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A simple formula for becoming Lean, Agile and unlocking high performance teams

  • Mar 20, 2013 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Join us at 6pm for a 6:30pm start, finish by 7:30pm for drinks afterwards and $5 schnitzels out the back.

To get us started we have guest speaker Rowan Bunning presenting "A simple formula for becoming Lean, Agile and unlocking high performance teams":

In an effort to become Agile and/or Lean, many organisations in Australia are attempting to design their own custom Agile process from Agile and Lean principles at the time at which they are least qualified to do so - before they have started.

This might appear to make sense if you set out to 'implement the Agile Methodology' or 'do Agile.' Would you be surprised to hear that neither of these phrases make sense?! (That's one of the myths we'll bust). After all, aren't you acting in the adaptable spirit of Agile to pick and choose which practices you adopt and how you implement them? Every organisation is unique, right?

In reality, organisations taking this approach, tend to pick the easy 'low hanging fruit' that are easy for them to adopt over those that offer the most improvement over the status quo. In pulling up stumps early and 'wimping out' of the harder organisational changes, such organisations unconsciously stifle their teams' ability to reach for high performance and limit the organisation's ability to go beyond "good" to be truly "great". They may also be missing the essential understanding that Agile practices were designed to work as an inter-dependent system of disciplined practice. As Kent Beck put it: "No single practice works well by itself, each needs the other practices to keep them in balance. If you follow 80% of the process you get 20% of the benefits."

If, however, you set out to be a high performing organisation, this may not be adequate.


What if there was a way to avoid a half-baked 'Agile-ish' approach producing half-baked outcomes? What if you could get there by "standing on the shoulders of giants"?

What if there were a simple formula for becoming truly Agile?

(Genuinely living the Agile Software Development values and principles.)

What if this simple formula also implicitly implemented the core principles of Lean and did so in a way based not on repetitive Lean Manufacturing of physical objects but on a type of Lean that is much more appropriate for complex knowledge work and systems development?

What if this formula also implemented the management/leadership approaches suggested for a Complex problem domain as per the Cynefin framework?

What if this formula enabled rapid cycles of learning about both:- what the customer really needs and- what techniques are required to rise to the challenge of delivering it using contemporary technologies?

What if this formula was proven to scale and could support you through the Agile Journey from pilot to whole-organisation transformation?

What if this formula was self-correcting in terms of both your project outcome and your processes themselves?

What if there was a way to unlock the full synergistic potential of teams and realise truly high performance?

What if key elements of this formula had been proven through decades of innovation in Japan and the world's most successful technology company: Apple?
What if the secret formula of many of the world's most innovative technology companies was not a secret any more but rather a clear set of patterns for you to use free of charge?

Q: Is there something that meets all the above criteria?

A: Yes there is!

Q: What is it?

A: Well, you'll have to come along to this session to find out!

The answer may surprise you.

What we'll do
In this session will make specific connections between the formula in question and key Lean and Agile principles along with enablers of high performance teams.

This will be backed-up by the presenter's experience of doing this in a variety of organisations.

What you'll get out of this
- A clearer understanding of how Lean, Agile and similar approaches relate.
- Some strong selling points for your Agile / Lean adoption.
- The busting of some lingering myths you may believe.
- A clearer direction for starting or strengthening your Agile approach.

About the Presenter

Rowan Bunning

Rowan Bunning is a pioneer of Scrum in Australia. With a background in object-oriented software design, web architecture and information systems, Rowan was introduced to Agile development techniques over a decade ago as "the way good Smalltalkers develop software". Seeing the need for deep organisational and project management change to better leverage such disciplined technical practices, Rowan became Australia's first Certified Scrum Practitioner and Certified Scrum Trainer.

Rowan has built extensive experience training, leading and coaching Agile adoptions across Australia, New Zealand, the U.K, and Ireland. This includes working as an Agile Coach and ScrumMaster at one of the leading agile consultancies in the U.K. (Conchango). Since 2008, Rowan has trained well over 1,000 people in Scrum, Product Ownership, Effective User Stories and Agile Estimating and Planning. He has built a reputation for using an encouraging and empathic style to facilitate training that is both challenging and highly interactive.

Rowan is highly active in the Agile community internationally and has spoken at several conferences in Europe and North America including Scrum Gatherings in London (2007) and Munich (2009). In Australia, Rowan founded a successful Agile special interest group supported by the Australian Computer Society and helped to initiate Scrum User Groups in Sydney and Brisbane. Rowan holds a Bachelors degree in Information Technology, is a PRINCE2 Practitioner, is Cognitive Edge accredited and is a trained Innovation Games® facilitator. Based in Sydney, Rowan is available throughout Australia for training, agile coaching and consulting.

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  • Rowan B.

    As requested, here are the slides from the inaugural meetup this week in a special extended edition:

    We covered the Lean knobs in Scrum and the Half-baked Agile but not the Ingredients in the formula which is about the patterns from high performance software development teams etc. that Scrum is based on. The good news is that you can catch up on this from the inventor himself, Jeff Sutherland:

    And just for a bit of fun...
    Here's the Spinal Tap video mentioned on taking it to 11:
    And for light entertainment only, an air guitar performance:

    Remember to take advantage of your discount code and hopefully I'll see some of you at the inaugural Scrum Australia conference in April!


    1 · March 22, 2013

  • Swathi

    Thanks Rowan for sharing the information and Thank you Trent for organising this Event.

    March 21, 2013

  • Darryl D.

    Can't make this meeting, but will definately endeavour to attend in the future

    March 20, 2013

  • Trent M.

    Thanks for the correction Kathryn, have updated the venue details!

    March 19, 2013

  • kathryn

    I think the Crown & Anchor is now known as Theatre Lane, for those of you who aren't lifelong Novocastrians :-)

    March 19, 2013

  • Trent M.

    Sorry to hear you can't make it Paul, I suppose "The Boss" has to take priority! :-) Unfortunately no plans at this stage to stream the event, perhaps something we can look to do in future meetups.

    March 19, 2013

  • Paul H.

    Any chance this presentation is being streamed online?

    March 19, 2013

  • Paul H.

    Bummed that I can't make it now. Wife is seeing Springsteen on Wed night so I'm on kid duty. I look forward to attending next time!

    March 19, 2013

  • Stephen N.

    Won't be able to make this meeting...but I hope to make the next one.

    March 18, 2013

  • Trent M.

    No worries Lars, we're hoping to have our meetups monthly.

    March 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would love to attend but won't be able to at this date. Hope the next meeting won't be too far away!!

    March 12, 2013

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