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Event Report: SUGSA launch in Johannesburg

The 1st official SUGSA Johannesburg scrum gathering was held last night at Discovery Health in Sandton.

Marius gave an excellent talk on agile and the various flavours available, such as kanban and scrum. The talk focused on the tools at your disposal in the various agile approaches and stressed not getting tangled in wondering which one is the best. Depending on where you and your organisation are in the agile transition process, you need to choose the tools that is best suited to your maturity level of agile adoption. Then as a group we interacted with each other and discussed what we expect to get out of the scrum group in future meetings.

The free gifts where much appreciated.

It was excellent chatting to like minded people.

It was a huge success!!!

Looking forward to Jan! 🙂

The next event will be on 25 January 2011.

From an attendee in the meeting:

“I would define last nights SUGSA JHB initialize meeting as a success. While the audience initially seemed reserved as a whole, maybe not knowing what to expect, the energy quickly mounted once we broke into the small murmur groups. Every person I spoke to in the group session and after the event formalities during networking said that they would definitely attend the next meeting. The venue, food, presentation topic and SCRUMM Alliance gift packs presented a very high and professional level of presentation, which I think impressed all who attended. Personally I’m very excited about this group and already have learned a lot just from the presentation and talking to people I met at the group!

I think that people are hungry to hear success case studies and would love to see this as a small part of every gathering.”

See the presentation slides: Navigating the Agile Flame Wars

Photos of the event:

November events

We have two exciting events for the month of November. First up is the (re)launch of the Johannesburg Scrum User Group on 2nd November in Sandton with the topic of “Navigating the Agile flamewars” with speaker Marius de Beer.

Our monthly Cape Town meeting takes place on 4th November with Rian van der Merwe talking about “How to stay sane as a Product Owner”.

When: 2 November 2010, 5:45PM

Venue: Discovery Health, 155 West Street, Sandton, Ground Floor 155 West Auditorium, Johannesburg

Topic: Navigating the Agile flame wars

This event is the launch of the SUGSA JHB event. Come join us to setup the user group and listen to a renowned agile advocate, Marius de Beer.

“We must remember that Scrum is a vehicle to deliver business value, reliably and at a sustainably fast pace. Implementing Scrum, just for saying you are, is a failure. So is becoming religious about Scrum and engaging in “mine is better than yours” flame wars with Kanban, Lean, and the other frameworks. In this talk we will focus on finding common ground in Agile, and understanding paths to maturity in Agile.”

For more info visit the events page

Please help us to cater for this event by signing up

This event sponsored by Discovery


When: 4 November 2010, 6PM

Venue: The Bandwidth Barn, 5th Floor, Buitengracht Centre, 125 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town

Topic: How to stay sane as a Product Owner

Product Ownership can be fun, but it can also drive you to insanity. This talk will cover experiences, tools and tips to be an effective Product Owner when working with a variety of teams and personalities, with some specific focus on distributed teams.
For more info visit the events page

Please help us with catering by signing up

This event sponsored by Alacrity

Event Report: Growing Agile Coaches

We milled around trying to find our tribe.
We laughed and shouted uncontrollably.
We gathered round a topic with serious intent to do good.
We made sense; we came to brilliant conclusions!

During the course of the evening the attendees at the October 2010 SUGSA event identified ways forward to growing agile coaches and establishing coaching circles.
It was invigorating to have so many enthusiastic participants.
They even stayed after half-time eats and drinks! Incredible!

Some of the useful actions going forward are to:

  • Create and join a Google group called Agile Coaching ZA
  • Add substance to the notion of a Coaching Academy by using said Google group
  • Reach out to people in other companies than our own and share our experiences
  • Lower atmospheric emissions to below 350…(oops, wrong event!)

[flickr-gallery mode=”search” tags=”sugsaNOV10″]
If you cannot view the flickr gallery here, try this URL for pics.

Open Space Notes

The SG10ZA Open Space Notes (small) are accessible from this link.

Thank you to all participants and conveners for making the Open Space such a success

SUGSA aeroplane factory photos

Some pictures from the July SUGSA Event; a lesson in the benefits of limiting work-in-progress

Posted via email from sugsa’s posterous

Technical Debt

When: 3 June 2010, 6PM

Venue: Allan Gray Portswood office in the Presentation Room on the third floor. You can download a map here. Everyone parking in the Portswood parking area will have to pay for their own parking tickets. There is also parking available in Beach road.

Cost: Free

Sign up for this exciting event here.

Topic: Turning Technical Debt into a Reasonable Cost for Software

Most people like the predictable nature of time-boxed delivery of software. However, a situation that I see far too often is that the box starts feeling tighter as the software grows bigger. Sure, you can get a bigger box, but that feels like going up a trouser size. Often the decision is to “chunk up” the software and roll out more teams. Great, but the volume has not changed; it’s just spread out. It’s now costing more than before. It’s actually worse. Each chunk is simultaneously growing inside it’s own box. Better get a few more trousers that are one size up.

Yes, some people call it technical debt. I just call it broken software, and broken things left alone cause more problems. The simple truth is that overweight software costs money. In this session, we explore what it means to establish a reasonable cost of software, and what it takes to keep it at a reasonable level. Note that the names of classes, variables and namespaces have been altered to avoid association with those that are lying in various version control repositories many, many commits ago.

About the Speaker

Aslam Khan has spent more than half his life creating software. He still believes the truth is in the code that gets executed, but that belief is soberly balanced by his other core perspective that people write code for others. As a software master at factor10, Aslam spends his time helping teams build software better, while having fun doing it, and making worthwhile friendships. He is also an editor for the architecture community at You can read his blog at

Aslam Khan

Slides for “Software Testing – How has agile changed the game?”

Slides from the “Software Testing – How has agile changed the game? with Karen Greaves” are available for download here.

Agile Testing

When: 6 May 2010, 6PM

Venue: Allan Gray Portswood office in the Presentation Room on the third floor. You can download a map here. Everyone parking in the Portswood parking area will have to pay for their own parking tickets. There is also parking available in Beach road.

Cost: Free

Sign up for this exciting event here.

Topic: Software Testing – How has agile changed the game?

Karen goes back to the core of why we test and what we know about testing from research data. She will explorer the implications of agile software development on testing: what has to change in our approach to testing in an agile environment; and what can we still use from traditional testing techniques. She will cover some automation tips, defect tracking, test reporting and finally some technical things testers really need to understand.

About the Speaker

Karen started out her career as a Software Tester for Microsoft on Windows 2000. She learned a great deal about testing in this complex environment with about 3000 people working on a single product. She was fortunate enough to be trained in testing fundamentals by Cem Kaner. It’s 10 years later and Karen been working with agile teams for 5 years, she is still passionate about testing and as a Scrum Coach is interested in how the discipline of testing has been affected by agile.


This event’s catering is kindly sponsored by Hetzner