19 June 2012

LAST Conference coming up (and selling fast)

Ed Wong and I are arranging a conference for 27 July, which is only a few weeks away.   The theme is Lean, Agile and Systems Thinking. We hope to have a couple of complexity and futurist people there as well. (Website here.)

And it's only $50 for the day. Call us crazy, but we want this to be as open and accessible as possible.

It has a heap of good content lined up. We are just working out the logistics of getting everyone scheduled this week. I'll list some of the presenters and facilitators below to help you get motivated to buy a ticket before they sell out.

Pass the word about what's on.

  • Shawn Callahan from Anecdote will be presenting both an introduction to his "story capturing" methods and facilitating an anecdote circle as a workshop activity.
  • Agile Renee, blogger at the AgileForest will potentially be the busiest person there with so many good ideas we haven't been able to narrow it down yet. (e.g. Lean startup, Games at work, Agile beyond IT)
  • Ronica Roth from Rally will be talking about lean techniques for portfolio management
  • Thushara Wijewardena blogger at Projectized shares her experiences with trying to maintain an agile mindset and approach with distributed teams
  • Frank and Herry from REA will be sharing their experiences working with offshore teams, and will also be doing some content on becoming a learning organisation and learning to change
  • Brett Maytom of Readify will be sharing some of his advanced Scrum knowledge
  • Claire Pitchford uses Living Below the Line as an example of how to target an MVP
  • Mia Horrigan shares here experience with Scrum and BAU/Ops teams
  • Neil Killick, Soccer fan and blogger, shares a passionate rant about the difference between buying and being agile
  • Nigel Fernandes, Thoughtworker, raises the bar for many of us with a presentation on devops (probably with an obligatory push to production while on stage)
  • Michi Tyson from Softed runs a "Choose your won adventure" to help understand org and personal change (eg adopting scrum)
  • Shoaib Shaukat, blogger at  shoaibshaukat.com shares some info on what you can do to organise for innovation
  • James Wood will be sharing information on how to apply Systems Thinking tools to your workplace
  • James Ross from Aconex reprises his ToC talk for those of us that missed it last month
  • Mark Richards (not the surfer) will do some stuff on design thinking
  • Jason Yip, Blogger, Lean and Kanban guy will rock us with some of his ideas,
  • Lynne Cazaly an expert on communications and engagement will be there to teach you how to draw like a kid (and how you can use it for better workplace communication)
  • (Doctor) Mark Pedersen from KJ Ross will share some info on what testers are doing in agile teams
Oh my god... there's more!

Matt Hodgson (UX), Juan Barberis (Lean), Reg de Silva (Radical transparency.) Even Ed and I plan to have a session each (Paper prototyping, and Story Mapping) although we may drop them for space reasons. I have probably left someone off the list!

You can browse the content submissions in draft form here. Vote for your favourites if you can manage.

The day is gonna be huge.

Here is a picture of when Ed and I were sorting the content into themes. We expect to run maybe 4 concurrent tracks.

Building a Better Death Star

Today I facilitated a workshop at the BA World conference in Melbourne. People seemed to enjoy themselves despite it being the post-lunch session. (Thanks to Andrea for helping me facilitate the session.)

The activity we worked on was "Story Mapping" which has been popularised by Jeff Patton. Story mapping as a technique has strong similarities to creating work breakdown structures, but with some added emphasis on customers and personas.

There is way too much in the concept of good WBS design, and in managing user stories and backlogs than you can fit into an hour, so I focussed on two simple messages;

  • Story maps (and WBS and PBS) are an exercise in categorising and partitioning the work to be done. 
  • Collaborative planning - with post it notes - is a fantastic approach to planning work 
And to top it off I built the exercise around planning a new Death Star. I'll be repeating this next week in Sydney at the next BA World session, and again later in the year at Melbourne's LASTConference in July.  

The Prezi I supported this workshop with is below.