With only 6 weeks to go, we are excited to reveal some of the speakers that will be partaking! Mitch Lacey | Boris Gloger | Thorsten Kalnin | Sigi Kaltenecker | Fadi Stephan | Simon Bennett | Aslam Khan and more!

This year’s event will promise a great mix of content for Managers, Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Scrum Team Members.

Mitch Lacey

Mitch Lacey is an Agile practitioner and trainer who has been managing projects for over twelve years with numerous plan-driven and Agile projects under his belt, including core enterprise services for Windows Live.

An author of numerous publications and a speaker at many Agile conferences, Mitch will be delivering the opening talks at both the Johannesburg and Cape Town events.

Mitch is also currently serving on the international Scrum Alliance Board of Directors.

Boris Gloger

Having trained 5,000 people in Scrum across four continents, Boris Gloger requires little introduction to the South African Scrum community. He has facilitated many certification courses in South Africa and also participated in last year’s event.

Scrum for Leaders (Keynote!)

This year, Boris will be our keynote speaker in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, addressing the important topic of Scrum for Leaders, and the changes that this brings to the organization.

Thorsten Oliver Kalnin

Thorsten is a certified StrategicPlay® facilitator based in Cologne Germany. Using LEGO® (yes, Lego!), he will guide you on an interactive journey of discovering creative solutions for retrospectives and work in general!

StrategicPlay – Creative Solutions – Accelerating Retrospectives (CT Only!)

Based on the LEGO Serious Play® kit, groups will be required to build a model of a product described by the facilitator, thus enabling metaphors for the core Scrum values and principles.

Prepare yourself for an exciting, fast-paced and very interactive learning experience. Serious fun!

Sigi Kaltenecker

Sigi Kaltenecker, based in Austria, is an organizational consultant with 15 years of experience in facilitating, training, and coaching. We are excited to have Sigi facilitate sessions specifically geared towards the management and leadership roles in the Scrum context.

The elephant is dead. Leadership in the agile world (JHB Only!)

In Johannesburg, Sigi will address critical questions facing the agile manager today. How best can the agile potential be fostered and developed? Which team efforts and management input would support this? What does an agile management culture comprise of? He will explore each of these factors in more detail, providing concrete examples, and invite you to share your experience, with a focus on the role of leadership in agile transitions.

The Big 5. Leadership as a team sport in the agile world (CT Only!)

In Cape Town, Sigi will focus on the metaphor of “Leadership as a Team Sport“, exploring in detail what is involved in implementing this approach. Understanding exactly what leadership is about in the agile world. What is needed to make it work, and how are PO’s, SM’s, team members, line managers and customers playing effectively together?

Fadi Stephan

“The Agile Journey Man!”, Fadi is a consultant with Washington DC-based Excella Consulting with experience as a product manager, project manager, software developer, and consultant. More recently, his focus has been on agile adoption and on transitioning, coaching, and mentoring teams in agile practices. He is founder of the DC Software Craftsmanship user group, a blogger at agilejourneyman.com, and a frequent speaker at agile user groups and conferences.

Daily Stand-up Anti-patterns and Heuristics (JHB Only!)

The daily-stand-up is one of the first practices that newcomers to agile adopt. On the surface, it sounds simple and easy to implement. Conduct a brief daily meeting and answer three questions. However, the daily stand-up is one of the most important ceremonies for a successful agile adoption. Done right, it helps the team in ensuring accountability, following through on sprint commitments, identifying risks, resolving impediments, and overall team building. Discover how to spot daily stand-up anti patterns and symptoms. Understand their causes. Learn how to apply preventive measures and remedies to keep your daily stand-ups energized. Leave with new tips and insights on how to conduct effective daily stand-ups.

Software Craftsmanship – Imperative or Hype (CT Only!)

Some agile teams fail to figure out or implement technical practices that are necessary for long term success. Software craftsmen believe that without these technical best practices, the quality of software goes downhill and teams can no longer sustain their high levels of productivity. They established the software craftsmanship movement to reverse this downhill trend, improve the quality of software and maintain hyper-productivity. Fadi introduces software craftsmanship, reviews its history, and explores the driving forces that led practitioners to create this movement. Leave with new insights on how to become a quality software developer.

Simon Bennett

Simon has been delivering software projects ranging from multiple million dollar simulator programmes through to hosted web applications across Australia, Asia, the middle east, USA and Europe. For the last 12+ years, he has been focused on delivering solutions using Agile and Lean principles and methods.

Beyond Kano: Using the Cynefin Framework for Backlog Management (CT Only!)

In Cape Town, Simon will explore the fascinating topic of the Cynefin framework for prioritising. Although Scrum is a great tool for managing complex product development, not every single part of your product or project is actually in itself complex. Cynefin gives us a framework, against which we can zoom in on which parts of our backlog require the most attention, as well as providing a mechanism for gaining stakeholder buy-in and team socialisation. Come learn a new tool to put in your Product Owner’s backpack.

Lean vs Agile – Stop Fighting Starting Delivering: Reloaded

Simon discusses the hot topic of Scrum vs. Kanban. First presented in 2008 in Stockholm and now re-written and updated to reflect the recent rise in interest in Kanban. This presentation aims to show that Lean and Agile are not alternate canons, but are rather two sides of the same coin, and differ mainly in their approach to adoption, rather than their end states. He feels that the zealotry that exists in both the Scrum and Kanban camps does more harm than good. If you’re more interested in results than buzzwords, then this is the session for you.

Aslam Khan

Aslam Khan is a software developer at factor10 with more than 20 years experience. He has a particular passion for tackling complex problems and with the belief that simplicity is a choice that generates creativity. He is pragmatist that considers the only truthful implementation of an architecture is the code that gets executed. Aslam spends his time trying to be a better developer and helping others to do the same. Most of the time you will find him turning regular Scrum people into Scrum hippies.

Live your principles or stay in bed (CT Only!)

We talk frequently of the values, principles and practices in software development. Most commonly in Scrum, are the references to extreme programming. I’ve been learning to be an extreme programmer for a long time, and it was really easy until I made the decision to not compromise on my principals, one at a time. This session is about taking software development principles, not matter where they came from, and applying them to designs, code and life as a developer.

What’s this got to do with Scrum? Everything. I see far too many teams compromise their way right from backlog grooming all the way through to the sprint-review, only to be snot-klapped a few sprints later. This session is not about magically exterminating all future snot-klaps, but how to deal with the snot and recover from the klap.

We will move between discussions, whiteboards and cracking open some code in an editor. My objective in this session is to challenge you and push you to make difficult discussions in your head and in your code.

As a side-effect, you will gain some insight into agile development too 🙂

Product Owner (JHB Only!)

While Scrum brings about fundamental change, it also an excuse to continue working ineffectively but under the disguise of a new vocabulary. This is most frequently seen in the area of product ownership. For a long time I have been wary of the way product ownership is “taught”, and the way it is executed in teams. I think the fundamental tension of product ownership is not being addressed. In this session I will take an extremely deep view of product ownership, not as an individual doing a job, but as a collective of thought leadership for exceptional product development.

While this sounds all too theoretical, we will look at concrete things that can be tried to get better at product development. For example, being able to detect the waterfall cascading in your scrum implementation, or dealing with non-scrum stakeholders for reporting and communication, how to stop being story factories, and getting the development team to be developers instead of code factories.

Cara Turner

Cara is an Agile-passionate Scrum Master, and takes the Prime Directive to heart through all the ups and downs of software development. She believe that, given the right circumstances, all teams are capable of creating the best software there is – but getting to those right circumstances is the challenge facing most organizations. She admits that facilitation has become a vital tool in her kit for harnessing the knowledge of those closest to the work, to direct their own meaningful change.

Motivation++ Building motivated teams with great facilitation (CT Only!)

Is your team excited about the challenges they face on a daily and sprintly basis? We’re becoming increasingly aware that intrinsically motivated teams have a higher degree of creativity, better conceptual understanding and are just better at solving problems. Interactive games give us the tools to energize and engage participants, draw out and shape ideas and knowledge in a meaningful context, and facilitate team ownership over just implementing solutions that fit their business need. Most important of all, this helps shape the continuous improvement of the teams themselves.

This fun and experiential session will explore different types of interactive games – from written to spoken to physical – that can be used to inject energy into meetings and create compelling structures for workshop and retrospective facilitation.

 Samantha Laing

A Cape Town based certified Scrum Master, Samantha is passionate about enabling development teams to reach their full potential and strives to make the entire process from business vision to development less frustrating and more rewarding. What makes companies and projects successful? “People”, she says – with a strong belief that everyone should enjoy and love what they do 🙂

Agile Games

Agile is about more than processes and tools. It’s about individuals and interactions, and there is no better way to experience this that by participating in agile games. Get ready for 90 minutes of high energy and interaction. You’ll be sure to have new friends at the end of this one!

Andrew Coote

Andrew has over 10 years experience as a developer, project manager and Scrum Master in various industries, including Microsoft EMEA in Reading, UK. He is also an accomplished Jazz trumpet player, who has toured with Mango Groove, Johnny Clegg, Natalie Cole and many others. How is that relevant you’re asking? Read below!

Agile Jazz

Using a live performance of a four-piece Jazz ensemble as a reference and demonstration, Andrew will present Jazz as a metaphor for Agile teamwork and the evolution of processes. We work through a cycle emphasising the following common attributes between Jazz and Agile teamwork: Skills, Self Management, Specialisation, Collaboration, Adaptivity, Innovation, Improvisation, Risk Taking, Supporting, Delivering Value, Sustaining Pace, and Passionate Commitment. This is a light, entertaining session that is highly memorable as a metaphor for teamwork.

Maritza van den Heuvel

Product Owner. Wife, Mother, Blogger, Kanban, Problem-Solver, and above all, learning organizations. In short, a Connectivist!

Can PO teams solve the PO problem? (CT Only!)

The Product Owner role is considered by many to be the key role that determines the ultimate success of a Scrum team. Ironically, the PO can also be your team’s single biggest impediment, since the role requires a unique, wide-ranging skill set and requires the PO to be actively involved at many levels within the business and with the team.

This session explores the feasibility of creating PO teams to address this challenge, examining specifically the process dynamics in a team of PO’s with often widely different skill sets, experience levels, approaches to requirements gathering and team interaction styles.

We’re busy finalising some arrangements with a number of other great speakers, and we hope to have them confirmed shortly. Check back soon!