Activate Agile

Dean Cornish | Corporate Troublemaker
Jo Cranford | Lead Developer, Culture Amp
Megan Dell | Head of UX, 99designs
Stephen Dodd | IT Grad,
Peter Halacsy | CTO and Co-Founder, Prezi
Steve Lawrence | Slice Consulting
Erin McManus | Agile Coach, Envato
Fabiano Morais | Agile Coach, Envato
Milly Rowett | IT Graduate, REA Group
Victoria Schiffer | Agile Coach, SEEK
Mei Brough-Smith | IT Grad,
Ted Tencza | Head of Technology and Design,
Richard Weissel | Senior Developer,

A session for highschool and uni students and their teachers/lecturers to discover how technology works in great companies! Budding coders, designers, business analysts and team leaders will get to know how innovative teams really work.

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Deep Dive Sessions

Nicole Koster | Advisor for Buurtzorg Netherlands
Håkan Forss | Agile Coach, King
Luke Hohmann | Founder and CEO, Conteneo
Steve Krug | Usability Consultant and Author, Advanced Common Sense
Margarette Purvis | President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City
Jeff Smith | CIO, Transformation and Operations, IBM

Immerse yourself in a Deep Dive experience! This year the Deep Dives are an opportunity to ask questions of one speaker in an intimate setting. Deep Dives allow the audience to drive the agenda. Ask any question you want and see what unfolds!

Please note that seats are strictly limited for all Deep Dive experiences.

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Developers and Designers Demo

Greg Skinner | Designer, ThoughtWorks

Olga Goloshchapova | Developer, ThoughtWorks

In this evolving exhibit, see how pairing developers with designers can produce mega star effects – in real time! Attendees are encouraged to interact by adding ideas to the feedback wall or collaborating at the work-station. Get involved and be a part of creating an Agile Australia 2016 original artifact!

This session will feature across both conference days.

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Career growth with impact

Tom Adams | Engineering Manager, Redbubble
Georg Friedrich | Director of Engineering, Redbubble

At Redbubble we have been working on introducing an impact model for assessing contribution and a skills model for helping with personal career growth. We give an overview of the kinds of ladders and models available, their history, why they are important and their respective strengths and weaknesses. We then present the story of introducing the first generation of our model, how we have been iterating on this model since, and where we are now. We discuss both the good parts and the bad, as well as some interesting observations. We also discuss how we have been supporting the leaders within the organisation to roll out the model and support the people in their teams with their career growth.

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A new approach for enterprises that measures Business Agility Health – Sponsored by AgilityHealthRadar

Brad Bennett | Principal Consultant, Agile Coach and Founder, EPiC
Rob Gaunt | Principal Consultant and Agile Coach, EPiC

Many enterprises are trying to scale their Agile implementation and want visibility into the success and health of their Agile adoption.

The EPiC team will show you how AgilityHealth are transforming how enterprises and Agile PMO’s are measuring, tracking and growing their Agile capabilities, and providing consistent, scalable, visual, qualitative and quantitative insights to everyone from the executive team right down to individuals.

This new approach has been inspired by industry thought leaders, including :
Jeff Patton and Marty Cagan of Lean Product Design fame, Dean Leffingwell and Drew Jemilo from SAFe, and Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd from the Agile Coaching Institute.

This talk will focus on the tools that thousands of teams from around the world (including AMEX, CISCO, Verizon and RBC Royal Bank) are using right now to measure, benchmark and build actionable growth plans at every level of the organisation!

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Taking a hypothesis-driven approach

Nicola Boyle | Business Analyst, ThoughtWorks

Robert Harrison | Lead Business Analyst, Air New Zealand

Hypothesis Driven Development is an approach that helps organisations to implement ideas that have a higher probability of success when fully formed and in the market. Through testing our assumptions and measuring whether the expected outcome of our idea has the potential to be achieved, we begin down the path of building the right thing. We also begin to dismantle the myth that people with the most experience have the best ideas, and instead we start to create an environment where all ideas are equal until backed up by data.

This talk will discuss the value of dismantling assumed knowledge within your organisation and look at how Hypothesis Driven Development can increase your likelihood of building feasible, valuable, usable and delightful products and services. We will also consider how this approach can make changes in your own organisation. We will look at how we applied Hypothesis Driven Development across different problem spaces including delivering new product features to customers, rolling out a new internal organisational toolset and uplifting employee capability.

By the end of this talk, audience members will prove our hypothesis right or wrong. If validated, attendees will understand the benefits of applying a Hypothesis Driven Development approach to any idea, and will take this back to their own organisations to build great products, services and organisational change.

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Towards a more inclusive workplace

Jane Burns | Founder and CEO, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
Aaron Hodder | Lean Testing Delivery Lead, Assurity Consulting Ltd

With an introduction by Aaron Hodder, Lean Testing Delivery Lead, Assurity Consulting Ltd, who submitted this topic for Agile Australia 2016, which was unanimously well-received by his peers.

An inclusive workplace is one which values individuals and interaction, and importantly, understands that individuals interact in highly diverse ways. It is an environment which, following the fifth principle of the Agile Manifesto, provides individuals with the ‘support they need’. In this presentation, invited speaker Jane Burns considers good work practices and resources to help ensure that workplace culture supports those with mental health issues.

Jane will consider how the workplace can accommodate those on the spectrum, those whose mental health suffers under work pressure, and those confronted by change in the workplace.

An Agile workplace values collaboration, teamwork, interaction, and change, and this is – for the most part – a good thing. But for many people, some of the ways we work, and the working environments that result, present unique challenges on top of the day-to-day technical challenges of software development. How can the workplace respect diverse needs and varied responses to change and pressure, as well as different requirements for interaction and collaboration?

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Failing @ Scaling: don’t panic, and carry a towel!

Em Campbell-Pretty | Partner, Context Matters

Mark Richards | Partner, Context Matters

Struggling with Agile at scale? Thinking about scaling Agile beyond the team? Want to learn from others’ mistakes? Well don’t panic, and carry a towel. After all, “any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

There is a lot to be learnt from those who have successfully hitchhiked their way to the galaxy of Scaled Agile, but there is also much to learn from those who have gotten a little lost upon the way. This session celebrates the scaled Agile hitchhiker, the people who tried and failed, with ideas that were occasionally brilliant but often plain stupid. You will laugh, you will cry but you will also walk away will a nice long list of ideas not to try when scaling Agile!

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Mission impossible: banking on a SAFe Quick Start – Sponsored by Scaled Agile

Em Campbell-Pretty | Partner, Context Matters

Imagine inheriting an application that was the end result of a 6 year waterfall program. An application that was considered legacy on its first day in BAU. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it (like you have a choice), is to take the monolith and “turn it Agile”. You are “gifted” a SAFe Program Consultant, not that you know what that is. So you tell them your tale of woe and ask if Agile will help.

As one would expect, the Agile consultant can see the path to agility. However, the recommended approach seems somewhat unconventional. A one-week immersion program that will transform the waterfall machine into an Agile Release Train!

Tune into this session to learn how one of Australia’s largest banks adopted Agile on a mission critical application overnight.

Attendees at this session will learn the benefits and pitfalls of using SAFe’s notorious Quick Start approach to implementing Agile, and the facts about what it really takes to “Quick Start” an Agile Release Train.

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Design tips for the non-designer

Emma Carter | Experience Design Lead, ThoughtWorks

This session squeezes over 15 years of design experience into 40 minutes! The session is aimed at teams who either do not have the luxury of a designer on their team, or they have a designer that works in silo to their team. Small teams of developers, BAs and QAs will benefit from understanding the finer details of design. Developers will gain empathy for design and a better understanding of how to display content. QAs will leave knowing how to quickly notice problems with a design before release.

In this talk, you will learn how to ensure the product you are building is ‘on brand’ and ‘user-centric’, and why this is important to ensure the success of your product. Some people have the misconception that design is just creating ‘pretty pictures’. This is not the case; there is a science to creating the right ‘pretty picture’.

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The neuroscience of human agility in organisations

Melissa Casey | Director of Psychology and Innovation (including Director of Agile Psychological Medicine), Monash Health

This session offers a practical starter kit of “know hows” that enrich and energise an innovation culture within an individual, team and organisation.

Would you benefit from learning how to design an informed cultural change intervention? This talk will utilise a complex adaptive systems science perspective to understand how to change culture by understanding how humans really change. Through several case studies, this presentation will showcase the critical role of cultural intervention in optimising your enterprise innovation efforts. You will learn how best to deal with an entrenched, change-averse industry and come away with a fundamental cultural human ‘know how’ toolkit.

In this talk, you will learn how humans really change, adapt, and innovate at work, and understand the impacts of hierarchical structures on cultural change efforts. We will also take a closer look at closed systems and why change cannot occur in these systems. You will take away different techniques for measuring progress through an innovation cycle and learn how measurement and feedback aids growth. You will also learn techniques for staff engagement through an innovation cycle, including the role of purpose, compassion, courage, feedback and reflective practice. This talk will inspire you to lead culture and explore the role of the courageous change leader as culture converter and meaning maker, connecting individuals’ purpose with organisational purpose.

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You want me to do what? The journey from business person to product owner

Pete Cohen | Business Analyst and Iteration Manager, DiUS

Chris Bignoux | Sales and Distribution Managers Operations, Swann Insurance

Imagine you are going about your business, in an operational role you know how to do well, when you get a tap on the shoulder. You find out you are going to be a ‘product owner’ with an ‘Agile team’ on a ‘custom software development project’ – and ALL of these concepts are new to you. To say it would be daunting is an understatement!

As more Australian organisations embrace Agile, this is a scenario we should expect to see more often – as the people who understand the business best are empowered to participate in building the software they need, even if they don’t come from an IT background.

Through this co-presentation you will hear the first hand account of a product owner who was new to the role, and the perspective of an experienced iteration manager who helped guide the journey over the course of a recent 6 month project in 2015.

You will come away with a better understanding of the perspectives and challenges faced by a new product owner. Our case study will give you a head start on how to tackle future Agile projects, explore techniques for informing stakeholders and facilitating decision-making, and show how business people will be inspired and empowered to take leadership roles within software development teams.

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Event Sourcery

Sebastian von Conrad | Software Architect, Envato
James Ross | CTO, Envato

Keep the cost of change lower for longer

Event Sourcing is an approach to building software systems that has a track record of success over many decades, yet still remains outside the mainstream of development practice. This is a shame, because the key benefits of this pattern are of great interest to the Agile community. If the time and effort it takes to make changes to your current systems is a concern, attend this talk and learn about a different perspective on keeping the cost of change lower for longer.

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Data-driven culture

Jo Cranford | Lead Developer, Culture Amp

Did you know that most people who leave their job don’t do it because of a bad manager? Or that flexible working arrangements have barely any impact on people’s overall engagement in their work? In the most recent State of Agile survey, the inability to change organisational culture was the highest ranked barrier to Agile adoption – but how much do we understand about how company culture affects people in Agile teams?

This talk describes the culture typical of highly engaged teams, and compares them to those with lower engagement. Data gathered from over 100,000 responses to engagement and exit surveys at 150+ companies will be used to demonstrate what works and what doesn’t. Support for learning and development and strong leaders who inspire confidence are far more effective in building engagement than physical working environment, benefits and direct managers. The same things that help to create engaged teams also support Agile practices such as continuous learning and improvement, and empower the team to be part of an overall company vision.

You will appreciate why culture is such an important factor in the success of Agile teams; gain insights into the drivers of engagement and turnover; and understand the relationship between high engagement, low turnover and Agile practices.

Prepare for some surprises – the data will challenge some established beliefs!

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Agile at scale in the UK Government

Duncan Crawford | Partner, Equal Experts

Alun Coppack | Partner, Equal Experts

The tech world is abuzz with discussions and frameworks about scaling Agile. The challenges are many and varied: multiple locations, multiple suppliers, hundreds of people involved, culture change, legacy backend systems, highly regulated environments, not to mention the inertia of large organisations.

We want to tell you a significant success story for Agile at scale – and reveal some key practices that large organisations can adopt to replicate this success.Our experience comes from a three-year journey, where an initial team of five has grown to 700 people, working in over 40 Agile teams across four delivery centres and involving multiple suppliers.

Expect a range of practical tips on how autonomous teams working on loosely coupled services can deliver quality software on a large scale – and have a good time doing it.

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Rescuing legacy software from impending doom

Martin Cronjé | Development Manager, MYOB

Jacques De Vos | Development Coach, nReality Systems

Dealing with an ageing code base is one of the hardest challenges that software development teams face. Legacy code bases can slow teams to a crawl, and therefore it is critical to solve this on the road to agility. Software rewrites fail at alarming rates! Refactoring – a safer approach – has emerged as the de-facto technique to tackle this challenge.

In this interactive session we will equip attendees with techniques and lessons to help them refactor more effectively. We will share our experience gained while working with various software teams, from startups to mid-sized organisations, that attempted to rescue their legacy from impending doom.

You will learn how to justify the investment in refactoring legacy code to product owners; when and how to apply different refactoring workflows on legacy code; and practical tips to avoid common pitfalls when refactoring code.

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Robot Ethics and the Future of Human-Robot Interaction

Kate Darling | Research Specialist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab

The robots are coming and they’re getting smarter, evolving from single-task devices (think Roomba) into machines that can make their own decisions and autonomously navigate public spaces. From transportation systems, hospitals and the military, to the robotisation of our workplaces and households, robots will be everywhere and will increasingly interact with people. Drawing from her recent work exploring humans’ emotional responses to robots, Dr Kate Darling examines why people fear some robots and empathise with others, while also prompting – and answering – questions about what society’s relationship with these robots could look like in the future. What follows is in part an examination of the technology itself, but ultimately offers a window into how it is poised to change the way we relate to each other and our own humanity.

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Coming to terms with ‘near enough’

Megan Dell | Head of UX, 99designs

In this talk you will learn about the bumpy journey to Agile that many designers experience and ways to adapt, bringing the team on the design journey so ultimately there is shared ownership and plenty of collaboration. This talk is not exclusively for people in design roles, but will be valuable to anyone working with or managing somebody going through this transition.

You will also learn about ways that the design and experience process can be adjusted to make things work for UX and UI heavy projects, in order to ensure that design is not always the bottleneck, and to keep the team on track, building the right thing with confidence while remaining true to the overarching design vision. This can result in a less-stressed designer, and give you peace of mind that a ‘near enough’ solution will still be great.

“You’re better off building a kick arse half, than a half arsed whole”

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Better project forecasts without estimates – The Monte Carlo

Adrian Fittolani | Program Director, Envato

Would you like to forecast the delivery dates for your software projects accurately, every time? Well you can’t. OK, maybe you can, but I can’t.

Software projects are hard to quantify and hard to tie down. That’s the very reason that Agile delivery approaches have become so popular. The more we build, the more we learn, the more we adapt and the more we improve. Things are seldom clear-cut.

So why do we imply that we can see into the future, using subjective, comparative estimation and velocity to offer a precise answer to the question of – “when will it be done?”

Monte Carlo Simulation is a mathematical method that can be used to provide far more valuable information about likely project timelines. It is empirical, objective and does not rely on team estimates.

In this session, you’ll learn how to apply Monte Carlo Forecasting in your Agile projects, and you’ll leave with the knowledge tools you need to give it a try.

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Kata – Habits for Lean learning

Håkan Forss | Agile Coach, King

Learn how to build a Lean learning culture at every level of your organisation. In this presentation from the LEGO enthusiast and Agile Coach at King Hakan Forss, you will discover how the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata can form the foundational habits of a Lean learning organisation. You will be introduced to two core habits and how they will help you to create an organisation of learners that will improve your business.

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Enterprise agility through OCM and Agile

Jennifer Frahm | Chief Conversation Starter, Conversations of Change

Nicholas Martin | Change Management Lead, ME Bank

Agile practitioners rarely understand what organisational change management (OCM) practitioners do. OCM practitioners are often equally ignorant of Agile practitioners. A two-way translation needs to occur for organisations to scale Agile projects and accelerate benefits realisation.

In this talk we present a case study of how two experienced OCM practitioners redesigned their roles and practice to reflect the Agile methodology of a Workday implementation (system, process, and values) in Aurecon, a global company undergoing multiple concurrent changes. Workday is an SaaS based next practice HRIS that uses an Agile methodology (plan, architect, prototyping, testing, deploy).

In sharing the lessons of this case study, we highlight the value of bona fide OCM in Agile projects, and show how OCM practitioners can have a much more liberating experience through Agile methodologies.

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Agile Leadership: an approach for leaders in large-scale and start-up companies

Lisa Frazier | Digital Executive and Advisor

Are you a leader of yesterday or tomorrow? How are you managing the global pace of change and the ever-increasing demands from customers and employees? How are you adapting your leadership style? To successfully lead large-scale and fast-paced Agile organisations, leaders will need to be Follower-Centred and excel at the new three C’s of leadership – Curiosity, Courage and Culture. This talk is about how to adapt as a leader in different contexts by leveraging Agile methods. Throughout the presentation, I will share lessons learnt from rural and urban Australia, as well as experiences gained through implementing large-scale Agile transformations in financial services and working with and running startups in Silicon Valley.

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Smashing the monolith

Leonard Garvey | Technical Lead, REA Group
Louis Simoneau | Technical Lead, REA Group

Enterprise business systems are the last place you might expect to find small Agile teams iterating on an evolving product vision. But at REA Group, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re breaking down a monolithic legacy database into a microservice architecture for our customer, product, pricing, and finance systems, while keeping the lights on and delivering incremental business value. We are building a new world that will serve our goals of being quick to market while scaling as our business continues to grow at a rapid pace.

In this talk you will learn how to decompose the monolith; architectural and integration patterns to help you avoid your own legacy monolith; and patterns and tools we’ve used successfully. You will take away lessons and observations that will be immediately useful for your technology-led business transformation.

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Apps and APIs: best friends forever

Stewart Gleadow | Principal Consultant and Developer, Bilue

The world has already made the switch to mobile, but most companies still find mobile development too slow to keep up. Mobile apps are powered by APIs, and the trend for building the backend is towards small, fast-moving microservices. These granular backends enable agility on the backend, but aren’t always well suited to integration with mobile apps. An emerging pattern to enable rapidly evolving user experiences is to develop Backends For Frontends (BFFs) that allow greater flexibility for the both the client and the server. I’ll talk about some of the concerns when building mobile apps and APIs and how the BFF pattern tries to address these, using a few different real world examples of where they have been effective.

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Scaling as the tide turns

Cameron Gough | General Manager - Digital Delivery Centre, Australia Post

This talk will focus on how we scaled from a small group of 15 passionate digital folks in 2012 to a successful practice of 260 today that is helping to drive a fundamental change in the way our organisation approaches customer opportunities.

We achieved this with a mixture of persistence; great people and culture; strong sponsorship and a healthy dose of luck, which has enabled us to break through a multitude of hurdles and growing pains. The tide has now turned, with the rest of the organisation looking to learn from the way we work.

This talk will explain the three phases of growth we went through, the hurdles we hit, how we resolved them and the learnings that propelled us to the next level. Discover techniques that we have used to help us grow, scale and ultimately change the way the organisation is thinking and working.

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Coaching product owners effectively

Karen Greaves | Agile Coach, Growing Agile

Samantha Laing | Agile Coach, Growing Agile

How well you build products is often determined by the person filling the product owner role. Many decisions that impact the product rest in their hands. Yet so few Product Owners have the time or interest to become Agile experts.

Over the last 4 years we have coached Product Owners from many different organisations. In this talk we share what we have learned about how to effectively coach Product Owners so that they can realiSe their potential and steer their teams to build great products.

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Changing mindsets to build an Agile country

Peter Halacsy | CTO and Co-Founder, Prezi

You don’t need to rely solely on talent, money or education to achieve an Agile country. In this keynote presentation, Peter Halacsy will explore how to reach the Agile country by choosing the challenging path and stretching yourself every day.

The fastest learning occurs when we create a setting in which we aren’t afraid to take risks, make mistakes, or do something dumb – because we can learn from this. Hear from Peter about how to enable everyone to be a leader by embracing collaboration, cooperation, and a growth mindset.

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Moving towards an Agile workplace

Robyn Dunn | Workplace Experience Program Manager, Atlassian

I love an Agile Country,
A land of sweeping change
of ragged Kanban boards
of post-its and short-term range.

I love her near horizons,
I love her clarity,
Her beauty and her terror —
The Agile land for me!

Your physical environment shapes you – Dorothea MacKellar knew this when she wrote about her love of Australia. This talk will consider how making our workplace environments more flexible and adaptable will help us move towards the Agile country.

Attend this talk to learn how the physical workplace needs to evolve to suit the working needs of the Agile individual and teams. Learn how to influence culture through physical changes to the working environment. This talk will explore how to consider physical office design as an Agile product with sprints, continuous improvements and a focus on the user experience. Like any good Agile project, hear about the things we tried in the spirit of innovation that didn’t quite get out of beta testing. We will share how we developed our Agile Workspace Manifesto by applying design thinking and user experience principles to work with our customers and our employees. See real life examples of how we are using the Agile Workspace Manifesto to create more productive teams in co-located and remote offices in a rapidly growing company.

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Leveraging mindsets for effective leadership

Peter Heslin | Associate Professor, UNSW Business School

Mindsets are simple assumptions people hold that profoundly impact how they think, feel, and act in the workplace. In this presentation you will learn about: (a) the nature and hallmarks of mindsets; (b) what rigorous social and organisational psychological research has revealed about how mindsets guide the way that people approach and perform challenging tasks and collaborations – especially when difficulties are encountered; (c) how a leader’s prevailing mindset manifests in the manner and effectiveness with which s/he leads others; (d) factors that cue people to hold different mindsets, and (e) some initiatives you can take to foster a growth mindset in yourself and those you lead.

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Using Collaborative Communication for teamwork and transparency

Nicholas Ho | Agile Coach, ING Direct Australia

Shari Elle | Trainer, Facilitator and Coach, The Communication Group

Human emotion is one of the most basic functions of the brain. It defines much of our personality, influences our decision making, and is crucial to our interpersonal relationships both at home and at work. As Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence puts it, “we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” Individuals and interactions are important values described in the Agile Manifesto, and we believe having practices to enable awareness of emotion and needs should be part of the foundation of the Agile Country.

In this talk, we will discuss why working in an Agile way necessitates the awareness of human emotion and inner human needs. We’ll then dive into how Collaborative Communication (CC) (also known as Nonviolent Communication) has been used in many organisations to get to these inner emotions and needs, and illustrate how attendees can apply CC techniques to enhance teamwork and transparency in their own organisations.

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Using visual management to introduce Lean thinking

Ben Hogan | Visual Management Mentor, AgileBen

Many teams in many companies are struggling under the pressure to do more with less people. This over burdening means teams are often too busy to learn, too busy to improve and too busy to adopt any new methods, let alone take on a Lean or Agile change initiative.

This talk uses visual management as a potential first step in moving teams from an avoidant or resistant stance towards an adapting and improving mindset. I will talk about four key areas: clarity (of purpose and situation), control (of inbound demand and team capacity), collaboration (between functions and within teams) and improvement (opportunities and experiments).

You will learn how to use visual management to introduce Lean and Agile principles to busy teams.

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Awesome Superproblems

Luke Hohmann | Founder and CEO, Conteneo

The Agile values and practices we all hold dear give us more than the ability to tackle problems associated with software development. They give us the ability to tackle Awesome Superproblems: problems that get worse through inaction and which can only be solved through collaboration. However, when we make progress on solving Awesome Superproblems, we find new patterns that can be applied to solve similar problems.

In this keynote, Luke will show how Innovation Games®, shared with the Agile Community at the first Agile Conference in 2003, have evolved into scalable multidimensional frameworks that are being used by agilists around the world to tackle Awesome Superproblems.

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Rethinking performance and improvement with the Vanguard Method

David Joyce | Customer Centricity Specialist and Author, ThoughtWorks
Tim Banner | Director, Vanguard Australia

How do we achieve truly ambitious transformation?

Forget theory and pomp. What is the secret behind organisations that have already achieved results that are nothing short of remarkable? How can Net-Promoter Scores jump by 60 points or more, with efficiency jumping by as much as 40%,and sales also jumping by a similar amount?

The Vanguard Method is the secret behind these transformations.

This presentation will introduce you to the Vanguard Method. During the session, hear from leaders in Europe (via video) who will talk about transformations in their businesses, including Katharina Haase (CIO, Barclaycard Germany) and Justin Watts (Head of Systems Thinking, Lloyds Bank).

Other examples of the outstanding results that can be achieved from changing management thinking using the Vanguard Method will be discussed on the day.

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Simply Buurtzorg: adaptive agility for individual and local needs

Nicole Koster | Advisor for Buurtzorg Netherlands

Learn how Buurtzorg’s care delivery model has harnessed self-organised and independent teams of nurses to successfully treat up to 70,000 patients in 2015 alone. In this insightful presentation, Nicole Koster will explain how Buurtzorg quickly grew into the Netherlands’ biggest homecare organisation – using their innovative Agile organisational care delivery model and Agile IT, including the Omaha System, to support front line staff and serve a higher purpose.

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You’re not doing usability testing? Are you…nuts?

Steve Krug | Usability Consultant and Author, Advanced Common Sense

Anyone who’s tried doing it can tell you that usability testing is the best way – by far – to ensure that what you build (whether it’s a web site, a mobile app, desktop software, or anything else) is as good as it can be. But most people still think that usability testing is complicated, costly, and time-consuming. That can be true if you hire someone to do it for you. But Steve Krug will show you that you can – and should – be doing it yourself, and that DIY testing is simple, inexpensive, fast (fast enough even for an Agile environment), and most of all, effective.

Based on the method he describes in his second book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, Steve’s keynote will include a live usability test so you can see just how simple it can be.

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Creating great teams – how self-selection lets people excel

Sandy Mamoli | Director of All Things Agile, Nomad8

David Mole | Agile Coach, Nomad8

Here’s a radical idea: trust people to know best and let them decide which team they should work in. Let them self-select!

Self-selection is the simplest, fastest and most efficient way to form stable teams, based on the belief that people are at their happiest and most productive if they can choose what they work on and who they work with.

In this presentation we will share our learnings and experiences from more than two years of running self-selection processes in large organisations. We will show you a repeatable process for how to establish efficient teams in growing organisations and we will answer questions such as “Why would I do that”? and “How can I convince management?”.

If you work in an industry or company that involves teams then this talk is for you!

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Continuous improvement at scale

Ryan McKergow | Lead Consultant, Elabor8

Retrospectives are one of the most effective continuous improvement practices, but how do you scale them beyond your team? This is the problem I faced when running regular retrospectives with more than 50 people. With many large organisations scaling Agile or adopting the likes of SAFe, we are going to run into this problem much more frequently. After all, we must not forget that Agile is underpinned by the ethos of reflection and improvement.

During this talk, I will discuss how companies like Spotify and experts like Ben Linders have implemented scaled retrospectives, and where their stories have helped us and what didn’t work for us. I will share some practical tips on how we’ve run awesome scaled retrospectives and avoid wasting everyone’s time. Learn how you too can improve your entire organisation, not just your development team.

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Scaled Agile: a Federal Government implementation – Sponsored by Accenture

Robert McKinnon | Public Sector Solutions and Services Senior Manager, Accenture
Corey Lewis | Online Project Director, Australian Tax Office

In this presentation, Robert McKinnon and Corey Lewis will discuss how large public service organisations can work in an Agile way and stay nimble at enterprise scale. You will discover why scaled Agile is important for large public service organisations; how Agile methods can be introduced in this context; and what you can expect along the way. The relationship between service design, user experience design and Agile delivery will also be explored to show how these activities can be connected for increased value creation.

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7 things that Agile executives and leaders do differently

Dipesh Pala | Agile Capability Leader - Asia Pacific, IBM

One of the keys to a successful enterprise Agile transformation is the support of executive leadership, which is more than simply providing approval. The Agile executive enables, empowers and engages rather than controls.

According to one recent survey, more than one in three organisations claim that the lack of leadership engagement within their businesses is plaguing their journey towards sustainable organisational agility.

With a special focus on executives and leaders, this presentation will be draw upon more than a decade of Agile transformation experiences in multiple organisations across eight countries, and will share real-life case studies and insights to illustrate the key things that Agile leaders need to do differently.

Be inspired by knowing what serves to catalyse and nourish progress – and what does the opposite.

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Towards an Agile Country

Daniel Petre | Partner, AirTree Ventures and Philanthropist

Daniel Petre wrote The Clever Country?: Australia’s Digital Future back in 1996 and it became essential reading for anyone concerned about the speed and direction of Australia’s progress down the “information superhighway”. In the book, Daniel questioned our readiness for the future – in our schools, our homes, our government and our businesses. So we have invited him back to give us an update 20 years down the track. How is Australia going? Is Australia truly prepared to harness the opportunities of startups and innovation, and stop relying on big dinosaur businesses? Are we moving at the speed we need to in order to become the Agile country? What does the future hold for our communities, our jobs, our companies? And ultimately – is the Agile country actually possible?

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Smoothing the Continuous Delivery path: a tale of two teams

Lyndsay Prewer | Agile Delivery Consultant, Equal Experts

Continuous Delivery is gaining recognition as a best practice. It is now in use by many leading organisations, including NetFlix, Amazon and Etsy. Yet despite offering a proven way of reducing risk, reducing time to market and increasing a team’s agility, adopting and improving Continuous Delivery is challenging.

This is the inside story of how two very different teams successfully practice and improve Continuous Delivery. Both teams were sizeable (more than five features teams) and mature in their use of Agile and Lean practices. One team chose Scala, mongodb, Docker and microservices, on a greenfield project. The other faced the constraints of legacy code, .Net, MySQL, Windows, and a monolithic architecture.

This session shares the best practices and pain points encountered by the two teams, looking at those common to both, and those that were specific to each team’s own context.

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Creating a kaizen culture proves transformative for Food Bank of New York City

Margarette Purvis | President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City

Invited speaker Margarette Purvis will share The Food Bank for New York City’s journey of rethinking and improving operations, from top to bottom. In this presentation, you will discover how the Food Bank adopted kaizen in their Harlem-based soup kitchen in 2011-2012, and then forged a partnership with Toyota (TSSC – The Toyota Production System Support Center). Margarette will share how this Lean partnership became instrumental during the near-crippling repercussions of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

You will explore the challenges of rethinking one’s own processes and developing new habits, as Margarette discusses how implementing operational improvements has created a new level of problem solving and creativity amongst the team. Learn how Food Bank team members have enthusiastically made the concept of “kaizen” their own; translated Lean principles, tools, and ideas for their sector; and created a “kaizen lab” at their Food Distribution Centre in the Bronx to serve as a model line for the rest of the organisation.

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Towards organisational alignment and agility

Ben Ross | General Manager - Product and Design, MYOB

We developed our own variant of the famous ‘Objectives and Key Results’ (OKRs) framework pioneered by Andy Grove (former Intel CEO) to drive clear alignment between individuals, team, and company goals. OKRs are used today by many rapidly growing companies, including Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Our secret sauce was fusing OKRs with our own Lean startup framework that we call #Results. #Results is a homegrown process to drive alignment and operational efficiency. This lethal combination serves to connect Agile teams with company and personal objectives and provides a set of measurable results for individuals and teams to track towards. Using this approach, all team members know how their work aligns to achieving company goals and ensures that our people move together in the right direction, while providing them with the autonomy to choose how they wish to act to achieve their goals. As a result of this approach, the company experienced an immediate dramatic improvement in the organisation’s ability to achieve its targets, eventually paving the way for a successful IPO in 2015 and continued success with achievement of financial and operational targets.

From this talk, you will gain an understanding of the power of OKRs and Lean startup to drive operational efficiency, and discover key success factors behind the design of a framework to improve organisational alignment and performance.

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Using a design sprint to accelerate innovation

Rob Scherer | User Experience Lead, SEEK

Rob Alford | Product Manager, SEEK

When we were looking to create a product for an under-served segment of our audience, we knew that we couldn’t dish out more of the same. We needed to think creatively in order to come up with a solution that was different to our core offering and was targeted at the audience we were looking to serve better.

We decided to use the design sprint methodology conceived by the Google Ventures team. However, not content with the process that they defined, we made a few changes in order to achieve our desired results.

This talk focus on the Design Sprint process, the changes we made and some of the things we learned along the way.

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A corporation as big as a small country: Towards an Agile enterprise

Jeff Smith | CIO, Transformation and Operations, IBM

How do you get 600,000 people to fundamentally change the way they work, materially increase quality of outcome and have fun while doing so? The answer lies in making culture tangible. Jeff Smith, IBM’s CIO, shares his experience over the past 18 months of bringing an Agile way of working to his own organisation and to the greater IBM.

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Making each other look good

The Spark Team

Improvisation is the art of crafting story without the safety net of a script.

Improvisation is pure teamwork in an environment of uncertainty and audience expectation. To thrive, improvisers need to overcome fear, be incredibly nimble, and to do the simple things masterfully. Improvisation can only succeed when people are prepared to listen and to be selfless. Only those improvisers who consistently make others look good get invited back on stage.

This session is a learning experience with a difference. You will be introduced to three of Australia’s most renowned improvisers who will translate this artistic experience into what it means for organisations, teams and leaders. In 40 minutes you will hear how improvisation links directly with life in organisations. You will see the things that get in the way (blocking, hogging and wimping). You will laugh. You will think. You will leave inspired.

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5 sketches on whiteboards

Glyn Thomas | UX Manager, nib Health Funds

My team has spent 5 years figuring out how best to follow Agile methodologies and maximise the opportunities we have through design. This journey has had many ups and downs. Along the way we have tried many new methods, evaluated, twisted and turned to get where we are today. My guess (and hope) is that there will be many more twists and turns in the future.

One thing I have learned is that the ability to communicate the value of what we do and the way we do it is paramount to the continuous improvement in our practices.

In this presentation I will step through 5 diagrams I frequently draw on whiteboards that not merely explain the way we work as designers but help others to understand why we design. These will be our “designer mindset”.

Take away clear visualisations around experience, design thinking, process, expertise, collaboration and the effectiveness of design. Recreate and iterate these visualisations to enhance your own designer’s mindset.

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Coaching Nightmares: insights we can learn from Gordon Ramsay

Renee Troughton | Founder, Unbound DNA

Craig Smith | Founder, Unbound DNA

When you look for inspiration in the Agile coaching community, the name Gordon Ramsay is probably not the first name to come to mind. He has been known to be belligerent, condescending and downright rude, but underneath this brute facade is a treasure trove of skills and talents that influence change.

In this presentation we will draw insights from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares escapades and explore parallels with how much his work aligns with that of an Agile Coach and the goal to successfully drive change. We will introduce a number of models and techniques that are indispensable in the coaching toolkit.

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Get faster everywhere – simplify then add lightness

Kelsey van Haaster | Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks

The title of this session is taken from two quotes attributed to Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus cars, who said: “adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.

This same philosophy underlies principle 10 of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Simplicity – the art of maximising the work not done – is essential. Principle 10 is the most important and most misunderstood of the Agile principles. It stands out from the other 11 in a number of ways. It is the only one described as an art; the specific phrasing,“maximising the work not done”, is somewhat unusual; and it is the only one to be explicitly called out as essential.

The session introduces attendees to the idea that Principle 10 is essential because it underlies, supports and enables everything else and that without unwavering adherence to it, achieving agility in software development or anything else will be compromised.

Using concrete examples, this talk will teach attendees to identify and evaluate opportunities for simplification and maximisation of work not done.

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How a blues band taught me to build Agile teams that rock!

Brett Wakeman | Iteration Manager,

Nigel Dalton | CIO, REA Group

High-performance teams are essential to successful delivery – be that delivery of an online “product”, a piece of software …or a toe-tapping music performance.

This talk takes a dive into the cultural values that make for a successful Agile team – trust, empowerment, open and honest communication, regular feedback, a shared vision and spirit of fun! Through this presentation, we discover that no matter what team or what environment you’re operating in, it is fundamentally these cultural values that drive us and lead to great outcomes.

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The heart of Agile is in your local primary school

Richard Weissel | Senior Developer, REA Group

Successful Agile teams are built upon the fundamental principles that underpin successful primary classrooms. With a deeper understanding of why we do the things we do (and how), we are less likely to drift from the path of agility.

At the heart of Agile is collaborative working, which is built upon relationships. Without trust and respect, collaborative working is an uphill battle. Teachers understand this deeply yet there is little understanding of the pedagogical strategies that underpin most classroom activities. Agile organisations would do well to spend some time understanding what it is that makes the classroom environment a classic example of collaborative working.

The objective of this talk is for you to walk away with at least two tangible ideas which you can immediately take back to your Agile team(s).

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