Day 1

Fri, Jul 21
  • Added to My Schedule
    John Sullivan

    John Sullivan - A presentation to myself on Organisational Agile Transformation

    schedule  09:00 - 10:00 AM place Level 00 - Lecture Hall people 42 Interested

    Dear Self, in your career you’re going to lead large scale transformation projects all aimed at developing companies into killer Agile delivery environments. Now I have access to a time machine I’m able to teleport myself back to a time just before I embark on those journeys and I can give myself the value of hindsight! If I let myself go ahead without advising me, then I'll think an Agile transformation is about the adoption of a process and over time I'll learn it's not! I'll think that architecture and architects are irrelevant and they aren't! For too long I'll ignore the significance of diverse teams and culture! I’ll start the transformation process in the technical teams and build out to the wider organisation which is just flawed! I'll try to eradicate project management, plans, managers, architects, and standards..... Oh, there is just so much to tell me!
    This presentation talks about approaches for building new delivery teams, advice on how to make existing teams more effective and insights on approaches which have been used to transform organisations.


    Morning tea - 30 mins

  • Added to My Schedule
    Nick Coster

    Nick Coster - 4 Steps to Creating a Product Roadmap

    schedule  10:30 - 11:00 AM place Level 4 - Room 103-105 (62) people 28 Interested

    The idea of a Product Roadmap is a simple one.

    Provide a prioritised list of the New Products or Product Enhancements that the business will deliver to the market and show roughly when to expect them to be release/launched. Easy!

    On the surface the process is a simple one too.

    1. List all products and enhancements.
    2. Prioritise products and enhancements.
    3. Schedule products and enhancements.
    4. Share the roadmap with others.

    But here are some of the problems that we commonly hear that make the roadmapping process hard:

    • Problem #1 – Not all of the items have been planned.
    • Problem #2 – It is hard to see a roadmap at multiple time scales.
    • Problem #3 – I need different versions of a roadmap for different stakeholders.
    • Problem #4 – A lot of detail is required for a roadmap that is hard to show at a high level.
    • Problem #5 – as soon as I am finished, the roadmap is out of date.

    To address this we first need to think of the roadmap as two very separate processes:

    • PLANNING and
      They are both valuable on their own but unless they are both given proper consideration the results will not be effective.

    In this post we will discuss the Roadmap PLANNING process and in a follow up post we will look at the Roadmap COMMUNICATION.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens - Presto: when everyone does agile "their own way".

    schedule  10:30 - 11:00 AM place Level 4 - Room 205 (61) people 10 Interested

    During the creation of Foxtel's Presto, multiple providers were chosen to be involved with variable results. Join me for some stories from the trenches on how to cope with MVP gone mad.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Peter Lam

    Peter Lam / Craig Brown - Building Organisational agility using Jurgen Appelo's Management 3.0

    schedule  10:30 - 11:00 AM place Level 4 - Room 401 (59) people 17 Interested

    World of work has broken.  According to Gallup in a study conducted worldwide between 2011-2012 - only 13% of employees working for an organisation are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. 

    I'll explain why our current standard patterns in management are no longer good enough, and what we can do differently and better.  I will showcase a number of modern modern management techniques - popularised by Jurgen Appelo and Management 3.0 - that are fundamentally aligned with lean and agile principles.  These will help you get better engagement, better teamwork and make management an easier job.

    You will walk away with a number of simple techniques you can use to help initiate teams or projects; change the level of conversation that you will with your peers and team members; and give you a way to build happier teams.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Justin Urbanski

    Justin Urbanski - Automation Mindset

    schedule  10:30 - 11:00 AM place Level 4 - Room 102 - pod - 60 people 10 Interested

    Successful people are not successful because they have more will or discipline. Successful people are successful because they make things automatic so they can free up their brain to think and innovate.
    In this session we will tackle the cultural aspect of automation to enable success. You will learn:

    • Choosing 'what to automate?' to maximise ROI.
    • How to shift automation left?
    • The mindset required for automation to be continuously successful!
  • Added to My Schedule
    Nafees Butt

    Nafees Butt - Structure & Culture; Two ignored aspects of Agile Transitions

    schedule  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 103-105 (62) people 14 Interested

    Many adopting organisations treat Agile like a shiny new project management overlay for development teams and invest their entire energies to extract every ounce of productivity without any significant structural or cultural changes to support it. This talk discusses the symptoms commonly found in such large scale product development agile adoptions. With structural and cultural changes being the focal point, the session then describes the principles of Lean Thinking & Agile and how these can be used as growth tools for organisations in such a context. The principles are followed by set of experiments/practices and how each one of these relates to the laws of organisational behaviour and how it influences both culture & strategy. The talk is supplemented with anecdotal observations, experiments that failed and learning from these experiments. Though mostly framework agnostic, the attendees will get some flavor of commonalities between scaling frameworks like LeSS/SAFe/Nexus and would be able to take home some improvements that they can readily apply to set on an inspect/adapt journey of their own.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Khali Young

    Khali Young - A Developmental Psychology Lens on Agile Adoption

    schedule  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 205 (61) people 9 Interested

    In the last few years I have studied a lot of constructivist developmental psychology, particularly in the traditions of Robert Kegan and Susan Cook-Greuter. These theories map the growth of the human psyche over time, particularly calling out that adults continue to grow and develop under the right conditions. These maps describe different complexities of ego and mind, with associated new capacities. Generally later stages of development are more adaptive to contexts of complexity. Having studied these theories and been an Agile practitioner for an extended period, I believe that for people to enact Agile culture and mindset requires developmental attributes. For example, awareness of context and the ability to make assumptions explicit (from which to experiment with) are capacities associated with particular stages of development. This insight adds a very different lens to Agile adoption, calling out that it is unrealistic for people, teams and organisations to effectively adopt the core mindset and culture of Agile without going on a developmental journey, or having the right scaffolding to boost people into more advanced perspectives and ways of operating. Developmental theory provides a lot of insight into the journey people must go on and what kind of support is required for this journey.

  • schedule  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 401 (59) people 15 Interested

    Scaling is an anti-pattern. Big meetings, long loops, slow cadence, tight coupling, and deep hierarchies represent bottlenecks no matter how Agile your individual teams may be. But de-scaling refactors an organisation into self-directing streams of self-organizing teams working together like pods of dolphins.

    How do human organizations de-scale? How can we balance autonomy of teams against alignment to business realities? This session presents principles, metrics and practice patterns for de-scaling based on a long running historical precedent, the Iroquois Confederacy, which sustained a de-scaled society of hundreds of thousands for over five centuries. And the Spotify tribal model. And Steve Jobs' NeXT/Apple culture.

  • Added to My Schedule

    Dipa - Complexity, cane toads and how you can generate great ideas and experiment to solve complex problems at work

    schedule  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 102 - pod - 60 people 13 Interested

    Most of us deal with a great about of complexity everyday. What is complexity? One popular way to identify and understand complexity is via the Cynefin model. According to this, complexity is where cause and effect are difficult to establish, and even when established, are difficult to replicate. The model helps us understand how to identify complexity, and how to deal with it. 

    What do cane toads have anything to do with any of this, I hear you say? This talk illustrates complexity via a real life problem with regards to the introduction of cane toads to Australia and takes you through the impact of not adequately identifying and dealing with a complex situation. 

    So, how DOES one deal with a complex situations? The Cynefin framework says safe to fail experiments are the way, where you devise small experiments that have little adverse impact if they fail. And while you're doing this, you can generate new and seemingly impossible ideas to experiment with.


    So come along and explore how you can generate ideas (other than just sitting down to think of new stuff), and run safe to fail experiments at work. They are a great tool to deal with situations where many variables are at play, and where the outcome is uncertain. Also, it is a great way to engage your team to come together to find a productive and effective way forward. 

  • Added to My Schedule
    Kelsey van Haaster

    Kelsey van Haaster - Synchronous Communication is overrated! : How to thrive in an uber distributed team

    schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 103-105 (62) people 7 Interested

    The ThoughtWorks Identity team is a globally distributed remote team of 5 people. We deliver IDAAS (Identity as a service) to more than 5000 ThoughtWorkers in 14 different countries and we do it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

    We don't have an always-on video link.  There is no time of day of when we can all get on a call together, yet we succeed in providing end to end product development and support to our customers. Including delivering new product to production on a daily basis. 

    We achieve this through choosing not to fight against our distributed nature, but by embracing it and by leveraging the advice contained in the principles and values of the Agile Manifesto 

    This presentation will share our journey and some of the things we have learned along the way and we will challenge the existing thinking behind what is required to thrive as a member of a distributed team.  

  • Added to My Schedule
    Catherine Russell

    Catherine Russell - 7 steps to coaching agile non software development teams

    schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 205 (61) people 14 Interested

    You are a scrum master or an agile coach that has been working with software development teams for some time; suddenly someone else from a different department (marketing, HR, sales...) asks you if you can help them also to "do" this agile thing...

    In this talk, you will learn our successful approach to coaching non-software development agile teams; the tools we use, our approach and a step-by-step guide you can follow when you go back to work the next day.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Cody Jenkins

    Cody Jenkins - Systems Thinking: How butterflies ruin BBQs

    schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 401 (59) people 9 Interested

    Did you know that a butterfly can cause a hurricane? You might have heard of this idea called the Butterfly Effect. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it can start a storm in Sydney.

    But it sounds a bit hard to believe. How could the movements of a tiny creature have such a massive effect on the weather? And if it's true, should we give up hope trying to predict the weather? After all, no one likes soggy burger.

    In fact, many systems in our world have this sort of "chaotic" behaviour, including weather, traffic, and the economy. It's not surprising to us that with so many moving parts, systems like this are hard to predict. But you might be surprised to learn even very simple systems exhibit chaotic behaviour.

    In this talk we will study the nature of chaos by playing with very simple chaotic system: a fishing boat rocking in the ocean. What sort of waves cause the ship to capsize? We will use the scientific method to form a hypothesis, design and build a virtual experiment, and see in how the system behaves. Best of all, we will watch the results unfold in real-time using just a web browser!

  • Added to My Schedule
    David Bolton

    David Bolton - Practical Lean Product Development

    schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 102 - pod - 60 people 29 Interested

    Engineering practices, Agile, devops ... they're all important. But they're not nearly as important if you're not building the right things to start with. Don Reinertsen is a lean product development genius (see his book, The Principles of Product Development Flow), but his work is intimidating in it's depth. This presentation will distill some of the most useful concepts that Reinertsen has outlined (his book has 175 principles!) in a practical way that will allow attendees to implement simply and quickly.


    lunch - 60 mins

  • Added to My Schedule
    Jennie Naylor

    Jennie Naylor - Focus on Quality, not Testing.

    schedule  02:30 - 03:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 103-105 (62) people 8 Interested

    As specialists working in Testing and Quality Assurance roles, we are usually told that our job is to execute test cases to find defects. This talk explores other ways to understand problems and provide insights into quality and threats to quality. It looks at a set of approaches that are more effective and efficient than simply executing functional test cases to identify quality threats, and provides practical examples for Developers and Testers/QA Engineers to implement some of these approaches.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Lachlan Heasman

    Lachlan Heasman - How to coach people when it's complex

    schedule  02:30 - 03:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 205 (61) people 18 Interested

    People are challenged by complex situations everyday. There are times when most of us face a growing list of problems and we may want to dive into the root causes to look for resolutions. This approach assumes there is a clear cause and effect relationship between the problems we have, what caused these problems and what to do next. Maybe this assumption is wrong or maybe it doesn't matter.

    In this session I will cover the basics of Solutions Focused coaching. This is a systematic approach to creating change for people. A fundamental assumption of the solutions focused coaching is that you don't need to understand the problem to solve it. This is an important assumption that can lead to positive change for people. For the cynefin freaks this places the approach deep inside a complex or chaotic domain where cause and effect are not necessarily related. I'll cover the basics of the approach, some of the research supporting validity of the approach and if I get my timing correct people can have a go at it.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Jody Weir

    Jody Weir - 2 key attributes of high performing teams & how to get some of dat!

    schedule  02:30 - 03:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 401 (59) people 17 Interested

    Several research studies, including one at Google, have identified 2 key attributes of high performing teams: Equal voice and high 'average social sensitivity'. Together they are described as Psychological Safety. In this 30 minute talk we will discuss the definition of these attributes, why they lead to high performing teams and what we can do to attain these attributes with our team(s).

  • Added to My Schedule
    Katja Forbes

    Katja Forbes - Keep it human, keep it lean: How to stay real when designing for emerging tech

    schedule  02:30 - 03:00 PM place Level 4 - Room 102 - pod - 60 people 10 Interested

    Seeing Ikea launching it's unintuitive and irritating VR store experience made me think "there has to be more to emerging technology than this". So much of the use of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Conversational UI, Artificial intelligence is a pure novelty value play to generate a buzz, generally because they're created without thinking properly about the human user and their actual needs. This talk looks at how to keep it human and stay lean in the excitement of all this fabulous new technology.


    afternoon tea - 30 mins

  • Added to My Schedule
    Caoilte Dunne

    Caoilte Dunne - Exploring Context : The secret sauce of agile consulting

    schedule  03:30 - 04:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 103-105 (62) people 12 Interested

    Your context shapes your present and unless you act deliberately, it will shape your future. An organisation’s context is similarly impactful on its workforce, shaping its vision, culture, practices and external relationships.

    As agile consultants, we need to not be affected by an organization's context, instead we need to understand it. If we act without knowing our context, we are doomed to failure. The best way of minimising this influence is to be aware of the forces that are starting to shape our behavior.

    In this talk we map an organization’s context. This process starts from when they ask for our skills all the way to the eventual outcome of our collaboration. Using real-world examples — with some filters to allow for an honest discussion — we show the events when context (both public and hidden) starts to reveal itself. We also discuss how, once the organisation’s context is known, its context can be changed.

    This talk is for the consultant who wonders why some engagements are so much harder than others, for the employee trying to change an organisation from the inside who needs a new frame of reference and for those who have have that moment of awareness that context is dictating their behaviour and are looking for the next step.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Peter Lee

    Peter Lee - What limits autonomy and engagement? - an organisational model for deliberate change.

    schedule  03:30 - 04:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 205 (61) people 26 Interested

    When we think about change, we often get stuck focusing on how we will do agile and the frameworks we will use to do it. This often focused on how we prioritise the work, how escalate issues, how will we structure our teams, but often we lose sight of the people who are doing the work and how important it is for them to feel engaged about the work they are doing.

    To truly create an amazing workplace, not only do we want people to feel engaged about working in new ways, but to deeply care about the company itself and what it is trying to do.

    During this session I'll introduce the model I use to help leaders at Campaign Monitor think about making deliberate change to how alongside supportive investments in engaging people towards our goals.

    Using the model I will explore some of the common designs that companies use and how they impact autonomy and engagement.

    This session will help you think about how to deliberately create engagement and an autonomous environment and some of the basic factors needed for its success.

  • Added to My Schedule
    Justin Urbanski

    Justin Urbanski - Coaching Clinic

    schedule  03:30 - 04:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 401 (59) people 2 Interested

    To be decided

  • Added to My Schedule
    Alex Sloley

    Alex Sloley - Liberating Structures... 36 tried and true facilitation techniques to amp up your org's collaboration

    schedule  03:30 - 04:30 PM place Level 4 - Room 102 - pod - 60 people 13 Interested

    The communication tools of Liberating Structures will teach you how to facilitate the discussions your org needs. I am going to demonstrate how to use these techniques in the workshop. And all the attendees are going to be fully immersed and ready to wield their new knowledge the very next day at work.

    Come learn how to help your team(s), org(s), and company(ies)!!!

    For more information, watch my video at

    A version of this workshop that was presented at Agile Tour Sydney 2016 is at