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


The top topic this week – What to look for in a co-founder?

Well, we had our first Lean Coffee session in a pub! Thanks to P.J. O’Reilly’s in the CBD for hosting us. As a result of beer quaffing we actually ended up going past our 1 hour timebox to 1.5 hours. Beer makes everything better! Please note that our next Lean Coffee is in the Civic Pub in Braddon, we have the table down near the fireplace reserved. The topics the last session were:

  • What to look for in a co-founder?
  • How/where do you find good co-founders?
  • The Stanford class on startups
  • How do you determine the length & cost of a project up front?
  • Buy another round of beers!
  • What info do the devs want? Bridging the user story to requirement gap.
  • Dormant products – can Lean Startup help?
  • [Anonymous Lean Coffee Attendee] – How’s the agile transformation?
  • Assessing source code during development, yay or nay? Who knows Java here?
  • Autistic Kanban?

The bold topics above were actually discussed, and of course they are in priority order. Because of the beer drinking and the good times we managed to talk about almost every topic proposed.


We hope to see you next time, remember that our next session is in the Civic Pub.

And thanks to Daniel Burke for hooking our WordPress site up to Meetup, now you can see the Meetup events on this site. Yay!

See you next time…

And the final catchup post – the top topic this session was “How do you tell leadership they don’t have the support of the people?”

Here we go, the topics and associated notes are in bold:

  • How do you tell leadership they don’t have the support of the people?
    • Trust
    • Groom and coach leadership
    • Have skip 1:1’s, or many:1’s
    • Is leadership involved?
    • Have executive 1:1 time
    • Survey the staff
  • How do you influence people?
    • Know them
    • Trust
    • Rational logic
    • Influence the influencers, partnerships
    • Build consensus
    • Synergy – ask for help then help others
  • Why is it that groups like Lean Coffee struggle to grow?
    • Pitch at First Wednesday Connect
    • People are too busy
    • Give a list of topics to E29 James
    • Do marketing and promotion
    • Refine meetup time and duration
  • Do you use kanban at home?
    • Jim Benson and Tonianne book – Personal Kanban
    • Kansan with images
    • Does ticket style change when in process?
    • Expands short-term memory
    • Physical board is nice
    • Trello
  • What do you do when stakeholders aren’t available?

Another fun Lean Coffee…




The top topic for this session was – An agile adventure! Transitioning…

A highly amusing meetup this time around due to the top topic! See what we discussed:

  • An agile adventure! Transitioning.
    • PI planning was OK
    • Distributed teams
    • Timebox-challenged
    • SAFe
    • Load rate or ideal hours = 8 per day
    • Pair programming banned
    • Teams commit to “stretch goal” work
  • Timeboxing rookies
    • It’s a value thing
    • Related to maturity
    • Audio cues
    • Timers
    • Timebox aggressively
    • Retro it
  • How do you make tech debt visible to the business?
  • Can distributed agile teams be successful?
    • State of Agile report, 80% of teams distributed
    • Scott Berkin book – The Year Without Pants
    • Timezone difference
  • How do you deal with disgruntled employees?
  • Should non-story tasks (bugs, engineering, research) be given story points?
  • Unconference Canberra 2016 overview
  • Should Lean Coffee change time and locations?
  • SAFe Scrum versus agile
  • What do you do with stinky work?
  • Kanban versus Scrum. Cagefight!
  • If you have a hammer… overuse/misuse of tools

The topics discussed and associated notes are in bold.

Lots of topics were proposed and we only discussed a few this week. The first topic was so amusing we kept voting to talk about it more…


Ha! The blog post for the last Lean Coffee, on time! More or less…

How about that? A blog post for the last actual session of Lean Coffee and not a catchup post. Yay! This happened on May 22, 2016:

  • User stories. What’s the point?
    • Value story
    • “so that” often neglected
  • How do you teach/encourage initiative?
  • How do you do better networking?
    • Buy someone coffee
    • Volunteer for conferences
    • Business cards
    • LinkedIn
  • How should you handle unexpectedly large tasks?
  • How do you turn a backlog into a proposal w/ cost attached?
  • Where do you find the time and energy to work on personal projects?
  • Kanban cards – the top 3 infos to have on it
  • How do you retain sanity when working on bad legacy code?

Once again, the topics (and notes) in bold were actually discussed.


A great time was had!

Next time we meet in a pub. Yeah, baby…

Yes, another catchup blog post! The hot topic this week – What potential problems could there be practicing Lean Startup-like ideas in an established environment?

A very very nice set of topics were brought up and discussed this session:

  • What potential problems could there be practicing Lean Startup-like ideas in an established environment?
    • Design Thinking, e.g. Nordstrom
    • Deutsch Telekom case study
    • Lean Startup classes here at E29 and CBRIN
    • Enterprise Immune System, EIS
    • Experienced startup peeps might use Lean Startup
  • Team updating boards (without constant reminding)
    • If you don’t move a ticket then you get to do a daily email report
    • Bring it up in retro
    • Make people accountable
  • What is pair programming? How do you do it?
    • The effect from a best practice, it’s a forcing function to create readable code
    • It’s a cultural shift and requires comparable personalities
    • Book by Crosby, “Quality is Free”
    • The bug curve
    • 1 terminal with many devs
    • Productivity is visible
    • 1 dev writes, 1 dev talks
    • Just plain ol’ pairing, not just devs
    • Quality
    • Knowledge transfer
  • Should a Scoutmaster care about what the team builds?
    • Is the Scrummaster as Project Manager?
    • Get the interested people involved
  • Who handles a team member who doesn’t wasn’t to agile?
  • Can you cancel a sprint?
  • Collaboration tools
  • Refactor or rewrite
  • Lean Coffee should involve actual coffee (or beer)

The topics in bold were discussed and the notes are included above for your reference.



Plus we got nice feedback – Great talks. Interesting topics. Good atmosphere, inclusive.

Thanks! Well, see you next time…

Yet another catchup post – Topic topic was “Does having a Scrummaster assume a level of immaturity of team members?”

Well, here are the topics:

  • Does having a Scrummaster assume a level of immaturity in team members?
  • Is Scrum agile?
  • What to do when your client wants you to develop an app – but he has not yet really figured out what customers want or how the business model will work. Should I just focus on the s/w or try to push back until the bigger picture is more clear? Whew!
  • What are “Consultancy X’s” experiences with agile so far?
  • Can a 14 year old take the CSM course?


We managed to discuss all of the topics above, but no notes were taken. As you can see, our crowd-sourced topics can take us anywhere!