Angie Doyle (Linkedin | Twitter) and I were selected to present at Agile2018 this year in San Diego. Our workshop focussed on effectively lifting off (or forming) high performance teams.
Why is team lift-off important?
We believe in the power of aligning teams upfront through conversation – ensuring that we are focussed on creating an intentional team culture from the very beginning. These techniques can also be used as stand alone techniques in retrospectives or shorter workshops.
How do you use this with your teams?
We encourage you to use these techniques with your team and have included all the material we have designed below.
I’ve been thinking more and more about the 3X Model by Kent Beck while starting my own business. It really makes a lot of sense. The best part, is that it’s so simple.
We, in South Africa, have been fortunate to be visited by Kent Beck on a few occasions. Last year I attended an event, sponsored by Liberty and IQ Business, where Kent Beck came and discussed the 3X Model with us. With him being one of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto and a all-round software development legend, I must admit that I was a bit of a groupie. It was fascinating – here are some visual notes from the session:
We were fortunate to be accepted to present our Visual Thinking (Sketching outside the Box) workshop at Agile2017 this year in Orlando, Florida. All I can say is “Wow”! What an amazing experience meeting awesome, like-minded people from around the world. I did behave a bit like a groupie, and yes, possibly asked for some autographs…
I have compiled a little booklet of all of the sketchnotes that I did from the conference – some light reading until next year (and for those who may not have been able to attend).
Some highlights from Agile2017 below (all sketches are included in link above)…
Thank you Agile Alliance and all those who were involved in organising, and took the time to attend.
Check out #Agile2017 and #Agile17 to view the conversations from the conference. I was not the only sketchnoter at the conference, please check out the awesome sketches from the other visual thinkers there:
Africa DevOps Day is a great example of collaboration and knowledge-sharing across companies, and in true DevOps style aims to break down silos. It has been organised every year as a collaborative effort across some of the largest financials institutions in South Africa as a platform to share experiences and learning. The theme this year was “Scaling DevOps through infrastructure” and did not disappoint. There were amazing speakers, and interesting topics were covered. Hearing about the DevOps journeys that many companies in Africa have embarked on was fascinating.
I created sketchnotes of the presentations I attended, you can download the PDF version of the Sketchnoter’s Guide to Africa DevOps Day 2017 here. A full list of speakers and their presentations can be found on the Africa DevOps Day website.
Here are my sketches and some highlights of the talks I attended…
Brett St Clair – The Culture of DevOps
“when you are trying to make change, it always starts with culture”
Industry Update – Absa, Standard Bank & RMB
Kevin Rolfe – Putting the Ops in DevOps
“we need to free up people to handle exceptions and do valuable work”
Dan Acton – DevOps in the Cloud
“we’re moving towards no Ops”
Biase De Gregorio – Extreme Ownership
“start with good leadership principles as a point of departure”
Andrew Holt & Benjamin Hinson – Chef: Tools, Processes and Culture
How do we improve education, both formally and informally? How do we create a culture of continuous learning? How do we stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation?
These are all extremely difficult questions, and although we may not have all the answers now, it’s inspiring to see people stepping up and actively trying to address some of these questions.
Suits & Sneakers
Mark Sham is one of these people. A few years ago he started Suits & Sneakers to offer people access to great speakers for free! He made an assumption: if we make access to inspirational and informative speakers available to people for free, that they would come to learn. And boy was he right!
Real Life MBA Conference
On Thursday 25 May, he had the 5th Suits & Sneakers event and it was packed! The next day, for the first time this year, he also organised a full day conference, Real Life MBA, with a line-up of 24 amazing speakers across 4 tracks. The idea behind this format is that there’s no way you can watch all the talks on one day. So in order to get the full value out of the conference, all the presentations were filmed and will be made available to view afterwards. Mark has challenged everyone at the conference to set up working groups with colleagues and friends to go through the remaining presentations in 12 weeks after the conference.
To do my small part, I’ve put together a mini “Sketchnoter’s Guide” for the Real Life MBA conference. It only has the presentations that I could attend on the day – you can download the PDF here.
Here are some of the sketchnotes from the Real Life MBA conference:
It’s amazing to see the work that is being done to reduce malaria in Africa – as Goodbye Malaria say, we can eliminate malaria. They have used various creative fundraising strategies, all of which also aim to uplift the communities in which we live by supporting local artists and small businesses.
Sherwin Charles, as a qualified accountant, focussed on the ways that we can use financial innovation to enable social change. This, in conjunction with providing feedback to investors on the impact, through techniques such as Social Return on Investment (SROI) can be powerful ways to raise funds.
I’ve been quite bad with my Audible this year. My aim to get through a book a month isn’t going too well… until I stumbled across this book (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK) and listened to it in under two weeks!
I was a bit sceptical at first, I thought this might just be a catchy and daring title for yet another self-help book. I must say, it’s been one of my favourite “reads” in a while! I love the way Mark Manson writes, I find extremely honest and very entertaining.
The biggest lesson I took away from this book is The Backwards Law, which states: The desire for a positive experience is negative, while the acceptance of a negative experience is positive.
The theme of the conference was “Harnessing the Power of Innovation” – a pressing topic in the project management industry both in South Africa and abroad. There were exceptional speakers at the conference who presented talks on a range of thought-provoking topics pertinent to the idea of innovation in project management.
In the spirit of the event, GetSmarter put together the Sketchnoter’s Guide to Innovation in Project Management – a downloadable collection of live sketchnotes from the day. The guide includes a host of visual representations of the day’s presentations including:
Moving from an efficiency-driven economy to an innovation-driven economy
Delivering innovation from concept to commercialisation
A comprehensive project management and project support services career path plan
Here is a sneak peek at some of the sketches and topics covered at the conference. To download the full guide, click here.