Keynote Sessions

Leaders at all levels

Esther Derby

Traditional definitions of leadership emphasise position, formal authority, power, vision and heroics. Those definitions might have been sufficient in another time. Organisations that need to respond to a fast-changing environment and desire continuous improvement require a different kind of leadership and a different kind of leader.

In this talk, Esther Derby explores a different definition of leadership: “The ability to enhance the environment, so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem(s).”

Top ↑

Why does yesterday’s best practice become tomorrow’s antipattern?

Neal Ford | Software Architect, ThoughtWorks

Modern software development exhibits a curious trend: yesterday’s best practice becomes tomorrow’s antipattern. EJB and SOA were once best practices, but are now shunned as anti-patterns. In this talk, Neal Ford investigates why this trend continues, focusing on increased tech stack complexity, primordial abstraction ooze, code re-use abuse, strangling dependency management, and the fundamental dynamic equilibrium of the software development ecosystem. Neal also investigates how to avoid yesterday’s best practice from becoming tomorrow’s antipattern by looking at domain centric architectures, immutable infrastructure, evolutionary architecture, incremental architectural change, and how to favour evolvability over predictability.

Top ↑

Building a responsive organisation

Sami Honkonen | CEO, Tomorrow Labs

Our organisations need to be adaptive to deal with the increasing complexity and pace of change. Unfortunately, many of the existing corporate structures do the opposite. A responsive organisation is fit for its current environment, but continuously adapts to reflect the changing business landscape. This talk looks at the building blocks of a responsive organisation. By understanding complexity, systems, experiments, transparency and empowered execution, we can build an organisation that thrives in uncertainty.

Top ↑

Continuous Delivery sounds great but it won’t work here

Jez Humble | CTO, DevOps Research and Assessment LLC

Since the Continuous Delivery book came out in 2010, it’s gone from being a controversial idea to a commonplace one… That is, until you consider that many people who say they are doing it aren’t really, and there are still plenty of places that consider it crazy talk! In this session Jez Humble will present some of the highlights and lowlights of the past six years listening to people explain why continuous delivery won’t work, and what he has learned in the process.

Top ↑

Lessons deploying Lean Enterprise

Barry O’Reilly |

How can you accelerate your journey to become a Lean Enterprise? In this talk, Barry O’Reilly will share lessons learnt from engagements where he has helped enterprises rekindle their capability to explore, experiment and learn how to improve. What are the key things you should do to start? What are the tools and techniques you can use? How do you prepare to have an impact?

Barry will discuss the key issues holding organisations back from unleashing innovation, while showcasing the counter-measures to apply to achieve high-performance at scale.

Top ↑

The Build Trap

Melissa Perri | CEO, ProdUX

Are you building what your customers want, or are you just building? When successful companies first started out, they had to constantly deliver value to understand what their users wanted. This grew their business. Many large companies that have been around for decades, or even newer startups that have found some stability, fall into a dangerous place called “the build trap”. They continue building feature after feature, without stopping to validate that it’s what customers truly want and need. This is due in part to poor understanding of product strategy, product management, and how to manage teams. Instead of focusing on the problems there, they search out “silver bullet” processes that only dig their hole deeper. In order to get out of “the build trap”, businesses need to restructure their thinking to focus on finding value for the user to achieve business goals.

Top ↑

Speaker Sessions

Deep customer research…fast

Diana Adorno | Product Designer & Researcher, ThoughtWorks
Richard Young | Program Director, Bankwest

Stream: Learning from your customer

What is the real value of customer research to digital product delivery? And how can that be done quickly, but still with enough confidence to build?

This is a case study of Bankwest (Client) and ThoughtWorks (Consultant) working together to deliver a new product to customers. Bankwest wanted to find out what they should build for their customers and mortgage brokers in order to reduce the anxiety and uncertainty in the home loan application process – within two weeks.

In this talk, the presenters will share their different perspectives on delivering the desired changes. The challenges for both product owner and research lead practitioner were different, but the overall outcome of the product was very successful. Of course there were compromises along the way and a few things we would do differently next time.

The challenge with customer research is to go deep enough to have confidence in the findings, make it rich enough to ensure that we haven’t missed anything important, and make it actionable for the team, so that we are all clear on what to make for customers. While the research happens early as a discovery to set the direction, it continues throughout delivery to ensure that we are still on track.

Attend this presentation to learn:

  • What Lean customer research looks like on an Agile project
  • What research techniques were used to get to the core of the problem
  • What the real business value was
  • How research makes life easier for the whole team, especially the product owner
  • How customer research fits into Agile projects
  • How benefits of deep research can benefit a programme of work
  • How to know when to stop learning and start building!

Top ↑

From a laptop in a box to a successful product launch

Elise Aplin | Product Manager, Clover.com.au

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

The Agile journey of an early stage startup

“We know we need some help with the team…but we’re not really sure what.”

In early 2016, these words were used to pitch a job to me at an early stage startup. Despite the opacity of the position, I left my comfortable position as a consultant and joined because I felt like an adventure.

On my first day, I was given a new laptop in a box, and a desk, and left to fend for myself. For the first few week I had no idea how the team worked together. The second week, I realised no one else knew how the team worked either. In the third week, I realised our development practices were on point but we were suffering from a severe lack of collaboration and visibility.

This talk will follow how a new team went from an ad hoc and vague way of working to becoming a cohesive team with clear visibility into priorities and workflows. I’ll discuss the challenges we faced as an entirely new team in a pre-revenue business, working with stakeholders new to product development and ignorant of the concept of Agile development.

This talk will follow the team’s Agile journey from my first day on the team to our successful beta launch. I will also go beyond this, to talk about how our team’s practices are continuing to evolve as we implement Objective Key Results, Hypothesis Driven Developments and other ideas as we strive for greater innovation and more frequent iterations.

Attend this presentation to learn:

  • How to use Agile methodologies to drive the delivery of a brand spanking new product
  • How experience working in large enterprises might not prepare you for work at a startup and the innovation it requires
  • How to address the challenge of building an Agile team from a collection of individuals who have never worked together
  • How to bring business stakeholders on the Agile journey – particularly those with no product development experience or from highly conservative, compliance-driven backgrounds
  • How to balance urgent delivery work with the important work of refining team practices and ensuring you’re building the right thing
  • How to implement ‘expensive’ Agile practices (such as frequent usability testing) when you have very real time and budget pressures

Top ↑

Deep Dive – Cost of Delay

Joshua Arnold | Engineer, Black Swan Farming

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

Deep Dive – Cost of Delay

“If you only quantify one thing, quantify the Cost of Delay” – Donald G. Reinertsen

Cost of Delay is not only about improving prioritisation – it also helps with managing multiple stakeholders; enables the team to make vastly improved trade-off decisions; and changes the focus of the conversation.

When people hear about Cost of Delay they sometimes doubt whether their organisation is “ready” for it. They say things like, “We don’t have the maturity for it”, or “We couldn’t do that because our stakeholders wouldn’t support it”. We’ve heard people say this too. And yet, in hindsight, people find it much easier than they thought!

This special Deep Dive will centre around why Cost of Delay matters and how to get started with it, despite these doubts.

Top ↑

Causal loop diagrams

Dave Bales | Agile Coach, AgileMe

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

How to enhance your systems thinking

Popularised in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline, causal loop diagrams provide a diagramming approach to mapping out the cause and effect landscape in a wider system.
The technique seems to have been overlooked in modern times, and yet it is a powerful tool to evaluate and discover virtuous or vicious cycles in the system and trade-off balances between opposing forces.

This technique is much more powerful and yet more subtle than the five whys or other root cause analysis techniques, and looks to map out the upstream causes and downstream effects in a dynamic environment. High-end diagrams can illustrate areas of high pressure that either perpetuate a negative loop (vicious cycle) or a positive loop (virtuous cycle.) This approach has helped me enormously in understanding how to position an Agile adoption that is sensitive the dynamics at play in a program or enterprise landscape, most often when the solution or combination of solutions are not immediately obvious.

This talk will present some simple techniques to help you to use causal loop diagrams to map out your own systems and contexts and become aware of the cause and effects within your landscape.

Top ↑

Continuous dashboarding

Christopher Biggs | Independent consultant

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

How and why to apply Agile methods to business intelligence

Many Agile organisations strive toward the goal of “continuous delivery”, which has been paraphrased as “move fast and break things”. That is, automate your testing and deployment to remove as many delays as possible between developer and production, and be prepared to react rapidly when something goes wrong. The trick is knowing whether something has gone wrong.

Most businesses have analytics, monitoring and dashboards. In fact, if you look really hard, most businesses have a dozen or more different silos of monitoring data. But an Agile project is a moving target; the metrics, dashboard and alerts that worked yesterday may be obsolete tomorrow. What an organisation practicing Agile development needs is Agile data, the ability to develop and deliver data visualisation capabilities alongside code, and subject them to the same kinds of quality processes that are applied to code.

This presentation examines the data needs of an Agile organisation, and how cross-functional teams can continuously deliver business intelligence resources alongside code. I advocate that your feature process should begin with validating the status quo empirically, choosing to achieve some effect, developing the feature – including BI components, and then verifying via BI that the desired outcome was achieved.

Attendees will learn how to incorporate dashboarding and alerting into the product design cycle, and how to apply a code-like quality cycle to business intelligence artifacts. A number of tools well suited to this approach will be covered as examples. Attendees will receive practical advice on how to get started with their own data.

Armed with the techniques and tools covered, every time you deploy a new product feature, you’ll be able to monitor its takeup and and vital statistics from your pocket, in real time. The collection of dashboards you’ve built over time will give you increased confidence that your business goals are being consistently met even as your product and infrastructure evolve in an Agile ecosystem.

Top ↑

Psychological safety through Deep Democracy

Andrea Blundell | Agile Coach, MYOB
Pru Gell | Facilitator, Mediator and Educator

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

In 2015 Google published a list of the traits that its most effective teams share, with the key one being “psychological safety.” Many organisations, whether they are going through Agile transformation, or are Agile by design, are looking to create and maintain an environment where self-organising teams collaborate well.

If psychological safety is one of the key ingredients to this, what does safety look and feel like? How do we know what level of safety we have in a team? And how can we increase levels of safety?

The Lewis Method of Deep Democracy offers a roadmap for teams to achieve safety so that they can be truly collaborative. Through applying the method people feel safe to engage and share their views; levels of resistance to decisions are reduced; you gain buy-in to decisions and innovations; and new insights can be uncovered. This talk shares practical tools to get your organisation on this road.

Attend this talk to learn:

  • The look and feel of psychological safety
  • Introduction to the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy
  • A diagnostic tool to assess levels of safety in your organisation
  • Strategies from the Deep Democracy toolkit for enhancing safety to enable collaboration, buy-in and innovation

Top ↑

Including autism – the person first

Estie Boteler | Delivery Lead, REA Group
Anthony Boteler | Occupational Therapist and owner of Biota Occupational Therapy

Stream: Inclusive Culture

In 2015, 1 in 100 people in Australia were diagnosed with autism. This figure is increasing, not because there are more cases, but due to people and doctors better understanding the signs and enabling earlier diagnosis. The sad truth is that in the old days, people thought there was “something wrong” with people with autism and tried to change, cure or lock them away.

New statistics indicate that only 42% of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are within the workforce (as compared to 53% participation for disabilities, and 83% participation for non-disabled). However when employed, those with ASD can outperform their coworkers in regards to work ethic, attention to detail and quality of work.

In our talk, you will hear from an occupational therapist on what “autism” is, and challenge your views and values towards a person with a disability. We will discuss the principles of inclusive practices in the workplace and how they can be applied.

I will also share some of my experiences working with someone who had autism in my software development team. This person, although young in his career, was one of the best testers I’ve worked with – and someone who I would not have had the opportunity to work with if it wasn’t for the inclusive program of the organisation.

Our talk will:

  • Give you a better understanding of people with autism
  • Challenge your views and values towards a person with a disability
  • Help you understand what it takes to really build inclusive practices in the workplace

Top ↑

Ten years after adopting Agile

Craig Brown | VP Collaboration, Aconex

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

You adopted Agile methods ten year ago. What’s going on now? This is one company’s example.

We adopted Agile practices in 2007 and in the process we have tried and screwed up many things. But we have also gotten a lot right. We believe we have a valuable story to share. For one, we are a fast growing company, rapidly increasing our revenues and staff size. We are also maintaining a great reputation with our staff as an employer they love (see our Glassdoor rating of 4.4/5).

This talk will address questions including:

  • What are you talking about after 250 retrospectives?
  • What does leadership look like? What do managers do?
  • What principles drive organisational design? And how does our organisation evolve in this context?
  • What compromises do you make and how do you deal with them?
  • How do you handle challenges like distributed teams?

In showcasing one example of mature Agile, this presentation will help people to think about decisions they make as their company evolves. It will highlight the things that underpin Agile maturity – including behaviours, values, and communication.In so doing, I will demonstrate that Agile maturity isn’t dependent on pre-canned models like SAFE and LESS. Agile maturity opens new challenges – and the realisation that there isn’t an end state, just new kinds of challenges.

Top ↑

Agile adoption stories from highly varied organisational cultures

Rowan Bunning | Principal Trainer and Agile Coach, Scrum WithStyle

Stream: The Future of Work

Real world adoption stories from varied stages of organisational consciousness

Why is the culture change that genuine Agile requires so difficult in most army or machine-like corporate cultures, yet quite natural for certain organisations who have a culture similar to a family or living organism? It turns out that the type of Agile your organisation adopts corresponds with its dominant world view or stage of consciousness. Drawing from 15 years of experience with Agile in Australia and the UK, we describe how Agile was interpreted quite differently by organisations classed as Amber, Orange, Green and Teal in Frederic LaLoux’s model.

Attend this talk to familiarise yourself with the characteristics of the four stages of Frederic LaLoux’s consciousness model.

You will become aware of:

  • The stage that your own organisation is at
  • How your organisation is likely to interpret and ‘bend’ Agile to fit its world view
  • Specific beliefs and motivations that make high agility difficult in organisations with Amber and Orange stages of consciousness
  • The Green and Teal beliefs and leadership styles that are genuinely transformational in achieving and sustaining high agility and customer-centric Agile adoptions

Top ↑

Three baseline metrics

Mike Burns | Agile Coach, Tatts Group

Stream: Metrics – a critical guide to Leading and Learning

What can these three baseline metrics tell you about your team?

Discover how to tailor your metrics to suit you. This guide outlines which metrics a team can start using today to help improve team performance, and allow for the right decisions to be made at the right time.

By looking at cycle time, throughput, and work item size, we discuss what they reveal about a team; how they can be used to make improvements; and how to ensure metrics are used as conversation starters rather than a ‘dreaded monthly report’.

We can also use metrics to help us learn from our experiments. By using the right measures and metrics we can get real data and, more importantly, information that helps us to make the right decisions at the right time.

Attendees at this talk will:

  • Learn the difference between a measure and a metric and between information and data
  • Understand the three base metrics and what information they can give us
  • Consider the importance of metrics trends and what they can tell us about a team
  • Discuss the idea of “looking back to move forward” and using metric-based data-driven decisions
  • See examples of how metrics can give insights into a team and start productive conversations
  • Hear about how to use metrics as part of a retrospective to continue learning and to test experiments

Top ↑

The frontier to leadership agility

Stephanie BySouth | Director, Authentika

Stream: Learning Leaders

We often expect ourselves to lead people like mythical legends with the mystical abilities to influence others. Expectations and judgements are thrown at leaders without consideration that they are also people. We aren’t afforded the same learning courtesy as Agile teams expect for themselves. That’s OK, because we know; no matter how safe, it’s not nice or easy to fail people. Especially those we are accountable for.

With this level of accountability and the need to support senior management to cross ‘the Agile team to Agile leadership chasm’ with clients, it was time for a leadership agility framework that serves us, the business and our teams simply and sustainably.

Attendees will learn:

  • That leading successfully is a learning journey
  • The Leadership Learning Canvas
  • The essence of successful leadership agility
  • Validation that leaders are human too

Top ↑

The rise of the tigermonkey

Rob Ciolli | Senior Developer, REA Group

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

Take a risk – you might learn something!

When some unusual circumstances occur, brave leaders will trust their staff to try something a little different. This is a fast-paced case study of building a mobile app from zero to MVP in 8 weeks with a very Lean team. No delivery lead, no business analyst, and no real plan. Just a couple of developers in Melbourne, a pair in Xi’an and a product guy. What could go wrong?

The business was faced with some financial constraints so the formation of a new team was postponed. This left some resources under-utilised for a couple of months. The idea of building a mobile app had been floated for a long time, but never made it to the top of the priority list. This situation provided us with a challenge that could not be ignored. The decision was taken to form a Lean ‘Tiger’ team to take up the challenge.

Designs and a definition of an MVP were quickly cobbled together. Success was defined as creating a shippable app within the time allocated. Could we do it?

Come on a journey to see what happens. Along the way, discover the good, the bad and the ugly of throwing normal processes out the window. Also learn about the wonderful world of Fourth Stream Agility, Emoji First Development, Hoff charts, Data Experience and a whole lot more!

The lessons presented here, while born under strange circumstance, have helped improve our everyday work practices. This experience has provided us with a deeper appreciation of the role played by the missing functions in the team, as we had to do everything for ourselves! We developed a techniques (by accident and design) that we have been able to incorporate in our regular work life.

Attendees will share in key takeaways, including:

  • When is it appropriate to take a risk to deliver software
  • What to consider when assembling a Lean ‘Tiger’ team
  • Working efficiently with offshore resources
  • How to engage all functions of a team to focus on a common outcome
  • Simple ways to show progress to stakeholders
  • Quickly iterating UI design with UX team
  • The importance of presenting what is most valuable to the end user

Top ↑

The story of mentorship, and why it matters

John Contad | Senior Systems Engineer, REA Group

Stream: Learning Leaders

If tech organisations are to thrive in the future, then we must build in a culture of mentorship. Not just as a means of learning, but as a way of generating human satisfaction in the work we do.

I believe in the power of stories – not just as a source of entertainment, but as a way of parsing our interactions with the world and contextualising our “purpose”. When I do something, I put it into the context of what the story is – which if you think about it, is just another way of saying, “Why are we doing this? What’s the purpose?” We mapped out the many different models that people use when trying to teach DevOps. We’ve narrowed it down to three approaches (and three stories) based on popular films that will be explained in this talk.

Attend this talk to learn:

  • Three approaches to mentoring that worked in the DevOps world
  • A more effective way of teaching
  • That mentorship is a transformative occurrence for people
  • The absolute need for more of it

Top ↑

“GameDay” – achieving resilience through chaos engineering

Pete Cohen | Senior Consultant – Agile Business Analyst and Iteration Manager, DiUS Computing
Matt Fellows | Senior Software Engineer, DiUS Computing

Stream: Agile Tech

Agility has brought us iterative software development, independent feature teams, nimble architectures and distributed, scalable infrastructure. But how do you have confidence that your production environment keeps working in the face of this emergent complexity and fast paced change?

The answer is to anticipate failure, and to build resilience into every layer. This requires your whole system – not just the software and infrastructure, but also people and processes – to be able to respond quickly and appropriately to unexpected events. And the way to simulate the truly unexpected is to do experiments through the introduction of some chaos.

GameDays bring together people from across an organisation to collaboratively break, observe and recover a system – with the impact on the holistic customer experience at front of mind. Apart from learning how the technical system responds under stress, some of the main benefits come from the shared understandings and process improvements which are generated. GameDays should be more than just an event or a one off exercise – they embody an enduring mindset and a culture.

This session will examine, from a first hand perspective, several case studies of where GameDays have been successfully executed in organisations ranging from startup to enterprise scale. The theoretical underpinnings to chaos engineering will be explored, and a range of practical tips and reference material will be shared.

You will learn:

  • What is chaos testing and why do it
  • What is a GameDay
  • How to plan a GameDay
  • Common challenges and pitfalls
  • How to ensure that your GameDay isn’t a one hit wonder and has an enduring effect on resilience and culture

Top ↑

Coaching is for losers

Simon Cohen | Spotify
Benji Portwin | Agile Coach, Spotify

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

We all want our teams to win, but the real test of a coach’s work is what happens when they lose. At Spotify we know we’re going to lose a game or two. The real question is: how do coaches use those losses to win the championship? This session is best suited for those who have been doing hands-on, people coaching for a year or more.

Top ↑

Hypothesis driven software selection

Tiago Griffo | Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) applications are a part of most (perhaps every) medium to large enterprises. A lot of money is spent every year in selection and implementation projects of such applications – think millions to billions of dollars if you consider lost opportunity costs (which are hard to measure).

Unfortunately, buying instead of building is no guarantee of success. Tales of monumental package implementation overruns and disappointing functionality – not to mention outright failures – abound. These failures occur despite elaborate, detailed evaluation processes meant to select just the right package and reduce the risk of implementation. It is clear that businesses have to get better at researching, evaluating, and selecting software products.

In this talk we’ll describe an approach to selecting and implementing package software that focuses on engineering quality and business agility. We prefer an approach that involves hands-on, experiential hypothesis testing and evidence gathering over endless feature checklists and vendor demonstrations.

Join this presentation to learn:

  • The usual problems with applying the typical RFP-process, including examples of epic failures
  • An alternative, Lean approach to selecting software
  • What characteristics to look for when selecting and why
  • How to apply the method
  • What skills a selection team should have
  • How long a hypothesis-driven selection should roughly go for
  • Examples of the new method applied in the industry, its consequences and lessons learnt

Top ↑

Dark Matter

Lisa Harvey-Smith | Research Astronomer

In this session, Lisa takes us through a lifelong journey of learning, from her unusual self-education to being one of Australia’s most influential scientists. She tells us about the challenges involved with building a telescope that relies on technologies that don’t yet exist. She discusses how senior academics keep up (or not) with the fast pace of learning in their field. She also describes how running ultramarathons prepares her for long, drawn-out research projects. Have you ever wondered how to weigh a black hole? Don’t worry – that’s covered too!

This session will challenge, excite and generate discussion about how Australia can prepare its workforce for the scientific challenges of the future.

Top ↑

Lessons learned from transforming DevOps to a high-scale model: HPE R&D labs’ practical experience

Asy Israel | Director, Program Management and DevOps Application Delivery Management Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Ayal Cohen | R&D Chief Functional Architect, Application Delivery Management, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Demand from the business to deliver faster, combined with increased software complexity, is driving organisations to adopt DevOps practices and scale them across the enterprise. Over the last couple of years, HPE Software’s Application Delivery Management R&D organisation has successfully shifted to Enterprise DevOps processes and methodologies. In this session, Asy and Ayal, who led the transformation, will share how they achieved it, the challenges they faced along the way, and how the entire organisation’s culture and processes were realigned to meet the new business demands, while maintaining consistently high levels of quality.

Top ↑

Putting the ‘V’ in MVP

Ralf Jeffery | Business Analyst, Equal Experts

Stream: Learning from your customer

Building an MVP sounds simple, so why do so many organisations struggle and what are the common factors of excellent MVP design?

The goal of an MVP is to build just enough of something to quantifiably test a business assumption or hypothesis. Traditionally, businesses approach new product development by spending substantial time and money researching, developing and building the final product. Even more time and effort is then spent marketing it to their target market. It’s go big or go home!

Lean startup principles advocate a different approach: build the simplest version of the product or service that you can and get it in front of your target market group as fast as possible. Watch them use it. Listen to their feedback.Then improve or change.

Most organisations when confronted with this approach understand the logic and benefits of an MVP. Why then, do so many struggle to execute successfully? This talk discusses the principles of MVPs and the diverse ways in which they can be executed, illustrating with success stories. It discusses the common barriers encountered within organisations when creating an MVP, and highlights how they can be overcome from the perspective of each key stakeholder group.

Finally, drawing upon personal experience of working on Agile projects within financial services, ecommerce and telecoms organisations, both large and small, I identify the necessary factors for excellent MVP design.

Attendees will:

  • Understand the different types of MVP execution and see real-world examples of each
  • Hear real-life examples of MVP successes and failures
  • Understand the mindset of key stakeholder groups, why they struggle to support MVPs and how these barriers can be overcome
  • Learn how successful teams practice MVP design and execution

Top ↑

Starting on the right foot

Martin Kearns | Chief Digital Officer, Innodev
Tina Mitas | Senior Legal Counsel, SMSMT

Stream: The Future of Work

How do you design an Agile contract? This talk will assist people to construct the terms and models of engagement for a successful Agile partnership. Through our experiences in developing the first eservices contract to use Agile with SMSMT, we have spent the last 3 years evolving and learning to develop contracts that honour the Agile principles in a contractual arrangement.

We will explore how the Scrum framework can be used to embed a learning cycle that supports a project/engagement lifecycle. We will then explore different techniques and models to assist in governing and maintaining control over an investment, without destroying the essence of self-organisation and transparency of the outcome.

Attend this presentation to learn how to:

  • Construct an MVP and place commercial constructs around such an engagement;
  • Incorporate the cost of delay as a form of change and form of influence
  • Build collective responsibility to outcome; and
  • Ensure a greater degree of cooperation is reciprocated in any partnership

You will come away with 5 key principles to remember when developing an Agile contract.

Top ↑

Aligning impact from boardrooms to pixels

Michael Le | Product Designer, Pivotal Labs

Stream: Metrics – a critical guide to Leading and Learning

Product teams need to be empowered to run experiments and learn in an Agile manner. However have you ever had your product team come back deflated from a meeting because “the business just don’t get agile or the design process”? How do you reframe and align stakeholders with your work in product validation and experimentation? How can you explain learnings from the experiments back to the business so that they understand the impact that your team is making?

One way of doing this is to link your experiments back to the business goals. Using objectives and key results (OKRs) as a framework can help frame business goals along with success metrics. OKRs are a great way of relaying the organisational goals from the top-down while also allowing a way of relating the team’s activities back up.

This presentation will explore examples of how OKRs were used to help teams focus on what they should work on, to help frame product critiques, and to manage your backlog. I will also demonstrate how to incorporate OKRs into existing product activities and ceremonies.

After this talk, you will come away with a new way of framing experiments so that the whole organisation can get behind and support.

Top ↑

Saving the plane from a nosedive

Alex Logan | Product Manager, Ordermentum

Stream: Learning from your customer

When an idea is formed and validated, we jump out of the blocks in a race to market. We are told to stay focused and deliver the product yesterday. Very quickly, we can lose alignment with our customers and often we are running behind schedule.

This talk is about a really bad product decision I made as Product Manager at a small startup in Sydney. The company survived, but the experience taught me to be more aware of the risks of my assumptions, and how you can still be wrong even when you’re doing the right things. I will share my experiences about how you can turn impacted customers into your loudest advocates and the warning signs that you may be slipping away from creating what your customers need.

In this talk you will learn how to think deeply about all the assumptions your decisions are built on. The toughest assumptions to spot are those that are so ingrained in your company that most people have forgotten they are even assumptions. A close second are those hidden in personal biases of which we’re not even aware.

At the end of this talk, you will understand:

  • The risks and impact of shipping without customer validation
  • That making mistakes is OK and it’s your response to mistakes that matter most
  • The important relationships needed for effective product market fit
  • Key signs that you are making assumptions
  • Different techniques for measuring alignment with customers (Centralise helpdesk, Net promoter Score)

Top ↑

Forecasting using data

Troy Magennis | Consultant, Focused Objective

Stream: Evolving Agile organisations

The core of this session is how to answer the three most ubiquitous forecasting questions without detailed estimates (and often without estimates at all):

  • How big (is the feature without doing detailed analysis)
  • How long (will it take if we just delivered this feature)
  • How much (will I get)

Understanding why forecasts fail is also important. We will discuss the top three reasons forecasts fail to match reality from my painful experiences and will challenge the assumption that work complexity and effort correlates with delivery time.

By attending this talk you will be well-placed to use the free spreadsheet tools shown or build your own tools to perform probabilistic forecasting. It really is easy, much easier and less stressful than detailed estimates and often more accurate because it avoids individual cognitive biases (wishful thinking).

You will discover:

  • The goals of forecasting and what makes a Good versus Poor forecast
  • How to answer the three biggest forecasting questions
  • How Big – determining how big is the feature or project with less effort
  • How Long – determining how long it would take to deliver a project or feature
  • How Much – OK, not everything will fit, what will and is that the right value
  • The three biggest reasons for forecasts to fail and what to do about them
  • How to use the data you have to forecast better and what to do if you have no historical data at all

Top ↑

How the Olympics can make you a better person

Sandy Mamoli | Agile Coach, Nomad8

Stream: Inclusive Culture

You won’t win if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. And you won’t be world-class if you just do what others have done before you. To truly make it, you need to be different and develop a world-class learning mindset!

In the world of professional sports, innovation, persistence and rapid learning are everything. In this very personal talk, as a former Olympian, I will share key learnings from my professional sports career. I will delve into topics such as meritocracy and diversity, rapid feedback, radical candour and high-performance teams.

I will contrast the perspectives and attitudes of professional sports with modern work life and will extract guidelines and tools that we can apply to our professional lives. From critical communication skills to collaboration and effective teams, come along and learn practical ways for how to apply ideas from Olympic sports to your professional Agile career!

You will learn how to:

  • Pick the best team for you
  • Give and receive timely feedback
  • Innovate within constraints to increase performance
  • Challenge the myth that you need to like each other to be a world-class team
  • Recognise a high-performance team and company

Top ↑

Cultures of innovation

Tatyana Mamut | GM and Head of Product, Amazon Web Services

Not all innovative companies are the same. When building innovation, one size does not fit all. In this talk, you will discover the elements that create successful innovation in different types of organisations – and the levers you can use to create lasting innovation in your ‘special snowflake’ organisation.

Top ↑

The art of building a roadmap

Sherif Mansour | Principal Product Manager, Atlassian

Stream: Learning from your customer

The process of defining a roadmap is arguably one of the most difficult but important things a Product Manager has to do. Far too often roadmaps are misdirected, built without the complete picture in mind, with the right things at the wrong time, or created in silos. How can we ensure we’re doing it right? Is there really such a thing as an Agile roadmap?

This talk will draw from lessons learnt building products to provide practical tips and techniques enabling you to understand roadmap inputs, plan with different perspectives in mind, optimise for learning, communicate and set roadmap goals, and find agility when the landscape around you changes.

You will come away with:

  • Ways to re-think roadmaps: from a set of features to a set of decisions
  • A clear understanding of what important roadmap inputs you need to consider – including company vision, product vision, business model and customer feedback channels
  • Ways to re-think roadmaps: from a set of features to a set of decisions
  • How to build three types of customer-driven roadmaps: goal-driven roadmaps; persona-driven roadmaps and vision-driven roadmaps

Top ↑

Agile governance: evolution or revolution

Stuart Mitchell | Agile Coach, CBA

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

This presentation explores one of the last great battles for Agile adoption. The ‘daily battle’ that every medium to big business is facing, yet few are talking about. It’s a battle on two fronts in that every company must deliver software into production quickly but equally every company must always minimise its exposure to risk. At times these two strategic objectives can appear mutually incompatible. A fast path into production leads to the achievement of the ultimate goals of any Agile project, a competitive edge is gained, a disadvantage removed, a return on investment achieved and ultimately a greater profit made. This has never been more true given the pace at which low margin competitors are snapping at the heels of established businesses, Fintechs in banking, Lean startups in retail and services and incubator hubs across the spectrum.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously declared, ‘your margin is my opportunity’, now every startup competitor is not just saying it they’re acting on it using Agile. Yet established businesses remain anchored in a world where brand protection, return on investment and regulatory compliance are constant brakes on innovation. Established companies must be hyper conscious that we live in a time when implementation glitches and software errors leading to service failures are social media fodder, and a single high profile mistake can be front page news and lead, potentially, to billions being wiped off a share price*.

The solution to new and nimble competition is clearly the greater adoption of Agile techniques. But the enterprise Governance infrastructures which projects must ultimately back into were built and resourced for waterfall monoliths. These Governance requirement monoliths are heavyweight, with gateways, documents, sign-offs, traceability demands, testing overheads, reviews etc.

Worse, the walls are getting higher as fiduciary demands and fines for failure are increasing. Established businesses are facing a revolution from the competition and so must adapt and evolve to remain relevant.

This presentation describes this battleground between speed and risk aversion that is preventing Agile from going supersonic. The argument is made that truly evolving Agile organisations must seize the day and work to breakdown high walled Governance infrastructures and instead integrate those people and processes within Agile teams. Through a case study it can be seen how this can be done, the time needed to achieve the goal and the specific steps needed to complete the journey. The conclusion will also examine the consequences to established business models, and to the Agile community, if the opportunity to make this crucial evolutionary leap is not taken.

*In 2014 a computer ‘glitch’ at the Royal Bank of Scotland cost A$240 million to resolve and wiped A$3.4 BILLION from the share price.

In this talk attendees will:

  • Gain an appreciation of the challenges of company Governance
  • Understand how Agile’s Governance processes work
  • Learn how company Governance has to be respected and the ways it can be managed with Agile
  • Discover how Governance is planned to move from 95% to 99.99% safety within 2yrs – and what that means for our work
  • See how to prepare, work with and succeed with the Governance battles ahead

Each attendee will receive the Agile Governance ebook from the UK National Audit Office which is full of case studies and suggestions.

Top ↑

Global nomads

Fabiano Morais | Delivery Coach, Envato

Stream: The Future of Work

In a historical moment where everything is political, and we keep hearing references to “walls”, “bans” and all sorts of restrictions that try to inhibit a person’s mobility around the world, it has never been so important to discuss global mobility in relation to the future of work. The future of work is, undoubtedly, deeply connected to remote work and global mobility. Forrester Research’s (U.S.) estimates that the number of mobile workers will reach 63 million (43% of the U.S. workforce) sometime in 2016. While “work from home” has become a common model, the pervasiveness of digital nomadism has changed the face of global work patterns. Remote and mobile work is here to stay.

This exciting trend brings about new work configurations and possibilities, but also new challenges. Tension and contradiction can sometimes exist between our basic social needs and physical disconnection, and between flexibility for the individual and the collective needs of collaboration. If Agile is still cutting-edge, shouldn’t Agile organisations be leading the way in the pursuit of answers to these questions? Agile organisations can lead the way and provide solutions that enable a team to make the best out of blended work practices while avoiding the pitfalls of remote work.

I will present the cutting-edge Agile practices used at Envato to embrace digital nomadism and shape the future of work. I will share with attendees the challenges, triumphs, tools and characteristics that make up an organisation that is successfully embracing digital nomadism. Envato’s Work From Anywhere policy is more than just an effective policy. In today’s global society, it is also a symbol of another kind of world, of another way to live and work together. It is an example of what is possible when we have trust in each other and in our communities.

Top ↑

Attack of the mutants

Jeremy Nagel | Full Stack Developer, COzero

Stream: Agile Tech

Learn to use mutant testing to spot vulnerable code. Code without tests is code that is going to sneak up behind you while you’re texting on your phone, put glue in your hair and steal your lucky horseshoe from your bag. But how can you find those dastardly lines? Traditionally we’ve used test coverage metrics (e.g. Istanbul) to track down those dastardly lines, but coverage has a lot of gaps. A test can execute 100% of code without performing any assertions, giving you a false sense of security.

What’s the solution then? Fight back against those villains by unleashing mutants! Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink radioactive coolaid – we’re talking about mutant testing. It involves using a tool like StrykerJS to programatically insert bugs (mutants) into your code and check whether the tests catch them.

Having 100% test coverage is a noble goal but ultimately not very useful, as it says nothing about the test suite’s ability to catch bugs. On the other hand, having a 100% mutant identification score is a big deal. It means that your assertions can effectively pick up most potential bugs.

Next time your manager asks for a risk analysis of the company’s test suite, you’ll know what to do: call in the mutants!

Attend this talk to learn:

  • why mutant testing is more meaningful than test coverage
  • How to implement/utilise mutants in/against your existing test framework (including JS, Ruby, .Net and Java)
  • How to use mutant testing in a CI/CD pipeline
  • Pitfalls to avoid when using mutant testing

Top ↑

(fr)agile: a retro for the implementation of an Agile mindset

Kylie McKiernan | Manager, Process and Operations, Herron Todd White
Darren Oliver | National Director, Business and Technology Solutions, Herron Todd White

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

When going through a major shift in the way things are done at the organisation, the technical side of things is only half of the equation. Technology executives need to educate stakeholders and take them along on the journey of cultural change, to be able to adequately implement changes with sustainable results.

This talk will shed light on the outcomes of adopting Agile for Herron Todd White’s largest ever project, and how an Agile mindset needed to filter through to the executive team and the non-technology teams – including finance, legal and HR. We will share the surprising impact of “IT” project on the rest of the business.

We will explore the preparation and pre-planning for the project, why Agile was adopted, and the unexpected issues that arose throughout the project. We’ll address the challenges faced and benefits realised in a distributed Agile environment.

This retrospective will present an honest and candid account of the journey – what worked well, what didn’t go so well (and what was used to improve these aspects for the future), as well as the things that are still puzzling or evolving.

Attend this talk to:

  • Gain insight into the technical and non-technical successes and challenges of implementing a core, organisation-wide Agile project
  • Understand the challenges and benefits that are faced in transforming from rapid, ad-hoc development processes to more formal Agile practices
  • Understand the challenges and benefits in implementing an Agile culture across a traditionally non-technical executive team and board

Top ↑

The future of Agile in the enterprise: has the war been lost?

Matt Pancino | EGM Retail & Wealth Technology for Enterprise Services, Commonwealth Bank

Sponsored by CBA

For the last 15 years, Agile teams in large enterprises struggled on the fringes of their organisations defying decades of conventional wisdom of how ‘big’ IT should deliver value to customers. In the meantime, a new generation of companies empowered their teams to pursue fast delivery of value to customers with higher quality, where quality was defined by adaptability, repeatability and lower costs.

In Australia, recent large enterprise announcements have acknowledged that Agile is no longer on the fringe and those original enterprise Agile teams are now considered pioneers and are almost revered. One could easily believe that in large enterprises Agile has won the day. Yet if you dig beneath the surface, the gap between doing Agile as opposed to having agility has never been further apart. Frameworks, process, jargon, and consultants have obfuscated the original simple principles the Agile movement was found on.

In the meantime, those who have become truly agile, no longer mention the word. What’s next for the Agile movement in the enterprise? How do we ensure the true benefits of agility can be realised in future?

Top ↑

Transforming ING Direct Australia

Leandro Pinter | Domain Delivery Lead & Agile Practice Lead, ING Direct Australia

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

If you are keen to hear true stories, successes, and failures on how we went about transforming ING Direct Australia, then you won’t be disappointed.

In this talk, I will take you through our Agile transformation journey, exploring the nuts and bolts of what we’ve done so far, what we are currently doing, and what’s coming next. I will also discuss what’s working, what isn’t and what we would have done differently in retrospect.

We will explore transformation guiding principles; choices about Agile frameworks; constantly evolving organisational culture; the Agile transformation team and the role of coaching as a core capability; what success looks like; moving from a ‘stage gate’ to more fluid model of governance; business case; and engineering capabilities.

Join this talk to:

  • Learn how to start or adjust your own transformation journeys and hopefully avoid some common mistakes
  • Understand the key strategies and phases of our Agile transformation
  • Understand some of our learnings and how to apply it in your transformation
  • Learn from some of our mistakes and how to avoid them in your transformation
  • Understand how the organisation evolved and adapted along the way
  • Learn we wish we knew/had before we started

Top ↑

Preparing humans for the second machine age

Dominic Price | Head of R&D and Work Futurist, Atlassian

Stream: The Future of Work

2020 is talked about like some major milestone (anyone remember the ‘millennium bug’?), and yet for all the articles and thought leadership on the topic, most fail to acknowledge that it’s less than 1,000 days away. Now is the time for us, the humans, to take action to prepare. This session will explore some of the data and levers that will help us understand the world we’ll be living in by 2020, the role that AI, automation and robots have in this age, and the things we need to do as humans to stay human and build an environment where we thrive, and not just survive.

Top ↑

Build digital services, not websites

Syed Riyazuddin | Delivery Manager, Healthdirect Australia

Stream: Learning from your customer

You have an awesome digital presence, and your website metrics are growing – but you realise that your customers don’t just need information but great end-to-end services. In this session you will hear how an organisation evolved from delivering discrete websites to operating multi-channel services that meet consumer expectations. This was achieved by re-aligning the organisational structure in line with the Digital Service Standard provided and maintained by Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency.

In this talk, attendees will learn:

  • That ”identify the right thing” is prerequisite to “Build the Right thing”
  • How to integrate digital and non-digital into one complete service – end-to-end experience
  • How an organisation transformed from within to put the customer first
  • The need to put user research at the forefront of any initiative
  • The importance of including customer feedback within internal Agile practices

Top ↑

Getting close to customers and playing by traditional rules

Simon Reason | Agile Coach, AMP
Gareth Rydon | Design Innovation Operations, AMP

Stream: Learning from your customer

We are all striving to be closer to our customer. What happens when you get close to your customer but find yourselves having to play by the rules of your traditional project development cycle? You are in the middle of a product transformation, you’re moving progressively with your agility, everything you do is customer-focused, you are pushing the boundaries but find yourself constrained in a traditional governance model.

Join this talk to discover how we have hyper-focussed on the customer through merging Design Thinking with Agile techniques. Through end-to-end customer testing of our product, we embedded customer feedback within every stage of a large program of work.

We’ve managed all this while undertaking an Agile transformation. It’s not been straightforward and we’ve been faced by challenges after every small gain. Find out how we have implemented Design Thinking and Agile methods to fit within the confines of our Agile and product transformations, what has worked and what didn’t.

Learn how having a deeply customer-centric approach will force you to challenge your traditional ways of working and make fundamental changes to become a truly Agile, learning organisation.

Attendees will learn:

  • How customer testing and utilising design thinking/human centred design can bring agility to even traditionally managed projects
  • The successes and challenges of customer centric testing
  • Why perseverance is key

Top ↑

Steering strategy with program metrics

Mark Richards | Partner, Context Matters

Stream: Metrics – a critical guide to Leading and Learning

Are you part of a large enterprise pursuing a Lean or Agile transformation? Are you struggling to change your funding model? Do you suffer from the syndrome where your lovingly crafted team-level Agile metrics get translated or replaced by traditional ones as your status dashboards reach the senior, strategic levels?

You’re not alone! I’ve spent years coaching large enterprise scaled Lean/Agile adoptions, and I’ve lost count of how many senior groups have nodded enthusiastically when we talk about the need to move to outcome-based metrics, then put the idea in the “too-hard-basket” the instant they leave the room. The trouble is, it really is hard!

In this session we will cover a program-level metrics dashboard focused on answering the following question: are we sustainably improving in our ability to generate value through the creation of a passionate, results-oriented culture relentlessly improving in both its engineering and product management capabilities?

You will be introduced to a model which provides basic and advanced metrics to address this question. You’ll also learn some tips and techniques for implementation and application.

Attendees will come away with the following learnings:

  • How to establish an outcomes-based program level metrics dashboard addressing business impact, culture, quality and speed
  • How to leverage the dashboard to enable transformation in governance and funding
  • How to leverage the dashboard to enable continuous improvement at the program and team level

Top ↑

Trio of trouble: Design Thinking, Lean and Agile

Jonny Schneider | Principal, Product Strategy and Design, ThoughtWorks

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

Which way is right? They all are. This talk untangles what these movements, mindsets, and approaches mean, and helps teams and leaders to choose the right bits at the right times, and bring it all together into one big happy collaboration.

The way we do product development constantly evolves and every few years, there’s a new wave of thinking that promises to be the secret key to doing it better. The 90’s saw the rise of the Agile movement for building software better. A bit later, the lean mindset shifted the focus to value creation for the entire organisation. More recently, Design Thinking has democratised design and brought it to the boardroom.That’s awesome! But it leaves leaders bamboozled by an unprecedented array of frameworks, methods and approaches – paralysing meaningful progress. Boots-on-ground practitioners are also confused about how to work with their colleagues from other camps too.

Can these approaches work together? How do we know if we’re doing it right? How does it all fit together? Could this work in my organisation?

This talk will help you find answers to your questions, bringing clarity to the topic, and some practical guidelines to help you find a way that works for you.

Attend this talk to learn:

  • The meaning, mindset and mechanics of Design Thinking, Lean and Agile
  • When to use each approach, and where they overlap and intersect
  • How to combine the right mindset with the right tools at the right time, to rise above rote application of methods
  • Guidelines for getting started and working with other teams
  • What not to do, from lessons learned in the trenches

Top ↑

Data centre migration executed under eight Lean-Agile principles

Cameron Newman | Director of Platform Engineering, Campaign Monitor
Marcio Sete | Principal Consultant, Elabor8

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

A story of an Ops Team starting its Agile journey. A story of a critical data centre migration executed under 8 Agile principles. A story from the trenches told through photographs by the mouths of who lived it. A story full of learnings and overcoming.

In this case study of an intense data-driven initiative, discover the principles and practices used to increase visualisation, collaboration, predictability and flow. Learn how we dealt with risks and uncertainties, what we did to better understand our values, intrinsic motivators and grow a great team.

Supported by nine months of daily data, this discussion also includes a study of Little’s Law, flow efficiency and the correlation of different KPIs.

Top ↑

Rise of the platforms

Darren Smith | Head of Capabilities, Thoughtworks

Sponsored by Thoughtworks

Enterprises facing rapid change and disruption need to experiment and make decisions quickly. Being burdened with legacy IT assets and processes that have accrued through years of siloed investments can make this difficult.

A new IT paradigm is emerging inspired by successful digital innovators such as Amazon, Salesforce and a host of others transforming into multi-faceted platforms for execution. Is Amazon an online retailer infrastructure provider or marketplace? Or is it a platform of capabilities that enable a variety of business models and a steady flow of innovation?

As appealing as the platform paradigm is, success depends on re-thinking some fundamental IT concepts. A platform is not just an architecture or a set of APIs but a comprehensive technology strategy that encompasses cloud infrastructure, data management, microservices, continuous delivery, organisational alignment and more with a platform in place.

Top ↑

Developing an experimentation culture

Pete Steel | Executive General Manager Digital, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Stream: Learning from your customer

How can you use experimentation to better understand your customers and mobilise a large workforce, putting great experiences into the hands of customers quickly? There are many methods and tools that can be used to experiment, but a culture of experimentation is essential to drawing out the real value. During this presentation you’ll hear about the culture traits that we believe drive an effective experimentation environment, the methods that we use to experiment and some of our successes and failures that we’ve had along the way as we’ve scaled our teams and experimentation capability

Top ↑

One university’s cultural revolution to scale Agile

Sarah Rose | Agile Transformation Lead, Monash University
Carolyn Spithoven | Business Analyst, Scrum Master and Team Coach, Elabor8

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

Nurturing an Agile culture in a large organisation is a complicated journey. Large organisations, when deconstructed, present a vast range of processes, business models and cultural norms.

This is particularly evident in a university context, where faculties each bring a unique identity that when combined creates an eclectic fabric that is complex and difficult to navigate.

When unity in diversity is rewarded, how does one drive cultural change for agility? This is the story of one university desperately needing a way to create a cultural revolution that would drive effective business change.

During this presentation, we’ll share the lessons learned on our cultural journey towards agility, including how we maintained respect for people and culture, and moved teams from being defensive and resistant to fully-functioning, self-actualised agilists.

Find out how we approached scaling Agile from the law department to the rest of the organisation, how we aligned it to the overall university vision, and leveraged a range of Agile principles to lead our people towards agility and university outcomes

  • Promoting and nurturing a team’s culture by leveraging Agile principles
  • How to scale an Agile team culture for divisions and faculties
  • Aligning Agile principles to your organisation’s program of work and vision
  • Practical examples of what worked and what didn’t work – warts and all!
  • Spreading Agile principles beyond Agile teams to enhance work practices in other business units, leveraging Lean thinking, collaboration and self-reflection.

Top ↑

The Groupishness of Groups

Katy Rowett | Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks

One new member joins a team or one member leaves a team, and the team dynamics are turned upside down. A leadership change occurs that seemingly immobilises a team. An odd behaviour from a team member that appears way out of character. Teams not on task and organisational cultures that are labelled dysfunctional. For such occurrences, what are the conscious or unconscious defences that group members might be engaging in and why? Great leaders have the ability to contain their own anxieties while they peek below the surface of what might be really happening in teams. In this session we explore some of the social defences that teams might engage in through personal stories from a career that spans over 25 years of experience across many organisations and cultural borders.

Top ↑

Can anyone adopt Agile?

Holly Brown | Project Manager – Client Case Management, Australian Red Cross
Michelle Stephens | Senior Consultant, ThoughtWorks

Stream: Adopting Agile in your custom context

What happens when you start your Agile journey with a critical project with a troubled history and complex future, an ambitious but fragmented team, ambivalent stakeholders, and an impending go-live, all in a distributed not-for-profit with little experience of Agile?

This talk will discuss how Agile was implemented at Red Cross, how Agile is being adapted to suit particular needs and how Agile is progressively being introduced throughout the organisation.

We’ll share the client’s and the consultant’s perspective on adopting Agile ways of working. Starting from initial expectations, progressing through the highs and lows of a Lean improvement program, and reflecting on what sustainable means now that we’ve finished getting started.

We’ll share the techniques we used, what worked well and what didn’t, where we had success and where we still have room for improvement. Wherever you start your agile journey, we think you’ll find something useful in our approach to finish getting started sooner.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to start an Agile journey effectively
  • How to use techniques to fast track adoption of Agile
  • How to implement Agile at an organisation “not suited” to Agile
  • How to continuously improve and adapt Agile to meet changing needs
  • How to introduce Agile to a humanitarian organisation

Top ↑

Funding Agile delivery

Eric Naiburg | Marketing Director, Scrum.org
Erwin van der Koogh | Founder, Bitgenics

Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations

This session describes models and approaches for funding innovative products based on feedback loops.

Traditional funding models impede organisations from innovating because they make projections based on inadequate information, forming unrealistic business cases that can’t learn from experience. Rather than funding small experiments and validating hypotheses based on empirical data, they make big bets based on hunches and opinions, and then wonder why their results are poor. Agile teams supporting proven products also struggle under traditional funding models because the funding process does not give them the flexibility to learn and improve.

Attend this talk to understand:

  • How traditional project and program funding models fail when applied to problems for which the solution (and often the problem) is not well-understood
  • How funding Agile initiatives differs from funding traditional projects and programs
  • How to fund innovation (new product initiatives)
  • How to sustain Agile product delivery

Top ↑

Continuous learning: Ignite the curious learner in you!

Belkis Vasquez-McCall | Partner, McKinsey & Co

Stream: Learning Leaders

Our willingness to change as individuals is powered by our ability to continuously evolve through obtaining new skills. What we expected from our careers a decade ago has shifted. You now need to keep up with the ever growing digital internet of things. What ignites our evolution as individuals, our learning pathways, and desire to improve? If I had to pick one thing that enabled my growth and success in life, I would have to say it was my willingness to embark on unique learning opportunities. My constant obsession with learning new things has helped me to uncover opportunities that were outside my comfort zone. Even today, after being in the industry for over 19 years, I haven’t stopped learning. My eagerness to lead and shape the future drives my passion to continuously learn. In this talk, I’ll share my learning values and how they relate to organisational agility.

Learning values:

  • Intense focus fosters results – If you want to have a disciplined practice, you need discipline
  • Continuously improve your game – Get the fundamentals right and then incrementally build from there
  • Trade perfection for speed – If you don’t adopt a ‘fail fast’ mindset, you have a long road ahead
  • Imitation is the best form of flattery – You know you are on the right learning path when you become the role model for change

Objectives of the session:

  • Why is it important to focus on your learning agenda as you embark on an Agile transformation?
  • Recognise that mastery is about igniting the ‘test & learn’ mindset
  • How to get results by experimenting with uncomfortable situations
  • Why you need to adapt your learning agenda based on changes in your environment

Top ↑

Service design: where tech and CX collide

Amanda Wise | Experience and Service Design Lead, ThoughtWorks

Stream: Learning from your customer

An introduction to service design blueprinting

Service design is a buzzword du jour, but is it just user centred design with this season’s lipstick?

While it incorporates many techniques from UX, service design takes a bird’s eye view of the entire ecosystem of a client’s operations. Organisations tend to focus on touchpoints (their website, app, physical store, advertising, customer support, social media, fulfillment) but this can divert attention from the bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey.

Service design can help clients answer questions about their business when their business departments don’t talk to each other. It can help when customers feels like they’re talking to different companies as they move from a company’s website to app to face to face service centre… It can help align desired changes with those needed to create the environment to support that change.

Service design is a key strategic process for facilitating business and technical teams to align around customer needs, and prioritise their user experience design and IT systems delivery roadmap. Combined with organisational transformation, a service design vision is a critical component of business innovation. Service design “blueprints” add another dimension to the typical Customer journey map. Creating a service design blueprint can show all sides of the business where they impact the customer up or downstream on the journey, and build a cohesive vision of an ideal end-to-end customer experience.

This talk will walk the audience through the steps of creating a service design blueprint, from front stage to backstage, and include some case studies of blueprinting from the trenches.

Attendees will learn:

  • What service design is, and how a blueprint fits within the practice
  • How technology, business and UX practitioners can work together to map a blueprint across the front and backstage
  • Detailed task analysis
  • Mapping a critical path through the blueprint to prioritise work and define a roadmap
  • Ways to communicate and keep the customer service vision alive and useful within your organisation
  • How to conduct a collaborative service design workshop with stakeholders and users
  • Some useful resources to explore

Top ↑

Activate Agile

A special session designed just for students with a desire to strike into a tech career. They’ll discover how innovative companies create amazing software, apps, portals, platforms, and products. How do you build the technology that we love and use every day? How do you do it fast? And what are you looking for in great team members?

Activate Agile gives students and their educators the chance to meet the people who make up amazing tech teams and pick the brains of superstars who wake up every day and make the world better with technology.

Visit www.agileaus.com.au/activate-agile-2017 for more information or to register a student.

Top ↑

AgileAus Retrospective

Share your favourite moments, suggestions for the future, or comments and queries with fellow delegates and the conference organisers. At AgileAus, we are learning and leading all the way to the end!

Top ↑

Business Hacks: Instant culture and product growth using Hackathons

Enjoy some coffee and participate in a facilitated discussion with people who have got significant results with hackathons.

Hear about how hackathons have helped to gain an immediate increase in customer NPS. How hackathons are driving customer collaboration. How hackathons are used for Agile newbies to get a taster of self-managed teams. And hear ideas that you can use to sell hackathons to your leaders.

What experiences have you got to share?
Are you able to grow your organisation through hackathons?

Get up early and find out!

Top ↑

Deep Dive Sessions

Joshua Arnold | Engineer, Black Swan Farming
Simon Cohen | Spotify
Esther Derby
Neal Ford | Software Architect, ThoughtWorks
Lisa Harvey-Smith | Research Astronomer
Sami Honkonen | CEO, Tomorrow Labs
Jez Humble | CTO, DevOps Research and Assessment LLC
Tatyana Mamut | GM and Head of Product, Amazon Web Services
Barry O’Reilly
Melissa Perri | CEO, ProdUX
Benji Portwin | Agile Coach, Spotify

Immerse yourself in a Deep Dive experience! These sessions are an opportunity to go deeper with a speaker by asking questions in an intimate setting. Deep Dives are where the audience drives the agenda. Come with your questions and see what unfolds!

Please note that seats are strictly limited to 50 people for all Deep Dive sessions.

Top ↑

Lightning talks

Thu | 3.55pm | Level 4, Room 1

Lightning talks are five-minute, energetic and informal talks that cover off one nugget of knowledge!

  • Most inspirational tweets of 2017

    Gabor Devenyi | Agile Coach, DXC Technology

  • Building an effective learning team

    Nadia Carballo | Iteration Manager, Suncorp & Alison Douglas – Iteration Manager, Suncorp

  • Give me two dates and I’ll predict your project

    Daniel Ploeg | Agile/Kanban Coach

  • Dangerous metrics from an ineffective scrum master

    Melinda Harrington | Senior Agile Delivery Manager, Bupa (Digital)

  • Words that keep women from applying for jobs

    Katrina Kolt | Agile Coach, AGL

  • Explaining Agile at a barbie

    Brett Wakeman | Iteration Manager, Auspost

Top ↑

Lightning talks

Fri | 3:35pm | Level 2, Room 2

Lightning talks are five-minute, energetic and informal talks that cover off one nugget of knowledge!

  • Get your brain in the right mind

    Hanna Karlsson | Agile coach, Skillseekers

  • Financial basics – a necessity in the Agile environment

    Kim Ballestrin | Principal Consultant, Elabor8

  • Pirate metrics

    Chris Chan | Enterprise Agility Coach

  • Understanding the DevOps Elephant

    Steven Kuo | Senior Consultant, Holistic Agile

  • Women in IT Survival Guide

    Anna Fiolfilova | Senior Software Engineer, REA Group

  • PI planning day: is it a waste of time?

    Michelle Prosser-Roberts | Release Train Engineer, AGL

  • Agile team essentials: empathy, creativity and fun

    Breisi Brito | Head of Digital Innovation, RedFig Consulting

Top ↑

The contagious impact of deliberate leadership

Julia Baird

Join Julia Baird for a lively discussion of how to transform workplaces by changing the way we think about leadership – and each other. This special session will upturn some major cultural assumptions and reconceptualise how leadership should be understood and practised. She will upend the idea that confidence equals competence, asking instead: what if humility is a good thing? This talk will also consider the powerful potential of the introverts among us, and how to move away from understanding extroversion as an ideal.

You will learn how to lead deliberately. It requires modelling of selfless behaviour, reflection on the way leaders use their position, as well as accountability and empathy.

This session will focus on how kindness and elevation – acts of virtue or moral beauty that uplift those around you – are at the core of deliberate leadership. Join this session for an illuminating exploration of the contagious impact of deliberate leadership.

Top ↑

Session-based Exploratory Testing

Sponsored by Tricentis

David Colwell – Solution Architect, Tricentis – The Continuous Testing Company

Automation is a must, manual testing is unjustifiable, exploratory testing is a necessity. Exploratory testing is not so much a thing that you do, but a way that you think. It’s little surprise that numerous questions remain unanswered: is exploratory testing an activity or a technique, something that you do, or an approach? Isn’t all testing exploratory? How does it relate to the entire software lifecycle at all? Bring your curiosity and a good sense of adventure to this hands-on interactive session and learn that exploratory testing is not just plain error guessing or common bug hunting, but rather is at the heart of all things testing.

Top ↑

Lean Experimentation at NAB – a Case Study

Sponsored by Accenture

Amilia Hird – Senior Manager Digital Adoption, National Australia Bank
Isabel Bantegui – Senior Manager, Financial Services, Accenture

This session provides a different lens to agile adoption at enterprises. We will talk about how NAB adopted lean engineering and a new delivery partnership model to experiment with modernising a critical part of their enterprise capability.
This session talks about how we did this, including:

  • Why NAB challenged themselves with this new way-of-working
  • How human centred design, change management, a one-team culture, underpinned by Agile delivery methods, holistically brought three partners to a successful outcome
  • How we defined and measured success while celebrating fluidity
  • Lessons learnt that can be applied to other contexts, especially where multiple delivery partners are involved

Top ↑

SAFe From the Trenches: Panel Discussion

Sponsored by Context Matters & Scaled Agile Inc

Moderator: Carol McEwan – Vice President of Community, Scaled Agile Inc

The Australian Agile community abounds with opinions and rumours about the Scaled Agile Framework. The vast majority originate from coaches and consultants. How do you separate fact from fiction? This session will provide a panel discussion with a group of people doing it as opposed to talking about it. The panelists include executives and senior management from the product, portfolio and delivery areas of both federal government and private enterprise, each with war stories to share from the world where the rubber hits the road – implementation experience.

Top ↑

Securing your DevOps pipeline

Sponsored by Sonatype

Cameron Townshend – Solution Architect, Sonatype
Is your development organisation using open source components?
Do you care about automating security within DevOps workflows?

Today’s modern applications are no longer written but assembled from many open source and 3rd party components – up to 90% of a typical application is made of these components.

Join us so see a demonstration of how organisations around the globe are empowering developers with information about the quality, security and licensing of the components they’re using. During the demonstration we will implement a hardened DevSecOps from Eclipse, to Jenkins to deployment in to Docker.

Top ↑

Embracing the unknown – a leader’s perspective

Sponsored by IBM

Kylie Webb – Head of Organisational Change Management, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Scott Ross – Intermediary Domain Lead, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Carolyn Trotter – Agile Coach, IBM Australia

Embracing the unknown can be both liberating and energising but many people fear what they do not know. Leading through this kind of change brings a unique set of opportunities.

Be inspired by hearing first-hand personal experiences from transformation leaders at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank as they challenge themselves and others to find comfort and opportunity in ‘not knowing it all’ while making positive change.

You will hear real-life examples and valuable insights as to what has worked well, what has not and how the bank’s transformation is leveraging proven approaches to achieve outcomes at both scale and pace.

In this session, attendees will:

  • Hear personal experiences and lessons learned from leaders on an Agile journey
  • Learn how to start an Agile adoption in a large enterprise
  • Learn how to not only sustain but accelerate Agile adoption across the enterprise
  • Understand the value in partnering to share and leverage experiences from other organisations
  • Learn how to be brave and define Big Hairy Audacious Goals


Top ↑