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Agile New Zealand Conference Wrapup

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The 2015 Agile New Zealand conference was held in Wellington, New Zealand last week.  With over 350 conference attendees, four keynotes talks and 24 sessions the conference had an overall theme of Transformation and three tracks - Agile Transformation, Agile Enterprise and Digital Transformation.  InfoQ attended the conference and there will be interviews and articles published in the next few months.

Lynne Cazaly was a speaker and participant in the conference.  She drew a number of visual summaries of the sessions and has kindly given her permission for InfoQ to use them .

The conference opened with Conference Chair Edwin Dando reviewing the state of agile adoption in New Zealand.  He stated that most organisations which build software have adopted agile practices to a greater or lesser extent, but that the majority of them treat agile as  set of processes and practices rather than adopting the mindset change which is necessary for effective transformation and enterprise value creation. 

He introduced the three themes of Agile Transformation, Agile Enterprise and Digital Transformation and stated that while these are separate themes the concepts are tightly interrelated. 

The opening and closing keynotes were delivered by Lyssa Adkins & Michael Spayd of Agile Coaching Institute  - deliberately creating "bookends" between which the participants were able to explore the ideas presented and relate them to the concepts presented.  The opening talk was focused on the Integral Agile framework which looks at the culture of organisations and individual motivations/drivers.  They first asked the audience to consider their own perspective and viewpoint when responding to challenges (I/We/It/It's) and then presented a view that looks at the cultural maturity of an organisations practices and how that is related to their ability oto adopt agile approaches and thinking. 

Opening Keynote Summary by Lynne Cazaly

The second keynote was by Lynne Cazaly, titled Visual Facilitation - Making Sense in Uncertainty, in which she took the audience through using simple visual metaphors and images to augment and improve communication in collaborative environments.  Her "Bullet points are bulls*t" slide was loudly cheered and many people asked for a copy. It is available in her twitter stream. 

The third keynote was Ian Taylor, founder of Dunedin company Animation Research Ltd, a technology founded in 1990 who produce annimation tools for sports events watched by millions around the globe.  The company won an Emmy Award for the mobile app for the America's cup.  He played examples of the company's work and discussed how agility was and is core to their way of working, to get things done and quoting Earnest Rutherford "We didn't have money so we had to think".  

Ian Taylor talk by Lynne Cazaly Ahmed Sidky of ICAgile gave the first keynote on the second day of the conference - The Secret to Achieving Sustainable Agility at Scale, in which he explored the difference between doing agile and being agile, how important the mindset shift is and how hard it is for organisations to make the cultural change.  He presented ideas on how to support and encourage the needed changes and showed how the ICAgile learning pathways are designed to help organisations achieve sustainable transformation into new ways of working.

Ahmed Sidky Keynote by Lynne Cazaly  

David Chilcott of Outformations,Inc gave a talk titled "Growing Agile Leaders – The Inconvenient Truth" in which he explored the facets and tensions of mindful leadership, and how important leadership is at all levels in a team and organisation.  In modern, dynamic organisations everyone needs to be a leader - it is not limited to those with positional power.  The tensions inherent in leadership cannot be resolved - they have to be adapted to and managed, through managing our own responses and reactions.  

The closing keynote was Lyssa and Michael rounding out the learning over the previous two days and presenting how the Integral Agile framework can be applied at the team and individual level - start from where you are at and influence change in your organisation.

Closing Keynote by Lynne Cazaly


InfoQ interviewed a number of speakers and the interviews will be published over the next three months. 


Images (c) 2015 Lynne Cazaly. Used with permission.

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