Keynote speaker - Dr Alistair Cockburn

Dr Alistair Cockburn is the keynote speaker for 1st Conf. He is one of the initiators of the agile movement in software development, helping write the Manifesto for Agile Software Development in 2001, the agile PM Declaration of Interdependence in 2005, and co-founding the International Consortium for Agile in 2009.

He is also known for describing Software development as a Cooperative Game, creating the oath of non-allegiance,
finally defining Use Cases, and for developing the Crystal family of agile methodologies.

When not doing all that, he likes to travel, dance, dive, or sit underwater.

Find out more at Alistair's:  Website | Twitter

"The Big A and Little A" of the Westpac Journey

At this session Erica Hughes will cover off the cultural change that is needed, in order to transform your business, and what is the compelling reason for change.  She will share her vision of the journey thus far for one of Australia's leading banks, Westpac.  

You will also hear about the Big A and Little A methodology - Agile of Change.

Erica Hughes

Erica is a senior executive with an extensive background in corporate leadership, business transformation and change management. She is currently Head of Change Delivery and Integration at Westpac Bank in Sydney where she leads a large practice of change management professionals delivering over 200 projects each year into Westpac’s Australian business.  Erica leads the enterprise change management for Westpac’s Agile adoption and is the co-founder of the Westpac Garage, an extreme accelerator and amplifier of innovation at Westpac.

Erica has had senior executive roles leading transformation in financial services, health and the IT industry.  Erica has led major transformation programs at ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac Bank in Australia as well as for the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank, in South Africa and in Asia.  Erica was also involved in the transformation of Australia and New Zealand’s credit bureaux industry through her work at Veda Advantage and led the expansion of credit bureaux services into Asia. Erica has also established several start-ups in the field of medical devices, gene therapy and pharmaceutical clinical trials.

The heart of Scrum

Scrum is a simple framework with simple mechanics, but it deals with complex systems very effectively. Most people focus on the proess, role and artifact parts of Scrum, but they aren’t the most important parts.

Martin talks about the essence of scrum - the part that makes a difference between scrum process users and scrum practitioners. He’ll share his experience and insights from 15 years of Agile consulting and delivery and explain the one consistent thing that makes great teams work - self organisation.

Martin Kearns

Martin is a pioneer in the field of Scrum, being one of the first three Scrum Coaches in the world to be certified by the Scrum Alliance. His forte is in the coaching of individuals and organisations to improve their application of the Agile process and to build high performance teams. He has an infectious passion for Agile and is heavily involved with the community. He is the National Capability Lead for Agile services at SMS MT. An experienced technology professional, Martin has over 18 years of industry experience. He is leading the development of an enterprise Agile capability within SMS to support the business strategies of a diverse set of clients. Client offerinig include consulting/coaching services on the creation and implementation of Agile Delivery, continuing the engagement with the client in a  mentoring role to  assist  with follow-up implementation and  the facilitation of Agile Retrospectives at key project milestones. 

Agile Testing - Shifting quality to the left

So how exactly is agile testing different if the objective is still to help build a quality product? What do we mean by “shifting quality to the left”? 

Let Theresa and Bharat introduce you to the journey you should be embarking on to help product teams build quality products faster. If you, the QA, have ever felt like a second class citizen on a development team, now is the time to set that straight.

Bharat Sangekar

Bharat has worked across the spectrum of product development and consulting roles over the past 16 years spanning Australia, New Zealand and India. A tech aficionado, he feels lucky to have acquired his learnings from working with some really smart people, has battlescars to show, takes great pride in being an Agilist, and is a strong advocate of shifting quality left.
He enjoys inspiring others by sharing his experiences and leads by example. A doer, trainer, mentor, speaker, he currently helps build digital products at  Australia Post’s Digital Delivery Centre.

Theresa Neate

Whether you call Theresa a "tester" or a "QA", her motto remains: "I do analysis, not assurance".

She is an experienced Agile QA/Test Lead/QA manager but opts not to focus on titles or hierarchy, much preferring flat team structures with responsible, empowered team members mutually focused on efficiency, outcomes and value.

Theresa has 10+ years in testing across multiple domains and industries, the last 6 of which exclusively in Agile environments, including 3 years as an Agile QA coach at an Agile consultancy. She attempts to strike a balance between delivery and coaching in most roles she undertakes.

How TDD and BDD changed my life

At 1st Conference James Holmes will be explaining how he discovered Test Driven and Behavioural Driven Development, two of the most popular agile methods for managing User Stories. He’ll explain his discovery and initial use of them and the insights he has had about effectively managing User Stories on Agile teams.

james holmes

James Holmes

James is a senior developer at REA in Melbourne Australia. A polymath who thinks about the whole value stream of product development from customer discovery and insight through to managing IT infrastructure, he blogged his journey of agile adoption on his blog Shu Ha Ri. HIs perspectives on Agile and Lean are informed by his interests in Japanese martial arts.  James portfolio of tools include Lean, Devops, Kaizen, Kanban, Kenjutsu, Aikido and other Japanese words.

Fables, Fantasies and Facts

Type the term Agile software development into any search engine and you will be rewarded with pages and pages of results. Much the same will happen if you switch your term to Scrum, Lean, Kanban TDD and BDD. 

The amount of stuff out there is overwhelming, and to make matters worse, inconsistent and contradictory.  Unless you happen to be searching on Google Scholar, nearly all of it is someone’s opinion. So how do you sort out fact from fantasy? 
This presentation will give you a head start by debunking some fables and fantasies and then identifying what the science says about what does and does not work, based on empirical peer reviewed research conducted over the last 5 years and published in the academic literature.  We will cover tools, techniques, and methodologies as well as issues around implementing Agile in-the-small and Agile in–the-large.


Kelsey van Haaster

Kelsey is a Lead Consultant - Business Analysis, with Thoughtworks and had more than a decade of experience working with Agile tools, methods and approaches. She is currently conducting her PhD with Charles Sturt University and is investigating the extent to which an organisations'  understanding of Agility impacts their approach to implementation.

Enterprise Agile Governance

Peter Lam's presentation will talk about agile governance and how to make it work within enterprise constraints.

Peter Lam

Peter Lam is an embedded coach and management consultant to support organisations, PMOs, and project delivery teams adopt agile techniques. He is a facilitator at Swinburne Uni on Mastering Agile Project Management. 

Peter has spent the last decade helping restructure boards, companies and programs to deliver outcomes. He specialises in complex project delivery, helping organisations and projects adopt agile delivery techniques leading to changes in mindset and culture. Most recently, Peter has been recently working to support capex heavy customers adopt these techniques.

He has led teams that have included combinations of: onshore and off shore resources; internal and outsourced environments; across competing System Integrators; and integrating waterfall and agile approaches within a broader program.

Using Agile to manage your demand and workflow

Just discovered Agile as a way of working for better, faster product development?
How in the Agile universe, do you wrangle stakeholders?
Prioritising one feature over another in a product build might be simple, but how do you manage demand in a queue of operational initiatives?
How do you prioritise when your backlog is both product build and operational stuff?

Whether you are from an IT, Product Management, Marketing or Analytics background, come along to learn how to use Agile to manage demand.


Katrina Kolt

Katrina is an energetic Agile Coach, Scrum Master and Product Owner with more than 15 years’ experience delivering digital projects from inception to deployment. She has been at the heart of Agile inception at Telstra Digital, Australia Post’s Digital Fast Track team and Deakin University. Currently, she is Agile Coach at GE Capital, taking the lead on defining Agile in an enterprise Lean Startup environment and coaching to build Agile capability.

See her blog on Agile from the ground up

Agile Teams vs. Rigid Management – or is Agile Management and Oxymoron?

Managers drive Agile change initiatives top-down for teams but often don’t understand that they too have to change.  When management remain locked in traditional command and control mindsets then the investment in Agile adoption could be lost.  This session discusses the clash between Agile teams and Rigid management, and presents resources and tools to help management become Agile in step with their teams. 

Anton Rossouw

Anton enjoys working as an Agile Project Manager, Consultant and Coach. He has more than 25 years ICT methodology experience delivering complex enterprise systems including ERP (SAP R/3) and MES, and is passionate about helping management and teams collaborate and innovate, and improve the way they work while also having more fun!

Where does the Business Analyst fit into Agile?

There are a lot of statements that claim that Business Analysts are not needed in Agile or that there is no planning or documentation. However, this is absolutely not the case! Andrew Thorpe and Ryan McKergow will explain how all the essential Business Analysts competencies are still applicable and important within Agile, what are the values and behaviours that an Agile Business Analyst will need to embody, and what the day in the life of an Agile Business Analyst looks like.


Andrew Thorpe

Andrew is driven to help teams adopt Agile and realise that it is more than just another framework. His pragmatic approach to Agile has seen him work at a number of Australia's leading brands - Open Universities Australia, REA Group, Sensis, and Telstra.

Andrew works at Elabor8 as a Senior Consultant and is currently consulting at UniSuper. Bringing his 7 years of Agile experience he is looking to lead by example with a team that is brand new to Agile and used to traditional ways of working.


Ryan McKergow

Ryan is passionate about Agile and changing things up. With over 5 years of Agile experience, Ryan has worked with a number of Agile teams both in a Business Analyst and Iteration Manager capacity, and has provided coaching on different approaches along the way.
Ryan works for the team at Elabor8 as a Senior Consultant and is currently consulting at UniSuper. UniSuper has just begun their Agile transformation and Ryan is working on one of their pilot projects. This includes providing his expertise to both the project team and the broader UniSuper team, and of course facilitating his favourite Agile workshop - Retrospectives. Previous to working at UniSuper, Ryan has had the opportunity to work at the REA Group, SEEK, and the Suncorp Group.

Why are the walls covered in cards?

Agile teams use big visual indicators a lot, but why?

Nick Thorpe and Fiona Siseman will explain why visualising a team's work is so important, how to do it well, and take away some great ideas to start using in your own teams.

  • Learn how to diagnose common agile delivery problems through simple visual indicators
  • Learn some simple hacks your team can apply straight away

Nick Thorpe

Nick has  a background in agile coaching and delivery in Melbourne, Australia. He currently works for Thoughtworks in Melbourne as a principal consultant. In the last few years he has helped many teams use these techniques and processes inside and outside of the software development world, in fields such as IT operations, publishing and layout at Lonely Planet and other large organisations. Even legal teams!

Fiona Siseman

Fiona is an Agile Coach who loves helping teams to transform and grow using Agile and Lean techniques.  After spending many years developing agile teams during her time as a project manager-come-scrummaster-come-sharpie-wrangler at Lonely Planet, she is now spreading the Agile love beyond IT as a coach with Luna Tractor.

Large Scale Agile with LeSS

The Queensland Department of Health payroll project ended in a debacle with costs estimated at $1.2 billion. The New York city payroll project was a major disaster costing nearly six times the original budget. Large scale program should not be taken for granted assuming it is going to exceed budget and time lines. However, by applying empirical process control and putting right structures in place, one could improve predictability, manageability and deliver the program efficiently.

One of the tried and tested framework is Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). Based on empirical process control, Systems thinking, Queuing theory and Lean management principles, it provides a strong foundation for Scrum teams to navigate the complex environment with ease.

This talk is focuses on some of the LeSS foundation principles, structures and frameworks providing an insight about its simplicity, scalability and robustness.


Venky Krishnamurthi

Venky is an Agile Delivery Coach at Suncorp. He is rated as one of the Top 200 Agile bloggers on all matters of Agility, Innovation and Complexity. He blogs for Cutter Consortium, Techwell and Zephyr.

A computer scientist, engineer, scrum master and Agile coach with more than 20 years experience working with several start-ups and IT companies across US, Europe, Asia and Australia.

What if...?  What your DevOps practices say about your organisational maturity

Although DevOps is primarily a mindset and cultural movement, it has concrete practices which are natural manifestations of this culture and mindset.  In this sense, DevOps is very similar to Agile.  And like Agile, it’s possible to cargo cult DevOps and focus on “how” to implement practices without paying sufficient attention to “why”...  There be dragons here.

However, the organisations that truly embrace the DevOps approach have publicised practices that are far less susceptible to cargo culting.  This presentation examines several of these practices and asks the audience to consider what organisational attitudes must be in place to support these practices.

This process of consideration should lead the audience to a deeper understanding of what the key values of DevOps are and how to approach moving an organisation in this direction.

Andy Marks

Andy is a Technical Principal from ThoughtWorks and has created and/or hosted DevOps user groups in both Melbourne and Singapore.

Demystifying the Role of Management in Agile

Often when an organisation introduces agile, management can be left wondering what their role is and how they can contribute. While some might suggest management should “just get out of the way” in my experience this is not the answer. Managers definitely have a role to play and an important one at that! 

In this session Em will share her journey to becoming an Agile Leader. You will hear what made her start, the real world challenges she faced, the mistakes she made along the way and the secrets she discovered. Attendees at this session are sure to walk away with a new appreciation of the role of managers in agile organisations and plenty of practical ideas that can be implemented in an organisation, regardless of whether they are agile or not!


Em Campbell-Pretty

Em is a Partner at Context Matters, Australia's leading Enterprise Agile consultancy. After close to 20 years in business management roles within multinational blue chip corporations, Em discovered Agile and became passionate about the chance it provides to align business and IT around the delivery of value. In 2012, she launched Australia’s first Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agile Release Train. The story of the cultural transformation that accompanied this launch of this train has become legendary in the agile community, which has led to her being considered a thought leader on scaling agile culture. As a true servant leader, Em is passionate about building great teams and transforming culture whilst still maintaining focus and commitment to delivering business outcomes.
Em is an active member of the global agile community and was invited to co-chair the Enterprise Agile track for the Agile Alliance conferences in 2014 and 2015. She is a recognised expert in Scaling Agile and frequently speaks about her experiences at conferences across Australia and the United States. In recognition of her experience with and contribution to SAFe, Em has recently been invited to become a Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT); a level of certification held by less than 25 people globally. Em also blogs about her “Adventures in Scaling Agile” at 

Infrastructure for Agile Teams

James Clifford will discuss the perils, pitfalls and benefits of moving to agile techniques for infrastructure teams.

James Clifford

James Clifford is a technical architect with an extensive record in building and enabling high performance and scalable systems. James is currently assisting a financial services organisation prepare for significant growth in transaction volume.

James has been working with agile software delivery project teams since 2006.

The focus of James’ presentation will be on how to enable agile teams by utilising cloud environments and key infrastructure considerations 

Where’s My Pony? Introducing Agile to Intrepid Travel

The business was promised a pony (by IT). They didn’t get one. Turns out the rest of the business strategy wasn’t going to plan either. This is the story of how Intrepid Travel decided to chase the Agile pony - and caught it. 

In September 2014 a new CIO saw that she had a very small window to change the culture of her inherited domain, renew the romance with the business, and deliver on the technology and digital promises that Intrepid Travel were impatiently waiting for to extend the reach of their fabulous products to their global market - and ride that pony to growth, profitability, and even more excellent adventures. 

Intrepidity = fearless adventuring. Agility = fast-track evolving. Put them together and we found a pretty fast pony. 


Jenny Beresford

Jenny is a technologist and strategist whose career has spanned the rise and rise of the digital age, from application programmer to CIO and back again.  Her current professional ‘incarnation’ is as a consultant and coach, helping organisations appreciate the New World of Agile leadership, philosophies and practice. Her work has taken her all over the world: to intriguing and diverse industries, cultures and countries from Mexico to China, down coal mines in hard-hats or ‘suited and booted’ into the London and New York offices of media empires. She still feels privileged to have contributed to the way technologies shift and enhance the shape and reach of our businesses, and the quality of our lives, over the past three decades.

What NOT to do when adopting Agile

It’s taken me at least 5 years to truly grok Agile, and there are many barrel loads of stuff still to learn.

There are no shortcuts to organisational or even team agility, but there are things that - had I known then what I know now - would have helped me accelerate my learning, be more effective sooner and avoid some common pitfalls with Agile adoption.

My aim in this session is to introduce some of those ideas and principles such that those new to Agile will have a clearer perspective on what challenges they will face, and what bodies of knowledge will help them achieve better results in their Agile adoption/transition efforts.

Agile adoption is a complex affair, and failure is inevitable if practices and processes are implemented without understanding the underlying principles and mindset. Consequently, it is arguably more important to know what NOT to do than what to do. Learning these things will provide clarity for the audience in how to set their teams and organisations up for success.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to avoid typical dysfunctions with agile adoptions
  • The immutable principles behind the practices
  • Where (not) to focus your efforts
  • How to (not) choose an Agile management tool

Neil Killick 

Neil is a passionate Agile and Lean thinker, manager, coach, blogger (, tweeter (@neil_killick) and speaker.

He has been developing software professionally for over 18 years across a wide variety of roles and industries, in companies ranging in size from startup to large corporation. Neil is one of the early pioneers of the #NoEstimates movement and is the creator of the Slicing Heuristic method.

His mission is to help organisations become better at delivering software while creating more humane, happy workplaces. To achieve this, Neil focuses on providing the people doing the work with an environment which allows them to thrive.

The first 18 months of our Agile transformation

Christine Shingles works with Simplot, who are 18 months into shifting from traditional to agile work practices. She will co-facilitate her session with colleague Gabor Devenyi and they will focus on the people side of an agile transformation - where they started start, what they did, where they are now and the lessons learnt. This will cover the good, the bad and the stuff in between!

Christine Shingles

Christine is an experienced Organisational Change Manager who has worked in a wide range of industries including; FMCG, Facilities & Services, Franchising, Agribusiness and the education sector. She has led both local and global change programs embedding enhanced work practices to build teams.

Over the last 18 months, Christine has been part of Simplot's IT leadership team - transforming the department from traditional to agile work practices.

What is Kanban and why it’s a good fit for so many organisations?

Kanban is a more recent inclusion in the Agile pantheon or practices. It is built on some key ideas such as evolutionary change beats revolutionary change, and that by evolving practices change will be more sustaining.
Ben Hogan talks about discovering and incorporating Kanban into his approaches to agile working.He will highlight key concepts and the vital few things to pay attention to if you want to adopt Kanban for your team.


Ben Hogan

Ben is a highly experienced agile coach, trainer and facilitator with over 10 years agile experience. 
Ben has extensive experience helping clients to implement agile organisational transformation including Lean, Kanban, Scrum and Extreme Programming values, principles and practices. He is an experienced team and project leader having successfully delivered application development, deployment automation and cloud computing initiatives.
He is also a Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe Program Consultant. and a Certified Scrum Master.

Evoking Excellence through Agile Coaching

The Agile Coach is an important role in helping individuals, teams and leaders understand, adopt and improve Agile ways of working in their specific context.  Agile Coaches can help people grow, develop, and learn new ways of working and thinking.  In this presentation we will explore the role of the Agile Coach, the competency framework and the benefits of coaching.

The presentation will be provided by Chris Chan, a current Agile Coach with real-world experience, who is committed to uncovering better ways of working by doing it and helping others do it.

chris chan

Chris Chan

Chris Chan is an Agile Coach with Object Consulting with over 16 years experience in software and product development who cares about humanising the workplace.  He specialises in Agile transformations, scaling Agile and helping executives, teams and individuals to adopt Agile values, principles and practices that thrive within their specific environment.  Chris hopes to be a disruptive force to those who think the way we develop products and services is just fine.  He has spent the last decade helping organisations and teams globally to continuously improve and find better ways of working.

Chris is the founder and co-organiser of the Melbourne Agile Coaching Circles Meetup group and is a co-organiser of the Agile Coach Camp Conference in Australia.  His passion is working side-by-side with teams to help them become more effective and deliver value to customers and the business.  He has a particular interest in coaching organisations and teams to bring about positive change to build learning organisations. His ethos is to be pragmatic, listen and apply incremental learning.  

In his spare time Chris likes to spend time behind the camera lens, enjoys golf, basketball, LEGO, gym, traveling and snowboarding. 

You can follow Chris on his blog at

Introduction to DevOps and Continuous Delivery

Cam Jackson and Karl Chu give an introductory talk on what DevOps and Continuous Delivery are, what problems they address, and some associated technical practices


Karl Chu

Karl Chu is a software development and continuous delivery consultant at ThoughtWorks Australia. He has diverse experiences spanning across different technologies and industries; from .NET to ruby, healthcare to telecommunication. Prior to becoming a software professional, Karl was a professional mechanical engineer.



Cam Jackson

Cam Jackson is a software development consultant at ThoughtWorks Australia. He has development experience in the aerospace and financial services industries. As a consultant, he has a keen interest in DevOps and continuous delivery.

An introduction to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Agile originated with the idea of small, self-organising, high performing teams.  Many of the early success stories involved a team of 6 solving problems that had beaten teams of hundreds.  You were meant to get such high performance you would never need to scale!

Fast forward 10 years, and people the world over are applying Agile thinking to problems you can’t solve with 6 people no matter how high-performing.  This has raised many questions early Agile deliberately avoided.  Since its introduction in early 2012, Dean Leffingwell’s Scaled Agile Framework for the enterprise has taken the world by storm with the guidance it supplies.  Headlined by a deceptively simple single-page view (The “Big Picture”), it provides principles and practical guidance for aligning hundreds and in many cases thousands of contributors.

This session will provide a high level overview of the key elements of the framework, and the problems it is intended to address.

mark richards.jpg

Mark Richards

Whilst coaching Australia’s first Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) implementation at Telstra, Mark was invited to join the first class to be certified as SAFe Program Consultants when the framework launched in 2012. Since then, he has both trained and consulted on the implementation of SAFe in the government, insurance, finance and education sectors. In late 2013, his contributions to the framework’s evolution and success with implementation led to him becoming the first person worldwide to be certified as a SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT).

Prior to entering the world of coaching, Mark spent many years in technical delivery roles ranging from hands-on development to solution architecture. He combines deep knowledge of theory and principle with the practical insights only years of application can provide.

Whether working with senior executives or delivery team members he is both passionate and pragmatic in pursuing his mission of facilitating sustainable movement towards true business agility and a culture of collaboration.

Guidelines for a successful Agile Transformation - A Case Study with Cliff Notes

In this session, I'll present a lightweight set of guidelines for planning and executing an agile transformation.

I'll illustrate the guidelines with a case study of a recent agile adoption program, and highlight the process, what worked well, what didn't work at all, and how to recover from set backs.

I'll talk through analysing the problem, change models, how to get started, useful metrics, and tips for stakeholder management.

The case study will present real situations, with complex problems.

There will be ample time at the end for Q&A

Dr Nish Mahanty

Nish is Head of Development at the AFL. He has over 18 years experience working in IT, having worked in several start-ups and consultancies before long stints at SEEK, nabCapital and MYOB. 

Nish is passionate about building high performing teams in order to deliver great business outcomes. Having experienced several "death march" mega-projects, he was convinced that there had to be a better way of delivering software, based on valuing team members as individuals. 

Agile was a natural fit, and Nish has spent the last 12 years driving Agile transformations within companies. Nish has been fortunate to have worked with a range of experts from across the Agile, Lean, and Kanban communities, and loves the challenge of adapting what he has learned to each new organisation.