LAST Conference Sydney 2018 Day 1
Thu, Aug 30
Keynote - Mintzberg - 45 mins
Morning tea - 15 mins
Adam Ferguson - "T-shirts and Ties" - bridging the divide between Engineers and Executives
There is a divide between engineering (inc product management) and executives. There is lack of understanding of each others role, their respective mindsets and how to collaborate and work together. This ultimately leads to a lack of trust, poor decision making, ineffectiveness and an inability to culturally move forward.
This is a topic that does not get enough discussion or action. It's time to change this.
Tony O'Halloran - “I know better”, “that’s not Agile” and other signs you may be wasting your time...
Being an Agile change agent can often feel like you’re fightin an uphill battle. Have you ever felt like you’re pushing, instead of having knowledge and support pulled from you? Have you ever felt that the ‘Agile’ you’re championing is completely different from the ‘Agile’ your organisation is pushing for? My answer is certainly YES to all of those things, and it sucks.
This will be an exploration the struggles I’ve encountered, the failures I’ve had and what I have used to solve them.
Jon Gedge / Jasmine Hessel - Accessing Relationship Systems Intelligence with Constellations
Each of us is a member of complex relationship systems - at work, at home and in our communities. Just as emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage our own emotions and social intelligence is the ability to empathise and communicate with another individual, relationship systems intelligence is the ability to view a team or group as a unified whole and to work directly with that whole system rather than with a group of individuals.
In this session, we will use a relationship systems coaching technique called constellations to listen to the ‘voice of the system’ which is created by everyone who attends the session, so we can explore together how comfortable we are in working with conflict.
Alidad Hamidi / Dave Bales / David Witney - A personal voyage into opening bigger space of possibilities and more effective leadership
Greg, Will and Jane each lead in significantly different ways, they had different paths to how they found themselves in leadership and are equipped in different ways to interoperate situations and deal with getting things delivered, building teams, and providing direction. Leaders who do undertake a voyage of personal understanding and development can transform not only their own capabilities but also those of their companies.
Join us in an experiential learning activity, examining what sort of leadership we have, what you are using, and how you might want to grow and change to be the leader you need to be, in a world that is transforming around us, leaders need to not only to transform the way we work and the teams but also themselves.
Jason MacAulay - Diversity and Change within Agile delivery
Life is an iterative process, so why are there so many barriers to Agile adoption? Is our approach wrong? How do we leverage knowledge and experience from broader groups not from a DevOps background to increase performance and customer centric outcomes? What can we learn and therefore improve our Agile maturity.
Let's discuss an unconsidered subset of our community that may well be our next generation of 'Agile' champions, that already understand how to achieve successful outcomes.
Ted Tencza - The Art and Science of On Boarding
Successfully onboarding new developers is vital to the overall success of a development team. This talk provides a framework for evaluating your specific onboarding program. It doesn't pretend to provide a one-size-fits-all program, but rather gives leaders the insights they need to build a world class onboarding program specific to their own circumstances and company values.
Jeremie Benazra - The limits of Empathy in collaborative overload
We all know that empathy is essential to effective leadership, management, product development, marketing - pretty much any aspect of the business and the organisation that involves people and their collaboration.
Meanwhile, the amount of time managers and employees spend on collaborative workshop ballooned over the past two decades.
Empathy taxes us mentally and emotionally. It is not an infinite resource, and it can even impair our ethical judgement.
But it has its limits and failing to recognise it can drastically impact performance, motivation and innovation.
Let's take a snapshot of a near future to see how too much teamwork exhausts employees and saps moral to sense in context if the problem is not now already.
Then explore what we could already probe based on previous findings and help responding now in our busy environment.
Nafees Butt - Let the Customer Promise be your Guiding Light
tldr; Organisations exist to fulfil the promise that they made to their customers. This talk describes an approach that uses customer promise, existing culture and the gap between the two as a guiding light for defining goals of an agile transformation.
Longer version: Leading an Agile transformation is a major undertaking. It is easy to invest all your energies and time at finding the tactical solutions and making strategical changes and not emphasise enough on culture. To ensure that your transformation is more than just a face-lift, it is important to dig deeper into nuances of culture. Attend this talk to walk away with a tool that leaders and change agents can use to understand and evaluate the depth and breadth of their cultural initiative, identify gaps and create action items to address the gaps.
The tool is based on an upgrade of well-known Schneider's cultural model. It provides an approach for leaders of an organisation to centre their transformation efforts around culture, leadership and customer promise. We will start with the Schneider model to assess the existing culture and the leadership style prevalent in the organisation and will then link it to the customer promise. The model will cover the impact of an evolving customer promise and the complexities of managing it when the enterprise has multiple and often competing sub-cultures.
Gio - Reviewing Code Reviews
This talk helps teams of software developers getting more quality work done by improving their code review process.
Writing software is a collaborative effort. Long are the days of developers hacking alone in their bedrooms. The majority of successful apps and tools are built by a team.
This communal effort makes the act of reading and reviewing code written by other people as important as writing the code in the first place. Even more so in a workplace that is becoming more and more remote and distributed.
Yet this is a topic that doesn't get much coverage in blogs and conferences.
This talks shares techniques to improve the code review process developed over the years and through much experimentation.
A good code review starts from the code author. Spending time to review the code before submitting it, and adding details in the pull request description goes a long way.
As reviewers is important to use the right language and to practice empathy. The review should focus on what the code dose, not how the code looks. Discussion about style and patterns should be left for another forum.
There is a lot that can be automated in code reviews to remove noise and ensure that important things are not missed.
Time spent improving a team's code review process will pay dividends in better code output and smoother reviews.
Doris Tse - Liminal Thinking - Reconstructing our reality Matrix style
"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes" - Matrix
Are you prepared to question your own perception of reality?
If so, join us as we learn how our understanding of reality is shaped by our own beliefs and assumptions and how these can create blind spots.
How does this relate to Agile transformation? As a Scrum Master, we often face resistance to Agile or learning concepts that would seem blindingly obvious to us. We sometimes walk away from these conversations feeling exasperated and frustrated that other's can find it so difficult to understand and adopt.
However, often the problem with others failing to see what you see, isn't purely about them. We often forget that as change agents, we bring to the mix a set of our own assumptions and self fulfilling beliefs that also need to be challenged.
The purpose of this session is to draw on some of the core principles of Liminal Thinking and how they can be applied to Agile transformations.
Peter Lee / Henry Soesanto - Using lean tools to create product team balance
Product teams often have a huge challenge in balancing the effort towards building for the future and supporting their product today.
In this workshop you will learn how to use common lean tools like Pareto analysis and PICK matrixes, alongside the cost of delay to ensure that your product teams have a continuing focus of maintaining a health balance between the two.
At Boral and Campaign Monitor we use this light set of lean tools to help teams maximise the impact they have on the supportability of their systems ensuring they have a healthy balance between building for the future and supporting their product today.
James Brett - Evolving Digital Leadership
To succeed and indeed survive in today’s world of accelerating change and disruption leaders need to constantly evolve themselves, their teams and their organizations. This session will outline the need for this type of leadership, present the Evolutionary Helix, a 4-step framework for evolving faster than the pace of change and tools to develop their awareness, teams and stakeholder relationships.
Dipa Rao / Alina Spektor - Introverts & Extroverts: Unleash the power of quiet!
This talk is given by an introvert and extrovert; we have discovered that we experience our working lives very differently.
The world we live and work in is biased towards extroverts. We work in open space offices, with Agile ceremonies where people need to assert themselves publicly, vocally, and repeatedly. How does this impact people who don’t display extroverted behaviour? Equally important, how does this impact our ability to harness everyone’s potential?
What can we do to make our workplaces more comfortable for introverted behaviour? How can we give people the chance to contribute and be recognised equally? Explore options to take back to your workplace and level up!
Jochy Reyes - IDEO Mashup method: Creative ideation process & the Medici Effect
The Medici Effect was a coined term by Frans Johansson to describe innovation that happens when disciplines and ideas intersect. Take for example the idea of using something very technically challenging such as blockchain, and an internet favourite such as cats and you have the CryptoCats and the Crypto Kitties! Indeed the most interesting ideas are borne out of collaboration & diverse thinking.
This hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to the Medici effect using the Mashup ideation method by IDEO.
The workshop aims to guide the participants on the steps detailed on the Mashup ideation method of IDEO.
Participants will work in groups and will be guided on IDEO's 4 step Mashup process and will end with a Cereal Box design activity and sharing of the created ideas.
If there is an option to do a 60 minute workshop, I would prefer to this as a 60 minute workshop.
Lunch Break - 45 mins
Josh Centner - Unravelling Design ThinkingGet clarity on Design Thinking, what does it mean, how does it work, how the design thinking process can work for you to:
This talk looks at the prevailing frameworks and methodologies today and the rise of Design Thinking to tie them all together, we will be using real stories and relatable examples to both increase understanding and give you the ammunition to help improve the adoption of Design Thinking in your organisations from a mindset, process and cultural perspective.
- improves customer experience
- speed up product development
- enhance company culture and overall happiness in your teams and organisation
Amber Gokcen - Workplace Well-being and Resilience
Workplace wellbeing is the new workplace safety, and a holistic outlook to managing wellness will not only improve engagement, it will drive productivity and create a winning environment.
Today's ever-changing work environment puts a lot of strain on individuals. Whether it is coping with long commutes, managing stress in the workplace, or disrupted sleep from constantly being 'switched on', work has an impact on both the physical and psychological well-being of every individual.
While the existence of workplace stress is acknowledged in most organisations, current efforts often place the burden of responsibility with the individual; overlooking the actual cause. Health and well-being are largely seen as a private matter of individual choice.
In this presentation, you will discover how to improve your well-being and resilience, and at the same time, improve your performance and productivity.
Sally Sloley - Personal Kanban: Making your life better, one sticky note at a time.
Kanban isn’t just for work. How I reluctantly learned to use Kanban to get my personal life in order and why I’ve never been happier.
Madisen Harper - CEO of Me – Fuel Lifestyle and Professional Success, Passion and Productivity
The work landscape is constantly evolving, especially in IT, providing exciting opportunities for those keen to optimise and manage their careers. With almost 50% of the Australian workforce being contractors, temps and / or casual contributors, it’s important to develop and market a skill set that is not only sought after, but more importantly fuels your feelings of success and professional passion.
This interactive session applies Agile practices to create incremental changes fueling monumental lifestyle and career success.
Kelsey van Haaster - P is for password, it’s also for pwned.
“I don’t need a password manager, I use a pattern so I remember them”. Hearing these words strikes fear in the heart of the security professional, and we hear them with terrifying frequency because that is what people (ordinary people, our users) do. They use some kind of predictable pattern, maybe with a little variation on just about every site or application they frequent. Including the corporate ones, we are paid to protect. Let’s face it, who can blame them.
The most recent set of NIST guidelines for passwords acknowledge the challenges faced by users of our systems and are designed to put the user first by making good security hygiene a user friendly process. At ThoughtWorks we wanted to update our password requirements to meet to meet the new guidelines and we thought, that since we have always had the policy of allowing/encouraging people to buy and to expense a Password Manager, we thought it should be a pretty straightforward process.
Well, it turns out we were making a lot of assumptions. Our policy was not actually well advertised or consistently applied and anecdotal evidence suggested that we weren't quite as security conscious as we imagined. We set about validating our assumptions with some user research and we learned a lot. On the one hand, we had a lot to be proud of, but there was an awful lot more that could be done.
As a result of this work, we have set ourselves a goal to drive behaviour change, not only with respect to our corporate information systems but more broadly. Our work is guided by the principle that that good personal security hygiene, amongst ThoughtWorkers, not just at work, but in every aspect of their digital lives is the best way to protect our systems.
Come to this session to learn about what we found and what we did about it, specifically; how to take your users on a security journey with you, how to leverage the skills of your technologists to support and help your technophobes.
Gabor Devenyi / Alex Sloley - The magic number is 10
Why are Agile teams supposed to be small? How big are they supposed to be? Most agilists tend to agree that a team of ten people works well.
But what is it about the number 10 that makes it the “magic” number?
Since the start of human evolution, people formed groups to be more effective. Whether it was the hunt for a mammoth or going to war, working in teams ensured a greater chance of success.
There have been various researches from Dunbar’s paper through the Scrum Guide to military formations about the ideal number of people in a team.
We’ll discuss the historical, scientific and cultural reasons why 10 seems to be the magic number of forming effective teams.
Does the number of team members really matter? Is 10 really the magic number. You will get an answer that will help you to create effective teams with the right amount of people.
Gus Garcia - The Coding Dojo - Agile Coding For Everyone
The Coding Dojo is a fun and exciting hands-on activity to learn a new programming language, enhance your knowledge on an already known one, or participate in a session where you can take advantage of the brainpower of the whole group to solve a problem. Beginners and seasoned programmers can participage and share their knowledge or just learn from watching others doing it. Within its many formats, the Dojo can accomodate even large groups of people, where one keyboard is taken in turns by the participans, whilst the others help looking up information with their own devices. The Coding Dojo comprises all values and principles in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development in the way we collaborate and write great code. We are using the Python programming language for this.
After noon tea - 15 mins
Hanna Karlsson - Play on - it's good for your brain
There is often resistance to game playing. From the muttering of cynical comments about games being for kids to loud proclamations that it is wasting valuable time that could be spent in front of a computer. But it turns out play is good for the brain!
Not only can it be a more entertaining way of learning new concepts. But it also fires up larger parts of the brain than traditional learning/meetings. Moreover, it produces chemicals that can aid psychological safety in the team.. and simply make you feel good!
Craig Brown - Better Collaboration
This session is a guided walk through collaboration; what it is, why it is valuable and what areas you should focus on to improve your collaboration capabilities.
The purpose of the session is to help participants put some structure around the thinking and to help develop a roadmap for maturing collaboration at their workplace.
Caoilte Dunne - The model agile coach
This is a lighting talk - It is quick and easy.
It discusses a normally forgotten very early model of an agile coach.
This model still has things to teach us about the role of agile coaches, and should be an amusing 5 min shallow dive into their way of working and why we should aspire to be like them.
David Martin - The importance of long form learning - the the most ironic lightning talk ever.
A lightning talk on the importance of taking the time to stop, and think and learn? How ironic.
We tend to consume information now almost like we consume our green smoothies - whack our 5 a day in a blender and mush it down into something pre-digested so we can chug it down over breakfast or on the train without having to chew. We are so busy we need information provided pre-digested so we don't need to think.
This talk is a call to arms. A call to ditch our information smoothies. To take the time to stop and think.
Because if we don't think, how can we change? And if we can't change, how can we change others?
Melinda Harrington - The Agile Quiz: Words to Impress People at Cocktail Parties
You hear lots of big words at conferences but can you use them in a sentence?
- "Are you taking Holacracy and the Dark Arts this term, Hermione?"
- "We need to talk about CYNEFIN"
- "Does your partner like the Monte Carlo method?"
This light-hearted game tests you on your knowledge of tricky vocabulary words and concepts.
Learn these words quickly. Once politicians start using them it's too late to impress anybody.