Scrum Australia 2016 was a fantastic event.

Hats off to the organizing committee for running the event in such a professional manner.

Although there were a number of stand-outs, four highlights stood out in my mind.

Steve Denning’s opening keynote

Steve Denning, the well-known author and Forbes columnist, kicked off the event in grand style. Steve covered many areas but the big idea from his speech is that

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Agile is a mindset


He referred to research which indicated that when an Agile mindset was present, benefits flowed regardless of which particular Agile processes were flowed.  Without an Agile mindset, no benefits flowed.

This raises the stakes as organisations now need to look beyond training their teams in rote-learned Scrum, and move toward mastering the underlying principles and philosophies which underlie these practices.

You can view Steve Denning’s full presentation at Scrum Australia here.


Two things struck me about the attendees.

First was the number of attendees. There were around 300 people from all across Australia and across the ditch (New Zealand). Word on the street was that this equates to a 50% increase in audience, which is impressive and an indication of the momentum behind Scrum and Agile.

Second was the approach-ability of the attendees. Often when you go to a conference, the speakers can be somewhat elitist. But at Scrum Australia the speakers mixed freely with the attendees and were highly approachable – especially during the social event!


Although not quantifiable, there was certainly a buzz around the event and a real feeling of gathering momentum behind Scum and Agile. Manuel Gonzalez, CEO of the Scrum Alliance, spoke of impressive growth of Scrum and how Scrum and Agile are now making significant in-roads into non-IT parts of organizations. The Scrum Alliance has a solid strategic plan in place and the future is looking bright for Scrum.

Bas Vodde’s closing keynote

Bas Vodde giving a fireside chat at Scrum Australia 2016.

Bas Vodde is one of the co-creators of Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). Bas has a fairly unique, highly-engaging presentation style and if you ever get the chance to see Bas present in person then I recommend that you take it. Bas spoke about the story of how LeSS came to be and along the way produced many nuggets of wisdom, including this one:

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Do you want to go fast in the wrong direction or slow in the right direction?


You can see Bas in action in this video.


All in all, Scrum Australia 2016 was one of the best conferences I’ve been to. Here’s looking forward to Scrum Australia 2017!