Summarizing AgileEncore 2014

It is all started when Deniss Alimovs pushed me to attend Agile encore 2014 event. I definitely believed that the invite was for him but he is so generous to share such opportunities with his team mates (That I call a sign of being a great leader).amit@agileencore

I thoroughly enjoyed this session and I am glad to share the following notes in my blog post.

PLEASE NOTE: I have excluded common messages that I presumed we all know. However, what you will get below is something new that I found could be beneficial to remind you.

Also keep in mind that that these are my interpretation, my observation and it may not be 100% same as speakers' said. (I am still trying to learn - how to listen over hearing.)

agileencore2014 banner

James Brett, Founder, Curiously Lenka Bednarikova, Scrum Master, Commonwealth Bank Lachlan Heasman, Agile Coach Scott Kinder, CEO, The Kinder Group Sandy Mamoli, Founder, nomad8  Dipesh Pala, Agile Capability Lead, IBM John Sullivan, Product Delivery Manager, Business Division, MYOB
To read about specific speaker, please click on their photo.

Four things we need to know about teams – Lachlan Heasman, Agile Coach


Lachlan started with the statement that there is a difference between group and team. Team is something we should emphasis on building it. You can build a great team by knowing some of the commonly known models in the market such as Tuckman and Poole. Then he took me on motivating team. He also emphasized on Outcomes over Processes and ended his four points by stating that you don’t need a title to be leader.

Let see what these four points means to me.

1. Development Model

The following productive team build development Model was discussed – Tuckman and Poole. Here is my understanding with these two:

Tuckman Model

I already knew about Tuckman model and you can read it at my previous blog post –

However, the bottom line about tuckman model is about giving you a leadership tool so that you can build a well collaborative team (it is all about communication).

Poole Model

Poole’s model put forward several tracks for the group communication and also stated the tracks can repeat or can happen at any time of the communication process. This model consists of the various tracks used for interpreting the communication styles that a group follows.


Poole's Model

2. Motivational effects

Lachlan labelled some managers’ as “Free rides” i.e .those Take the benefit of someone else work.

Another tag he had referred is “Social Loafing“. Social loafing began with rope pulling experiments by Ringelmann, who found that members of a group tended to exert less effort in pulling a rope than did individuals alone. Thus he suggest that team work is important however, each of us should put their own efforts to reach the goal.

The major motivational efforts he talks about is Kohler Effect  i.e. leaders have to set examples for others so that others can try to achieve the same. At the end, no one wants to be left behind in the team.

3. Outcome vs. Process Focus

You can focus on any process (including Agile), however the main objective is the outcome. So the message came across is thus it is good to have a process, but the process should be introduced to produce required outcome. Thus, outcome should be our main focus, and process comes along with it.

4. Leadership

The main message came cross is – You don’t need a title to be a leader, which it remind me about this book.

Managers needs to provide required tool and environment to produce leaders; thus making outcome focused team.

Unleashing the full potential of your Agile team, Dipesh Pala, IBM.

Whatever makes you happy will make your team happy. So what you want to feel, you should reflect the same.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

He asked a question – What makes you happy in life?

Audience believed that the following will make them happy:

  • Achieving something,
  • Being recognised,
  • Having Hope,
  • Trust in people around us
  • Being rewarded,
  • Being loved and respected
  • Always learning
  • Making other people happy,
  • Being challenged, simulated
  • Sharing your fruits with others.

What he was emphasizing – “What will make you happy will also make your team happy”.

Understanding individuals what makes them happy will lead you to make a good agile team as well.

To make a better team it is important to understand that leaders should provide supporting environment that makes the best team, producing better outcome.

He asked a question again – what makes you think which item is the most important for them?

  • Providing Clear Goal
  • Providing Interpersonal support
  • Providing reward and incentive.
  • Providing support for making good team (it is the main)
  • Providing recognition for good work

Managers ignores “Providing Support” where as their thought is on “Recognition for Good work”. Get the small wins be celebrated within team, thus makes you a best team. This is what Managers must do i.e. Peace loving environment.

“If you cannot fly, run, if you cannot run, walk, if you can't walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving - Martin Luther King.

Leader should be inspiring small wins. Leaders must remove the control of information and let it flow within his team. Agile team works only with the trust. Project Managers should be promoting transparency thus there is a great visibility and trust is build.


To check the status of of your team, he recommended this check list for leaders.

Agile and Special Forces: Leadership that lives disruption, James Brett, Founder @ Curiously, Scott Kinder, CEO, the kind Group.

There was a great comparison of Agile Manifesto with the way Military operates. Scott comes from US Military background and with the help of James, he has did a great live comparison. Their presentation is good to see as well.

The important message was, instead of emphasizing on skill sets, like you find in any job advertisement, there should be more emphasis on finding people with the right attitude. And then train them by empowering them with the tool set.

Another key message throughout this presentation was “Disruption”, which should be seen as opportunity. So whenever, you see a change is happening consider it is for good. You will be injected with a new knowledge or an area that you might not have seen is better.

It is like you can replace “Excuse” word with “Opportunity”.


Let the right one in, Lenka Bednarikova @ Commonwealth Bank.

The cost of getting it wrong person is higher then expected. There is a financial cost however there are other costs that must be looked at.

Cultural cost – We should be finding people from company future projection of view so that the future can become reality.

Financial cost – Of course by hiring people with current culture point of view, you might end up spending lots of time on teaching them your future and there is a great possibility that they will leave your organisation.

Traditional Hiring Vs. Agile Hiring

The bottom line is instead of selecting people with Buzz words, let people comes in for face to face conversation and select those people that can bring right passion. Please don’t select people because they are awesome in .NET and passion means – people will do the right thing rather doing something.

Most importantly, your organisation should be prepared for the passionate conversations.

Another interesting thing that I found Lanka said is to hire freshers. The reason is because they are bringing a fresh air, with no assumptions and new views. They create an environment that people need. Potential over Experience is something has been emphasized.

Portfolio Kanban: Seeing the bigger Picture – Sandy mamoli, Founder, nomad8

Doing too many things at once can slow an entire organisation down. Every successful organisation will have more great ideas than they have capacity to build, and it is tempting to start too many of them at the same time.

The more we add the more we become unstable.

The moving parts for any organisation is:

  • Work
  • People

Thus, you must fix work by showing an entire Portfolio.


Guerilla Re-transformation John Sullivan, Product Delivery Manager, MYOB


  • Don’t focus on Agile Manifesto, instead focus on key principles.
  • He transformed MYOB team by bringing right people and change happens at managerial level.
  • He also suggest that to hire permanent employees over temporary employees.


Lastly, after knowing Lisa Frazier @ CBA, I am proud to feel that leaders @ CBA understand the value of human resource, and it makes me feel that I am as important as others.

This is my outcome of yesterday’s session, what is your?


Click on this link for original presentations