It’s time to reopen the AGILE discussions in South Africa. Its time to look at how businesses have evolved over that last year and what businesses can improve on. Its time to talk about the advancements in the AGILE world. Join us for an evening of thought provoking discussions around changes in business and survival in a unstable economy. – Chairman AgileSA: Arrie van der Dussen Agile User Group Gathering Information: The gathering will be kicked-off by some networking outside after which we will be treated by Pierre Durand and Lionel Bisschoff on some interesting topics. Streamlining your business with LEAN thinking (Pierre Durand) – 30 min AgileSA Retrospective: A look at AGILE IN SOUTH AFRICA over the past year (Lionel Bisschoff) – 30 min Logistics: Venue: Hacklebrook Conference Centre ( click for map ) Date: 20 June 2012 Time: 6pm (first session starts at 6:30pm) Cost: Free Snacks and Refreshments will be provided.
As we head into spring and leave the cold weather behind us, we’re gearing up for our next AgileSA Durban gathering which will be held in a few weeks time on Wednesday 5th October. This event will focus on TDD with the theme being “Can you do Agile without TDD?”.
Hi Durban Agilists, Welcome to 2011, and a very AGILE one it is set to be! We will be kicking off our ‘Agile 2011’ with an open discussion forum on the evening of 16th February. The topic will be: Collaboration, ‘Swarming’, Pair Coding: What they are, and when to do which. The event will take the format of an open discussion facilitated by Rosalyn Charlton, Chris Tite and Adriaan Prinsloo with the discussions centered around these concepts and their definitions, investigate their varied understandings of them in reality, and share experiences, suggestions and knowledge on the topics and the vital parts they play in Agile teams and processes. This event is sponsored by: SA Homeloans, Clyral and SQS Bring along your willingness to explore, to learn, and to share ideas, and any wealth of information you may currently have or might acquire on the topic. Venue: SA Home Loans, 78 Armstrong Ave, La Lucia, Building 4 basement venue Date: Wednesday 16th February 2011 Time: 5:00 for 5:30pm Snacks and drinks provided.
e-Logics recently hosted the AgileSA Gauteng event in Centurion on November 24 . Ushers showed people where to park and pink drinks were served at reception Jacques Velleman reflected on lessons learned using Agile within the e-Logics software development process and the journey forward for e-Logics. Key points to mention was the successful contribution regarding communication within e-Logics among the team and role-players. Lionel Bisschoff’s (Mobilitate) talked about Agile from a product owner’s point of view and this was very informative “I love pot-holes!” It was amazing to realise that products such as www.Mobilitate.co.za could be delivered so fast in such few sprints. What I took home with me was the Moscow model: “Must have”, “should have”, “could have” and “won’t have” It was also important that the initial most challenging technology problems were addressed first; unlike the easy ones we tend to start first. Interesting to note that Google Maps and Flickr were used in the technology offering in such a way that I never thought could be possible. This was also part of Mobilitate’s key “Must have” criteria’s and user stories.” The marketing ladies from e-Logics really did well and the best food and coldest beer was provided. Kaizania also sponsored some good wine and the Chapel Red from Robinson Winery was a definite winner among the wine lovers! The book review done by Nicky Stapelberg (aka “Trucker” due to his Movember moustache) was very informative and the lessons learned that I remember are: Myths are busted on practically every page, even myths that are associated with lean/agile and it provides 175 solid principles that could make a big difference for almost any product development organisation, from beginners to the most advanced. “It offers a fundamentally different way of thinking about product development processes” “flexibility is the result of advance choices and planning” The downside of the evening was that people had to leave early at 21:30, but the presentation, questions and discussions held during the evening made up for it. I’m looking forward to the Agile Road Show to be held next year in the first quarter of 2011 and the three cities that will be covered is Gauteng (Jhb/Midrand/Pta), Durban and Cape Town. Arrie van der Dussen (www.agileacademy.co.za) said that two success factors for this road show are: “It must be free” and, “It must be agile for South Africans by South Africans.” It is good to know that the Project Management South Africa (PMSA) will also partner with AgileSA in the future. Further communication will send out regarding sponsorship, business cases and call for papers so watch out the press for more details and visit www.agilesa.co.za.
Hi AgileSA members, As promised my first update from the Scrum Gathering in South Africa. First of all, what a beautiful setting, after a fantastic dinner last night in Franschoek, this morning we woke up in Cape Town to a typical day - windy, rainy and cold – but nice as it fits the setting. The gathering is at the Westin Grand, which is a 5 star hotel and does add glamour to the gathering which is very fitting. The keynote this morning to kick-off proceedings was by Henrik Kniberg. Very interesting session! Kniberg focused his keynote on some of the following points: – Misusing Scrum – Scrum as Messenger – Not adapting processess – Using the wrong processess Without going into the detail, what stood out to me is the practicality of his keynote address and the entertainment value. This was so good to me as I am a firm believer that we can address serious issues effectively while having fun. One needs to have fun in order to work effectively together and invent quality solutions to fulfill customer value Kniberg also introduced some new and interesting terms to the industry like – scrumdamentalism (n) – rain dance rhetoric – waterfallitis (n) – sadoscrumism (n) These are all so descriptive to familiar topics covered at AgileSA event, speaking to organisations already using Scrum and most people in an Agile or Scrum environment can relate to some or all of these terms. Not to say what is discussed at the gathering is not serious, but we take life too seriously sometime and get overwhelmed by process, bureaucracy, politics and KPI’s and forget to deliver customer value effectively. I am very impressed with the quality of the gathering and the line-up for the day, my only problem, I have no idea which deep-dive session to attend as they all look so valuable, so I guess I will have to shut my eyes and pick one More later on the deep dive session I attended… From Cape Town and the Scrum Gathering Arrie van der Dussen
Wednesday evening 25 August we had yet another well attended, educational and fun Gauteng AgileSA event. As usual we started off with some drinks and snacks (thank you to our sponsor Rally software) before moving into the auditorium (thank you to our sponsor BCX). Arrie van der Dussen, AgileSA chairman gave all new folks an introduction to AgileSA as an industry led gathering of Agile minds with the aim to promote and provide thought-leadership on Agile to organisations and individuals in South Africa. New faces from various organizations made up a fantastic 30% of all 74 attendees! It is good to see Agile grow in South Africa. Arrie then introduced us to the Agile technique Kanban. It was an interesting talk dealing as much with the history and principles of Kanban as with the practical realities. [ click here to download the presentation - Kanban for Software Development - Arrie vd Dussen ] What struck me most during Arrie’s talk was just how much the world of software development still has to learn from the seemingly unrelated world of manufacturing and consumer products development. All these lessons learnt from other industries apply very much to software development: – Be careful of inventory since it becomes stale, decreases in value, becomes hard to sell, clogs up your working processes, hides inefficiencies etc. – Don’t try to build many things at once. Focus and Finish. Stop Starting and Start Delivering. – Focus on your value streams and optimise the whole – Plan, Do, Check, Act – Focus on Flow, not resource utilization. “Who cares if you are busy all the time. Are you delivering value to customers?” – How autonomation and “single minute exchange of dies” relates to automated testing and continuous integration Thank you Arrie! There were many interesting questions from the audience, and some from Arrie…. and the attendees that answered first and correctly won 1 Agile Academy training course voucher to the value of R5 000.00 as well as four 10% discounts to any Agile Academy training course. Winners please make use of those prizes! Then it was off to the bar for some more food and drinks. There were multiple engaging and passionate discussions on everything Agile and the SA software industry. Another great AgileSA event. Thank you to all that attended and we look forward to seeing you all again end October! [ click here to download the presentation - Kanban for Software Development - Arrie vd Dussen ]
By Rosalyn Charlton, August 2010 At our last Durban Agile SA event it really struck home, with a resounding, ululating, undeniable and somewhat appealing thud, just how dynamic, enthusiastic, and pro-active we are here in Durban in our agile community. It is certainly worthy of much applause. Applause Not only did we have the biggest turnout ever with over 70 people in attendance, but our visitors from the JHB Agile community were vocally in awe of the amazing energy of the group, the incredible degree of participation, the fabulous contributions, interactions and constructive debates that the group achieves. This is exactly what we are about in our user group, and what we set out to be, and precisely where the value lies! Durban Agile Community I salute you for recognizing this and for getting it right. Insert “User Group High-Five” here. Yes, I know, I have been sternly instructed by my teams that there is to be “No High-Fiving” but in this instance I just couldn’t help myself. But I digress. At this event we enjoyed the first 2 of our showcase presentations from Durban companies: SA Home Loans and Impro. Both shared their experiences of SCRUM implementations with us. The presentations were extremely interesting and very interactive with the whole group getting actively involved in delving into the issues raised. In keeping with the acclaimed style of our user group, we enjoyed great discussions on a wide variety of Agile and SCRUM aspects all of which uncovered deeper knowledge and experiences on the topics throughout the user group. And this was precisely what our showcase presentations were intended to produce: a good picture of our collective knowledge from which to draw going forward. Very exciting indeed. See above-mentioned high-five. During the course of the presentations and discussions there was one aspect in particular that struck me (figuratively of course, had it struck me literally that would have just been weird), and I am sure this was evident to all who were present. Even though two companies both presented their experiences of the same methodology; SCRUM, the messages that emerged from each were radically different. This I think epitomizes the very essence of SCRUM and what it offers. SCRUM is a methodology which provides a framework of operation based on a philosophy and set of principles. Beyond that it is not prescriptive. This means that it will be used and benefitted from in any number of ways specific to the implementation and company who uses it. In the SA Home Loans showcase we heard an account of how SCRUM is being used successfully in a pure software development team with a focus on the development of in-house enterprise systems in a financial institution and the mission critical challenges that brings. This showcase revealed the extensive benefits enjoyed through SCRUM in the areas of team productivity, BA/DEV/Tester interactions, work visibility, accuracy of estimation and predictability, extensive performance improvements and manageability of large backlogs. Steve Wood and Gary Daniel from our teams in SA Homeloans gave two respective views of the same journey; namely the PM perspective from Steve and the developer perspective from Gary. The subtle yet clear differences highlighted how the objectives and advantages of SCRUM in particular, and agile in general, manifest in their own unique ways for each of the roles in the process. They not only delved into the difficulties and rewards on a technical and managerial level, but also touched upon the often-neglected “softer” issues of courage, unwavering dedication to the cause and vision, and team solidarity that is needed to see a choice and implementation like this through to success. These more “human” factors are often the most critical factors at watershed make-or-break moments that one inevitably meets along the way. A very clear message here: Yes you can get everything else right, but Don’t Ignore These. From a personal perspective I must admit that while I listened to my colleagues talk so passionately about their experiences of our agile journey here at SA Home Loans, I was more convinced than ever of the choices we have made and the amazing benefits of SCRUM. I also have to admit to being unabashedly proud of the amazing team I work with and the enormous strides they have made in such a short space of time to bring about such change. That and being pretty impressed that we manage to truly trust our collective instincts to head down this route and never look back. Insert small, indiscernible dance of joy with a tiny imperceptible high-five. The Impro showcase which followed opened a whole new set of doors for us and of course thereby invoked a collage of new discussions and topics of exploration. Barry East, their Marketing Director presented an account of the way they had successfully used SCRUM not only in their technical teams and processes but all the way through to their approach to management of clients, client requests, and product management. The astonishing extent of the adoption of the SCRUM concepts at Impro was appreciated by us all, along with the dramatic benefits being experienced specifically at a product and client request management level. The Impro world is comprised of and complicated by the inseparable technologies of software development, embedded coding, and hardware requirements for the extensive access control systems which they produce. Their product is a retail product with numerous international clients, with custom needs and requirements. This presents a range of challenges for them in the way of achieving scrum team cross-skilling and collaboration, product release processes and change management to name but a few. Barry very clearly showcased the benefits already being felt in their teams and business as a whole following the implementation of the scrum methodologies and by utilizing its principles widely across their operations. The resounding and quite thought provoking message delivered was that great benefits can be gained by an organization as a whole, from technical teams right through to broader business areas, by fully embracing and following the scrum methodologies throughout. This was most inspiring. Applause, this time with real gusto. I think the Impro case study is one that we will all continue to watch with great interest and delve into when invited. It holds many fascinating dimensions from which I think we can all learn a great deal. Our next event on September 15th will have Agrista and SQS showcasing their Agile journeys and approaches. So bring your curiosity, your charisma and a your ever-open mind for another rather scintillating evening of invigorating discussions Again, I thank this fabulous user group for making our events as powerful and thoroughly enjoyable as they are, and I look forward to a repeat performance at our next event where our next set of showcases looks set to take us into an even greater array of fresh Agile perspectives. Disburse forth into the world quietly and orderly yet with ceaselessly demonstrable agility. Touché.
AgileSA is proud to announce the first truly South African Agile survey. We are also proud to announce that we have ONE FREE ticket to the value of R 3 000.00 available to the South African Scrum Gathering to be held on 1 and 2 September 2010 in Cape Town. We invite you to complete the Agile Survey and stand a chance to win the FREE ticket! By completing this survey, your name will be entered into a lucky draw to stand in line to win a FREE ticket to the South African Scrum Gathering in Cape Town to be held on 1 & 2 September 2010. (Please note that this prize does not include travel, accommodation and more, the winner will only receive a free entry pass to the value of R 3 000.00 to the event) The winner will be announced via email and on the AgileSA website on 20 August 2010. Please note the competition rules: – Entrants can only stand a chance to win if they have completed the Agile Survey – Entries eligible to win will close at 9am, 20 Aug 2010 ( RSA time ) – The winner will be determined by lucky draw on 20 August 2010 – The lucky draw will be done by the chairman of AgileSA – Only entries from within South African borders will be eligible to win the prize – The prize winner will be notified on 20 August 2010 via email/phone – The winner consents to having their name published on www.agilesa.co.za and related AgileSA communication channels – The decision is final and note that no independent auditors are used to verify results – No AgileSA Committee Member or family member will be eligible to win the prize – There is only one winner to this competition – Submissions are only accepted from those 18 years or older
AgileSA Announcement! Every member of AgileSA will indefinitely receive early bird pricing (even though the date has lapsed). To receive this discounted offer, please use the following code as part of your registration: ‘DISC10′ —— Join Scrum community members from around the world as they gather together in the beautiful city of Cape Town for the 2010 Scrum Alliance South Africa Scrum Gathering. The event will feature a variety of programming and attendees including a keynote address from Henrik Kniberg (Author of “Scrum&XP from the trenches”), interactive deep dive learning sessions and a full day of open space. Attendees will benefit from a mix of experience, information, values and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating the Scrum process. Go to http://www.scrum.org.za/gathering for more information.
Hi all Agilists! Since inception in 2009, Agile South Africa experienced rapid growth, not just in numbers attending events, but also with relationships between organisations, other User Groups, CSSA, PMISA and more. We have well established chapters in Gauteng and Durban and with an average of around 70 people representing about 36 different organisations attending each event, one can say that the value is starting to increase rapidly! Thanks to each and everyone who attend events, who assist in admin and organisation! Much appreciated… So, now that we are established in Gauteng and Durban, we have our sights on Cape Town. With just over 30 registered members from Cape Town and a load of communication from interested parties in Cape Town, I can confirm that the national sponsors of Agile South Africa did express their willingness to assist in establishing a Cape Town Chapter of Agile South Africa. So, what is missing? Volunteers to form the first AgileSA Cape Town Committee. If you are interested, please contact us! Is it a lot of work? For sure not. Most of the admin is automated, we just need a representative committee in Cape Town as we believe that every part of South Africa has different needs and does not have to conform to a recipe. Looking forward to the response. AgileSA Committee