Africa DevOps Day 2017

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

“there’s no silver bullet solution”

 

A friend of mine @ALfriendo also did some awesome sketchnotes, and there are plenty of other great posts on #AfricaDevOpsDay Twitter.

All in all, a great day! I hope I’ll be there again next year…

Advertisements

Real Life MBA Conference

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:

Introduction by Mark Sham (LinkedIn | Twitter)

 

Tiffany Markman (LinkedIn | Twitter | Website)

 

Mike Sham (LinkedIn | Twitter)

 

Zapiro (Twitter | Website)

John Sanei (LinkedIn | Twitter | Website | Book)

Brad Shorkend (LinkedIn | Twitter)

 

But I will take up Mark Sham’s challenge to work on the other presentations over the next few weeks and share them for those who are interested.

Goodbye Malaria

We were fortunate to attend an extremely inspirational and informative presentation by Sherwin Charles, the CEO of Goodbye Malaria, at IQ Business on Tuesday evening.

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.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*

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.

Here is my summary:

Smart Growth – What we need in the face of 0% GDP

This conference was organised by our company, IQ Business, and was one of the most inspirational conferences I have been to – it truly makes me proud to be South African.

Although it’s a contentious issue, there is a lot we can do to stimulate growth in our economy and create opportunity for ourselves and others in South Africa.

It was quite a line-up with the top political, radio, research, technology and business personalities. Here are my notes…

Bruce Whitfield – The Upside of Down

Twitter: @BruceBusiness

1-Bruce-Whitfield_digital.png

 

Ann Bernstein – The Growth Agenda

2-ann-bernstein_digital

Adam Craker – Smart Growth.co.za

Twitter: @Crakeras

3-adam-craker-page-1_digital4-adam-craker-page-2_digital

Brett St Clair – Digital Transformation Story

Twitter: @Brett_StClair

5-brett-st-clair_digital

Lindiwe Mazibuko – South Africa from the Outside – In

Twitter: @LindiMazibuko

6-lindiwe-mazibuko_digital

Justice Malala – Green Shoots, Anyone?

Twitter: @JusticeMalala

7-justice-malala_digital

You can download all the sketchnotes from the conference here: sketchnoters-guide-to-smart-growth

BA Summit Southern Africa – 2016

I had the privilege of being invited to attend the BA Summit Southern Africa this year as the official Sketchnoter for the conference. The BA Summit is organised annually by the South African chapter of the IIBA, the IIBASA.

I must admit, I was extremely impressed by the high standard of the organisation of the event and the calibre of speakers.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that the sketchnotes reflect this.

The organisers of the event put together a consolidated guide of all of the sketchnotes, which you can download here: “A Sketchnoter’s Guide to the BA Summit“.

BA-Summit-Sketchnoters-Guide_DIGITAL.png

 

Keynotes

Mohamed Bray – Business Analysis is for the Ambitious! 

Twitter: @mo_bray

mohamed-bray_page-1_digitalmohamed-bray_page-2_digital

 

Vusi Thembekwayo – Barbarians at the Gate

Twitter: @VusiThembekwayo

vusi_page-1_digitalvusi_page-2_digital

 

Themba Baloyi – The Power of Business Processes to make a significant difference in people’s lives

Twitter: @thembalih

themba-baloyi_digital

 

Alex Noel – The Bulletproof Business Analyst

Twitter: @BulletProof_BA

alex-noel_digital

 

Other amazing speakers

I wasn’t able to attend all of the talks as there were three tracks at the conference. These were the ones that I was able to capture…

Adrian Reed (@UKAdrianReed) – You work in Sales

adrian-reed_digital

 

Francois Combrinck (@Fcombrinck) – From Stakeholders to Partners

francois-combrinck_digital

 

Curtis Michelson (@SpecsRex) – Create a Context for Change

curtis-michelson_digital

 

Anton Oosthuizen (@Disrupted_BA) – Cheap User Stories: the Agile Achilles Heel

anton-oosthuizen_digital

 

Andrej Gustin – Do we all react the same way? 

andrej-gustin_digital

 

Ryan Folster (@RyanFolsterSA) – The Evolution of the Strategic Business Analyst

ryan-folster_digital

 

Ronak Sanghavi (@SanghaviRonak) – Fresh Graduate to entry level BA in 9 weeks! 

ronak-sanghavi_digital

 

Paige dos Santos (@PaigeCathryn) – Digital Innovation in Africa 

paige-dos-santos_digital

 

Munyaradzi Husvu – Model Based Analysis in Agile Environments

munyaradzi-_digital

That’s it from the BA Summit 2016: Business Analysis Rising. To find out more about this annual event which is held in South Africa, you can drop them a line on Twitter @basummitsa.

 

Agile Africa 2016 – A sketchnote goldmine!

I attended the Agile Africa Conference with my company, IQ Business, on Monday and Tuesday this week. It’s always great to meet others in the field and listen to some amazing thinking from South Africa, Africa and abroad.

As you may have guessed, I spent every talk sketching live (my fingers are a bit sore) and it was so worth it! I managed to get most of the talks down on paper and I’ll use them to refer back to concepts and ideas that were shared. I’m going to share them here and I hope that you find value in them…

To view the whole programme and speakers, you can visit the Agile Africa website, it’s also worth having a look at all the Tweets which encapsulate a lot of the quotes from the talks – here is the tag and the handle for the conference.

There were also some other amazing sketches from the conference:

Keynotes

These are the keynotes that were at the conference:

Henrik Kniberg – Alignment at scale

Hendrik Kniberg1Hendrik Kniberg2

Sandy Mamoli – Self-Selection

Self-selection

Neal Ford – Why does Yesterday’s Best Practice Become Tomorrow’s Anti-pattern?

NealFord1NealFord2

Other Presentations

Here are most of the sketches from the other presentations that I attended:

A Learning Continent – unlocking African opportunities – CodeX

 African Learning - CodeX

UX by Wire: Designing the Most Loved product – Job Mashapa and Farai Madzima

MLP

Is anyone there? Dealing with distributed teams – Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves

Is anyone there.jpg

Leader transformation: a side effect of an agile transition –
Subash Sharma and Felicity Brady

Leader Transformation

Fish ponds and Agile – Dillon Weyer

Fish Ponds.jpg

Unlocking ScrumMastery through the ScrumMaster Academy – Biase De Gregorio

Biase

Requirements Engineering for Agile Product Owners: Hunting Value with Structured Conversations – Pavel Dabrytski

Pavel

Pivoting Without Pain is Impossible – Nyaradzai Samushonga

Pivot

Active Agile: The story of a rewarding scaled agile implementation – Justin Doyle

Active Agile.jpg

Lead with needs – Danie Roux and Kevin Trethewey

Lead with Needs2.jpg

 

Creativity Inc.

I have finally finished reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. What an inspiring read!

I feel like there is so much in this book, I could do a sketchnote for every chapter (see my previous one on Failure). Maybe if I have time I will…

Creativity Inc.png

Failure and creativity

I’m currently listening to Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull  on Audible and absolutely loving it. I am almost finished, but couldn’t wait to do a little sketchnote.

There was a chapter around Failure which really resonated with me. Why are we so scared of failure? Where did this fear come from? How do we deal with this failure in a creative environment?

Failure2

 

Open Space Technology

What is Open Space Technology? 

“Open Space (Technology) is a simple way to run productive meetings, for five to 2000+ people, and a powerful approach to leadership in any kind of organization, in everyday practice and turbulent change. ” – extract from OpenSpaceWorld.ORG

We have used Open Space Technology (OST) often within our organisation and for clients as a way of collaborating, solving problems and highlighting opportunities within companies.

Although it encourages self-organisation by allowing participants to facilitate their own discussions, there is a lot of preparation work and positioning of the Principles and concepts to ensure that the session is set up correctly and the participants understand the approach.

How to Run an OST session

My colleague, Angie Doyle, who is a fantastic facilitator and has run many of these sessions, coached me through the first one that I ran. I jotted down some notes which I found extremely useful, and have now finally put them into a one-pager sketchnote.

Open Space Tech2

Setting up

OST begins without a pre-set agenda. It is advised to set a Theme so that it focuses the topics around a pressing issue. The philosophy behind OST is to encourage people to discuss what is important to them at the time and allow the conversations to unfold around topics that people are passionate about.

From a practical perspective, this means creating a visual, visible framework (“empty agenda”) in which people can propose topics to talk about. Depending on the number of attendees, which can range from a handful to thousands, you would work out the time allocations and number of stations where the conversations can happen.

I’ve sketched a rough example of a setup below. We have used tape on the walls in past sessions to create the framework. The time slots were large enough to fit an A4 page to encourage large, visible writing. We then worked out the timing for the sessions according to the duration that we had. Ideally, you would want 45 min – 1 hour per time slot.

Participants would then write down topics, and their name, and place it in one of the time slots.

OST setup

Additional Information

There are tons of resources available online to read up on OST. The best way to learn about them and to see what works is to run one.