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!

Catch-up blog post

Maintaining a blog is hard work! This is a catch-up post so you can explore what we have been talking about in our sessions. In this session, we had these topics proposed:

  • Where to start a startup?
    • Lean Startup + Lean Thinking – Steve, our guru provided a diagram
    • Starting with an idea is the wrong way to do it!
  • Any suggestions for funding proposals to bid for $1.5 million in innovation/capability/development up for grabs by ACT government?
    • Innovation with kids
    • PR/marketing
    • Google fiber project
  • How do you do continuous demos?
    • Prep
    • Have CD pipeline
  • How do you decide which bits of Scrum you actually need?
    • Can you really pick and choose?
    • You need to examine motivations
  • Are interns/students worth it?
    • Integrate carefully
    • Do you pay for it?
    • They need supervision
    • Plan for it
  • Kanban at home
  • Lean UX


The topics we actually discussed are in bold, plus the associated notes that go along with the topics. Another great session!

Long lost update

We continue to meet after numerous public holidays sunk our usual Monday time slot and we shifted around to Thursday a couple of times. Today we had some really interesting topics.

  • What approaches have you seen work to change Exec behaviours that undermine Agile success; rigid approvals, slow review, annual budgets, etc?
  • Burn out – how to avoid?
    • Raising morale
    • Executives aren’t aware of reality
    • Software “death march”
  • How to tell the story of the cumulative flow diagram?
    • Lead times
    • Bottlenecks
  • Planning documents – valuable or a waste of time?
    • Test case planning¬†– test driven development
    • Documents are for communicating
    • Using the product backlog
    • Old artefacts from waterfall
    • Reference Agile manifesto
  • Managing the message
    • The “potential to create unnecessary panic”
    • Product Owner is the stakeholder manager

And we ran out of time to discuss:

  • What are some ways to motivate engineers to do testing?
  • What are some good ways to manage bugs in a project?
  • Should you fix all bugs before working on features and improvements?

Our top topic – should we try harder to get ‘startup’ people involved with this group?

New people continue to attend and add value to our conversations! Our topics discussed this week, and the associated notes:

  • Should we try harder to get ‘startup’ people involved with this group?
    • Use Facebook
    • Get sponsors – ACS, E29, CBRIN, ANU
    • Present at Barcamp
  • Does Canberra have a startup guide for startups?
    • CBRIN
    • CBR Startup book – reference to come later
    • Let’s sync CBRIN with the Seattle Startup 100 list
    • The ANU TechLauncher
  • How do we make time to learn new things?
    • HR – time and budget allocated
    • A Google 20 sprint
    • A Google 20 allocation of velocity
    • Be bite-sized
    • Remember conferences and classes
  • How do you do a whole-business level retrospective?
    • At team level first and then bubble up
    • Scaling Up by Verne Harnish


The topics proposed, but not discussed:

  • Does learning imply action?
  • What is bimodal IT?
  • How do we enable Barcamp?
  • What are you doing?


Please join us and add to the dialog! We have a special session on Feb 29, Leap Year Lean Coffee – it only happens once every 4 years.



Coordinating agile remotely and more

More great discussion this week on a variety of topics. We’re looking for ideas to get more people involved – feedback is welcome!IMG_1695

  • Distributed Agile – coordinating remote locations
    • Video
    • Group chat
    • Josh <3’s #slack
    • Come together
    • Tools
  • Scrum or Kanban (or something else?)
    • You can mature into Kanban
    • Culture change is driven by the person with appetite
    • It’s all cultural
    • Kanban the growing methodology
    • Kanban good for mature teams
    • Path to agility
  • To be a Scrum Master or a Product Owner, that is the question
    • Glue motivates like people, helps deliver
    • Can a persona be an SM & a PO at the same time?
    • PO & SM are different
    • PO: negotiator vs collaborator. All about value
    • PO is external reality & SM is internal reality
  • How do you motivate equally ranked people?
  • What’s the best retro you’ve ever seen?
    • Timeline, no blame, conclusion – proposal
    • Facilitator gives ownership
    • Military calling it like it is
    • Always the day after
    • School @ Chapel
    • Do the action items
    • Psychotherapy
  • How do you keep morale up during an extremely busy period?
  • How do you type ‘agile’ people?
  • How can we attract more people to this group?
  • How many layers do you need between business interests and product decisions?