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From WIKISPEED to KiWIKISPEED and back (Gareth Evans & Stefan Söhnchen)


Gareth and Stefan will give us a preview of the presentation they'll enchant the crowd with at this year's Agile Australia conference in June.


Here's what they'll be talking about:

We are a distributed team of nearly 200 active volunteers - we all have day jobs - in about 20 different countries. We work as Agile teams using Lean software development techniques and design practices. Our members all have different skill sets, collaboratively we engineer, build, and produce, modular ultra-efficient super cars. Cars which are not only affordable and safe but capable of 100 miles per gallon (2.5l/100km).

Moreover, we are a non-profit organisation, and we aim to rapidly solve problems for the social good.

Our car project is the most advanced of our projects. However, there are for example, members who are progressing low cost medical centers and medical devices, developing modularised HydroHubs and creating flat-pack shelters for the homeless in disaster relief situations.

And who knows, presenting at Agile Australia 2013 might help spark an exciting new idea that can generate a critical mass in Australia - so that we can high five a newly established Team WIKISPEED OZ.

Learning outcomes

  • How Agile/Lean can be used in highly distributed grassroots teams.
  • Why open source Agile works and how far it might go. Taking Agile principles and practices out of the office to the people for the people.
  • How Lean manufacturing went to Lean software development and is now heading back to Lean manufacturing.
  • How this new approach to manufacturing may have profound effects as customers actually begin to design and build the products they want to consume.


Our speakers:

Gareth Evans (Agile coach , Assurity)

Gareth Evans has over 16 years experience in the IT industry, including over a decade in London where he first put his degree in economics to use as a software developer. Gareth gained experience in the banking industry on numerous large IT projects from front office investment banking to wholesale banking compliance as both a developer and team leader. During his time in the UK Gareth Gareth also gained an MSc in computing science including a thesis on evolutionary algorithms. Gareth’s last UK role as an Agile Software Coach at BBCWW allowed him to specialise in Kanban and Lean whilst participating in a highly successful case study as a member of the first team at BBCWW (and BBC) to transition to Kanban: "I believe it will be one of the most significant papers in Software Engineering this decade." - David Anderson. Gareth returned to New Zealand in 2009 where he has been working for Assurity as the Kanban Practice Lead. Gareth has enjoyed bringing successful economic outcomes to clients using Agile and Lean principles combined with solid technical practices that support continuous delivery.


Stefan Söhnchen (Agile Solutions Development Coach, Tait Communications)

Stefan Sohnchen is an anthropologist by trade who coaches technologists. Stefan’s love affair with Agile started 7 years ago when, based in London, he worked with teams distributed around the globe. Stefan has presented at various academic conferences in the past and this is his first appearance at an Agile conference. Stefan’s current quest is to explore how to best generate synergies between Agile principles and design thinking methods.

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  • Aya K.

    Their presentation was well enough done, they spoke well (particularly Gareth) but I thought the content was a bit directionless. More of a 'FYI' than a 'here's something you can learn'. Which may be more about unrealistic expectations on my part.

    May 29, 2013

    • Gareth E.

      Thanks for the feedback Aya, we will try and be more explicit about the structure for Agile Australia. One of the key messages was about how you can use Agile outside of software if you use the principles to inform the practices.

      May 29, 2013

    • Aya K.

      Cool, sorry my prev comment was so blunt, early morning blues! That's a really good key message. I didn't get a strong sense of you guys having a vision or goal - how do you know when you're done? Good luck with it though. The car sounds really hard to achieve, the water thing is a great idea and sounds a bit more achievable. I'd love to go to a concert and not have to pay $4 for a bottle of water.

      May 29, 2013

  • Julian A.

    @richard-fortune - this has you written all over it!

    May 28, 2013

    • Richard F.

      Sadly had to present at the League of Makers Confab so had to give this a miss. Absolutely my kind of thing. Gutted I missed it.

      May 29, 2013

  • Julian A.

    Interesting look at manufacturing and social good. Nice to see some co-operation between chch and aucks =D

    May 28, 2013

  • Nick P.

    Sorry, child care wasn't as agile and has fallen through :-(

    May 27, 2013

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