Two of our team members recently attended the 2014 Scrum Gathering in Cape Town, hosted by the Scrum User Group of South Africa (SUGSA). The theme of this year’s Gathering was the Scrum Odyssey, taking the attendees on a journey through the highs and lows of the agile path. Our Scrum Master, Lisa Jacobus, observed that the variety of presentations catered to both “agile enthusiasts, as well as those who were just starting their agile adventure and looking to learn more.”
The Scrum Odyssey theme was broken down into three tracks that examined the lifecycle of the agile journey, focusing on the need to keep experimenting and testing hypotheses, continually learning from the successes and failures experienced along the way, and being mindful of the way agile is evolving in your organisation.
Leon van der Merwe, a KRS Software Developer, was enthusiastic about the presentation on user experience (UX) principles and methodologies, which challenged the traditional attitude to test- driven development (TDD). “It’s the small things that make a big difference,” Leon commented. He pointed out the importance of being intentional about the little tasks that are often taken for granted, but which add great value to the agile process.
Many presentations and discussions at the Gathering challenged the attendees to think differently about their everyday approaches to Scrum. Asking the right questions and identifying the true issues at hand are essential for successful creative problem solving. Being brave, authentic and vulnerable at work strengthens the bonds within the Scrum team and fosters a culture of trust. As Lisa says, “We should share both our joys and our fears … it’s important to have the courage to be different.”
Our teams are excited to apply the agile lessons Lisa and Leon have brought back from this year’s Scrum Gathering. We look forward to seeing you at the next Gathering in 2015.