Conference & MeetUp talks

Below are some of the talks that Antoinette has delivered at conferences and meetups.

When the Tail doesn’t Wag the Dog – Chasing Outcomes rather than Agile

Business Agility Conference NYC – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile Nigeria – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)

In 2019 a pharma giant decided to “pilot Agile” in their clinical research division. Eight teams of between 80 and 100 people started, assisted by a group of highly experienced agile coaches. One by one the pilots were cancelled by the leaders. Only two survived and concluded successfully. Did it mean the teams were Agile in the conventional sense? Not by a long shot. Did it mean they were more successful? Absolutely! Rework that was costing the company hundreds of thousands of euros were just one of the many things that changed.

In this session we will explore the tale of the successful pilot, focusing on the role, attitude and learnings of the leaders, how they engaged with the pilot, their teams, and the coach and what they did that lead to the successful outcome.

Share your thoughts with us on this topic.

When the Tail doesn't Wag the Dog - Chasing Outcomes rather than Agile @ Business Agility Conference NYC 2020

An introduction to Kanban

Kenya Meetup – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)

Kanban has been around for a long time in the world of manufacturing. In the last 20 or so years it has moved into knowledge work and service spaces as well. How does it work? How is it different from Agile frameworks like Scrum? What is it well suited to?

Join this session to learn the basics of Kanban, the underlying principles, find out where it is useful and how to go about setting up your very own Kanban board.

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BOO! How Agile brought out my Wicked Witch of the West

Global Scrum Gathering Vienna – October 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)

2015 was my Annus horribilis – my most horrible year. It was the year I wondered whether I had turned into an awful person, or whether I have just always been one. It was also the start of the biggest personal growth spurt in my life to date. And agile was slapbang in the middle of all this – it forced me to confront my own values, behaviour and courage. If you are keen to find out how agile shines the spotlight on our personal dysfunctions and how that can benefit us both personally and as leaders, come join me and take a look in my magic mirror. Don’t be scared, you may just realise you have so much more in your toolbox than you thought! And it will be worth looking… this I promise.

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WE make more sense than me – the art of Collective Sensemaking

Agile2019 – Washington, D.C. (Antoinette Coetzee and Jason Knight)

Making sense is too important to do alone. We each see a part of the puzzle. It’s only when we combine our collective sense of what’s going on that we see more of the reality around us. Too often, it remains hidden. We need this collective wisdom to make sense of volatility, uncertainty, accelerated change, and ambiguity in order to respond.
Did you know there is a framework for having a Collective Sensemaking conversation? And, if done properly, it develops the thinking of everyone involved? In this session, you will observe a live demo with a detailed breakdown of the demo to illustrate the power of this approach. You will then have an opportunity to practice yourself. Come to this interactive workshop and learn how you and your organization can apply this framework to better respond to the challenges you face.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the Sense-and-Respond pattern
  • Recognize the power of Collective Sensemaking in catalyzing deep individual growth and development
  • Understand and demonstrate Collective Sensemaking and its value in co-creating solutions
  • Explain the link between developing Collective Sensemaking and the impact on our leadership capabilities
  • Understand key nuances in the practice and application of Collective Sensemaking
  • Apply Collective Sensemaking to your own problem-solving
  • Demonstrate the kind of interactions and attitudes needed for Collective Sensemaking
  • Explain how the practice of Collective Sensemaking can significantly impact the quality of relationship within groups (e.g. in meetings) and teams

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WE make more sense the me - the art of Collective Sensemaking

WE make more sense than me – the art of Collective Sensemaking

7 Myths of Organisational Agility

Agile Days Istanbul 2019 – Turkey (Antoinette Coetzee)
AWA Meetup NYC – March 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Chicago Meetup – May 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee and William Strydom)

Agile at the team level has been around for almost 25 years. Over the last few years it has grown from product development framework to IT department approach, from the software development arena to the larger organisation. We have seen the advent of scaled frameworks like SAFe, we have seen an explosion of tools, we are now onto Business Agility and the application of Agile in non-software companies.

Yet most organisations are still not happy with the improvements brought about by an Agile way of working. Why?

In this talk we will explore the issue of agility from multiple angles. We will look at the impact of Leadership, Organisational Structure, Culture, Products and Technical Practices, to name but a few. Please join us to dismantle some of your own hidden assumptions and find a path into great agility!

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7 Myths of Organisational Agility @ Agile Days Istanbul

7 Myths of Organisational Agility @ AWA NYC Meetup

Change Without Resistance

Romania Meetup – 18 March 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)

Agile has brought a radical way of looking at the world of work. In a lot of cases it is counter-intuitive and requires unlearning and stretching into unknown ways of doing, thinking and acting. In short, it requires people to CHANGE. And no matter how much we profess that we are comfortable with change, change is hard. As agilists we come up against this reluctance to change all the time. In fact, we could say that agile coaching was born out of the need to facilitate the change necessary in people and organisations. So it goes without saying that we need to understand change, know how to wield it effectively and more than anything, need to know how to support people when they go through change. 

In this session we will explore:

  • How to create an environment for change 
  • How individuals experience change
  • How we can work with resistance
  • How to bring about successful organisational change
  • How neuroscience can help us 

As coaches, it is vital for us to have a visceral experience of what we ask our clients to go through when we work with them. In this talk, you will be given a chance to apply the learnings by practicing on one another, either in person or in virtual groups. And if this makes you reluctant to join the session, all the more reason to join us!

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TEAL Fishbowl

Global Scrum Gathering 2018 – London: The Fishbowl

Dive into the #SGLON18 Fishbowl, our semi-structured form of Open Space, where thought leaders are seated in the inner-of-two circles for facilitated conversation around key topics, such as scaling scrum or the future of organisations. As a Gathering attendee, you have three ways to participate:

  1. Sit in the outer circle and learn from the discussion as it emerges;
  2. Take one of the vacant seats with the thought leaders to join the discussion; or
  3. Feed the Fishbowl a question via the facilitator.

Fishbowl Facilitators:

View the video of the graphic recording

Teal Fishbowl Graphic at the global scrum gathering in London 2018 with agile resources
Get those managers out of my way! #ManagersAreIndividualsToo

Agile 2018 – San Diego (Antoinette Coetzee and Judith Mills)

How often have you heard agilists say managers “don’t get Agile”? At the same time not a lot of agilists have been in management roles, so could we also say “Agile coaches don’t get management”?

Let’s face it, agilists and traditional management look at the world very differently. Yet if we as coaches want to help create agile enterprises we not only have to understand the world a manager lives in, we need to develop compassion with them as individuals.

If you are keen to develop your ability to support managers on their Agile journey, join Judith and Antoinette, two Agile coaches who have been in management positions themselves. Let’s look at our own biases around power and authority and how that influences our interactions. Expect to walk away with a deeper understanding of the specific challenges managers face when transitioning to an Agile way of working, increased compassion for managers and a coaching approach to truly meet them where they are.

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Let’s tell our stories: Agile as a catalyst for personal growth

Agile 2018 – San Diego: Audacious Salon (Antoinette Coetzee)

Worried about the way Agile is introduced to people? Heard about mandated change in organisations, Zombie Scrum, large-scale Agile “roll-outs”, fights about Jira? Concerned that processes and tools are becoming more important than Individuals and Interactions?

What if we drop our negativity bias?

Change happens one individual at a time. And Agile has the potential to change people’s lives in profound ways – new careers, individual empowerment, personal growth, true potential, to name a few. Those of us who have been around for a while can personally attest to this – some of us in our own lives. So why don’t we talk about that for a change? Let’s forget about frameworks, scaling, organizational change and simply share what Agile has done for us personally. As human beings.

And who knows, we may just learn some things we can take back to our transformations…

Learning Outcomes:

  • Insights you have that others may be overlooking
  • Insights others have that you may be overlooking
  • Ways in which your insights and others’ can enhance each other
  • Things you thought you knew, but there’s more to it than that
  • New beginnings to explore this topic more deeply

Share your thoughts with us on this topic.

Agile2018 SketchNote on white board with agile resources
Individuals, Interactions and Human contracting

Scrum Gathering Dublin 2017 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2016 (Antoinette Coetzee)

“Our product owner never comments on anything till it goes into production!”
“We make our own decisions since we can never get hold of a business person!”
“Things on this project are simply not flowing!”
“We can’t get the business to sign things off!”

Sound familiar? Even more frustrating when as the BA you are doing all the right things from a technical point of view, you are communicating clearly and openly and you really want to make the project a success.

Maybe the answer is that as human beings we need to be engaged with 3 aspects of our being : our heads, our hands and our hearts as well. When we engage with one another we need to agree on more than scope and plans. We need to contract psychologically.

This talk explores how to contract as a whole human being, with a whole human being. We will explore the dimensions of a human or social contract, how to have the discussion, which questions to ask and what to do to make sure everyone sticks to their end of the bargain. Whether you are a consulting BA or a permanent employee, you will learn why conscious contracting is vital for the success of any engagement.

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To Estimate AND Not To Estimate – going beyond #NoEstimates

Agile 2017 – Orlando: Audacious Salon (Antoinette Coetzee & Judith Mills)

The #NoEstimates debate has been going on for about 5 years and still agilists seem to be at loggerheads. It is one of the few issues that spawns contemptuous remarks on social media. Some people dismiss the idea and see it as as an ultra agile practice that is impractical in the “real world”, others deem it a vital part of any Agile environment. It has even inspired a book.

To the impartial observer it seems there are many voices, all with some validity and perhaps some shared underlying goals and concerns. Similar to the debates and disagreements in the workplace.

What would a collaborative solution look like? What answers would be available if we put our heads together instead of butting them against one another? What in fact is the problem we are trying to solve?

We would like to invite you to bring your ideas on #NoEstimates to this session, where we will use a Systems Coaching process known as Deep Democracy to hear not only opposing viewpoints, but all voices of the “system” so that participants can garner more systems intelligence and, eventually, move beyond entrenched positions in the current reality. Let’s explore together whether there is a place beyond the seemingly binary decision of “to estimate or not to estimate”.

Share your thoughts with us on this topic.

Agile Open Jam

Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2016

During the 2 days of BASSA 2016, 5 facilitators ran the Agile Open Jam sessions, covering 3 themes | 17 topics.

The facilitators were Dananthi Arnott (Royal Bank Canada), Antoinette Coetzee (Just Plain Agile), Biase De Gregorio (agility@IQ Business), Angie Doyle (agility@IQ Business) and Ryan Reddy (Investec Bank).

The themes were:-

  • Transition from Waterfall to Agile
  • Agile Architecture
  • Collaboration between Agile and Waterfall teams

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Agile Open Jam and Download a PDF button
Secrets of Agile Collaboration

Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2015 (Antoinette Coetzee)

Agile development asks for a high degree of collaboration, but whether one forms part of an agile team or not, collaboration is key to building great relationships and great products. Business analysts tend to be collaborative naturally, but do you know how to consciously create a collaborative team? Or even just a collaborative meeting or session? How do you as a facilitator ensure high quality thinking and creative solutions, even when people do not know one another, when they are not really interested, when there are disagreements, or when the topic is tough? Do you know how fear and anxiety impacts the brain and how to stop it from happening?

The workshop will reveal to you where you are naturally good at collaboration. By exploring the ground conditions you will become aware of consciously creating better collaboration in your teams and in work sessions. You will practice new techniques and experience for yourself what works and what doesn’t. You will walk away with a collection of simple tools from the world of Agile, professional coaching and facilitation that will make your meetings, work sessions and teamwork more focused, productive and fun!

Learnings points from this session:-

  • The conditions required for successful collaboration
  • How to facilitate meetings that are collaborative
  • Techniques for when things get tough
  • How to harness the power of diversity
  • How your personal biases influence collaboration

Share your thoughts with us on this topic.

User Story Primer

Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2014 (Antoinette Coetzee)

If you are part of an agile team you need to set up a prioritised product backlog, made up of user stories. As a BA you are in an excellent position to use your analysis expertise and assist the business and the rest of your team in coming up with the stories. You need to understand and master the art of writing good stories. Stories, like use cases, look simple and easy enough to do, yet most teams take at least 6 months before their stories satisfy the so-called INVEST principles. This workshop will introduce you to story writing, setting up acceptance criteria for stories, how to discover stories, organise them, how to manage scope on a project using stories, as well as how stories fit into the agile lifecycle.

Main takeaways:-

  • How to write good stories
  • Comprehensive and structured story acceptance criteria
  • How to keep track of stories and manage scope
  • The differences between user stories and use cases
  • Techniques for splitting stories

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User Stories with a download pdf button
Acceptance Criteria with a Download PDF button
Agile Simulation Workshop

Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2013 (Antoinette Coetzee)

Agile development is here to stay. Year after year the number of organisations that adopt an Agile way of working increases. Up to now the approach has been very successful in smaller organisations, but the focus locally and internationally is moving to the larger organisations, the corporates. What does that mean? Agile seems very different from traditional development, so how does it affect you, the Business Analyst? How does it work? How can we start developing if all the analysis has not been done? What about scope creep? And did you hear that there is no documentation?

Join this fun workshop to experience Agile yourself and debunk the myths. We will simulate an Agile mini-project and learn about the philosophy, the process, the roles and the mindshift in a non-threathening way. See how we plan, prioritise, manage scope, estimate, analyse and design, develop and ensure quality, all in an  Agile fashion.

We have been using this approach in training and coaching since 2008 and guarantee that at the end of the session you will be able to hold your own in a conversation about Agile. You will really get it!

Learn how to:-

  • Approach projects in an Agile fashion
  • Run an iteration
  • Build in continuous improvement
  • Manage scope creep
  • Work together as a multi-disciplined agile team

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Agile at the Corporates

Do you work at a corporate organisation and think it is impossible to follow an agile method? Are you an agile vendor that needs to work with corporates and struggle to get your head around it? In the rest of the world for a number of years the challenge has been how to roll out Agile to enterprises. How are we doing here in the fairest Cape?

This talk focusses on the challenges and rewards of implementing agile in the corporate space. Find out what works, what doesn’t, what to consider when choosing a method and how to engage with your corporate clients as a vendor.  And learn about the surprising similarity between contract agile and agile in the corporates.

Share your thoughts with us on this topic.

Agile Coaching

Visit Agile Coaching Institute‘s one-stop-page of resource material. Many books, videos and articles, all neatly organized into the eight categories of the Agile Coaching Competency Framework.

  • Agile-Lean Practitioner
  • Professional Coaching
  • Facilitating
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • Technical Mastery
  • Business Mastery
  • Transformation Mastery
Agile Coach Competency Framework

Agile Facilitation

We started doing short video clips with useful tips on Agile Facilitation, based on the Learning Points from our Agile Facilitation course. Below is the first of many – WATCH THIS SPACE as more will be added on a regular basis.

User Stories & Agile Requirements

Below are the links to the video material used during our User Stories and Agile Requirements courses as well as downloadable PDF’s.

Agile Fundamentals & Agile Primer

Below are the links to the video material used during our Agile Fundamentals and Agile Primer courses.

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