July 2, 2013

Report back from SGLAS

In May, Peter attended the Lean Kanban North America 2013 conference in Chicago and the Global Scrum Gathering in Las Vegas. Last month he reported on LKNA. This month he concludes with some impressions from SGLAS.

The Prelude


Arriving at Las Vegas at 1am and seeing slot machines in the airport was a bit weird. The hotel is non-smoking, but the casino area in the foyer was smoke-filled. Like I said, weird.
Vegas
Prior to the Gathering, Scrum trainers from all over gathered for two days of train-the-trainer sessions. Always an awesome experience, this year we had a refresher with Sharon Bowman, author of Training from the Back of the Room followed by some workshops and a day of Open Space.GrandCanyon

On Saturday I took the opportunity to head off to see the Grand Canyon with fellow trainer Xavier Allue and his wife Joke (she is Belgian and no, her name does not rhyme with Coke). Very cool.




The Event


This year’s North American Global Gathering was the largest ever, with over 500 participants.

I’ll save you lots’ of time by talking about only two things that grabbed me over all others.

The first was the opening keynote by Scrum co-founder Jeff Sutherland entitled “Scrum: The Future of Work”. 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Scrum team that Jeff ran at Easel Corporation. He recounted the genesis of Scrum including its links to Lean and Knowledge Management.

Jeff’s message is that after 20 years Scrum is now mainstream. In support of this he quoted that there are 600,000 open Scrum jobs advertised in the US. Large organisations are mandating Scrum and Agile for their work.

He also highlighted a number of Scrum success patterns. Here are just two examples:

  • “Illegitimus Non Interruptus” — Allot time for interruptions during the sprint (but don’t let this be exceeded).

  • “Scrum the Scrum” — Identify the single most important impediment at the Sprint Retrospective. Put it in the next Sprint Backlog as the first user story with acceptance tests that will determine when it is Done.


The audience was receptive of his message. We are certainly all participants in a massive wave of change.

Story Mapping


The second was Jeff Patton’s session on Story Mapping. At the simplest level Story Maps are a two-dimensional way to view your product backlog. Now I’ve been hacking around with Story Maps for a while, but Jeff’s talk made the concept come alive for me and helped me realise their power and value. So much so that I came back and immediately rejigged my Product Owner curriculum to include a live story mapping exercise. This article isn’t the place to teach or learn story mapping, but if you’re interested I suggest you take a look at Jeff’s original article on the topic.

Sadly I’m not able to share all the SGLAS presentations with you. However, if you are a paid-up member of the Scrum Alliance, you will be able to login and access them yourself.
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Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.
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Image of peterhundermark

Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.

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