Agile Australia 2012 Pre-Conference Workshops Review

The day before the Agile Australia 2012 conference in Melbourne was workshop day, and I presented a couple of sessions as well as sitting in on others. There was a good mix of local talent delivering workshops this year. One of my hopes for next year is to make them inclusive of the conference proper somehow, so more people can benefit from and experience them.

First Steps With Agile

On behalf of the Agile Academy, Rene Chappel and I presented First Steps in Agile to a large enthusiastic class (in fact, the class was four times larger than we were expecting and much larger than the numbers I have had in similar classes for the last few years).

New to Agile and wondering where to start or want to know what all the fuss is about? This workshop will start you on your journey and help you become familiar with the core values and principles of Agile. You will gain an understanding of what is meant by the term ‘Agile’ and learn about some of the key practices and processes of an Agile approach (while having some fun along the way!)

Agile Coaching Workshop

The session I presented with Adrian Smith had a capacity turnout  The slides are available in a separate post.

Below is a picture from the workshop where we are getting attendees to move around the room and identify their coaching strengths.

From Agile Australia 2012

Think Like An Agilist

I had one session free and sat in on this session delivered by Jason Yip. The workshop exercises presented scenarios and encouraged participants to practice speaking aloud their process to solving the scenario.

From Agile Australia 2012
  • novices understand the formulas but not what is happening
  • superficial (understand the formula), semantic understanding (understand what is going on), qualitative understanding (know instinctively what is true)
  • “Think like a Commander” – US Army exercise to expose and correct weaknesses
  • learning is not a comfortable experience, it is an experience of confusion
  • sits between classroom study (learning basic concepts) and a full scale simulation (you use your strengths to achieve an aim)
  • use the think aloud protocol
  • fallacy of thinking – can’t help from a learning perspective, you obviously didn’t think about it
  • cognitive themes – things to think about
  • people will never discuss what is working well  when dealing with a problem
  • what someone tells you is mostly their interpretation, they can encourage you to miss things
  • your strengths and weaknesses sometimes blind or endear you to different roles
  • need to practice to answer reflexively
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