Agile Tour Dublin 2016 Roundup

Monsoon Consulting
Agile Tour Dublin 2016 Roundup
Agile Tour Dublin 2016 Roundup

Agile Tour is an annual series of non-profit events which occur in October and November across several cities. The Agile Tour conferences feature a range of workshops and talks from experts in the field of agile development, allowing learners and practitioners to share stories, tips, tricks and any lessons learned. We sent a team of Product Owners to attend the recent Agile Tour here in Dublin. 

Firstly, What is Agile?

Agile seems to be one of those buzzwords that we keep hearing about in the tech industry. To define it simply, agile development is a process of managing software development projects, often involving self-organising and cross-functional teams. It is a methodology which is adaptable, consistently evolving, and one which we follow here at Monsoon Consulting. 

Agile Tour Dublin Roundup

The Future Present of Scrum (Are we Done yet?)

This event was a great opportunity for our Product Owners to learn about the latest developments in agile methodology. Following a Welcome & Agenda, the conference kicked off with an analysis of the current state of Scrum with Gunther Verheyen's keynote, 'The Future Present of Scrum (Are we Done yet?)'.

Gunther outlined how despite being 21 years old and now the most common agile project management methodology adopted worldwide, Scrum is not yet used properly in all companies. Businesses and societies are becoming increasingly dependent on software. As a result, the urgency to improve is, in fact, critical. Gunther proceeded to provide some clarity on the definition of 'Done' and the importance of creating releasable increments in each sprint. 

Done is a crucial part of Scrum, actually.
Gunther Verheyen

After this introductory keynote, our team split to attend various talks and workshops throughout the day. Some of these were really interesting, with a range of content tailored to attendees who are learning, practising or advancing their knowledge of Agile. Here are our highlights from some of the sessions we attended:

3 Common Scrum Failure Modes and (Hopefully) Some Solutions

Certified Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Coach for Dell IT, Chris Walsh provided an engaging presentation detailing the challenges and failure modes of Scrum-based development efforts. Chris discussed failures that can present in the Product Backlog, the Scrum Team and the Increment, with some insights into symptoms, potential causes and possible solutions. It was great to hear from his experience and to be mindful of these potential scenarios going forward in our own projects. 

Agile in Flight

Alan Coates from Ryanair gave a fascinating talk about how the business delivered a completely new website and mobile apps using agile methodology.

His highly entertaining talk focused in on how agile has made them more nimble and capable of delivering on the wishes of outspoken CEO Michael O'Leary. We heard how they were able to transform an ageing web platform into a modern and beautiful, user-focused website. 

Interestingly, he also discussed how Ryanair have multiple teams working in collaboration. Some are suing Scrum, some using Kanban and others using hybrid methodologies that just work for them. In fact, some of them even still work using Waterfall. 

The Snail Entrepreneur

Claudio Peronne is a Lean & Agile management consultant, helping teams evolve fast. The creative force behind and, Claudio presented an innovative approach to what it means to embrace an agile mindset. This fun session focused on his 7-year old son's entrepreneurial efforts to sell snails, the options available to him, the experiments he tried, and the results he achieved through iteration, determination and continuous evolution. Startups could certainly learn a thing or two from this kid!  

Overall, Agile Tour Dublin 2016 was an informative and engaging conference with plenty of takeaways for our agile teams to implement in our projects. We look forward to the next one! 

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