The top topic of the week – Trump won. What next?

Another great session amongst agile friends here in the CBD of CBR. We now have King O’s permanently booked for every other Monday. Here were the topics this week (with topics actually discussed in bold):

  • Trump won. What next?
  • When is it not a good time to use agile?
  • How much of an idea do you need to secure funding/investment?
  • Agile versus Design
  • Role of a non-tech person in an agile team?
  • Product Architect job description. What would it say?
  • The Leader Stance – Command and Control, Democratic, Visionary, Consensus
  • Herding a PO
  • Visionary vision statements
  • Analyzing motivations
  • Wrapping up an agile project


It’s getting to that time of year in the CBR, school holidays. Pretty soon it will be a ghost town. But Lean Coffee will still be going strong with the people we have. The people that are meant to be there, are there. Thanks Harrison Owen!

Celebrating a year with a catchup post!

It has been a whole year since we started to meet for Lean Coffee! I think we can proudly claim to be Canberra’s longest running (and still going strong) agile meetup. In honor of our anniversary, we are posting a catchup session. Here are the topics we prioritized in this session in August, actual topics discussed in bold.

  • #CensusFail #NDISFail What lessons can we take away from these disasters?
  • Tips for getting the most out of conferences
  • LEGO Serious Play
  • Agile2016 Overview
  • Getting new people up to speed
  • PyCon Overview
  • Tools/techniques to connect engineering value to business value
  • Service Design Conference presentation ideas
  • Safety – do you need it? what is it? how to get it?


Top topic of the week – evaluating an idea

Another great session at King O’s! Thanks to eWAY for continuing to support our agile community. We had an excellent crowd with a ton of topics suggested. See below for the topics, with topics actually discussed in bold. Our agile group is proud to be using an agile technique, Lean Coffee, to discuss agile topics. We can’t wait to meet you here in Canberra.

  • Evaluating an idea
  • The missing vision
  • Traits of the best presenters
  • Sniper or scattershot – targeting your market
  • Tips and tricks for quick MVPs
  • Self-taught vs University tech skills
  • What type of code should you start with?
  • Digital information overload
  • Eliciting failure quickly
  • Lean Coffee @ work. Suggestions?
  • Agile coaching cards
  • How do you get people to write documentation?
  • Self-service analytics
  • Digital dementia
  • Damian rocking the Spock look

Lean Coffee

Number one topic this week – Overtime

Well, we went back to our roots this week and convened at E29. Here were the topics this week:

  • Overtime – Is it OK? When is it OK? How do you ask the team for it?
  • Defining strategy
  • Probation
  • Australian employment factors that drive poor behaviors


Since we had a concise set of topics we managed to discuss all four of the topics above.

The likelihood that the next session will be pub-based is high.

The Lean Coffee Team

Customisation or Core Product?

Great discussion last week with beers at King O’Malleys, thanks to eWay for sponsoring!

  • Customisation or Core Product?
  • How do we measure innovation on a project?
  • Plans vs Planning
  • How do you sell/educate Agile to gov?
  • Should you publish your roadmap and let your customers have input?
  • What to do when the client asks for some thing you think is NOT going to ultimately succeed?
  • Bug management; estimation, in the backlog, tracking, business value
  • How do you upskill some one who outranks you?
  • What is Cynefin?

Visual roadmap notes

Thanks to Sam for doing some create visual note taking in the last session we had. It produced some great information for digestion afterwards!

  • What’s the business value of diversity?
  • Agile is mindset; how do we demonstrate the mindset?agile_mindset
  • Fail. Fail. Fail.fail_fail_fail
  • Product Owner KPIspo_kpis
  • Agile practices in non-work environments
  • Safety: What? How? Where?
  • Telling sales guys to shut up
  • Do automated tests create net positive developer time?
  • The line between what & how for a P.O.
  • Scrum in different countries
  • Why do you come to Lean Coffee? What is most valuable?
  • UX Aus 16
  • Agile Coach Camp
  • Agile Cards

Agile dot point voting raised jargon in our OST meet up…oops

It has been great to see regular and new faces with each session that we have. Our pub crawl through Canberra has been successful in drawing out these new people to see what we have been discussing! And as always, we’ve been discussing some interesting things and learning off each other.

  • Is all the jargon necessary?
    • Makes things different
    • Make communication easier
    • Know your audience
    • Target training at the high school level
    • Book: The Agile Samurai
  • Is Pokemon Go being developed with Agile?
    • Alex says it has to be
    • It’s a minimal product
    • They have pushed back deployments in countries
    • Fixes have quick turnarounds
  • Native App vs Responsive Web
    • Can you do it on the web?
    • Depends on the value you’re trying to deliver
    • Depends on customers
    • Offline vs Online
    • Apps leverage functionality of the phone
  • What are some leadership coaching methods?
    • Find a coach and a mentor
    • Asking the right questions
    • Empathy
    • Experience
    • Be aware of your weaknesses
    • Reflection after something has happened
    • Leadership vs management
    • Trust falls
    • Peter principal
    • Training+++
  • How do you justify a rewrite to management?
    • How much money you’re going to make
    • Never seen code that couldn’t be worked with
    • Limiting our future
    • xkcd: Is It Worth the Time?
    • You may screw yourself
    • Not always worth it
    • Tell them how much you save
  • What steps do you take to get a semi-agile company to go 100% agile?
  • What’s the best thing to do to build team and morale?
  • Communicating with stakeholders that they aren’t getting what they want?

Discussion and drinks at King O’Malleys, thanks to eWay!


Everyone had a great time at King O’Malleys with some great discussion facilitated by the bar tab sponsored very generously by eWay. We’d like that thank them for contributing to Lean Coffee and the Agile community here in Canberra. At this gathering we did a quick vote to see if we would like to continue the slow (fortnightly) pub crawl and all in attendance agreed – we will continue the discussions over drinks!


  • What are some methods for prioritising work?
    • MoSCoW method
    • Kano model
    • ITIL for ops-centric
    • Innovation games
    • Dot voting
  • Side gigs?
    • Have the hunger for it
    • Allocating time
  • Improvement tolerances for software
    • Boeing – A budget of up to $300 per a part to save a pound of weight
    • What are your measurable qualities?
    • Code coverage
    • Cyclomatic complexity
    • Hackathon with rewards – relevant rewards
    • Leader boards
  • What does agile code look like? (And how do you write it?)
    • No comments, comments are lies
    • Use established design patterns
    • Maintainability
    • Small functions
  • Aussie politics – Innovation/Agile party
    • Switzerland – frequent referendums
  • How do you work with external partners that run waterfall?
  • Invaluable team members that take advantage?
  • Ensuring full test coverage over multiple server teams
  • What is commitment vs velocity sprint planning?
  • Kanban startup essentials
  • Mind the gap – what falls outside the scrum teams
  • How do you introduce agile to an established company?

We are proud to announce that eWAY is sponsoring our next session!

eWAY has generously offered to sponsor our next session! Our pub crawl experiment continues and eWAY is contributing $100 to our bar tab. We applaud their support of us and the local agile community and our desire to quench our thirsts.

We are anticipating another great session and look forward to seeing you all there. Kaizen!

eway-logo-1900-500 White BG

Easy. Helpful. Human.

With you every step of the way.

Most voted topic – The absent PO; how to handle?

We had this weeks session at Civic Pub in Braddon and we had a great group of people come along to their first session! It seemed like people had been thinking and encountering different problems and issues over the past two weeks with a large backlog to discuss. We didn’t get through all of it, but the discussions were quite vibrant and much was learned all around. We had some feedback too, thanking us for being so beginner friendly, which should make everyone feel reassured to come along and see what we’re doing.

  • The absent PO – how to handle?
    • Get them to assign a delegate
    • Escalate – get more help
    • Coffee punishment
    • Identify risks
    • Get team to bring it up in retro
  • What is Agile/Lean?
  • How to help govt. departments take up Agile methods, especially when they are very waterfall
  • Being more agile on govt. projects
    • Agile 2015 in Washington DC – focussed on govt agile
  • When does something stop being an MVP?
    • When it delivers more value than planned
    • The Start Up Pyramid – Sean Ellis
    • MVP implies learning
  • Tips for informing/converting the skeptical
  • Should you ensure your team has certain skills?
  • Infrastructure with Lean – how to?
  • Scrum Alliance new special interest group in Canberra
  • What do you know about Nexus?
  • With a new client, what small changes can introduce Lean?
  • Strategies for introducing automated tests into codebases that really need it?
  • Scrum Coach retreat
  • Cultural change needed in orgs to take up agile methods
  • Any practical examples of Canberra organisations using lean principals/Agile?

Alex quote – Props to Daniel Burke for leading the session and keeping the blog up-to-date!

Here’s a photo of the good looking’ crew