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Scrum Australia 2013 event review

Scrum Australia 2013 was held in Sydney recently and was the first conference of its kind to be held Down Under.

GLiNTECH is proud to have been a sponsor of this event, but much more than that we were happy to attend as a supporter and spend two days with like-minded people talking and thinking about Scrum. We found ourselves sharing stories and ideas with people from many countries and companies and discovering diverse ways in which Scrum and agile principles are being used.

There were many highlights, but a few observations stood out in particular. The first was the confirmation that Scrum is not merely alive but thriving in Australia; to have nearly 300 attendees on both days was extremely encouraging for an inaugural event (not to mention a wonderful achievement by the organising team).

They managed to foster an event that had a real sense of community - something which can often be lacking at events of that size. The openness and engagement - from speakers and attendees alike - was very positive. There was even a sense of camaraderie between the speakers, with many being disappointed at having to miss out on another talk due to having to present their own. That sense of community and wanting to be involved extended to attendees too, who were very open to helping each other through sharing their own views, experience and advice.

With the event attracting globally recognised presenters and industry thought leaders, it was perhaps little surprise that the presentations were generally of excellent quality. While it’s impossible to do justice to them in any summary, here are a few favourites our team managed to attend:

The feedback we heard from presentations we weren’t able to attend was almost unanimously full of praise too, which brings us to the only major problem with Scrum Australia 2013: it was impossible to get to everything!

A highlight from GLiNTECH’s perspective was when our Managing Director, Dimitri Spyridopoulos, co-presented with Chris Mountford from Atlassian on the topic of Scrum ‘Beyond Software’. This was about taking Scrum and agile principles beyond software development teams and into wider business. Both Dimitri and Chris got some terrific feedback (both directly and through social media) and it seemed most people really engaged with the subject matter. It was also fantastic to have such a terrific turnout (a full house!), so thank you to everyone that came along.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was the Open Space where attendees got the chance to really get involved with Scrum practice - something very beneficial for the large number of attendees who were fairly new to Scrum.

In the Open Space, individuals wrote down what aspect of Scrum they wanted to find out more about and pinned the paper to the wall until the whole wall was decorated with ideas. Similar subjects were then joined together, a loose agenda or schedule was set and the ‘teams’ broke off to rooms for open discussion - with the whole process essentially being self-determining. People keen to learn about a topic became instantly connected to those with a similar interest and/or to those with experience and expertise. The Open Space was a fitting and vivid demonstration of Scrum and the benefits it can offer.

Overall, when you combine the large number of ‘Scrum novices’ at the event with the quality of the speakers and coaches leading discussions, it suggests some very positive things for Scrum in Australia. Not only do we have experts with the skills, knowledge and qualifications to teach Scrum practices, we also have an abundance of people willing to learn.

For us at GLiNTECH, while we already provide services, training and tools in Scrum and agile, the positivity surrounding Scrum Australia 2013 means we’re especially excited about revealing new offerings in this space. Stay tuned for details...