Andy Kelk

Agile Malaysia – 22nd August 2013

We’re now settling into a two-monthly rhythm for the Agile Malaysia meetups thanks to the hard work and perseverance of Jeff Au and Colin Pal. This edition was hosted at MYOB in Bangsar South and attracted a decent sized crowd who battled through the traffic to make it on a Wednesday night.

First up, Jeff took us through a whistle-stop tour of the Intel Agile & Lean conference which was held in Penang in July. It sounds like there were some interesting presentations at the event. Two slides in particular stood out to me; first was the view of Lean/Agile/Scrum as different layers which have relevance to different areas of the organisation:

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The artisanship (or craftsmanship) part is often missed out by teams – improving your craft (be it software development, testing, business analysis, etc) should be a priority for all teams.

The second slide was this detailed breakdown of why projects fail and some mitigations/preventions for failure. I’m sure we’ve all experienced many of the symptoms and it’s always worth keeping the preventions in mind.

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After Jeff had wrapped up, we moved onto a lean coffee session. This was a new concept to me – it’s a structured but agenda-less meeting and run in a very similar way to a classic Agile retrospective; topics are raised by the attendees, voted on and the most popular topics get discussed.

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We had a good spread of topics proposed – ranging from the property market to the value of a physical card wall.

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We got through 4 topics in total – each one typically got more than the allotted 5 minutes as it was upvoted to continue on. I really enjoyed the format because you cover many different areas and everyone gets to voice their opinion. I’d definitely like to run another of these sessions in the future.


After that it was the end of the formal part and we got to chat informally and explore the MYOB office. I really liked the Kaizen board that they’ve put in place for managing issues in the office environment.

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Anything that’s bothering the team gets logged as an issue or idea and then a town hall committee is in charge of making sure that ideas get progressed through to completion (or rejected if they’re not feasible). This is a great way to provide visibility to everyone of what’s being done to make a better work environment. I’m very keen on adopting this for our own office.

It was a good session and preparations are underway for the next installment – most likely in October at the iProperty office.

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