Four themes that matter today


How good design and technical excellence enable fast feedback, continuous improvement and better business decisions. Topics may include: DevOps, technical practices, emergent architecture, data-driven development


Product development and management in the digital age, from validation and user research to development and delivery. Topics may include: successfully scaling product management, product ownership in the Digital Age, understanding user needs, prioritisation, the digital product lifecycle


How innovation enables individuals, teams and organisations to focus on delivering the right value at the right time. Topics may include: applying Lean startup and design thinking in real life, hackathons, accelerators and other innovation techniques, innovation in established businesses, user/customer research, validation techniques

Business Case

Delegates at AgileNZ2015 wanted more stories about implementing Agile in large organisations. This track provides them. Organisations present their journeys, the key challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Can we identify common patterns that enable agility?


Liz Sedley
Owner, Dyslexia Gold, Author

Modern Agile
Day two – 8:30am – Village Green

Over the past decade, innovative companies, software industry thought leaders and Lean|Agile pioneers have discovered simpler, sturdier and more streamlined ways to be Agile. While there is timeless wisdom in Agile, today's practitioners would do well to bypass outmoded Agile practices in favour of modern approaches.

Modern Agile methods are defined by four guiding principles – to make people awesome, make safety a prerequisite, experience and learn rapidly and deliver value continuously.

World-famous organisations like Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Etsy and others are living proof of the powers of these four principles. However, you don't need to be a name brand company to leverage modern Agile wisdom.

In this talk, Josh will explain what he means by modern agility, share real-world modern Agile stories, show how modern Agile addresses key risks while targeting results over rituals and reveal how the 2001 Agile Manifesto can be updated to reflect modern Agile's four guiding principles.

About Liz Sedley

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.

Ahmed Sidky
President/Co-founder of ICAgile

Evolving Agile Leadership. A Story of Challenging Convention
Day two – 1:30pm – Village Green

Agile Leadership is a broadly-defined buzz-word today. While the industry is figuring out what Agile Leadership will actually refer to, at Riot Games, they're focused on building strong leaders to help lead their 2500-person Agile organisation. Through these efforts, they have created their own understanding of what Leadership in an Agile organisation looks like.

In this talk, Ahmed will share his reflections on the domain of Agile Leadership in general and then share some of the frameworks and current ways of thinking about leadership at Riot Games. He will introduce a new roles and responsibilities framework that provides team leadership a way to balance between team-level autonomy and organisational wide alignment. 

Heads up, this might be a highly controversial talk for many. Many of the concepts presented in this talk directly challenges some of the current norms in the Agile space. For instance, Ahmed will share why and how, at Riot Games, they promote the idea of 'single wringable necks', even though in the Agile world that concept is regarded as 'not Agile' and instead many people promote team accountability. Come and be ready to explore a new understanding of Agile Leadership.

About Ahmed Sidky

Ahmed Sidky (aka ‘Doctor Agile’) is back at AgileNZ Conference. Ahmed is President/Co-founder of ICAgile, a well-known thought leader in the Agile community and a keynote at AgileNZ Conference 2015. He is currently the Director of Development Management for Riot Games and, before that, was an Agile transformation coach and consultant for Fortune 100 companies. He is the co-author of Becoming Agile in an Imperfect World and the President and Co-founder of ICAgile. Ahmed was selected as the programme chair for the Agile 2009 conference and has been an invited speaker at many Agile conferences around the world presenting on topics such as the Agile mindset, how to create Lean, high-performing habits within teams and how to transform organisations in a manner that achieves sustainable organisational agility.

Naomi Ferguson
Commissioner & Chief Executive, Inland Revenue, NZ

Fitting Tax Into People's Lives
Day one – 2:00pm – Village Green

Commissioner Naomi Ferguson will be sharing her vision of fitting tax seamlessly into people’s lives and discussing how Inland Revenue is adopting innovative, Agile and digital-driven ways of working to achieve its goal.

If you think working for a tax authority may be boring and staid, then this presentation may challenge your preconceptions.

About Naomi Ferguson

Naomi is an experienced public sector executive with more than 20 years' experience working in revenue agencies in the UK and NZ. She has successfully delivered major transformational change projects and built effective teams to deliver results. Before coming to New Zealand, Naomi was the Director, Business Customer and Strategy at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK. Naomi also completed a secondment with Inland Revenue New Zealand from 2003-2006 in the Deputy Commissioner, Service Delivery role. She took up her position of Commissioner and Chief Executive of Inland Revenue on 21 July 2012.

Kaila Colbin
New Zealand Ambassador for Singularity University

Riding the Exponential Wave of Change
Day one – 4:30pm – Village Green

What do nanotechnology, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, and robotics have in common, and, more importantly, what do they have to do with you? Join Singularity University's New Zealand Ambassador for a startling look at the dramatic implications of exponential technologies, and some insight into how we might prepare for this dynamically changing world.

About Kaila Colbin

Kaila Colbin is the New Zealand Ambassador for Singularity University. She is also a co-founder and Chair of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome, the starting point to make things happen in Christchurch, and the Curator of TEDxChristchurch. She is also Chairman of the Board of the New York-based Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, Deputy Chair of CORE Education Ltd and a member of the Advisory Board for Te Pūtahi, the Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making. A native New Yorker, Kaila is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. She has been a serial entrepreneur since 22 years old. Her purpose in life is to be an uplifting presence.

Dave West
CEO/Product Owner at

Scrum Turns 21, what is next for Scrum for the next 20 years
Day two – 4:00pm – Village Green

90% of Agile teams are using Scrum. With over ½ a million people trained and certified. Scrum has become, for many the de-facto standard in Agile team organization. But what is next for Scrum? In this talk we discuss the success and future of Scrum and what needs to happen to Scrum to continue its relevance. We describe how skills, scaling and DevOps need to be weaved into Scrum to not only ensure its relevance for the next 21 years, but also help the profession of software development improve.

About Dave West

Dave West is the CEO/Product Owner at He is a frequent keynote speaker and a widely published author of articles, along with his acclaimed book, Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and then worked with Ivar Jacobson running the North American business for IJI. He then managed the software delivery practice at Forrester Research where he was VP and Research Director. Before joining, he was Chief Product Officer at Tasktop where he was responsible for product management, engineering and architecture.


Claire Jaycock & Ant Boobier

The Lean UX Alliance
Day two – 11:30am – Village Green

Lean UX, Agile, Lean, design thinking. These are philosophies that can cause deep passion and, at the same time, mass confusion. How do you stop them being just buzzwords? How do you ensure that the frameworks, practices and people who extol them align, rather than compete against one another?

In this talk, Claire and Anthony will show how they’re doing just that. How they’re using the language and mindset of experimentation to bring Lean UX to life across BNZ Digital. How they’re using a powerful combination of Agile principles and Lean thinking as a vehicle for change. How, as a combined force for change, they continuously look to improve everything they do – the way they work, view our customers and deliver our products.

About Claire Jaycock & Ant Boobier

Claire is a Senior Digital Designer at BNZ Digital. She loves the big picture and is excited about making sure we are building the right product for the right people in the best way possible. This leads to an interest in the creative strategy and the philosophy of Lean UX to help our teams contribute to the best outcomes.

Ant Boobier is Practices Coach at BNZ Digital 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.

Kim Carter
BinaryMist Limited

Agile Security for Web Developers
Day one – 3:00pm – Rakino

Join Kim in his exploration into an insightful set of steps he learned from an architectural, engineering and penetration-testing perspective based on a portion of the content of the first volume of Kim's new book Holistic Info-Sec for Web Developers.

Kim will walk you through how your Scrum Team can bring the specialised process of penetration testing from the release phase to right up front and augment your Scrum process (that's each and every sprint), with a collection of processes, practices and tools that have proven their value in the field of information security.

About Kim Carter

Kim Carter is a senior technologist/engineer, information security professional, entrepreneur and founder of BinaryMist, OWASP NZ Chapter Leader, a Certified Scrum Master, facilitator, mentor and motivator of cross-functional, self-managing teams.

With a solid 15 years of commercial industry experience across many domains, Kim Carter enjoys teaching others how to apply information security to their Agile processes, bringing the security focus upfront where it's cheapest to implement, increasing profit and reducing costs.

International trainer, speaker and published author focusing on software and network architecture, web development, engineering and information security, Kim is also a regular blog poster. Kim loves designing and creating robust software and networks, breaking software and networks, then fixing them and helping organisations increase productivity.

Martin Cronjé

Towards Mastery: Establishing Craftsmanship Culture in a Team
Day two – 9:30am – Rakino

“We need software developers who are professionals and view their work as a craft!”. This is often heard in development teams as a reaction to fragile systems built on messy codebases. This statement also often implies a yearning for a certain type of developer… those (lucky ones) who go home and hack until the early hours of the morning to pursue their thirst for knowledge.

In reality, many developers don’t have the time to build their skills and some others see their job as something confined to 9 to 5. This is ok, but it results in teams that don’t grow which exacerbates the problem where companies rely more and more on ‘ninjas’ and ‘rock stars’. This has to stop! We need an alternative. Let’s build our people within their constraints and let’s figure out how to do it well!

This talk explores techniques that the speaker has successfully applied to help many companies and teams improve the quality and effectiveness of their engineering efforts: creating a culture of learning with techniques such as code dojos, katas and other intentional learning activities. Helping developers learn and apply practices such as clean code, refactoring, TDD, pair- and mob programming and continuous integration. Overcoming common arguments against intentional learning and improvement.

About Martin Cronjé

Martin is a Software Development Manager at MYOB, New Zealand. He has more than 17 years’ experience in the IT industry and is 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 start-ups 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.

Paul Theyers
Assurity Consulting

We Need to Talk About... Testing!
Day one – 12:00pm – Rakino

This framework provides a simple solution to the complex problem ‘we need to talk about testing?’. The visual framework is methodology agnostic so no matter what you are doing (project, product or change) or how you are doing it (traditional or Agile), this will give you the critical first steps to getting started and let you know if you are even ready to go.

Don't be fooled into thinking ‘I'm not a tester, this won't apply to me...’. The framework will give valuable information if you are running a project, developing a product or implementing a change on how to approach the complex problem, testing.

About Paul Theyers

With more than 16 years’ experience in the telecoms, utilities and finance industries, Paul’s expertise centres on complex integrated technology solutions, on and offshore vendor management and stakeholder management.  

As a high-end Test Consultant, he focuses on delivery achieved through his natural ability to break down and simplify complex issues and communicate options and decisions clearly and concisely.

Paul has also transferred these analytical skills and passion for testing through mentoring and is a Project K mentor for the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD).


Anthony Marter
Orion Health

We Need to Talk About the Product Owner
Day one – 11:00am – Rakino

The Scrum Guide says that you need a Product Owner, but what does that really mean in the real world and how the heck do you scale the role?

In this presentation, Anthony Marter will share some practical advice on how to be a Product Owner in the real world, give some examples of how the role can be scaled in an enterprise and touch on common anti-patterns to watch out for. 

He may discuss the always controversial topic of where the role fits in with that of the traditional Product Manager and Business Analyst!

About Anthony Marter

About four years ago, Anthony Marter found himself being offered the role of Product Owner at Fiserv and was somehow crazy enough to take it on, despite not really knowing anything about what the job entailed. Since then, with the help of others, he's been trying to figure it out. More recently, he's moved to Orion Health to try to help them understand and develop the Product Owner role.

Anthony is also the co-organiser of the Product Management Auckland Meetup group. We are trying to bring together Product people from across Auckland so that we can collectively demystify and shape what it means to be a Product Manager/Owner in New Zealand.

Natalie Kerschner & Victoria White

Personas With Attitude – The Journey to Understanding What Really Drives Our Customers
Day one – 11:00am – Rangitoto

Are you an astronaut or a rock? Do you work for a ….? Or a …? Personas are more than just a demographic, a job title or a market segment. See the person behind the stereotype. Only by identifying and understanding our customers’ attitudes and behaviours can we really deliver valuable outcomes and experiences they will love.

Join Natalie and Victoria as they journey through the process of interviewing customers, analysing insights and generating a set of behavioural-based personas. Learn how they have orchestrated a mindset shift within BNZ to where these personas are now an integral part of our DNA, the immense value they have provided and what they’ve learnt along the way.

About Natalie Kerschner & Victoria White

Natalie is a user experience activist who has spent the last 20 years working in digital field in Australia and New Zealand. She is passionate about actively fighting for the users and building this into the development process, not as a separate activity, but as part of every activity. She is also passionate about enabling every person, no matter their role, to not only get involved with UX activities but empowering them to take ownership of it.

Victoria is a Senior Business Analyst at BNZ Digital who moved from the UK 10 years ago and has been immersed in the NZ banking sector ever since. She has championed the transition to Agile ways of thinking and is now firmly on the road to lean. She loves getting out and talking to customers and thrives on working collaboratively in autonomous teams to deliver innovative and creative solutions to real customer problems.

Shane Hastie
SoftEd/Agile Alliance of New Zealand

Product Ownership is a Team Sport
Day one – 12:00pm – Kawau

Many Agile brands downplay the need for Business Analysis and Requirements Management on Agile projects, putting large store in the role of the Product Owner. This talk tackles some of the problems this misconception can result in and shows how effective product ownership almost always requires a team with a variety of skills and backgrounds to be effective.

Product Ownership requires clarity of vision, alignment with organisational strategy, understanding of the development process and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders across all levels both inside and outside the organisation.

The complexity of the role is most often more than a single person can (or should) cope with – effective product ownership requires a teamwork approach covering a variety of skills and knowledge.

About Shane Hastie

Shane Hastie is the Chief Knowledge Engineer for SoftEd, a training and consulting company working in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Since first using XP in 2000 Shane's been passionate about helping organisations and teams adopt Agile practices. Shane leads SoftEd’s Agile Practice offering training, consulting, mentoring and support for organisations and teams working to improve their project outcomes.  

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. 

In 2011, he was elected as a Director of the Agile Alliance and is the founding Chair of the Agile Alliance of New Zealand. Shane leads the Culture and Methods editorial team for

Sherif Mansour

The Art of Building a Roadmap
Day two – 2:30pm – Village Green

"The process of defining a roadmap is arguably one of the most difficult but important things a product manager has to do. Far too often roadmaps are built without the complete picture in mind, the right things at the wrong time, in silos or are misdirected. How then can we ensure we’re doing it right? Is there really such a thing as an agile roadmap?
This talk will draw from lessons learnt building product to provide practical tips and techniques enabling you to understand roadmap inputs, plan with different perspectives in mind, optimise for learning, communicate and set roadmap goals as well as find agility when the landscape around you changes."

This talk will draw from lessons learnt building product to provide practical tips and techniques enabling you to understand roadmap inputs, plan with different perspectives in mind, optimise for learning, communicate and set roadmap goals, as well as find agility when the landscape around you changes.

About Sherif Mansour

Sherif Mansour has 14 years’ experience in software development. He is currently a Principal Product Manager for Atlassian. Over the last six years, he has been responsible for Confluence, a popular social collaboration tool for product teams.

He now heads up the cross-product cloud experience for all Atlassian products. Sherif also played a key role in developing new products at Atlassian such as Team Calendars and Confluence Questions. Areas of expertise include Agile product development. Sherif thinks building simple products is hard and so is writing a simple, short bio.

Matthew Hodgson
Zen Ex Machina

Dealing with Dysfunction
Day two – 2:30pm – Rangitoto

Asimov's Laws of Robotics help man and machine get along. So, where are the laws that stop teams from hurting themselves either by action or inaction?

Come and learn about the Gottman Method – a psychological research-based approach to creating stronger relationships – and an example of its use with Asimov's Laws of Robotics to deal with Agile team dysfunction, strengthen collaboration and help build happier teams. 

About Matthew Hodgson

Matthew has been using psychology to further ICT cultural change goals for 20 years. 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 Agile coach, Matthew applies techniques from his background in psych and 20 years of UX product development to help organisations adopt Agile methods. His expertise is particularly sought after to tackle the issues of change and enterprise culture to scale Agile across portfolio and program silos and create high-performing 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.

Joe Auslander
Assurity Consulting

Coaching Clinic
Day one – 3:00pm – Kawau

About Joe Auslander

A Senior Consultant with Assurity, Joe works with organisations to find the most appropriate way for them to deliver their products faster, with highest quality and an empowered staff.

Joe's core skills are team building, developing transparency and encouraging organisational empowerment. Often he'll use these tools to 'spin up' Scrum/Agile teams and support organisational growth to allow those teams to deliver the highest-quality products quickly to market.

Edwin Dando
Assurity Consulting

Design Thinking for Children
Day two – 11:30am – Kawau

We’ve heard how important it is to build learning loops into product development so we can rapidly test assumptions about our customers’ needs. Design Thinking is an interesting and useful approach that uses empathy to deeply understand our users, divergent thinking to explore new ideas and convergent thinking to rapidly test and refine these.

We’ve also heard how rapidly our world is changing due to exponential technologies. The World Economic Forum forecasts that our children will require a vastly different set of skills for this new world. How do we teach children the creatively and complex problem solving?

In this talk, Edwin will discuss the work he has been doing with a group of 9 and 10-year-olds applying Design Thinking and Agile to solve real-world problems and, along the way, arm them with a fabulous set of future-ready skills.

About Edwin Dando

Edwin is General Manager of Education at Assurity and AgileNZ Conference Chair. In his Assurity role, he works across NZ to help  clients improve their organisations with the latest thinking and approaches. Edwin is a well-known public speaker who is passionate about helping NZ businesses improve.

Edwin has spent his career working in IT consulting, starting with Accenture. He has pioneered Agile adoption in NZ, having first stumbled over the Agile Manifesto in 2001. His key areas of focus are continuous improvement and business agility.


Aurelien Beraud

Fight Your Brain: Innovate!
Day two – 9:30am – Village Green

The brain is a wonderful and complex piece of machinery. This is the place where we create new ideas or transform and adapt old ones. Technically, one could say that this is the place where innovation really starts. However, quite often this is also the place where innovation ends. Having an idea is only the beginning of the journey and probably the easiest part. The real challenge is going forward with that idea.

And even if facts and reason back up the ideas we have, more often that we would like to admit, our brain (and the brains of others) dictates an illogical response from us in the form of cognitive biases, which stop innovation in its tracks. In this talk, Aurelien wants to dive into your brains and look at how these cognitive biases impede innovation so that you can start fighting back and push our ideas forward!

About Aurelien Beraud

After a career as a Software Developer in Norway, Aurelien Beraud 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, empowering 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.

Dipesh Pala

7 Things That Agile Executives and Leaders Do Differently
Day one – 11:00am – Village Green

One of the keys to a successful enterprise Agile transformation is the support of executive leadership, which is more than simply providing approval. The Agile executive enables, empowers and engages rather than controls. According to one recent survey, more than one in three organisations claim that the lack of leadership engagement within their businesses is plaguing current journey towards sustainable organisational agility.

With a special focus on Executives and Leaders, Dipesh will be drawing upon more than a decade of Agile transformation experiences in multiple organisations across eight countries and share real-life case studies and insights to illustrate the following key things that Agile leaders need to do differently.

If you are an executive or an aspiring leader of an Agile team, this session will provide clear implications for where to focus your efforts in order to unleash the full potential of Agile methods to gain a competitive edge. You will be inspired by knowing what serves to catalyse and nourish progress – and what does the opposite.

About Dipesh Pala

Dipesh Pala is the Asia Pacific Agile Capability Leader for IBM. In addition to leading IBM’s transformation journey to grow the Agile capability across this region, Dipesh pursues his passion for enabling organisations of all sizes to optimise solution delivery through the pragmatic use of Agile, Lean and traditional methods. His diverse background includes delivery roles in software engineering, project and portfolio governance and Agile consulting across a variety of industries. 
Over the last decade, Dipesh has helped organisations and project teams across many countries to continuously improve and find better ways of working. As an on-the-ground Agile Consultant, he has been instrumental in rolling out Agile at scale in many organisations and is currently coaching and mentoring today's managers and executives to become the Agile leaders their teams need.
As well as a top-rated speaker at industry conferences and seminars, Dipesh is also a seasoned facilitator able to drive out the best outcomes from any project-based or strategy workshops. 

A keen advocate of simplicity, Dipesh offers simple and practical, yet powerful ways to address the challenges team members and managers in Agile environments face today. He continuously pushes individuals and teams beyond the practices and principles to take a step further into their Agile journey.

Robert Chiu
Statistics New Zealand

Exponential Technology, Linear Progression
Day one – 3:00pm – Village Green

The exponential rate of technological change over the past decade has seen disruption in all parts of our daily lives, with traditional development models seeing declining rates of success.

Robert argues that we have reached the tipping point of usefulness of these models. In order for businesses to succeed in the future, we need to adopt models that adapt to the rapidly change business environment from disruptive technological change.

About Robert Chiu

Robert is a big-thinking internet geek who loves technology.

Suzanne Nottage
CA Technologies Ltd

How Agile Improves Decision Making and Innovation
Day two – 9:30am – Rangitoto

Organisations are essentially decision-making factories. Yet few of us are trained in making effective decisions and, as humans, we have decision-making shortcomings, e.g. “This time we'll get our estimates right” or “We've spent too much to cancel the project even though the Business Case no longer stacks up”.

This session articulates the problem, describes how Agile and Lean lead to better and more timely decisions and sets up an organisation for innovation. Suzanne will also describe how cross-functional teams with cognitive diversity perform better. Attendees will leave with takeaway actions to improve decision-making and foster innovation in their organisations. 

About Suzanne Nottage

Suzanne has worked in IT for 10 years and led the transformation to Agile at the UK’s largest private health insurer. She has also used Lean and Kanban extensively to improve organisational performance. 

Because she has lived and worked in Australasia, Japan and the UK, Suzanne has experienced a wide range of organisational cultures and challenges. And she’s seen the Agile wave move from leading edge to mainstream.

A lifelong athlete (and committed triathlete), Suzanne is action-oriented rather than theoretical and likes to see organisations achieve early wins. 

Andrew Nimick

Free-range Teams
Day two – 2:30pm – Kawau

The road to Agile begins in many places and ways, often with someone being told ‘we are going Agile’. The first thing people do is look up Agile and methodologies. They want to know how to do this thing so they don't fail the task given to them.

Rarely, if ever, do they look for how the people who came up with Agile, arrived at their conclusions and started the journey for us. Less rarely do they look at how other people in other circumstances started the journey without any inclination that there was such a thing as the buzz word ‘Agile’. For some, Agile is an evolutionary step, it is simply an outcome of “looking for better ways of doing” the things that they are doing.

In this talk, Andrew focuses on some experiences that formed his view of Agile, all of which happened before he really knew what Agile was or before any one was writing about it. He explores three examples of teams you would not, (but may) expect to find Agile – what it meant for those people and how they went on their journey to being Agile free-range teams.

He answers the question ‘What is a free-range team?’ and talks about the need to have faith that the simple, but hard act of letting go does work because it worked in these examples. Andrew also discusses how the examples have allowed better outcomes for the people, the teams and the organisations. Sometimes in unexpected ways…


About Andrew Nimick

Andrew has enjoyed a varied career across different industries and NFP’s.

Working in the technology industry over the last 12 years Andrew currently holds the role of GM Digital Development at NZME.
When not at work Andrew is busy renovating an old house and large garden or walking the five dogs

Eric Naiburg

Don’t Stop Planning Just Because You Are Using Scrum
Day two – 11:00am – Rangitoto

Even 21 years after Scrum was first created, there still carries a misunderstanding that when practising Scrum, you don’t plan. That falsity seems to get exacerbated by those in the 'anti-Agile movement' who like to say Agile means no planning. But that just isn’t true.

In this session, Eric will provide some real-world examples of plans used in developing products using Scrum. Throughout the discussion, we will talk about how planning enables Scrum teams to be more Agile and what it means to plan 'just enough' to get going and some practices for planning along the way.

About Eric Naiburg

Eric is Vice President of Marketing for and co-author of UML for Database Design and UML for Mere Mortal. Eric currently is responsible for all aspects of marketing, as well as the role of Product Owner for many website development projects.

He previously held a similar role as Director of Marketing for INetU (now ViaWest). Before INetU, Eric was Program Director at IBM and Rational Software responsible for application lifecycle management (ALM), DevOps and Agile solutions.

Eric has held product management and marketing roles with other organisations including Ivar Jacobson Consulting, CAST Software and Logic Works Inc. (acquired by Platinum Technologies and CA), and as product manager for ERwin.

Henry Lane

What is Real – Our Future in a Digital Reality
Day two – 11:00am – Rakino

This talk is an opportunity to delve into the worlds of virtual and augmented reality, learn where the technology is used right now and what prospective impacts we can anticipate in the future.


About Henry Lane

Henry has spent more than 10 years leading the design and delivery of all forms of digital engagement for the world's top-tier entertainment companies, primarily the Walt Disney Company, but also DreamWorks, Sony and the History Channel.

Henry is the Founder of Global Digital Realities Studio 'Corvecto', which specialises in delivering professional virtual and augmented reality solutions for large-scale organisations around the world for a number of industry sectors from aviation and construction through to medical and education.

Other engagements include Executive Directorship for New Zealand's 'EPIC Innovation', a collaborative eco-system, business-housing model with two innovation campuses around the country, involving partnership with Google, Cisco and multiple large NZ organisations.

Henry is often engaged by TVNZ as their go-to expert for speaking on subjects involving innovation and technology for national television.

Shane Hastie
SoftEd/Agile Alliance of New Zealand

If You Need to Start a Project, You've Already Failed #noprojects
Day two – 11:30am – Rangitoto

Being controversial for a moment, Evan would like to propose an end to IT projects, project management and project managers. He proposes that the entire project process is flawed from the start for one simple reason. If you need to run a project, you’ve already failed. By definition, an IT project is a temporary structure to govern and deliver a complex change (such as a new product or platform) into an organisation.

However, to be truly competitive, an organisation needs to be able to deliver a continuous stream of change. Managed properly, this negates the need for a project and the associated cost overheads. This is fundamentally what #noprojects is.

The approach, structure, tactics and techniques available to successfully deliver continuous change. At its core, #noprojects is predicated on the alignment of activities to outcomes, measured by value, constrained by guiding principles and supported by continuous delivery technologies. This presentation will introduce you to #noprojects.

You will learn how to define an outcome and create an Outcome Profile. You will also learn how to manage change within the context of an outcome through the Activity Canvas.

About Shane Hastie

Shane Hastie is the Chief Knowledge Engineer for SoftEd, a training and consulting company working in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Since first using XP in 2000 Shane's been passionate about helping organisations and teams adopt Agile practices. Shane leads SoftEd’s Agile Practice offering training, consulting, mentoring and support for organisations and teams working to improve their project outcomes.  

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. 

In 2011, he was elected as a Director of the Agile Alliance and is the founding Chair of the Agile Alliance of New Zealand. Shane leads the Culture and Methods editorial team for

Business Case

Aaron Hodder
Assurity Consulting

All Kinds of Minds – Encouraging Mental Diversity in Technology
Day two – 2:30pm – Rakino

An Agile workplace values collaboration, teamwork, interaction, and change, and this is – for the most part – a good thing. 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.

How can the workplace respect diverse needs and varied responses to change and pressure, as well as different requirements for interaction and collaboration?

About Aaron Hodder

Aaron Hodder hails from Wellington, New Zealand where he works for Assurity Consulting Ltd to develop and deliver leaner 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.

Gavin Coughlan

Battling Scrum Fatigue – Motivating a Team on the Frontline
Day one – 12:00pm – Rangitoto

Scrum can be incredibly motivating and produce great results, an exciting environment and help people thrive while maintaining a good work/life balance. But what happens when a Scrum project continues for a long duration? How do you stop burnout or fatigue from setting in?

The Scrum framework allows for a lot of flexibility, but the repeated cadence and ceremonies can become monotonous over time and occasionally seem relentless. Gavin’s worked with a Scrum team that’s been in place for eight years (possibly New Zealand’s longest running Scrum team) and, in that time, has seen all the ups and downs of a long-term Scrum project.

They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping teams engaged and have focused their efforts on three factors that are most important to a team and have seen great results.

About Gavin Coughlan

As an Agile Coach, Gavin’s aim is to help teams set themselves up to become high-performing, self-organising and committed to continuous improvement. Also, most importantly, he aspires to help teams grow until they reach a point where they may want him around, but don't need him around.

Gavin’s worked in the web industry for over 15 years as a Front-end Developer, Project Manager and, since 2011, Agile Coach and Trainer. His passion lies in producing great results born out of a truly collaborative environment and helping teams focus on creating real value each step of the way.

He is a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner, Professional Scrum Master 1, Certified Scaled Agile Framework Practitioner and an ICAgile authorised trainer.

Joe Kearns & Lynn Davies
Assurity Consulting & Canterbury District Health Board

Transforming a Health Organisation: Learnings from the Agile Transformation of the CDHB's Information Services Group
Day two – 9:30am – Kawau

Over the last 12 months, the Information Services Group (ISG) at the Canterbury District Health Board have been undergoing a Lean/Agile transformation. Whiteboards popped up to provide visual management across the group, Scrum and Kanban teams have been formed and the SLT (known as the ‘Lean Group’) have been using a Scrum-like process to deliver change across the department.

The transforming of ISG has generally been successful and is on-going. This session gives an overview of the approach to the transformation, the structure adopted, the metrics used to measure success and the lessons learnt along the way. In doing this transformation, an approach to organisational transformation is being developed that could serve as a blueprint for other organisations going forward.

About Joe Kearns & Lynn Davies

Joe has been involved in software projects for almost 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 principle role to deliver successful change to client organisations.
He is also an inaugural member of the Agile Alliance of New Zealand.

Lynn  has worked in acute, rehabilitation and community health settings over the last 25 years as a Physiotherapist and Improvement Leader. She currently works within the Organisational Development Unit at Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), directly supporting clinical and non-clinical teams on service re-design and process improvement initiatives. Over the past 12 years, Lynn has led numerous improvement projects at the CDHB, supporting the organisation to transform services for patients and staff. She is currently working with the Information Services Group on a Lean Roadmap to transform their way of working. Lynn is an accomplished facilitator and has co-presented on the CDHB Collabor8 programme for the last seven years which introduces participants to some of the principles and tools of lean thinking, leadership and how to influence change. More than 700 people have gone through this programme, helping to build the capability across the Canterbury Health System.


Kirstin Donaldson

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Refining Agile at Powershop
Day one – 11:00am – Kawau

What do you do when you walk into a company and they think they've got it nailed? How do you have those conversations? Recognising what needs to change and what could be optimised is the first step.

Kirstin takes a no-holds-barred look at where Powershop has come from, where they are now and where they’re going. She talks through how Powershop moved from centralised control to greater team autonomy and what they learnt along the way. Powershop continues to grow their delivery capability as they move into further markets abroad. She goes through the challenges they’re encountering as they scale Agile across the 11 teams.

There’ll be a couple of activities involving participants designed to provoke further thought about how learnings from Powershop’s Agile journey can relate to their own organisations.

About Kirstin Donaldson

Kirstin has more than 15 years’ experience with software delivery teams here in New Zealand and in the UK. Now settled in Wellington, she has been fully immersed in Agile software development processes since 2011, firstly with Boost Agile and more recently as Powershop's resident Agile Coach.

In her spare time, Kirstin enjoys cycling and running around Wellington's beautiful coast.

Rachel Niven
Niven Consulting

Cultivating An Agile Mindset
Day two – 11:30am – Rakino

When a group of Scrum teams embarked on their Agile journey, they had no inkling they would be heralded as role models of the Agile mindset. The teams faced serious and disruptive obstacles including an organisational restructure and a stoppage of the programme. This case study illustrates how the teams applied an Agile mindset instead of getting stuck. An Agile mindset is gold to an organisation and should be carefully cultivated.

Imagine two mountain bikers, one with a fixed suspension the other with full suspension. Biker1 sets off downhill with clenched fists, hits a bump, bounces off the bike and hits a tree. Biker2 heads off downhill, relaxed and agile. He comes to a bump adjusts his weight and posture and continues, constantly adjusting to the terrain.

In software development, those who can course correct, adapting to obstacles, will deliver value faster and arguably more enjoyably than those with a rigid mindset, unprepared to adapt.

About Rachel Niven

Rachel is an Agile Coach and the first person in New Zealand to be awarded the IC Agile Expert Agile Coach certification.

She enables Agile transformation by coaching Agile coaches, Scrum Masters, teams and managers. Her coaching stance is to meet people where they are, empower them to be transformers, 'hold the space' for self-development, respect others’ decisions and leave no trace.

Sandy Mamoli

How the Olympics Can Make You a Better Person
Day one – 3:00pm – Rangitoto

You won't win if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. And you won’t be world-class if just you do what others have done before you. To truly make it, you need to be different and develop a world-class innovation mindset!

In the world of professional sports, innovation, persistence and rapid learning are everything! In this very personal talk, former Olympian Sandy Mamoli will share key learnings from her professional sports career. She will delve into topics such as learning through innovation, rapid feedback, radical candour and high-performance teams.  

Sandy will contrast the perspectives and attitudes of professional sports with modern work life and will extract guidelines and tools that we can apply to our professional lives. From critical communication skills to collaboration and effective teams, come along and learn practical ways for how to apply ideas from Olympic sports to your professional Agile career.

About Sandy Mamoli

Sandy Mamoli is an Agile enterprise coach and consultant at Nomad8 with a focus on culture and leadership. She moved to New Zealand in 2007 (for a brief trial period) and has been living in Wellington and Auckland ever since.

From working with global enterprises in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Copenhagen to being one of NZ’s leading coaches, she brings her practical flair and passionate advocacy for all things Agile to businesses around the world.

Sandy is a former Olympian, a geek, a gadget junkie, international speaker and co-author of Creating Great Teams – How Self-Selection Lets People Excel (Pragmatic Bookshelf 2015). She knows quite a lot about Agile.

Dawie Olivier

Less is More – Lessons for Digital Transformation
Day one – 12:00pm – Village Green

It is often thought that a good strategy holds complexity, leaving the organisation to deal with bloat, in terms of strategy, structure, practice and execution.

This presentation explores the power of keeping things simple and lessons from Agile and Lean for transformation and relevance in the Digital Age.

About Dawie Olivier

Dawie Olivier has had a dynamic career in the IT industry, leading many different teams in the design and implementation of strategies and solutions of strategic importance for a number of large corporations.

Most recently, as Executive Head of Group Technology Build for the Standard Bank Group based in Johannesburg, Dawie lead a team tasked with the technical delivery of all new technology capabilities.

In this role Dawie focused on the establishment of a multispeed delivery model, catering for both foundational systems delivery in a measured manner, and rapid delivery of a customer capability in the channel environment. This included the teams delivering a world-class digital banking app, and internet banking site, both of which offered full transactional banking, service origination and online share trading.

Dawie was appointed to the role of Chief Information Officer in Westpac in April 2015. With 15 years’ experience in financial services technology and several appointments as CIO, his background is well aligned to the direction Westpac is taking with its technology.

As Chief Technologist, Dawie has direct involvement in decision making across the broader running of the business to ensure a strong technology presence and focus at the executive level.

Mike Walls

Software Defining an Infrastructure Company – A Transformative Journey
Day two – 11:00am – Kawau

Introducing software as a pivotal theme to an infrastructure company can be a challenge. Pivoting a company going through exponential growth can be an even bigger challenge.

Introducing Agile and Lean has helped drive Revera’s transformative journey and provided lessons and learnings along the way.

About Mike Walls

Mike heads up Revera’s Portfolio and Professional Services group with responsibility for client consulting, solutions, transitions and projects, as well as Revera product management. A member of the chief technology office, Mike has been involved in driving strategic roadmaps, transformative initiatives and product development.

Mike has held senior product, project and consulting roles with IT service providers and public and private organisations in NZ and the UK and, when not working, enjoys the challenge and reward of being jungle gym and boxing bag to three young kids.

Suzanne Nottage
CA Technologies Ltd

Implementing Agile: Success and Failure Patterns
Day two – 11:00am – Village Green

Suzanne has delivered various forms of Agile into large organisations in Europe, Asia, the US and Australia.

 In this session, she will share common success and failure patterns that will help improve the journey towards embedding Agile/Lean into your workplace.  

About Suzanne Nottage

Suzanne has worked in IT for 10 years and led the transformation to Agile at the UK’s largest private health insurer. She has also used Lean and Kanban extensively to improve organisational performance. 

Because she has lived and worked in Australasia, Japan and the UK, Suzanne has experienced a wide range of organisational cultures and challenges. And she’s seen the Agile wave move from leading edge to mainstream.

A lifelong athlete (and committed triathlete), Suzanne is action-oriented rather than theoretical and likes to see organisations achieve early wins. 

Brought to you by

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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.