result and our observations. Each experiment, as any Agilist would attest to, creates more unanswered questions, additional problems to solve and more opportunities to try out new hypotheses.

Discover:
  • Just like us, you might not get it right first time, but you will be able to leave the room with real world observations whilst experimenting in Scaled Agile.
  • The organisational dysfunctions that have surfaced and tackling these problems. No matter how simple and common sense your hypothesis is, be prepared to find multiple organisational impediments that you will have to address.

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
How Kanban mended my broken SCRUM/XP heart
Robert Postill - Development Manager, C3 Products

As an agile practitioner for a good eight years I thought that I pretty much had my SCRUM/XP process licked. But then, as it does, reality bit. This session points out what went wrong, some root cause analysis and how method adaptation changed both the efficiency and tone of delivery of software.

Discover:
  • What the signs are that SCRUM/XP isn't the right delivery method
  • Evaluating alternative approaches
  • Indicators that things are better

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BUILD + TEST
Quality assistance: Helping Agile teams develop faster at scale
Andrew Prentice - QA and Development Manager, Atlassian

Agile teams understand that quality is the responsibility of the entire team. Often this responsibility is easy to fulfil when an organisation is small and the application is new, but once multiple development teams are involved, once there are many customers and users to consider, once the codebase is significantly large and complex, fulfilling that responsibility becomes harder and harder - even with the benefits of the latest Agile, XP and DevOps practices and test automation tooling.

This was Atlassian's experience. For the first six years, testing, both manual and automated, was successfully done by developers, but growth made it harder for developers to maintain, let alone improve, the quality of our products. Sophisticated and extensive automated tests certainly helped scale quality, but when their numbers grew to the tens of thousands, maintaining them also began to impact on quality and velocity. As a result, more time was being spent on automation, less time on development, yet increasingly severe bugs were being released to production more often.

So QA team was created. Not a traditional Quality Assurance or test team that typically slows development down, but a Quality Assistance team - literally a team to assist developers become better at producing higher quality software, so that as we continued to scale, testing didn't slow us down and we could release more frequently.

This presentation is an account of our experience and success having such a team, specifically:
  • What Quality Assistance means in practice
  • The three stage approach we used to implement this
  • The tools and practices we created and used to enable this
  • The challenges we overcame and the mistakes we made along the way
  • The significant benefits, in terms of product quality, development velocity and innovation this has delivered
  • Practical advice on how other teams and organisations can achieve similar results

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BUILD + TEST
Zen and the art of automated acceptance test suite maintenance
John Smart - CEO, Wakaleo Consulting

The benefits of BDD (Behaviour-Driven Development)-style automated acceptance tests are huge. Far beyond simply testing your application, BDD uses automated acceptance tests to improve team collaboration and communication, focus development efforts on truly valuable features, and provide meaningful progress reports and reliable feature documentation.

However one of the biggest challenges to implementing Automated Acceptance Testing is writing them in a way that will be easy to maintain as the project progresses. Indeed, the cost of maintaining the acceptance test suite should not be more than the value that it provides.

This talk explores strategies for writing maintainable and meaningful automated acceptance tests, including aspects such as:
  • Challenges to maintaining automated acceptance tests
  • How to organise and structure your tests more effectively
  • Writing truly meaningful acceptance tests
  • When to test the UI, and when to test the backend
  • How to deal with database setup and teardown
  • How to avoid test fragility
  • How to get the most out of ATDD reporting

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BUILD + TEST
7 deadly sins of automated software testing
Adrian Smith - Head of Technology, Ennova

Automated software testing is a key enabler for teams wanting to build high quality software that can be progressively enhanced and continuously released. To ensure development practices are sustainable, automated testing must be treated as a first-class citizen and not all approaches are created equal. Some approaches can accumulate technical debt, cause duplication of effort and even team dysfunctions.

The seven deadly sins of automated software testing are a set of common anti-patterns that have been found to erode the value of automated testing resulting in long term maintenance issues and ultimately affecting the ability of development teams to respond to change and continuously deliver. Based loosely on the classic seven deadly sins (Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Envy, Rage, Pride, Greed) this presentation covers symptoms, root problems and guidance on recommended solutions for avoiding these automated testing sins.

You will:
  • Understand the importance and value of automation in Agile development
  • Improve the application and value of automated testing
  • Improve team collaboration and business engagement through testing
  • Reduce test maintenance issues and costs
  • Avoid costly pitfalls in the adoption of automated testing

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APPROACHES + PRACTICES
Visual Management: leading with what you can see
Craig Smith - Agile Coach, Unbound DNA
Renee Troughton - Agile Coach, Unbound DNA

Using task boards or story walls is a key Agile practice, but are you making the most of it? Visual Management is more than just putting cards on a wall, it is a growing style of management that focuses on managing work only by what you can see rather than reports or paper being shuffled around. Visual Management allows you to understand the constraints in the system, mitigate risks before they become issues, report on progress from the micro to the macro. Visual Management can also be used to demonstrate to customers and clients where the work they care about is at. This presentation is all about taking the management of your work to the next stage of transparency.

Discover:
  • How to identify when your story wall isn't telling you everything and how to adjust it
  • What the three different types of story walls are and which one is more suitable to certain circumstances
  • Different ways to visualise your product backlog
  • Why queue columns and limiting work in progress is so important regardless of whether you are using Scrum or Kanban
  • How symbols and tokens can be used to give more information
  • What else can you use other than story walls to visualise information
  • How to ingrain Visual Management into both the team and management structures of your organisation
  • Visualising Your Quality, Testing and Team
  • What is systemic flow mapping and why is it important

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INNOVATION
Pushing a rope: Implementing Innovation programs
Ted Tencza - Director of Engineering, Bigcommerce.com

You cannot effectively push a rope, similarly you cannot force innovation to happen. You can only set up an environment where it is fostered and allowed to thrive. This is even more relevant in an Agile environment, where there is freedom to explore innovation. This talk will be a review of the lessons learned while implementing innovation programs in Agile environments at Atlassian and Bigcommerce. This session covers programs that worked (like FedEx/ShipIt/Hackathons, 20% time) and programs that failed (dedicated Innovation Team). Most importantly it will explore why certain types of programs are more successful than others.

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LEADERSHIP + THE ENTERPRISE
The Theory of NO Constraints - Enabling Autonomy
Jenny Wood - Director - Products and IT Enablement, Telstra

As a new director in a large corporation at a time of massive cultural change, what changes in thought and action were necessary to enable teams to think differently and try new things? Using a number of small case studies, this session demonstrates the challenges and scenarios that led to changes in thinking and leading that can result in extraordinary outcomes.

Learning outcomes
  • Thoughtful questioning and clarity of purpose is essential
  • Asking questions, rather than providing answers, creates room for autonomy and innovation
  • Leaders must question their own behaviour, thoughts and motivations to bring about the right cultural change

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