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Rosaleen Ward

Apart of National Techweek, 5 of team Firebrand attended the Agile conference learning about being agile and adaptive in business and how that translates in to being a key driver of success!

We heard from 4 of New Zealand’s best AGILE practitioners, sharing their insights and experiences with us. The morning was packed with speakers sharing insights in to their uses of agile and how that has impacted their businesses.

First up was Shane Hastie, Director of Agile Learning Programmes, ICAgile. He shared insights about being AGILE in a remote team, the challenges and the myths. The main takeaway point was the implementation of Agility in the business world. The cycle of plan → Do → Check → Act is a constant flow that will help any business function seamlessly.

Next up was Ant Boobier, BNZ and Nomad8. He is a Lean Agile member and implements these principles within businesses he works with. Ant talked about dual track delivery where he focused on everyday aspects of businesses and showed how being an Agile team has helped track the large scale projects so that everyone is involved rather than waiting for individual stages for people to get involved.

The third speaker of the day was Clarke Ching, Author, Keynote Speaker, and Lean, Agile and Theory of Constraints Consultant. Clarke shared his insights, and knowledge in to everyday business solutions. Clarke presented two theories, within his talk, one being the bottleneck theory where businesses may have a bottleneck in their work space without knowing it. The bottleneck being a place within the flow of work, that is restricted and not getting the capacity that you need done as quick as you may like. The Buffalo Theory is where your team is only as fast as your slowest buffalo, the idea that if you spend time and resources upskilling your slowest team member, they can only get better and faster ensuring that your herd will run faster and smoother.

The last speaker of the day was Samantha Laing, Datacom Agile Consultant, Author and International Speaker. Sam talked about creating a collaborative, self-organising team that works to achieve goals. She referred to finding the ‘hack’ in your business, finding the trick, shortcut, skill or method that increases productivity & efficiency. Uncovering impediments is a quick way to reduce lost time, anything that may get in the way of getting the project completed on time - statements such as “we are waiting on…” or “I will hopefully try get that done today if I am not to busy”. Sam’s takeaway point was “No Beauty Queen statements” - No statements like “I want to change the world through our digital presence” and if you do, have an action plan behind it so you can implement these steps in order for you to achieve ‘world peace statements’

The afternoon was open for 45 minute speed talks in open space sessions that were facilitated by guest speakers, where in which the agenda and topics of the talks were based on what people (attendees) were passionate about or the challenges they face within their business. These were interesting in the way that no session was the same and it gave a chance to meet new people and hear their struggles or triumphs within their business.

To explore more about these topics and learn more about what it takes to be an Agile team, head to