My Thoughts On Agile Indonesia Conference

11 August 17

My Thoughts On Agile Indonesia Conference

Last week, we had our first (actually….second, with credits to Saket!) Agile Indonesia conference. Last year, we had some 30 people visit Saket’s conference. This year, we had more than 300 participants! For me this shows, that agile adoption is spreading rapidly across Indonesia (and the rest of South East Asia). Driven by leaders who want to make their organizations more entrepreneurial. And also driven by the young guys in the tech scene who want to see their companies thrive.

A few remarkable points of the conference.

> BTPN wants to be at the forefront of the agile movement and was generous in providing us with 2 floors to host the conference. This week I already got an invitation to host the next conference in BTPN too. I believe the presentation of Peterjan shows how Jenius managed to become an agile startup within btpn.

> The whole conference was organized by a group of volunteers. It was my first experience with a community driven event of this scale. And I think it turned out very well, thanks to the great volunteers (thanks Ivan, Wahid, Yani, Asri, Aulia, Ray, Iwan and Zen as the core group + many volunteers from Jenius and BNCC), our sponsors (Ecomindo, Mitrais, Xebia, IBM, Redhat, Gojek, Tokopedia and

> Most of our visitors were from the financial sector, startup scene or Telco market. This is common across the globe as these industries benefit most from moving towards agile. Someone asked me this week why this is so. My view is that first of all, the fintech startups shake the financial industry, waking up traditional organizations. The old factory, routine, command and control based organization doesn’t move fast enough to catch up with the changes. Agility is the movement that tries to change this. Second, startups are by nature agile and people working there want to keep learning. As they grow, they need more structure and frameworks like scrum help in that. Telcos see a similar movement.

> The talk of Risman (Samsung) was about scrum or scream. He shared that success in adopting scrum lies within people. Process is secondary. Risman is keen on developing more an open, innovative, entrepreneurial mindset in the Indonesian IT industry. I met a Dutch agile coach in Singapore a few days after Risman’s talk and he led the Agile transformation at ING bank. In his talk he shared a similar view: success in adopting agile is all about the soft side: creating the right mindset and culture. And having the guts to do things radically different (ING fired 3500 people, removed all hierarchy and let people re-apply for their jobs (with only a handful of roles). 2000 did.)

> Joe and me did a lego simulation on the first day. It was the largest group I had hosted so far (we had over 70 people). Although it became a little messy, we got very active participants and shared some good learning points.

> Michael hosted an open space. I learned that with the right audience, some good topics and some simple rules, open space can generate a lot of good discussions. The interesting part is that it stimulates people to participate (the law of 2 feet > if you get bored, walk to another space; take responsibility > try to add things to the discussions).

I hope we can see the enthusiasm for agility grow the next 12 months. What I have seen in most countries is that the conference topics get wider (and so do the practices). Instead of discussing what agile means and how scrum works, people dive into devops, lean startup, holacracy, distributed agile. I even saw a talk at Agile India discussing what the book ‘quiet’ (about introverts and extroverts) meant for working in teams. In the next year, I hope we will see this wider range of topics. I will try to contribute as much as I can, bringing knowledge from abroad on a wider range of topics to Indonesia, so we can all grow! And if you have any ideas on new meetup or conference formats, please get in touch with me (thanks Amit for doing exactly that for devops!).

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