Come to LAST in Canberra! Because Canberra is not ALL bad.

I have had the pleasure of attending and speaking at both Lean Agile Systems Thinking (AKA LAST) conferences in Australia this year. The event in Melbourne was a jam-packed journey of discovery over 2 days. The event in Sydney was a group of hardcore agilists keepin’ it real for a laser-focused day.

Mad props to everyone involved – I had a spectacular time.

And now we have LAST in Canberra! I want to personally invite all my Agile peeps to both submit sessions and to attend.

To submit a session and to give back to the agile community, go to and submit your sweet session ideas!


To attend and join the fun, go to and sign up!


The event is September 14 and is sure to be a stellar conference.

Now I know some Aussies will be all like “Canberra, yuck.” As a Yank living in Canberra, I like it. In fact, I am asking you to reconsider your opinion of Canberra. And what better way than to attend LAST in Canberra and explore the Canberra I know and love.

In the spirit of this, I am offering the following reasons why you will like Canberra:

  • There is NO traffic. I mean, seriously. I look forward to my daily commute driving. Come visit and enjoy driving again!
  • The Australian War Memorial is dope. The conflict of WWI profoundly affected the culture of Australia, and this is the place to learn about it. Full stop. And all of the other museums are world-class and wonderful to visit.
  • The 2015 World Barista Champion, Saša Šestić, is from Canberra and runs 3 coffee shops here. That’s right, Melbourne.
  • Canberra has the lowest crime and murder rate in the country, and the highest safety index. You can walk around at night with impunity!
  • The average temperature in September is 10 ℃, which is wonderful. Not too hot, not too cold.
  • The restaurant and bar/pub scene is growing and getting better every day.
  • Most of you city-type-Aussies have probably never seen a kangaroo outside of a zoo. Well, you can see them in town here! It’s like an Aussie safari, you can see all types of cool wildlife in many of the parks.

Well, I hope this means you will consider attending LAST in Canberra and taking advantage of what this lovely city has to offer. It’s not ALL bad.

Alex and the Canberra Lean Coffee crew

Lean Coffee Canberra

CBD April 10 2017

A very good session was had, new members are always coming into the team and spicing things up. The topics proposed below, actually discussed topics are in bold:

  1. Crazy agile success / not success stories
  2. How can you tell if someone is “agile”
  3. Best drink ever tasted
  4. Scrum is immutable… according to the Scrum Guide. At what point is Scrum not Scrum?
  5. How do agile teams rejuvenate?
  6. What do you look for in an employer?
  7. Pitfalls of working on parallel projects
  8. Project scoping with new teams

Once again, thanks to eWAY for sponsoring our event. They take care of us agilists!


Belco Lean Coffee #2, April 2017

OK folks, here comes Belco Lean Coffee post #2. That group has some momentum and they are talking about cool stuff. Here were the topics:

  1. How to develop coaching capabilities?
  2. BA’s in Agile – what role do they play?
  3. Agile conferences in Canberra?
  4. Peer coaching
  5. Is “prescriptive agile” such a bad thing? … to start with?
  6. Visualizing work on wall versus JIRA (tools)
  7. Agile past its “use by” date
  8. Biggest misunderstanding of Agile


We are expecting more great topics to come out of Belco

A new Lean Coffee era has begun!

Shoaib is now leading a Lean Coffee in Belconnen that alternates with the CBD session! Mad props to Shoaib for leading the charge and dedicating his time to make Lean Coffee a success in Canberra. So now we have the Belco topics to summarize below:

  1. Agile workspaces and dispersed team remediation
  2. What are the most important Agile values in todays organizations?
  3. Why the opposition to Scrum?
  4. Agile delivery governance versus Waterfall governance, what’s the difference?
  5. Do you need a PM, DM, and SM in one project?
  6. Becoming an agile coach
  7. Is this a suitable time for Lean Coffee?
  8. What are the leading agile organizations in Australia?
  9. What is Crystal method and should I use it?

So regarding point #9, I am assuming thats “method” and not “meth” 🙂

We look forward to seeing more interesting topics discussed in Belco!



Mar 27 session – top hit = “Agile” versus “Scrum”

We have returned to our usual haunt of King O’s. eWAY provided more swag this week and covered the bar tab. Many thanks to out sponsor! OK, topics are below, the topics we actually discussed in bold:

  1. “Agile” versus “Scrum”
  2. Agile games
  3. Agile certification – what’s worth getting?
  4. What book should I read next?
  5. What, if any, agile techniques or concepts can be used for employee engagement or motivation?
  6. Amazon impact zone
  7. Store 2.0
  8. Agile testing/CD – what happens when there are unacceptable faults in a product, but a delivery to a customer is imminent?
  9. SAFe? At any speed?


Our new Belconnen meetup is also doing well, Shoaib is leading that charge, and doing a great job.

See you all next time!

Tuesday Mar 14 session – topic topic = Innovating in large organizations

This was a special Lean Coffee Monday! Because it was Canberra Day on Monday, we held this session on Tuesday. And because it was on Tuesday, our usual haunt was booked and we moved venues to Highball Express. So right after Lean Coffee we got to take Salsa dancing lessons in a Cuban speakeasy!

As always, topics in order below and discussed topics bolded.

  1. Innovating in large organizations
  2. What agile metrics resonate with leadership?
  3. Best advice for starting Lean in Australia. With an existing product.
  4. Agile culture
  5. What are the “must haves” for Product Managers?
  6. HCD + Agile
  7. (Just listening today!)

BTW – thanks to our awesome sponsor eWAY! They had some nice gifts waiting for us…


Mar 2017 session 2. Topic topic = Do new people know Lean Coffee is about Agile?

The final writeup for Mar 2017! Topics below, in pri order, discussed topics in bold

  1. Do new people know Lean Coffee is about Agile?
  2. Hiding Agile
  3. Tech hubs – can ACT compete with other capital cities?
  4. Rules of developing backlogs with clients
  5. “Semi Agile” Does it work? When and Why? Transitioning.
  6. Broad estimation methods
  7. Companies that find warm leads for my PC support website



Mar 2017 Session 1: Topic topic = “Master” in Scrum Master means control. Doesn’t it?

Another great session, topics below in order and the topics that were actually discussed in bold.

  1. “Master” in Scrum Master means control. Doesn’t it?
  2. Leadership role in Agile
  3. Orgs want digital to engage more customers. But customers don’t want to engage with orgs.
  4. How far (big) can Agile scale?
  5. How did **** go LeSS?
  6. Beyond Scrum
  7. Product roadmap followup
  8. What’s up with the DTA?
  9. What kind of Agile are CBR startups into?
  10. Story points?
  11. What is the sonic screwdriver of the Scrum Master?
  12. Is certification worthwhile?



Yet another Feb 2017 post – top topic = Amazon is coming! What will it mean to Australia? Especially in the digital wars

Another great LC session with tons of great topics listed below:

  • Amazon is coming! What will it mean to Australia? Especially in the digital wars
  • Is Trump agile?
  • How to stop blaming external factors?
  • Design sprints = working fast
  • Gannt chart – Sin? Or necessary evil?
  • Define agile in a minute

As always, the topic backlog is in priority order and the actual topics discussed are bolded.


Feb 2017 Catchup post! Top topic – How do you train executives?

OK, it’s been a while since we updated the blog. So now it’s time to catch up. Here were the topics for February 2017:

  • How do you train executives?
  • What practices are in place at the companies people REALLY want to work at?
  • Digital nudging – OK or not OK?
  • Complexity versus simplicity – Finding the right balance for a 1-page summary
  • How to attract buying customers to fantastic who need PC help
  • Agile process performance appraisal – how?
  • What would a bigger Lean Coffee meetup look like? How?
  • For companies people don’t want to work for – what are the glaring missing practices?
  • What’s the status on Gov fail?
  • Good companies

The topics we actually discussed are in bold font, you can see some notes in the photo