LAST Conference Sydney 2019 Day

Thu, Aug 29
09:00

    Opening - 10 mins

09:10
09:55

    Morning Tea - 15 mins

10:10
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    Arash  Arabi

    Arash Arabi - Systems thinking to the rescue: the magic of value stream mapping in DevOps transformation

    schedule  10:10 - 10:50 AM place Central people 19 Interested

    "Everyone is already doing their best; the problems are with the system … only management can change the system." —W. Edwards Deming

    Everybody is talking about Systems thinking these days. But what is "systems thinking" really? And how can we practically use it to get tangible benefits in solving complex organisational problems? Value stream mapping is a very powerful systems thinking tool used to give us a bird's eye view and help us identify key components of the system/organisation that need to be changed in order to optimise the whole.

    In this session, we will run a simulation of an actual value stream mapping workshop to solving complex organisational problems such as DevOps transformation. After a short presentation, the facilitator will help each table to identify a value stream, then the teams will work together and map their value streams on wall pads.

    You will take away practical tools that you can use the next day in your organisation that will impress everyone and provide tangible benefits for your team/company.

    In this session we will explore the following concepts:

    - Lead time

    - Process time

    - Percent complete and accurate

    - Activity ratio

    - DevOps

    - Systems Thinking

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    Anthony Murphy

    Anthony Murphy - Agile Architecture — the rise of messy, inconsistent and emergent architecture

    schedule  10:10 - 10:50 AM place Town Hall people 16 Interested

    Architecture is a topic which I think doesn’t get the attention, especially not in the agile space, as it really should.

    As the world demands us to be more adaptable and responsive the need for reinventing how we think and approach IT architecture is becoming ever prevalent.

    The ship is sinking for many companies — the agile ship that is — as many companies continuing to approach architecture as they did 10+ years ago with the goal of enterprise architecture to maximise reuse, consistency and ultimately reduce operating costs. Over the decades this has left many companies with massive monolithic architectures, large “enterprise solutions” which are wide spread and shared by many teams across the organisation. Great from a $$ point of view but for speed to market and agility it does nothing but leave teams with their hands tied, bound by a proliferation of inter-dependencies.

    Like a kid trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, organisations are "going agile" trying to make make feature teams work on top of a traditional architecture - have we neglected what's under the hood? Architecture and agility are not mutually exclusive things.

    So what does an agile architecture look like? I will share with you things that I've found has both worked and not worked so well. As well as some guiding principles and patterns that I've found useful for creating an agile architecture of your own.

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    Doris Tse

    Doris Tse - How to help leaders find their edge through vulnerability

    schedule  10:10 - 10:50 AM place Wynyard/St James people 13 Interested

    We often expect our leaders to be imbued with superpowers, effortlessly balancing the needs of the many against their own convictions and values. A leader's ability to navigate these scenarios can lead to their success or downfall. As such we don't often provide the space for leaders to admit failure or uncertainty.

    "Contrary to equating vulnerability to weakness, exhibiting vulnerability offers the possibility of inspiring people and connecting on a deeper level" - Hanson

    Join us in this session as we explore the concept of vulnerability in leaders and its impact on the ecosystem. We will share real life stories and tips we've learnt along the way in coaching leaders on transparency and vulnerability.

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    Stuart Bargon

    Stuart Bargon / Alidad Hamidi / David Witney - 50 shades of uninstalling frameworks from your work systems

    schedule  10:10 - 11:35 AM place Museum people 12 Interested

    Do packaged frameworks for organising the system of work help or limit performance, outcome and relationships at work? Do frameworks give you an edge or take it away?

    Where is the balance between mandating a framework to get started as compared to allowing for a model of work to emerge within the local context of a social system?

    We define serious realism as being a cynical optimist with a dash of science and open mind, compassion and open heart, activism and open will and a sense of fun and play.

    We take a "relatively" scientific approach to create "almost" comparable outcomes in order to find "less" biased questions to help you find your edge. The participants will also sharpen their tools and techniques that help them on their real life problems at work. This will give confidence to find and apply their edge.

    In this immersive social experiment, participants will experience different approaches to social systems change and their effect on the outcome, performance and people in teams or organisations. Participant will also experience different possibilities to organise the work, build relationships and achieve outcomes.

    Together, we will find our edge by asking better questions that open new possibilities for work, community and our relationship to those.

    Come and experience sciencing, arting and funning in a bundle

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    Alex Sloley

    Alex Sloley - Insight Coaching – Nonverbal Communication in Coaching

    schedule  10:10 - 11:35 AM place Martin Place people 22 Interested

    The craft of Agile Coaching fundamentally requires deep, insightful, meaningful communication. In everyday execution, this typically involves a coach and the coachees having a conversation, or dialog. However, there are other ways that an Agile Coach and their coachees can connect – nonverbal communication.

    Explore the different aspects of nonverbal communication in the domain of the Agile Coach! This workshop overviews nonverbal communication in Agile Coaching and provides a starting point for developing this critical skill.

10:55
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    Chryselle Meneses

    Chryselle Meneses - To Boldly Go Where No Software Engineer Has Gone Before: A Mindset shift to Servant-Leadership

    schedule  10:55 - 11:35 AM place Central people 10 Interested

    "Leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart."

    Has it ever crossed your mind to become a SCRUM Master?

    Are you SCRUM Master starting your servant-leader journey?

    Do you like stories?

    Then this talk is for you! Step into the confessions of a Software Engineer turned SCRUM Master.

    I was a Software Engineer for 7 years before I fell in love with Servant Leadership. My journey began with a great servant-leader & our Daily Stand up.

    In this talk, I will share the story of my ongoing journey into servant leadership, the hurdles I encountered and the lessons & essential skills I have acquired along the way.

    Let's explore the woes of being part of a team that strongly believed that they didn't need a SCRUM Master, the perils of becoming a servant-leader with a Software Engineer problem-solving mindset, and the joys of getting the team's buy-in on an idea.

    Let's venture into the wonderful world of influencing people, knowing your team as individuals, and embracing what it means to be a servant-leader.

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    Sol Pandiella-McLeod

    Sol Pandiella-McLeod - You can’t solve problems with the same thinking that got you there

    schedule  10:55 - 11:35 AM place Town Hall people 30 Interested

    As the world in which we live in becomes more and more reliant on technology, the challenges we face at work become increasingly complex. This workshop aims to introduce you to a way of thinking that makes solving complex problems more manageable.

    It begins with taking you through the basic framework of Systems Thinking and provide you with a set of tools and methods that will help you shift mindsets and unravel the root cause of problems.

    During this workshop you will:

    Gain an understanding of what systems thinking is and how it can be applied to your work.

    Shift your mindset from a linear one to a systems thinking mindset.

    Learn hands on practical tools that you can use to solve problems of all shapes and sizes.

    Be Inspired to delve deeper into the world of systems thinking to create change.

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    Jeremie Benazra

    Jeremie Benazra / Romain Vailleux - How the "Agile labels" called the Schrödinger's cat on our doorstep

    schedule  10:55 - 11:35 AM place Wynyard/St James people 8 Interested

    Think about your last BBQ when your brother in law told you he was dealing at work with an "agile change manager".

    What was your first reaction?

    How your brother in law told you he understood now what your job is about?

    Schrödinger faced the same challenges when quantic physic suffered from its own labelling between scepticism and dogmatism.

    Drawing from both history lessons and thought experiments we will observe together with the effect of the challenges we face when assisting people finding their approach in context to develop agility.

    Either we can let the box with the cat closed with no way to predict if the cat dead or alive, or open it to trigger the state.

    In the same way, we can prevent yourself from using "Agile labels" to keep the box closed or start using them to trigger reactions and dealing with.

11:40
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    Ted Tencza

    Ted Tencza - Remote Teams: 5 Things I am Doing Wrong and Maybe You Should Too.

    schedule  11:40 AM - 12:20 PM place Central people 25 Interested

    Its increasingly common that teams are distributed across multiple offices, in different countries, all working on the same product or project. But how do you make this work well? There seem to be a number of readily accepted tenants of conventional wisdom to help deal with leading distributed teams, from seeming good ideas “teams must be co-located” to ones that are purely economic “offshore teams can be run at a far lower cost”.

    This talk will challenge the conventional wisdom around leading distributed teams. I will explore how I have structured distributed teams at finder.com, and explain where and why I deviate from conventional practices (teams are not co-located or bounded by geography for instance). I will show how ignoring or modifying these can produce much better outcomes, happier, more productive teams, and a great culture of distributed work.

    I have over 10 years experience leading geographically dispersed teams (in the US, Australia, Manila, and Europe) and growing successful high performing tech teams. I recently set up teams in the Philippines and Poland and will be drawing on that experience for this talk.

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    Chris Lewis

    Chris Lewis - The Human Side of a Security Incident

    schedule  11:40 AM - 12:20 PM place Town Hall people 5 Interested

    What could it be like to work through a real-life security incident at your company? As awareness about security in our industry improves, we hear much about how to keep our applications secure, but rarely do we consider what happens with your employees when something goes wrong. Allow me to share my story about the emotional highs and lows of working through a security incident, as we look past its technical surface and into the human experience behind it instead.

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    Bethan Timmins

    Bethan Timmins - Using the Ball Point Game to demonstrate problems in your teams

    schedule  11:40 AM - 12:20 PM place Wynyard/St James people 14 Interested

    Equal Experts works with failing projects and more often than not, it is agile that is blamed as the reason for failure rather than the execution. Although many teams understand the principles of agile, some struggle to see "what good looks like" when they haven't experienced it before.

    The Ball Point Game by Boris Gloger is an excellent game to demonstrate the basics of scrum; this session is a twisted version of that game that allows you to show problems that you are facing and the impact on the team and delivering value.

    An interactive session which will get you all moving about but will hopefully leave you feeling energised and ready to solve those issues

  • schedule  11:40 AM - 01:05 PM place Museum people 6 Interested

    Architecture Katas are a collaborative way to practice software design first done by Ted Neward. Teams are asked to come up with a software design for a random problem and consider the specifics of problem to design something that could be quickly released while being scalable and secure.

    But I really like running the variation by Martin Salias where the teams are limited to 10 minute sprints. And at the end of each sprint they will face random extra challenges based on Tarot cards he has designed. The tarot cards will include complications for the team to overcome like internationalisation, accessibility, price or testability. As facilitator I will interpret the tarot cards as to how their design is letting down their customers and they will need to react.

    Will teams be able to prioritise quickly? Will they work together as a cohesive team? Can they design something of value to customers in only 10 minutes? And how easy will it be for their design to react to new challenges because no one can predict every possible issue that will happen in the real world.

    Some images from the last time I ran this as a workshop:

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    Soma Mazumder

    Soma Mazumder / Andrew Drummond - Just Be Emotionally Smart

    schedule  11:40 AM - 01:05 PM place Martin Place people 12 Interested

    How can a Scrum Master ensures that the team feels safe and protected? Why building connections within the team is so important? Do we know what is the secret sauce for the magical recipe of high performing teams?

    Let’s explore together three activities which can help in building connections within the team.

12:25
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    Marc Florit

    Marc Florit - SHOW ME THE MONEY! Contracts before Collaboration

    schedule  12:25 - 01:05 PM place Central people 7 Interested

    Collaboration over Contracts we say. But... how many times our contracts weren't designed to promote true collaboration? and, how many times our contracts are not linked to any specific constrain or achievement so we cannot confirm if we are succeeding by any tangible means? In my years of experience, most of them.

    So Yes, Collaboration over Contracts. But... Contracts before Collaboration!

    Normally we use to work on a fixed salary or daily rate basis but, is this the way to leverage best possible collaboration? In my context the answer is a clear NO. That's why I've been experimenting with different approaches since I became an Agile Lean coach back in 2010.

    Applying to myself what I advice to my clients is one of my key principles so here I came up with different new formats of Win-Win-Lose-Lose contracts, designed to make sure I’m always putting the collaboration with my clients before the contract itself. Those are normally pretty simple 1-page contracts based on the principles of Full transparency, Short cycles, Results driven approach, Autonomy and Freedom.

    In this session I will share these models with the audience, together with their key mechanisms to succeed and the constrains that we have to consider before taking these leap of faith and trust in ourselves.

    I wish you enjoy this session and get some good take-aways from it. Meanwhile, I´ll appreciate your comments to my proposal to be able to tweak and improve it if required. Thanks

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    Gerd Wittchen

    Gerd Wittchen - Does AI /ML mess your Agile up?

    schedule  12:25 - 01:05 PM place Town Hall people 16 Interested

    AI as a technology is being adopted by more and more organisations to solve interesting and challenging problems recently thought unfathomable. However, our experiences are that while the principles we have used over the last 20 years in Agile and Lean still apply, the practices might not. While sharing some of the opportunities AI provides, I will share some of those experiences and learnings with you.

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    Suzanne Nottage

    Suzanne Nottage - GO WITH THE FLOW: your Scrum teams are interrupted 2,000 times per sprint. Let's talk about flow

    schedule  12:25 - 01:05 PM place Wynyard/St James people 20 Interested

    Scrum is a great framework but there are many ways to do it poorly. For example, the average IT worker is interrupted every 15 minutes, which equates to 2000+ interruptions for a Scrum team every sprint. This severely impacts 'flow', team productivity and often reduces happiness and increases stress. It's unthinkable on a production line, yet too often the norm in offices.

    I conducted original research with Scrum teams in Australia as part of my Master of Management thesis (and achieved an A), to understand the causes, patterns and impacts of these interruptions on the team's effectiveness and their happiness. And, how mature teams control interruptions rather than let themselves be controlled by interruptions.

    Attendees will play a short game to demonstrate how destructive the context switching from handling frequent interruptions is.

    My talks are always highly practical and I provide 3 takeaway actions for teams to improve their 'flow' and reduce interruptions.

    I delivered this talk at LAST Melbourne in 2018 and based on strong attendance, would like to deliver it in Sydney this year.

01:05

    Lunch - 45 mins

01:50
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    Keith Dodds

    Keith Dodds - Have the Corporate Elite Co-opted Agile?

    schedule  01:50 - 02:30 PM place Central people 10 Interested

    Agile has become all the rage with corporate leaders. Agile transitioned in the last two decades from something mainly of interest to software developers (and, initially, only a small number of those) to a major concern for CEOs and senior executive teams. Who these days doesn't want their business to be agile?

    The Agile mindset is now seen as important for almost every aspect of modern-day business "best practices". Management gurus, strategy journals and every big transformation program all extol user-centric design, rapid iterations for great product management, the importance of omnichannel customer experience and the ability to easily pivot versus multi-year plans and 500-page business cases. Not least, everyone proclaims the virtues of less "top down" hierarchy in structure, diversity and behaviour.

    But in that process, have the goals of the Agile movement been co-opted by corporate leaders to align with their traditional agendas? These include maximising shareholder returns, increasing profit margins, reducing headcounts and relentless cost-cutting.

    Is any of that a problem for Agile practitioners?

    And, if so, what to do about it? What is your "One Metric That Matters"?

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    Simon Harrison

    Simon Harrison - Solution Design for Actual Delivery

    schedule  01:50 - 02:30 PM place Town Hall people 16 Interested

    Solution Design for Agile Actual Delivery

    How to break down a huge problem with many parts and components, risks and unknowns.

    Too often, agile is explained using simple projects, or making changes to existing mature products and codebases. But how can you successfully be agile when working with real-world ‘warts and all’ systems, a team of people who may not have all the skills to support the change, little experience using modern engineering practices and tooling, and in an organisation that can’t help but sabotage it’s own efforts to change?

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    Teri Christian

    Teri Christian / April Direito - Digital Product Mastery - Optimize Your System

    schedule  01:50 - 02:30 PM place Wynyard/St James people 8 Interested

    The move away from traditional ways of working and thinking to digitization leads to change in the way we work, learn and measure. It is important to understand how the digital economy has shifted our ways of working in a digital organization from strategy to execution.

    Join us in game play where we will explore Digital Product Management and the Critical Success Factors, Events and Skills needed to create value flow to customers. We will look at the skills needed for a company to move from being descriptive to one that can respond to emergent needs. Applying this knowledge will help organisations transform their operating model have a competitive edge in a VUCA economy. Plan to Win!

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    Stephanie Ireland

    Stephanie Ireland / Charlotte Bian - Fun your way out of Meeting Hell

    schedule  01:50 - 02:30 PM place Museum people 17 Interested

    Lousy meetings.

    We have ALL been there.

    It's like being stuck in a torturous, seemingly inescapable hell.

    This session will help participants to learn some short sharp 'ice breaker' games to liven up and brighten even the worst of meetings.

    Find your meeting facilitation edge by coming to our session, we promise it won't be hell.

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    Elliott Murray

    Elliott Murray - How strategy can be learnt even by a computer (and why you should too)

    schedule  01:50 - 02:10 PM place Martin Place people 16 Interested

    If you are involved in any form of product development an understanding of strategy is important in any decision you make in a competitive environment. But we learn very little of this from our day to day training. Very little situational awareness beyond 'gut feel' is ever part of our education system. This talk hopes to combine two inspirations. The first one is Simon Wardley and his mapping techniques. I share how his techniques and thought processes can help you in your decision making whether directly building products or managing large teams. Then I share my passion for tech from two angles - a fascination of the new wave of A.I. algorithms of the last few years plus a love of the game Starcraft. These two recently combined with Deepmind being able to beat top e-sport professionals not by being faster but by being smarter. This forms a background to my talk as I show even a computer can learn strategy. A sprinkling of Sun Tzu's Art of War along the way to demonstrate the power of these algorithms.

02:10
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    Bryce Williams

    Bryce Williams - Earth girls don’t code – do they?

    schedule  02:10 - 02:30 PM place Martin Place people 11 Interested

    If you had grown up on another planet, had stalks for ears and didn’t understand the concepts of male & female, how would you make sense of the gender imbalance in technology?

    Seen through the eyes of a Martian anthopologist, this talk explores the curious lack of human females in full-time programming roles. In 2019, despite generations of campaigning, why are so few women writing code?

    In a good-natured look at a serious topic, we ask what drives the odd Earthling behaviour. Why do they exclude half their talent from key roles in the modern economy? Is there some basis to the disparity and is there anything the strange bipeds can do to bring their technology sector into balance?

02:30
02:35
02:50
03:15

    Afternoon Tea - 15 mins

03:30

    Lighting Talks - 30 mins

04:00
04:20
04:30

    Networking Event & Drinks - 60 mins