Friday 21 November 2014

#LeanConf 2014: 4 Fave Presenters

Short one this one, as it has been an exhausting week!

I was at #LeanConf in Manchester this week and of the amazing and inspiring speakers, there were a few that stood out. My top 4 were:

Ton Wesseling 

twitter handle: @tonw

Hands down my personal favourite presenter there! Being a bit of a data geek myself, I loved the data and educational elements of his presentation. Whilst not new to me, he's the sort of guy in the industry who can help organisations close the leaning loop by allowing you to truly understand your data, improvements, A/B-test results, what to focus on and what to ignore. When you are the only guy in pretty much every single company you go into who walks and talk agile metrics, performance, statistics, learning, data, data and more data, it can get to be a very lonely place until you find another person in the world who shares the same passion, knows what's just enough, and both its importance and pitfalls.

I took the time to speak to Ton after his presentation, specifically about how to get the statistical thinking into some teams as this often requires bridging a huge skills gap ad his answer was pretty simple. Employ psychologists! I have long thought that psychologists have a place in organisations, but I as yet to be convinced that I could justify suggesting a formal psychologist role at team level so steered clear of suggesting them. Psychologists bring both human psychodynamics AND statistics to the table, since they have to study it. So having this suggestion come from someone who's done it does add some validity to the idea, so I look forward to trying it out.

Janice Fraser 

twitter handle: @clevergirl

My favourite presentation from an entertainment point of view. It was awesome to see her present and she had me and the rest of the audience in fits of laughter! My stomach was aching the whole day after as if I'd had a session at the gym... and I do go to the gym! Her presentation about Gab Zichermann's new educational system and use of games and puzzles to educate helped promote curiosity and traditional skills in education. I have to vouch for this, as whilst I was classically educated, it was the stuff I did outside school that put it into practise and hence, allowed me to score highly in school/college/uni yet not have to do a single day's worth of revision, because these were skills I used all the time. Definitely think there is something in this.

Tristan Kromer 

twitter handle: @TriKro

My best memory award goes to Tristan. His slides didn't work unfortunately, but he blasted through the whole presentation, by heart, without missing a step. Awesome professionalism!

This isn't to say that other presenters weren't good, as it was a tough choice. Everyone will have a different favourite 3. For example, Barry O'Reilly from ThoughtWorks provided an informative talk on a classical Enterprise Agile problem, optical illusions and plenty of Watermelons :)

Ash Maurya

twitter handle: @ashmaurya

The author of Running Lean spoke about how companies are basically customer factories. Thy produce happy customers. He also talked about testing the market and the crucial feedback loop that allows the factory to respond to market opinion and change. He's certainly well aware of the need to consider the data when deciding how much to invest and work with.

Enjoyed #LeanConf! Especially since I won a copy of Ash Maurya's book, Running Lean for asking a question at the right time. Looking forward to next year! :)