HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GLOBAL AGILE DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION SUMMIT

Day One 

The event kicked off with a great keynote from Scott Ambler – summit chairperson who kindly offered a free copy of his book ‘Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery’ to speakers and delegates. Scott set the tone with a witty, combative presentation that stressed the importance of questioning frameworks and processes when it comes to individual organisations. Following Scott was Fariz Saracevic, discussing SAFe within IBM and making the case for the Lean Enterprise. After a swift refreshment break, Silvia Gabrielli – a late addition to the programme – discussed Agile and, more specifically, the ‘Antifragile Mindset’ that is at work in Microsoft product development. Changing track, Ade Shokoya got the room moving and talking with his Do’s and Don’ts of Agile Transformations, a highly interactive presentation that provoked much debate and discussion within the group. One of the early highlights of the summit. The audience interaction continued next with a one-hour workshop delivered by Hendrik Esser of Ericsson. Hendrik informed the audience on how to drive change using Applied Systems Thinking.

After lunch, Hubert Shin – Director of the Agile Core Team at Samsung SDS in South Korea – spoke about culture challenges when implementing Agile within an enterprise and how as a so-called ‘troublemaker’ he was the one flying the flag for the Agile transformation. Hubert’s talk provided a unique perspective on this truly international event. A surprise panellist – Mustafa Ahmed, volunteering for panel duty – joined the stage along with Ade Shokoya and Naveed Khawaja to discuss future Agile trends and challenges. Is there a future for Agile? This panel left the audience to ponder some sobering issues…Mustafa Ahmed then talked about the Waterfall versus Agile conundrum, suggesting that organisations may need to be more ‘Wagile’ and sharing his experience from a distinguished career working with my companies and organisations in the UK. And capping off a successful Day One was Naveed’s excellent talk – much of it centred around an ill-fated first trip to IKEA – about Purpose Powered Performance and using Agile for good outside of the office. Did you know that Naveed has Kanban boards in his bedroom? You do now!

Day Two

Starting Day Two on a high note, Fin Goulding, International CIO at Aviva, supplied plenty of food for thought by managing to present 120 slides in just under 40 minutes! Fin’s Keynote was very well-received by the audience, who hung on every word (or slide) of Fin’s proposal for FLOW as being the true future of Agile ways of working. Annika Milton then provided a look at Adidas’s Agile Transformation journey, giving attendees a peek behind the curtain of the sportswear giant and how they approach the challenge of working with distributed teams. Sebastien Bonicel’s workshop on Becoming a Better Product Owner again got the room working together to solve problems and ask questions and was well-received by the audience. Another impromptu workshop followed in place of a planned talk on Agile Transformations, due to the last minute cancellation. Summit Chairman Scott Ambler stepped up to the plate and delivered a great, condensed workshop that saw attendees cover one of the room’s mirrors with sticky notes. Well, it wouldn’t be an Agile event without something getting covered in sticky notes, would it?

After lunch, the focus shifted to the coaches, as Carmen Cascales, David Lowe, Christina Ohanian and Kamila Sledz waxed lyrical about the role and purpose of Agile coaches and the challenges they have faced and overcome. Delivering a joint presentation, Kwasi Owusu-Asomaning and Vitor Henriques expressed what in their opinion was the ‘true role’ of the Scrum Master. The Scrum Master role had been a hot topic during the course of the summit and Kwasi and Vit addressed many of those questions here. Importantly, they also asked many of their own. Finally, capping off a successful event was Calvin Ajisebutu’s ‘Lessons from an Agile Journey’. A Senior Cloud Consultant at Google, Calvin shared his wide-ranging experiences using Agile and giving an in-depth look at the way his current team operates. Aptly, Calvin’s presentation ended with a picture of food and wine –after two jam-packed days of case studies, panel discussions and workshops, it was time to hit the local pub…

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