Four themes that matter today


In our fast-changing world, keeping your business relevant means having a relentless focus on the end user. How do Agile digital skills and mindset help organisations leverage rich data, understand users better and deliver quality technology at pace?


Businesses that are 'born digital' adopt Agile methods, Lean approaches and flexible technologies as a matter of course. This allows them to 'turn on a dime' in response to user demand and competitive threat. How can we best help large, established organisations to achieve these characteristics?


Today's most advanced businesses are experimenting with ideas for a future where their organisations may not even exist. How can Agile help businesses innovate for a disruptive future, take appropriate risks, learn fast and fold that learning back into the wider business to deliver value?

Sustainable Transformation

Leadership teams in transformed businesses support a risk-aware climate where teams are the unit of delivery and Lean|Agile are the default approaches for delivery. How can large, legacy organisations transform to this environment, sustain it and accept change as the new normal?


Luke Hohmann
Founder & CEO, The Prioritization Company

Being Agile vs Agile Doing
Day one – 9:20am

The Agile Community loves to talk about 'leadership' and how better 'leaders' can bring project success. And most of the popular Agile methods love to frame 'leadership' as the essential ingredient of success. Unfortunately, too many teams spend too much time discussing these topics without fully appreciating their deeper meanings.

In this interactive keynote, Luke Hohmann will provide a framework for more deeply understanding both leadership and management. By carefully distinguishing these terms and then removing these distinctions, we'll see how we can be better leaders and managers, no matter what kind of Agile we're practising.

About Luke Hohmann

Luke Hohmann is the Founder and CEO of Conteneo, Inc. Known globally as The Prioritization Company, Conteneo's platforms help identify, shape and align on priorities and customers' priorities, increasing engagement and improving effectiveness. Luke is also co-founder of Every Voice Engaged Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps citizens and governments tackle technical and wicked social problems.

Mike Orzen
President & Founder, Mike Orzen & Associates, Inc.

Connecting the Dots: Agile, DevOps, Lean IT
Day two – 9:00am

"Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful”. This quote captures the fact that, in the complex world of IT, we need the best insights and methods Agile, DevOps and Lean IT offer to drive radical improvement.

No single body of knowledge has all the answers, yet combined they offer a roadmap towards sustained sweeping change for the better. In this talk, we’ll explore the relationship between Lean IT, Agile and DevOps and the paradigm that creates trust, engagement and results.

About Mike Orzen

Mike Orzen has been learning and applying lean and continuous improvement for over 25 years. Considered a pioneer in the field of Lean IT, Mike is co-author of Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise which was awarded the Shingo Prize. Last year, he co-authored a second book The Lean IT Field Guide which provides a deployment framework to make Lean IT transformation a reality. An internationally recognised consultant, coach and keynote speaker, Mike is an advisor and instructor with the Lean IT Association, an assessor with The Shingo Institute for Operational Excellence and faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute. He also teaches at several universities. A lifelong learner of lean and IT, Mike coaches C-level leaders, managers and transformation coaches in several different industries. As President of Mike Orzen & Associates, he works with organisations to leverage lean thinking while emphasising respectfully engaging people, improving business process capability and leveraging technology to enable a culture of enterprise excellence.

Lynne Cazaly
Speaker, Author & Facilitator

Agile-ish – How to Build a Culture of Agility
Day two – 3:50pm

With the rise of Agile as a mindset (not a buzzword) and the success of methods like the Lean Startup, it’s time to bring these ways of working into teams and organisations the world over. Yes, it’s a cultural shift, yet it need not be tackled all at once... and you can iterate, improve on it.

Discover what you can do, now, and where the journey to agility can begin... if it isn’t already underway. Disruption isn’t letting up anytime soon. You’ll need to adapt.

About Lynne Cazaly

Lynne Cazaly is the author of four books – Leader as Facilitator: How to inspire, engage and get work done, Making Sense: A Handbook for the Future of Work, Create Change: How to apply innovation in an era of uncertainty and Visual Mojo: How to capture thinking, convey information and collaborate using visuals. Lynne works with project teams, executives and senior leaders on major change and transformation projects. She helps people distil their thinking, apply ideas and innovation and boost the engagement and collaboration effectiveness of teams. She is also an experienced board director and chair and a partner with Thought Leaders and on faculty of Thought Leaders Business School.

Patricia Kong
Product Owner,

Scaling Scrum Without Crushing Its Soul
Day one – 1:30pm

At the core of Scrum is the empowered self-organised team. However, when organisations scale, if they are not careful, they can disempower teams and destroy self-organisation. When they do, they don't get what they are looking for and the teams end up feeling defeated and unmotivated.

When organisations impose order and consistency from the top down, they lose the benefits of Scrum. What they need is to scale the benefits of Scrum to multiple teams working together to deliver an integrated product, but without destroying transparency and the courage, respect, commitment, focus and openness that Scrum encourages.

In this talk, Patricia will explore the common dysfunctions of scaling and how to overcome them. In the process, she'll describe the Nexus Framework for scaling Scrum. Nexus extends Scrum by focusing on removing cross-team dependencies, freeing teams to do their best work. Nexus builds on Scrum in a minimal way, helping organisations scale Scrum without destroying the essence of it. 

About Patricia Kong

Patricia Kong is co-author of The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum published by Pearson. She is also a public speaker and mentor. Patricia is the Product Owner of the enterprise solutions program which includes the Nexus Framework, Evidence-based Management, Scrum Studio and Scrum Development Kit. She also created and launched the Partners in Principle Program.

Patricia is a people advocate fascinated by organisational behaviour and misbehaviours. She emerged through the financial services industry and has led product development, product management and marketing for several early-stage companies in the US and Europe. At Forrester Research, Patricia worked with their largest clients focusing on business development and delivery engagements. Patricia lived in France and now lives in her hometown of Boston. She is fluent in four languages.

Edwin Dando & Dan Teo
Assurity Consulting

Radical Transformation
Day one – 2:10pm

Being truly Digital requires a fundamentally different operating system that encourages a relentless re-examination of how you do business and where the new opportunities lie. When combined with the rise of the millennial worker, many leaders are finding that they need to make significant changes to how they lead their organisations.

Modern leadership is about empowering frontline staff to deeply focus on the customer, their challenges and desires. This is more than Agile. It is about devolving decision making to cross-functional, customer-focused teams, combined with more experiment-driven ways of uncovering real value and future opportunities.

We are in essence moving from an inward-looking perspective where staff seek direction from above and inside the organisation, to an outward, customer-focused view where the (often impatient, informed and empowered) customer is king. This approach requires a distinctly different style of leadership, foreign to most organisations.

In this talk, Edwin and Dan will share their insights from working with a number of New Zealand’s leading firms and how they are shaping a new leadership model appropriate for the Digital Age.

About Edwin Dando & Dan Teo

For over 15 years, Edwin has helped organisations re-think how they approach work and people. Edwin is by nature a creative disrupter, constantly seeking alternative, better and often creative solutions to modern workplace challenges. In 2006, Edwin founded Clarus, a consulting firm that led the way in Agile adoption in New Zealand.  Clarus was one of the first companies in the world to adopt Holacracy. It was subsequently acquired by Assurity Consulting in 2012. Edwin is now a key part of Assurity’s senior leadership team. He is a Professional Scrum Trainer and Evidence Based Management consultant with He lives largely self-sufficiently on a small organic farm and is a community-focused person who donates a percentage of his time to universities to help teach future leaders Agile thinking. He also teaches programming and Design Thinking to nine-year-olds at the local primary school. 

Dan is a 'change-the-world' thinker who positively influences to challenge status quo and inspires action. He has a passion for people and has played a broad role across the entire SDLC from Developer, Service Support Manager and Release Manager, Scrum Master to Agile Practice Manager. Before joining Assurity, Dan established and led a large-scale Agile practice at a Fortune 500 organisation supporting over 13 Scrum teams. Dan is a strong advocate of leadership being a multiplier of performance. He currently leads the Auckland branch of Assurity as GM – Auckland. Dan has also been nominated for the Talent Unleashed 2017 award for Most Progressive Leader, an award judged by Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak.

Rachel Davies & Liz Sedley
Makers Academy & Dyslexia Gold

Carry On Learning
Day one – 4:30pm

Everyone knows it’s not possible to be right all the time. Humans are unique and each team is different set in a unique organisational context. Coaches are often thrown into new situations and looked upon for support and guidance. Our XP values help us to take action in baby steps to gather feedback. Mistakes are inevitable. The important thing is to not freeze and let the fear of making them paralyse you.

More than 10 years ago, Rachel and Liz got together to pair on writing the first book on Agile Coaching. They dug deep into their experience with Agile/XP teams and share their insights in their book. Since then, they've learned loads more about coaching Agile teams. During this keynote, they'll relate some candid stories about their 'blooper' moments and how they turned these situations around.

About Rachel Davies & Liz Sedley

Rachel Davies is a world-renowned expert in Agile approaches to software development, especially Extreme Programming (XP) and author of Agile Coaching. Rachel started her career as a software engineer and, 30 years later, still enjoys the combination of creativity and problem solving involved in developing computer software. After five years coaching XP product development teams at Unruly in London, she's now Lead Engineer at Makers Academy, a company dedicated to helping people find jobs they love in the software industry.

Liz Sedley, co-author of Agile Coaching with Rachel Davies, has been a programmer and Agile coach for 25 years. She grew up in Wellington and studied Computer Science at Victoria University. In 1998, she got the travel bug and moved to London to help with the Y2K crisis :). She soon discovered Agile (Extreme Programming) and was captivated by it. She met Rachel when they were both working as Agile Coaches at the BBC. Over a pint at the eXtreme Tuesday Club, they decided to write a book together on Agile coaching. Now Liz uses her expertise in Agile and Lean to run her own software company Dyslexia Gold which helps children with dyslexia to learn to read and write.

Pia Waugh
Department of Internal Affairs

Making Government a Node in a Network
Day two – 1:00pm

What is the role of government in modern society? For millennia, the role of the 'state' has been as a central power and authority, a controller of the marketplace and community that relies upon it. But now power has been massively distributed, individuals are more empowered than ever before and governments everywhere are learning to shift from being a king in a castle to a node in the network. An equal node at that.

This talk will discuss how government is starting to shift towards the role of an enabler for society through more Agile approaches in everything from service delivery to budgeting, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities therein. 

About Pia Waugh

Pia Waugh is an open government and data ninja who has recently joined the digital transformation and government as a platform cabal. She works within the (public sector) machine to enable greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. She believes that tech culture has a huge role to play in achieving better policy planning, outcomes, public engagement and a better public service all round. She is also trying to do her part in establishing greater public benefit from publicly funded data, software and research. Pia was awarded as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Australia for 2014.


Aaron Hodder
Assurity Consulting

Inclusive Collaboration – How Our Differences Can Make the Difference
Day one – 11:40am – Oceania Relevance

Personality quirks, character traits, mental diversity. Technology thrives on innovation and creativity, and therefore, our industry relies upon a wide variety of people who think, react, work, communicate, interact and socialise differently.

Most modern workplaces value collaboration, teamwork, interaction and change but, for many people, some of the ways we work and the working environments that result present unique challenges on top of the day-to-day technical challenges of software development. In some cases, they can stifle the very creativity and innovative thinking we are trying to foster.

In this talk, we'll explore how having a neurodiverse workforce can give you a competitive edge, and how the workplace can respect diverse needs and different requirements for interaction and collaboration to bring out the best in everyone's differences.

About Aaron Hodder

Aaron Hodder hails from Wellington where he works for Assurity Consulting to develop and deliver new and innovative testing practices to better suit the demands of modern-day software development. Aaron is a passionate software tester with a particular enthusiasm for visual test modelling and structured exploratory testing techniques. He regularly blogs and tweets about testing and is a co-founder of Wellington Testing Workshops.

Gareth Evans

Build for Speed
Day one – 10:50am – Oceania Relevance

In collaboration with Callaghan Innovation, Hypr have created the Build for Speed programme to help companies deliver value to customers faster.

Join Gareth to see how over 30 NZ software product companies have adapted their mindsets and changed their practices to focus on the flow of value to customers.

About Gareth Evans

Gareth has over 16 years experience in the IT industry, including more than a decade in London working in investment banking and media as a technologist, team leader and software coach. He holds an MSc in computer science and was one of the first people in the world to become a Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT).

Gareth is a speaker at NZ and international events including LSSC, Agile Australia and Agile New Zealand. Gareth co-founded Hypr to champion Agile architecture and lean software delivery for the benefit of the New Zealand software industry. He loves learning with others, music, travel and code!

Ceedee Doyle
Assurity Consulting

Top Signs You're Doing Agile, Not Being Agile
Day two – 3:00pm – Oceania Relevance

You know things aren't quite right, not working how you want them to, but you're not sure what to do about it. This session will help you recognise what symptoms you're experiencing, what that indicates about your situation and, more importantly, learn from your fellow agilists what you can do about it.

The session is totally interactive, not a talk, so you will get to watch, contribute and learn from others along the way.

About Ceedee Doyle

Ceedee Doyle is an Agile Consultant with 15 years' experience in IT projects. After eight years as a PM/BA managing projects as diverse as early childhood funding for MoE and Investment Governance for Public Trust, she spent five years as an independent contractor. 

A keen advocate for Agile practices, she spent many frustrated years wanting to put principles into practice. Having successfully completed many fully Agile projects, she can now confirm that it’s not just a myth, you can do things differently at work. 

Ceedee moved into a coaching role at Assurity in Wellington in 2013 and works with teams to improve what they do, helping businesses get value by using Agile techniques. In her spare time, she likes to cook fiery food, play board games and hit large pieces of stone with axes and chisels.

Shane Hastie
ICAgile & Agile Alliance New Zealand

The Foundations of Business Agility
Day two – 11:20am – Oceania Relevance

In the 21st century, organisations need to put the customer in the centre of our focus, shed outdated ways of thinking, embrace an Agile mindset, incorporate new ways of working and leverage the pace of change for competitive advantage.

This talk explores what it means to be Agile in a business context. It looks at the key elements needed, how they are interwoven and what is needed for organisations to transform their thinking and behaviour into new ways of working. Business agility is about putting the customer at the centre of the organisation’s focus, changing from measuring activities to outcomes and creating an ecosystem which unleashes the productivity and innovation already present in the people in the organisation. 

About Shane Hastie

Shane joined ICAgile in 2017 as the Director of Agile Learning Programs. He oversees the strategic direction and expansion of ICAgile’s learning programmes, including maintaining and extending ICAgile’s learning objectives, providing thought leadership and collaborating with industry experts, and supporting the larger ICAgile community which includes more than 90 member organisations and over 60,000 ICAgile certification holders.

Over the last 30+ years, Shane has been a practitioner and leader of developers, testers, trainers, project managers and business analysts, helping teams to deliver results that align with overall business objectives. Before joining ICAgile, he spent 15 years as a professional trainer, coach and consultant specialising in Agile practices, business analysis, project management, requirements, testing and methodologies for SoftEd in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

He has worked with large and small organisations, from individual teams to large transformations all around the world. He draws on over 30 years of practical experience across all levels of Information Technology and software intensive product development.

Shane is a former director of the Agile Alliance and is the founding Chair of Agile Alliance New Zealand. He leads the Culture and Methods editorial team for

Mia Horrigan
Zen Ex Machina

Scrumdiddlyumptious & the Killjoys
Day one – 3:40pm – Oceania Relevance

With the full title 'Scrumdiddlyumptious & the Killjoys: Why Leadership, Culture and Agile Mindset are Critical for High-performing Teams', Mia will discuss a tale of two new Agile teams within the same branch working on a large-scale transformation across the enterprise.

With two of 12 teams working on this product over 12 months, one team soared and exemplified the Agile mindset and were empowered, self-organising, high-performing and continuously improving while the other team struggled all the way and felt 'Agile' was being imposed on them and 'killing all their joy'. 

Mia explore the impact of leadership and culture. While these teams were in the same branch and working on the same product, they had different middle-level
management. The difference in respective leadership style and approach will be discussed, as well as how, with the right mindset, middle managers can make or
break a team. Whilst Scrumdiddlyumptious was high-performing, the Killjoys was plagued with directors' vested interests and a lack of Agile mindset which meant they gave
permission for the team not to change and embrace Agile. As a result, lots of anti-patterns emerged.

Enterprise adoption of Agile will only work if we have good practice happening at the team's level. For the cultural change to 'stick', we need to get back to basics and have good practice happening first, then scale across the enterprise fuelled by Lean leaders with an Agile mindset. Mia will discuss leadership and how to work with the directors to foster a culture that allows teams to thrive and the lessons we can learn from these two teams to recognise when there is director interference and how to address these anti-patterns using the values and principles of Agile.

About Mia Horrigan

Director of Program Delivery at Zen Ex Machina, Mia is a certified Professional Scrum Trainer (PST), experienced Agile Coach and Senior Program Manager with over 15 years' senior executive experience leading and implementing software solutions, including digital transformations. Mia has been working with Agile teams for over 10 years and is an experienced Product Manager and Scrum Master and has been successful in delivering business outcomes and value through successful implementation of Agile/Scrum at team and enterprise level. 


Ant Boobier

The Art of Dual-track Delivery
Day two – 3:00pm – Amokura Gallery

We all know the importance of product designers and developers working more closely together. One approach to achieving this is ‘dual-track delivery’. But we shouldn’t think of dual-track delivery as separate tracks, because they’re not.

They happen in tandem. They happen on one overall track with one purposeful team. A team with UX and development skills working together to test assumptions, learn what a customer really needs and deliver an outcome that is truly valued.

This talk will show how you can use categories of work to achieve ‘dual-track development’ and bring multiple disciplines together as one team – how you can balance the ‘Speed of Learning’ with the delivery of ‘Value to the Customer’.

About Ant Boobier

Ant Boobier is Practices Lead at BNZ and has been doing Agile for more years than he cares to remember. RAD in the 90s, XP in the 2000s and a magic mix of Lean UX and Agile today. He is a people geek who loves a good experiment.

Joe Kearns
Double-O Consultants

Teams: The Not So Secret Sauce to Make Your Teams Responsive
Day two – 10:30am – Amokura Gallery

In our working lives nearly everything we do is in teams. Sometimes we sit in two or three teams with our organisation. In the Agile world, we hear a lot about the 'cross-functional' team concept and the 'Agile mindset', but often we do little to understand what it means and even less to nurture the skills required within our teams to make them cross-functional or have the right mindset for success.

This presentation will get into the nitty-gritty of what the characteristics of a great team are, what to look for in individuals to identify whether they'll make great team players, plus some techniques on how to develop your team into a great one. All with a view to understanding how to set your teams on the path of being responsive to end user needs.

About Joe Kearns

Joe's been involved in software projects for over 20 years, during which he's seen a lot of good and bad practices. He draws on his knowledge of Agile, project management and leadership techniques to take a lead role to deliver successful change to client organisations.

Having worked as a Developer, Project Manager, IT Manager, General Manager, Product Owner and Scrum Master, Joe has a lot of software and business experience across a range of roles.


Matt Ray
Chef Software

DevSec Delight with Compliance as Code
Day one – 10:50am – Amokura Gallery

For too long, audits and security reviews have been seen as resistant to the frequent release of software. Auditors require access to static systems and environments, which would seem to make continuous delivery impossible. Too frequently audits are a fire drill sampling of the current state and temporary fixes are put in place to appease the compliance audit without being integrated into future releases.

What if auditing, compliance and security could be fully integrated into continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines? What if we automated our compliance policies so they could be 'shifted left' as part of the application and infrastructure lifecycle?

This session will discuss real examples of how to translate security and compliance requirements into software and make them a proactive part of the software delivery process. We can decrease risk by defining compliance rules as code and making them a part of the standard continuous delivery workflow.

About Matt Ray

Matt Ray is the Manager and Solutions Architect for Asia Pacific and Japan for Chef. He has worked in large enterprise software companies and founded his own startups in a wide variety of industries including banking, retail and government.

He has been active in open source communities for over two decades and has spoken at, and helped organise, many conferences and Meetups. He currently resides in Sydney, Australia after relocating from Austin, Texas. He podcasts at, blogs at and is @mattray on Twitter, IRC, GitHub and too many Slacks.

Russel Garlick
Catalyst IT

Shaking Leads to a Shake Up
Day one – 11:40am – Amokura Gallery

The 2016 Kaikoura quake was a traumatic event. Coming so close after the quakes in Christchurch, there is an ever increasing demand for information and data to help protect buildings and keep them safe.

The business of GeoNet is geohazard monitoring and warning. The Christchurch events spawned a massive amount of work that was still in progress when Kaikoura hit. With the flood of work coming in, GeoNet was swamped and looking for some better ways to make decisions about what to do and to get things done.

This is the story of their organisation-wide adoption of Agile and lean practices to help put some order around the chaos of natural disasters.

About Russel Garlick

Starting as a lowly content migrater back in 1999, Russel has a fairly unique work history in that he's only worked at open source software companies for the past 17 years.

Moving through different roles from web developer, UX designer, BA, then Project Manager, Scrum Master and now Agile Coach, he's always subscribed to the 'release early, release often' mantra.

As Catalyst IT's Agile Advocate, he helps teams either transition to Agile or improve their Agile craft. A large part of hiss role is teaching and training which he does at work as an ICAgile Accredited Trainer and outside work as both a MTB Skills Coach for WORD and Joyride and Chairperson of Trail Fund NZ.

Suzanne Nottage

Making the Invisible Visible: Showing WIP & Flow at Portfolio Level in Waterfall & Agile Companies
Day one – 3:40pm – Amokura Gallery

Kanban's principles require us to limit WIP in order to increase flow. Yet, traditional reporting across a portfolio often takes a siloed approach, with individual projects providing individual updates against common metrics like time, cost and scope delivered. Portfolio and Program Managers therefore don't have a view of the WIP of the 'system' or its impact on flow.

In this talk, Suzanne will provide examples of two large organisations (one more Agile than the other) that have found simple and effective ways of visualising WIP and flow across portfolios to drive improvements and provide feedback to non-IT stakeholders on the consequences of focusing on starting work rather than finishing work.

About Suzanne Nottage

Suzanne has worked with leaders and teams in Europe, Asia, the US and Australasia, particularly on leveraging Lean|Agile to improve delivery at portfolio level.

Her work has enabled teams to reduce WIP by 75% and failure demand by 40%, while increasing customer satisfaction (and team happiness).

Outside of work, Suzanne has also applied Agile in her triathlon training over the past eight years.


Adam Howard
Trade Me

Automated Agility?! Let's Talk Truly Agile Testing
Day one – 10:50am – Oceania Innovation

The move towards agility is an acceptance that we operate in an uncertain world. We can’t predict what will change in the future so we’ve evolved our practices toward flexibility, instead of attempting precognition. But have we evolved every practice?

Adam doesn't see much agility in testing. Indeed, many Agile testing strategies appear to be charging in the other direction – chasing completely automated testing, forgetting that automation is literally the practice of encoding our present understanding on the hope or assumption it exposes future problems. In this talk, Adam shows how this automate-all-the-things testing strategy is discordant with our Agile evolution and instead explores testing strategies with real agility – allowing an adaptive combination of useful automation with learning-focused exploration and post-deploy monitoring. This type of strategy allows testing to deliver more cohesively within the model of rapid experimentation and iteration that Agile organisations have recognised is key to their future.

About Adam Howard

Adam Howard is the Test Practice Manager at Trade Me in Wellington, New Zealand. He is passionate about helping to evolve the way testing is perceived and performed. A regular speaker at Meetups and conferences in NZ and internationally, Adam also helps organise local WeTest Workshops and is chief design and layout editor for Testing Trapeze, a bi-monthly testing magazine. He also writes about testing on his blog and occasionally manages to be concise enough to tweet as @adammhoward.

Alistair Sloley
The Learning Deli

Liberating Structures... 36 Tried & True Facilitation Techniques to Amp Up Your Org's Collaboration
Day two – 11:20am – Oceania Innovation

Learn how to facilitate the discussions your organisation needs and your organisation will learn how to have constructive dialogues. In this talk, Alistair will demonstrate how to use these techniques.

Prepare to be fully immersed and ready to wield your new knowledge the next day at work. Learn how to help your team(s), org(s) and company(ies)! Watch Alistair's video for more information.

About Alistair Sloley

Alistair Sloley is an Agile consultant, specialising in Agile training, Agile coaching and software development best practices training. Alistair is a 15-year veteran of Microsoft where he acted as a Program Manager, Software Test Engineer and Software Design Engineer in Test. During his tenure at Microsoft, he shipped in over 10 Microsoft products, worked with Microsoft Research on multiple high-profile projects and helped lead his organisation into enterprise-level implementation of Scrum. As an Agile Consultant for Steve McConnell at Construx Software, he led Agile transformation efforts at a variety of clients, spanning industry verticals and incorporating a diverse range of Agile techniques.

Aurelien Beraud

Born to Learn
Day one – 11:40am – Oceania Innovation

We naturally crave learning. It is an innate ability that has allowed us to survive, evolve and thrive. Moreover, science has shown us that our brain is quite flexible and can allow us to continue to learn at any point in our lives. It should then be logical to see most organisations using this to their competitive advantage.

However, are our organisations tailored to foster learning? Are we putting enough emphasis on growing people's ability to learn? And do we really take advantage of what science tells us about learning? To explore these questions, Aurelien digs into cognitive science, explores the concept of a growth mindset and reflects on how we can create the learning organisations of tomorrow.

About Aurelien Beraud

After a career as a Software Developer in Norway, Aurelien swapped the fjords up north for the glittering city of Auckland down under to do what he knows best. He now spends his days as an Agile Coach, helping teams to push their own limits and deliver products that change the life of their users. When he's not at work, he can be found geeking out in front of a game or exploring the intricacies of cognitive science.

Jakub Jurkiewicz
Assurity Consulting

Improv-e Your Innovation
Day two – 3:00pm – Oceania Innovation

Charles Darwin said: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Collaboration and Improvisation seem to be crucial for people and organisations to survive. We need both skills in order to innovate, amaze our customers and grow.

Collaboration is not easy, but at least it is something we are taught since early age. Improvisation, on the other hand, is something many people are afraid of. It brings unknowns and we are not good in dealing with unfamiliarity and uncertainty. Upfront requirements, following a plan and other waterfall practices, are supposed to help us feel more comfortable with the unknowns. And we all know how they play out in the real world, don’t we?

If improvisation is so crucial and so hard, why don’t we spend some time embracing improvisation and learning from it?

About Jakub Jurkiewicz

Currently Agile Consultant at Assurity and previously Agile Coach, Team Leader and Software Developer. Jakub worked in a startup where Agile and innovation were harnessed every day and in big corporation where people were afraid to mention their ideas. He learned that only through collaboration, openness and trust one can build a successful environment for change, grow and innovation.

Jacob Creech
Assurity Consulting

Modern Agile – What's It Good For?
Day one – 3:40pm – Oceania Innovation

The Agile Manifesto has been around since 2001 and, although the industry has rapidly developed, the principles still hold very true. However, there are lots of great new ideas that people have been experimenting with since the Manifesto was signed and, in this talk, attendees will hear about a few of these developments, focusing on the concept of Modern Agile.

Modern Agile is a simple way of summarising some of the key developments we’ve seen in Agile since 2001, which sounds great in theory but how do we actually apply these ideas in real life?

In this session, we'll take a short dive into each of the principles of Modern Agile and discuss some ways in which we can apply them, challenging some preconceptions and getting us to think about the future of Agile.

About Jacob Creech

Jacob started out in web development around 2000 and discovered that people constantly asked for things  they didn't actually need, which led him on a journey of discovery that ended up in this thing called 'Agile'. He found himself in China helping develop virtual products for Second Life and then as the one and only non-Chinese person in a web development agency – good for language practice, not so much for delivering amazing work.

After some time back in New Zealand on a usability product among other things, he returned to China to co-found an Agile consulting company, worked with a variety of large, impressive-sounding international companies at a scale that would make most New Zealand cities look tiny, and managed to stumble into a range of interesting opportunities all around Asia that kept him busy for the next few years.

However, after some time, he got the itch to return to NZ and ended up at Assurity in late 2015 where he now heads up the Agile practice and works with government and non-government clients to deliver work in ever-improving ways. In his spare time, he (poorly) plays table tennis and enjoys naming babies after entrepreneurs.

Penny Goodwin & Chetan Parbhu
BNZ Digital

Chocolate, Cider & Product Ownership
Day two – 10:30am – Oceania Innovation

When product ownership became the new roadmap for BNZ Digital, Penny and Chetan didn’t know where to start. How do you shift the mindset of your development team from delivering features to delivering customer value? How do you get the whole team involved when you’re so used to having a run-ahead team doing the discovery work for you?

In this talk, Penny and Chetan will walk you through a digital team's journey from pawns to players as they tackle chocolate, cider and product ownership, turning discovery into delivery.

About Penny Goodwin & Chetan Parbhu

Penny Goodwin is a Business Analyst at BNZ Digital. At any one time, you can find her running a retro, working on stories or distracting the team with her out of tune singing. She is always willing to try anything out that will enable her team to deliver positive outcomes for customers. In her spare time, you will most likely find her at the library.

Chetan Parbhu is a Senior Test Analyst at BNZ Digital. He is passionate about teams being empowered to build the right thing for the customer. Despite youthful appearances, he is a husband and father of two. He enjoys spending his free time in the music room or pretending to be the guy from River Cottage.

Henry Lane

Virtual Reality 2.0
Day one – 2:40pm – Oceania Relevance

Corvecto builds VR environments for organisations requiring training that is costly, dangerous or impossible to physically simulate. This presentation focuses on a variety of industrial and enterprise use-case applications in detail, where Kiwi companies have worked with Corvecto to build applications resulting in value in the physical world.

Henry will present some of the components that make VR such a powerful learning tool, where the technology has come from over the years, a glimpse of what the near future of VR could hold for us and how Agile development lives at the core of Corvecto's ability to deliver quality products for their big-brand customers.

About Henry Lane

Henry has spent over half a decade leading the design and delivery of digital engagement for top-tier entertainment companies such as Disney, DreamWorks and Sony Pictures. This enabled Henry to found the global VRAR Studio 'Corvecto' that specialises in delivering professional Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions from small to multi-billion dollar organisations around the world in various industry sectors.

Henry is also a founding executive of New Zealand's EPIC Innovation, a collaborative eco-system, business-housing model with two Innovation Campuses in New Zealand that involves partnership with Google, Cisco and many large NZ organisations. Henry is frequently engaged by TVNZ as their go-to expert on subjects involving innovation and technology. He's recently become a faculty member of Singularity University.

Sustainable Transformation

Aldo Rall & Andy Cooper
NZ Police & SoftEd

A Leadership Survival Guide to Transformation
Day one – 11:40am – Soundings Theatre

Agile has become a source of disruption to organisations and leadership. Prevailing trends shows that organisations are de-layering and some are even decimating their hierarchies. This disruption driven by Agile and, more recently, DevOps and Agile Scaling, challenges tradition; there is a call for wider skill sets and controlled, sustainable transformations, pushing leadership and organisations into wider and often conflicting and ambiguous contexts.

As a stop gap, some organisations attempt survival by shoehorning 'Agile' terms into traditional thinking and practices, only delaying the inevitable disaster. Leaders and organisations needs new thinking to re-invent, drive and sustain transformation. These leaders consistently develop unique solutions and skills by moving traditional leadership out of the Scientific Management era into the 21st century and embed it throughout their organisations and eco-systems.

This talk explores how leadership and organisations perform this feat by introducing Agility thinking tools to build sustainable transformations in leadership and organisations.

About Aldo Rall & Andy Cooper

Aldo has over 18 years’ experience in a range of industries including financial services, healthcare, IT, management consulting and education in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK. He's worked with a range of clients on Agile transformations as an Agile and Testing Coach. Aldo remains fascinated with continuous change in industry, which ensures there is always something new to learn, regardless of experience levels or qualifications. Over time, Aldo has honed his skills in the practical elements of developing working software but his greatest passion lies in the people dimension of the people-process-technology mix and how this translates into successful IT strategy, teams, projects and practitioners.

Andy Cooper is the Group Manager Global for Software Education. Andy is responsible for developing SoftEd’s training and consulting business outside of Australia and New Zealand and works with clients developing their agility around the world. Andy has a strong interest in Agility for Business as an Agile Marketer at CA Technologies and was a track lead on the Business Agility Track for the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile). Andy has over 20 years' experience working for technology companies such as CA, Oracle and Informix in business and consulting roles and has managed and worked in teams spanning NZ, Australia, Asia and the US.

Andrew Hood
Ministry of Social Development

Security Certification or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love Stories
Day one – 3:40pm – Soundings Theatre

Many organisations have created security certification and accreditation processes. While these (sometimes) worked well in large waterfall projects, the transition to Agile projects break these frameworks.

This presentation suggests a method that uses the current Agile processes already in place to create a simpler view of the security risks in an application throughout its life that improves security and may even cost less. It will cover a workflow that allows the linking of individual security risks back to the feature or story that created them. This allows security risk acceptance to be based on the value of a feature or story, rather than the entire application.

While this cannot ever be fully automated, a lot of your current delivery methods might already be making your security processes easier than you thought. All you have to do now is stop your IT Security Manager from worrying and love stories instead.

About Andrew Hood

Andrew has been working for over 20 years in the IT Networking and Security sectors including a range of companies from tiny dot coms to major international telecommunications companies. Having moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, Andrew is now responsible for the operational IT Security for one of the largest government departments. All of this means that he believes that there is nothing new in the IT industry, just different ways of learning from the same mistakes. Occasionally he wonders if we could stop making the same mistakes in the first place and if Agile might be a way of doing so.

Jessica Katz
Liberated Elephant

Creating an Environment for Wholeness to Make Space for Creativity
Day two – 3:00pm – Soundings Theatre

People are their most creative when they feel safe to bring their whole self forward. In our Agile environments, we are looking for that level of investment so that individuals can flourish and our customers can benefit from what comes forth. How do we make space for courageous creativity in our workplaces? What does it take to really be a place that values individuals and interactions over processes and tools?

This session will cover how we move to a mindset that fully embraces people and gives them room to explore their full potential. We’ll discuss the fears and mental models that are holding companies back from this. Using the Relationship Bill of Rights, we’ll investigate a possibility of what our day-to-day lives could be like.

About Jessica Katz

Jessica Katz is a trainer, mentor and coach helping people find and nurture their authentic selves. Jessica works with individuals and teams to help them dig deep into self-discovery and, with their new knowledge, helps them find the solutions hidden within their subconscious.

Her methodology is informed by Agile project management, creating a safe space for her clients to bring their full selves without judgement.

Jude Horrill
The Agility Collective

Business Agility: Leadership, Teams & the Work
Day two – 11:20am – Soundings Theatre

This session covers the ‘why’ of the changing business landscape and how to make sense of it, the 'what' of the new leadership skills required and the 'how' of whole of business agility centred around fundamental shifts across three domains – Organisational Thinking, Design and Engagement.

From strategy, planning and organisational design through to alignment with a new way of budgeting, new metrics and KPI’s and new ways of working, we need to fully embed lean and Agile principles across all business areas in order to remain relevant and adapt to the fast-emerging new world.

About Jude Horrill

Jude is a speaker, consultant, coach, translator and trainer on how we approach engagement in an era of disruption, complex social networks and increasingly uncertain and chaotic environments.

Passionate about better ways of working, she works with clients to adapt their approach to leadership, collaboration, change and communication so they can deliver change in a more responsive and collaborative way.

As Founder and Director of The Change Agency, Jude is the Principle Engagement Design Consultant, Business Agility Coach and Lean Change Facilitator and partners with others to build and deliver thought-provoking events and learning programmes.

In July 2017, she co-founded The Agility Collective in Australia and New Zealand, a boutique agency helping organisations build adaptive business. Her career has included senior executive roles working across Australia/NZ/Asia and the Pacific in financial services, technology, education, consumer services, community services, environmental services, tourism and broadcast media.

Jude is also a Founder of the Change Disruptors & Business Agility Forums in Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington.

Julie Lindenberg & David Morris

Breaking Through the Transformation Pain Barrier & Surviving to Tell the Tale
Day two – 10:30am – Oceania Relevance

The mobile banking division of global fin-tech leader Fiserv has grown significantly to over 40 Agile delivery teams, 15 in NZ. However, waterfall approaches to planning, governance and release meant the teams were often starved of work, blocked from releasing and had no transparency to make this obvious. To improve flow and throughput, 18 months ago they kicked off an Agile transformation, led out of NZ.

Julie chairs the transformation leadership team and David Morris heads up their enterprise Agile coaching team. Together, they're shaping the organisation, roles, process and culture. After many advances, some missteps and valuable learnings, they have broken through the pain barrier.

Moving beyond the transformation, they are now more focused on how to sustain this progress and continually improve. Join Julie and David as they talk about this experience and share their insights for other NZ organisations facing similar challenges.

About Julie Lindenberg & David Morris

Julie is the Director for Business Analysis and User Experience at Fiserv. After earning her Bachelor of Planning, Julie worked in a variety of government roles, from customer-facing to IT. High points included leading high-profile projects, establishing frameworks of excellence and founding Business Analysis capability. 

Three years ago, Julie joined global financial technology company Fiserv as a Business Analyst Manager. Over that time, she has embraced ‘being Agile’ and servant leadership. Last year, she was appointed as a Director leading teams across seven sites in four countries. Shortly after, Julie was appointed Chair of the Transformation Leadership Team, leading the enterprise Agile transformation, impacting hundreds of staff members. In September, Julie was appointed the Director of User Experience.

David is the Manager for Enterprise Agile Coaching at Fiserv and holds an MBA with the University of Auckland. He had 10 years’ experience in structured programming before discovering RAD and Scrum in the 1990’s. Over the last 20 years, he has worked as an Agile practitioner, Scrum Master and coach. As Principal Consultant at Assurity, David worked with prominent NZ companies on their Agile transformations.

Last year he joined Fiserv to lead their Enterprise Agile Coaching team where he guides the leadership in operating their enterprise Agile framework and delivering on their transformation goals. David co-founded the Agile Alliance of NZ. His publications include Agile Project Management, Scrum in easy steps and The Paradox of Agile Transformation.

Martin Cronjé

Making Agile Leadership Work: A Journey From Coach to Manager
Day two – 10:30am – Soundings Theatre

The relationship between a coach and manager is crucial to building effective teams. Managers often don’t have the slack or flexibility to help their teams reach high performance while coaches often lack context of the challenges that teams and leaders face on a day-to-day basis.

Martin will share his experiences in being on both sides of this relationship, while working with his counterpart to overcome these challenges towards achieving high-performance.

This talk covers stories overcoming common dysfunctions, creating safety, establishing purpose and helping teams continually improve.

About Martin Cronjé

Martin is a Software Development Manager at MYOB, New Zealand with more than 17 years’ experience in the IT industry. He's passionate about working with teams to create beautiful, well-crafted software.

He previously worked in South Africa as the co-founder of nReality Systems, a software engineering consultancy firm where they coached teams ranging from hi-tech startups to large-scale enterprise IT.

He has a long career as developer and lead on projects ranging from mobile, data analytics to high-volume, mission-critical systems in government and financial sectors. The most notable projects directly affected the South African economy and democracy.

Rashina Hoda
University of Auckland

Becoming Agile: Agile Transitions in Practice
Day two – 11:20am – Amokura Gallery

Agile adoption has been typically understood as a one-off organisational process involving a staged selection of Agile development practices. This does not account for the differences in the pace and effectiveness of individual teams transitioning to Agile development.

Based on a Grounded Theory study of 31 Agile practitioners drawn from 18 teams across five countries, Rashina will present the ‘grounded theory of becoming Agile’ as a network of ongoing transitions across five dimensions – software development practices, team practices, management approach, reflective practices and culture.

The unique position of a software team through this network and their pace of progress along the five dimensions, explains why individual Agile teams present distinct manifestations of agility and unique transition experiences. The theory expands the current understanding of agility as a holistic and complex network of ongoing multidimensional transitions and will help software teams, their managers and organisations better navigate their individual Agile journeys.

About Rashina Hoda

Dr Rashina Hoda is an internationally renowned researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. She has 10+ years' experience studying Agile teams and is the author of 60+ publications on Agile self-organisation, project management, knowledge management, reflective practice, task allocation and more.

Rashina served as the Research Chair of the Agile India 2012 conference and recently received a Distinguished Paper Award at the flagship international conference on software engineering (ICSE2017) for her ‘grounded theory of becoming Agile’ that explains the multiple dimensions of Agile transitions in practice.

She created and teaches the Agile course at UoA in close collaboration with industry and loves to present the 'voice of Agile research' to industry and academia alike.

Matthew Hodgson
Enterprise Agile Coach

Patterns from Child Psychology to Build Safety in Teams
Day one – 10:50am – Soundings Theatre

Are you a safe pair of hands? How do you know? People need to feel secure to explore on their own terms, learn, make mistakes and grow – and so do Agile teams. But when the security to learn and fail-fast vanishes, when teams fear failure and punishment, a risk-averse culture can grow... a culture that can destroy Agile initiatives and kill continuous improvement behaviours.
Come and learn about a psychological, research-based approach to creating psychological safety – and an example of its use to deal with Agile team dysfunction, strengthen trust and help build a learning culture in teams. This presentation will be in a workshop format. Together, we'll work through a number of activities to help you including defining psychological safety and trust and applying child psychology patterns to team dynamics. We'll also look at the cultural and personality factors that affect psychological trust. What does hierarchy and vulnerability really have to do with feeling safe?

We'll also cover the relationship between safety, learning, failing and successful Agile teams and how to manage the conflict between learning culture and the fear of risk-taking and how to understand the critical relationships between learning, failure and risk avoidance. We analyse how to recognise false cues from team members – what learning and feedback loops look like from the behavioural perspective of safety and fear as Agile Retrospectives.

About Matthew Hodgson

Matthew has been using psychology to further enterprise cultural change for nearly two decades. He is a contributing author to the books The Emergence of the Relationship Economy and The Psychology of Aid and continues to publish in international journals in the fields of psychology on the pragmatic aspects of learning, change, teamwork and motivation. As an Enterprise Agile Coach, Matthew applies techniques from his background in psych and 20 years of UX product development to help organisations become Agile. His expertise is particularly sought after to tackle the issues of culture and change at scale to create high-performing Agile teams in both software and non-software environments. Matthew is a firm believer in the use of chocolate at Scrum key meetings and a few drinks with the team after Retrospectives.

Paul Eames
CA Technologies

Territory Beyond Agile – Optimised Business Outcomes
Day one – 2:40pm – Soundings Theatre

Especially relevant if your Agile implementation seems to have plateaued. Like gym members, there comes a time when you hit a plateau and, no matter how much exercise or you do in your current regime, you can't seem to break through to the next level unless you change focus and try a different approach.

Similarly, organisations implementing agility eventually hit a similar barrier. For example, the Team and Program levels stall perhaps due to the executive level, business teams or other organisational business units (Governance, Finance, PMO, Risk, HR) not being fully aligned and supportive of the 'Agile' way of working. Without this organisational alignment, the ultimate goal of optimised business outcomes is not possible and your implementation of SAFe suffers collateral damage.

This talk (business, humanistic, technology and innovation helix) highlights the critical Organisation Readiness, Leadership and Adaptive Learning side of the agility equation and provides a pathway of adaptive change around these components to better deliver on optimised business outcomes within today's disruptive marketplace.

About Paul Eames

Paul is currently a Senior Principal Transformation Consultant with CA, working with enterprises in adapting their scaled Agile approach to the necessary behavioural and thinking changes for delivering on optimised business outcomes.

He has 32+ years' experience in software/IT business with 16+ years with lean agility. He has extensive experience in applying thought leadership around adaptive learning, leadership and change in creating high-performance, outcomes-based cultures within various telecommunications, financial and service organisations in ANZ.

Paul has a real passion for innovation, continuous improvement and the behavioural/thinking paradigms for enterprise agility underpinned by Adaptive Lean Change, Adaptive Portfolio and Program Management and has collaborated with business executives to establish visions and roadmaps necessary for adaptive change initiatives and enterprise / business agility.

He is a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4), certified SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE4), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) and Project Management Professional (PMP), in addition to holding various other lean and Agile certifications

Mike Walls & Mark Delaney
Revera & NV Interactive

How Agile Helped Transform CloudCreator From Bland to Grand
Day two – 2:00pm – Soundings Theatre

CloudCreator is the centrepiece of customer interaction with Revera's cloud platforms, but prior to their partnership with NV Interactive, it was high on functionality but low on charm.

Find out how Revera and NV Interactive partnered up, forming an Agile team to tackle the complex project of transforming CloudCreator UX, without impacting critical functionality their customers depended on.

About Mike Walls & Mark Delaney

Mike heads Revera’s professional services – all the clever stuff that accompanies Revera cloud services. Mike’s experience is broad and deep, spanning leadership and design roles across public, private and service provider sectors.

Mark is Digital Strategist at the award-winning agency NV Interactive and leads the user experience design team. As an experienced digital native, he is equally at home using Agile methods to solve complex user experience challenges as he is leading large accounts and facilitating strategy workshops. Mark is a versatile creative who can turn his hand to a wide range of design applications. He is passionate about creating exceptional user experiences at every digital touch point and is always excited by the chance to work on a diverse range of creative projects.


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Assurity is a delivery consultancy for the Digital Age. Today’s customers expect relevant, quality technology to be delivered fast and frequently and they want to be delighted by new innovation too. We help clients achieve those goals by developing new ways of working inside their organisations based on the best digital thinking, practices, education and technologies. Our services include Design Thinking, User Research, Crowd Sourcing, Lean Business Analysis, Agile, Better Testing, DevOps plus a full education-by-practitioners programme and partnerships with major technology suppliers. We can help you meet today’s biggest digital challenges – focusing on the user, creating the right structures, environments, culture and practices to allow self-organising, multi-disciplinary teams to deliver the technologies your customers need.