Create Leaders at Every Level, Workshop – Agile Australia 2015


I highly recommend attending the course. The book is an absolute marvel and being involved in a live workshop will help you embed the ideas into your own minds and further into your organisation.

Originally posted on Blog: Intent-Based Leadership:

Join us for a workshop at the Agile Australia Conference in Sydney on June 16th.

Create Leaders at Every Level, Workshop: Practical steps on HOW to Delegate & Inspire your Team

Creating Intent-Based Leadership organizations results in a work place where everyone engages and contributes their full intellectual capacity. A place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work – a place where everyone is a leader. 

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It was late, so what!

The year was 1993 and I did an honours year at Curtin University.  I was awarded a Lower Second.  It was late by a month and they said it was worth an Upper Second.  FYI – To get First Class you need to doing an original piece of work.  I was extending something already started.

Was that a valid reason to give a lower score.  Others were late but apparently gave good excuses, like finishing a piano competency and some others I don’t recall but sounded equally invalid.


I decided not to contest.  Dates are not a valid measure as such.  It someone finds it valuable then this should not matter.  That said managing WIP and slicing work would’ve helped.  But despite this we still get it wrong and yet we place so much emphasis on deadlines and their cousin estimates.

I did something more valuable in retrospect.  I was a student councillor and I created a magazine and got people collaborating.  Getting a lower mark on a lone pursuit is a small price to pay then so be it.  I get and still receive criticism for it.  I think they are wrong.

Do something that aligns to your ‘Why‘ as Simon Sinek would say.  Conformance leads to mediocrity I think.

For those interested the work of the thesis (1, 2) was on MIME – the start of multimedia in internet email.  The stuff in the work is now so everyday it’s really dated.  If I had known about Visual Basic I could have created a program in 20% of the time as compared to C and X-Windows.  It could have been in earlier even.  But I could not be seen to be using a simple language at a University. LOL.

It’s still worth an Upper Second for the time – if they said it was!

Agile Adria Conference Mind Map Collection

Mind maps from some sessions at Agile Adria 2015 held at Terme Tuhelj just outside of Zagreb in Croatia.  They are rough but still good memory joggers.  More may flow from these depending on time.


Joshua Arnold – Cost of Delay


Vasco Duarte – Product Owner Toolkit

Tom Gilb - Power to the Programmers

Tom Gilb – Power to the Programmers

Miroslav Oračić - Restructuring at Hrvatska Pošta

Miroslav Oračić – Restructuring at Hrvatska Pošta

Miroslav Oračić - Restructuring at Hrvatska Pošta

Mary Poppendeick – The Scaling Dilemma Part 1


Mary Poppendeick – The Scaling Dilemma Part 2


Mary Poppendeick – The Scaling Dilemma Part 3


Mary Poppendeick – The Scaling Dilemma Part 4


Mary Poppendeick – The Scaling Dilemma Part 5

Stephen Parry - Closing Keynote: Staying on Purpose

Stephen Parry – Closing Keynote: Staying on Purpose

Retro Games from the 80’s

A reminiscence. Remember the basic graphics and sound of those early games. Here’s a simple game called Gridder I cloned from a Commodore 64 game called Supergridder. It’s written in C.  I was infatuated with this simple game of the C64 and thought it an interesting project to write my version of the game as a project.

Screen 2 of Gridder

Screen 2 of Gridder

To run it you will need a Dos emulator like DosBox. You will also need to slow the CPU speed down in the emulator. In dosbox you can use Ctrl-F11 to decrease the CPU speed.  Use the mount command in the emulator to access the downloaded game on your local hard drive e.g. mount c c:\temp.

When the game was written it worked on much slower hardware. It’s quite hard to play when it’s too fast.  If you have an ancient dos machine it will probably still run.

Game Play

The idea of the game is to fill in the borders of the rectangles to cause a rectangle to be filled in. At the same time the player needs to stay out of sight of the two bugs. If you are caught you lose a life but you can put a temporary gap between you and the bug by pressing the F1 key. On completion of a screen you move onto another screen with a different layout. You score by filling in rectangles. Complete a screen fast and score a bonus with the time left on the countdown timer added to your score.


Software Methodology Tussles Concluded

In computing’s earlier days some 25 to 40 years ago we had a big tussle on for software development methodologies. In 1993, I and another Honours Student wrote about some research we conducted to catalogue just some of them, and yes there were a lot, and we produced this paper in all its student glory (part 1 and part 2).  I don’t have the electronic version anymore, rather the scanned copy which I somehow manged to divide into two sections during the scanning process i.e. paper jam.

We started with methodologies that were somewhat driven by the technology at the time.  For example procedural based languages created a number of Structured System Analysis models like Edward Yourdon’s (Modern Structured Analysis) also covered by Meilor Page-Jones’s famous book Structured Systems Design.  Information Engineering was somewhat data driven and made one of its originators a lot of money that he was able to live it up on a Carribean Island for the rest of his days.  Some, fortuntately did emphasis the people side of things.  The paper acknowledges this as generations of methods emerged.

This is where we have got to today.  People still create software and usage of ‘guides’ like Scrum, Kanban and some hybrids specifying varying levels of details recognise this.  Various prescriptions work in different contexts and our job as developers of solutions is to apply the right methods.

Furthermore the prescriptions I’ve seen attempted over the last 20 years have all been, to put it bluntly, been terrible.  Rational Rose’s Object Oriented View of the World was an improvement but still smelt of documentation beauty rather than delivering real customer value.  Consulting firms tried to market their methods and created massive tombs of unreadable text that no one bothered with anyway.  I remember reading in 2003 DMR’s (now Fujitsu Consulting) massive metholodolgy – they must have been thinking that execution word for word would produce the system everyone wanted.  It never happened quite the way the authors expected.  Prince2 is a repackaged variant of documentation heavy methodology which seems to be implemented by automatons keen on producing wonderfully thick documents with idiosyncratic diagrams and prose of the authors own concoction and no one else’s that should be filed in fiction in the library.  I’m not sure the claims that Prince2 can coexist in an Agile environment, the way I saw it implemented says no.  It could’ve have been that they didn’t understand that cross functional teams, a backlog, a willingness to create working software early and regularly and to break dependencies is critical to it’s success (credit to Mike Cottemeyer to making this stark).

Agile is certainly an improvement, but as we learn more about human interactions we can expect more improvements in the coming years. As for a tussle, it’s still a tussle given the way I observe the interchanges amongst Scrum, Kanban and the various scaling approaches.

They never replied part 2 – They always report too late

A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about news reports about waste debacles in the WA State Government.  Now in yesterdays West Australian (see picture below, How The Cracks Appeared) we find out that in July 2014 that they realised $6 million had been wasted on the paperless environment project for Fiona Stanley hospital.  We also find in the same article that there are more endemic problems in the system.

FSH Report Too Late

Many saw this first hand.  We saw it coming. Some tried to raise the alarm but upper management would not hear them.  They were valid concerns.  Some decided to leave out of honour.  Some stayed silent but knew of the issues but felt it unsafe for career and more basic survival needs to stay silent.

Time and time again we see these incidents whereby a post mortem reveals the truth only after the waste has been realised.  Like most post mortems no real lessons are learnt.  I hear in a news report that the premier Colin Barnett thinks that Fiona Stanley Hospital is running well.  Talk about sweeping dirt under the carpet, the typical old style politician more concerned for political survival.

F Scott Fitzgerald Mindset

Courtesy Bold Mover and Bernd Shiffer

We can get so blinkered to our own point of view that we shut ourselves out to other ideas (I wrote last year about this).  The challenge is to train ourselves to accept diversity of opinion.  It can be done.  For example try dissent cards from David Marquet or Ritual Dissent from Cognitive Edge. Dissent can be done with respect. Even if not done with respect, take notice and look to repair the grievance as well.

Overall adoption of Lean mindsets is the first starting point.  Here’s an article from last year about this and good be a nice easy start.  This is Lean by Niklas Modig is also a good start.  There is much more but it could be overwhelming to start with all of it.

One request of the State Government.  Do not spend that $25 million mentioned in this article on working out how to do it better.  It’s just a repeat of same disastrous mindsets.  It can be done much, much cheaper. Just start small with one idea.  The founder of Zambrero had the right idea with the One Disease initiative.

In memory to recently departed former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, I’d like to repeat his quote as it’s apt in life when things appear to be hard. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy, but take courage child — it can be glorious.” it’s originally from Back to Methuselah by George Bernard Shaw. Fraser was seen as a divisive figure but I hope he’d also embrace this mindset.

What is BDD?


I quote liked this blog from Liz Keogh. Agile culture, more generally, is and will continue to creep into all things humans do. We mustn’t forget the Lean folks, they really laid the path over several decades. They are like martyrs for a better world order. We still have some way to go and adjusting mindsets takes some time.

Originally posted on Liz Keogh, lunivore:

At #CukeUp today, there’s going to be a panel on defining BDD, again.

BDD is hard to define, for good reason.

First, because to do so would be to say “This is BDD” and “This is not BDD”. When you’ve got a mini-methodology that’s derived from a dozen other methods and philosophies, how do you draw the boundary? When you’re looking at which practices work well with BDD (Three Amigos, Continuous Integration and Deployment, Self-Organising Teams, for instance), how do you stop the practices which fit most contexts from being adopted as part of the whole?

I’m doing BDD with teams which aren’t software, by talking through examples of how their work might affect the world. Does that mean it’s not really BDD any more, because it can’t be automated? I’m talking to people over chat windows and sending them scenarios so they can be checked, because we’re never in…

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