Regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2016

Last week was the Regional Scrum Gathering in South Africa, which was organised by SUGSA. So some of my colleagues and I from IQ Business took a trip down to Cape Town, what an awesome experience!

I was fortunate to be selected as a speaker. My colleague, Angie Doyle, and I facilitated a workshop on Visual Thinking for Agile Teams which was extremely well received – it’s exciting to see the interest and enthusiasm that people have for thinking visually! You can follow this link to view our “slides” from the workshop – all were created using flip charts.

I also used this opportunity to sketchnote the presentations and workshops I attended, there were lots of interesting topics. It’s always uplifting to get together with other Agile Practitioners and talk about what’s going on in the industry.

There was a lot of conversation and other sketchnoters (some new ones after the Visual Thinking workshop) who also posted sketches during the conference, to have a look at these you can check out the #SGZA and #SGZA2016 tags on Twitter.

Here are mine:

Goldilocks at work – Danie Roux

danie-roux_pg1

danie-roux_pg2

Taming the Beast – Continuous Evolution keeps products and teams alive – Nigel Basel

nigel-basel-taming-the-beast

DevOps… Avoid Stupid… Unleash Awesome – Renesh Moodley

renesh-unleash-awesome

Standup Poker: How We Hacked Our Daily Stand-Up & Our Teams Mindset! – Kalpesh Shah

standup-poker

It’s time to speak, it’s time to act – Biase De Gregorio

biase-its-time-to-speak-its-time-to-act

Facing challenging conversations with ease – Alison Gitelson

alison-facing-challenging-conversations

 

 

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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.

Planning a Retrospective

I really do think visually. Here’s proof. I had a retrospective with my team this week and this is how I planned it:

Retro Agenda

 

Before the session I just used this plan to sketch out the techniques on some flip chart paper or the whiteboard. I kept this open as a reference.

I used the 5 stage Retrospective format and referenced a couple of activities. For an overview of different techniques, you can have a look at: Retrospective Techniques for coaches, scrum masters and other facilitators. Another great reference is Retromat.

If you are interested, here is my Retro Agenda in a bit more detail:

  • Setting the stage

I used Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s Weather Report Technique. This is a great way to gauge how the team is feeling. You can find the full technique in their book Agile Retrospectives, alternatively there is also a reference on Retromat and Retrospective Techniques for coaches, scrum masters and other facilitators.

  • Gather data

For the Gather Data technique, I used  Mary Gorman & Ellen Gottesdiener’s 4L’s: Loved, Learned, Lacked, Longed For. You can find the full technique here

This really worked well! It’s a great way to gather data, and adds a bit more information than the Stop, Start, Continue technique.

  • Generating insights

From the 4L’s, I went through all the responses with the team. I then grouped them into themes with the team. I then asked the team to dot vote on the “Lacked” and “Longed For” categories in order to do a deep dive on what was going on.

I used the 5 Why’s to delve into the details of the top 3 things that the team felt was missing or needed attention in the sprint. It’s a really interesting technique because you can go down into a culture-level and then need to decide (in the Decide what to do portion) where you can influence the most change and where to focus your energy as a team. The 5 Why’s is also in Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s book Agile Retrospectives and there are some references online as well.

  • Decide what to do

From the 5 Why’s, we brainstormed some action items as a team. We then chose 1 per category / issue that was raised. We use the good old raise your hands to vote technique, to show which action items the team wanted to focus on.

  • Close the retrospective

To close the retro, I just asked for a quick show of fingers using the Fist of Five technique to gauge how they were feeling to end off there. I also set up a scale (from happy to neutral to sad) and asked them to make a mark with their name as they walked out to see how they were feeling. This way I could go touch base individually afterwards.

That’s it!

Poster Series: Lean Coffee

I was asked to create some posters a few months ago for an awareness event at one of the large organisations in South Africa. One of these posters was to explain the Lean Coffee (or Agile Coffee) process.

It’s a really great way to run meetings and keep people involved. We now use this format quite often within our teams, and across our company, as a way of discussing topics and sharing information.

Lean Coffee

The details of how to run your own Lean Coffee and the purpose behind this meeting format can be found here.