December SUGSA event – Pecha Kucha

First of all, the fact that I am only blogging about last months event, a mere two hours from the start of this months event, is definite grounds for an apology! Better late than never they say?

The first Thursday in December. Four confident looking presenters got themselves geared up. No walk in the park this. Each presenter had only 6 minutes to get their message across. Each slide had to be no longer than 20 seconds. What I didn’t know, until that evening, was that each slide had to automatically be set to transition after 20 seconds. No pressure!

First up was Sheetal Gordhan. Scrum is not for the faint hearted was her topic!

I’m looking at my notes now, and I see the Ken Schwaber quote: “Scrum is hard”. And right next to that I have Sheetal paraphase: “This kak is hard”. I like Sheetal’s version 🙂 I remember us all having a good chuckle, leaned back in our seats and took in a nice big gulp on our drinks. Our evening was set, we were here to have some fun!

Sheetal’s presentation reminded us that only a small percentage of teams are actually successful in Scrum. It’s really not easy and we need to prepare ourselves when we embark on this journey. Even though there are 1,000’s of articles online, it’s still not enough to prepare us for what lies ahead.

I can honestly say that I, in 6 minutes, had learned more about what a newbie organisation to Scrum should expect than I have in any course attended or article read.

My favourite slide of Sheetal’s. Hmmm, this is a tough one, there are so many. I liked the Google statistics of how many results one can expect when searching for Scrum information. But one that really stood out for me was the All Blacks doing the haka. Titled ‘Scrum Rituals’.( Remember, this event was in early December, only a few weeks after the All Blacks were crowned World Champs!). What are your development teams rituals? The usual stand-up and retrospective, or do you have something unique?

Next up was Meloné van Heerden, with her presentation entitled, What makes a great leader. Meloné had recently attended a course on this subject, and used the opportunity to apply her learning’s into the software development, in particular, Scrum, environment. One could see that the learning’s had a big impact of her, as her talk was passionate and energetic.

The subject of an ‘authentic leader’. What is an authentic leader? Or rather, what makes a leader authentic? Mel took us through the 6 step of process of discovering the authentic ‘you’. A necessary self-awareness process. A look at intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

My favourite slide of Meloné’s. I personally liked the way in which she modelled the need to effectively set a leadership example, with well-known figures. Nelson Mandela and Barrack Obama featured, with Obama’s family an example of how important it is to build a support network. But my favourite would have to be a slide which represented who we sometimes don’t change. Any guess who features? Have a look at the photo below.

Next up, the good man David Campey. David had an interesting approach. Each of his slides represented a photo he had taken of his agile working environment. We got to meet his team. His manager. His Product Owner.

It told a story of a project. Starting from a photo of his Product Owner, looking very visionary in a room with blue-sky type walls, through to photo’s of his team hard at planning, and ending with his team out on a boat trip 🙂

I’ve always found it fascinating to see how other organisations work. How they approach their Scrum repertoire. Especially local companies.

David’s presentation was recorded, so please have a look for yourself. I’ve already sent this out to my development teams. Motivational stuff!

And finally, Karen Greaves, who needed little introduction off course! Her talk was titled: “Agile Management: How to create a culture to help your team succeed.” It was awesome! Need I say more. Who thought a talk about management could be fun 🙂

Thank you to everyone that attended. And a big thank you to our four brave presenters. You were all superstars!

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