Scrum Australia 2013 - Mission Accomplished!

So we did it! Scrum Australia shipped the first ever Scrum conference in Australia and by all accounts it was a roaring success.

Scrum Australia 2013 was the result of:

  • 12+ months of planning, for
  • 2 days of gathering, with
  • 310 participants,
  • 28 speakers, and
  • 2,380 servings of food!

We think that it’s fair to say that Scrum Australia 2013 was a landmark event for a few reasons:

It was the first time that the national Scrum community had come together in one place.

While there have been Scrum User Groups and Scrum-related Agile meetup groups in most of Australia's capital cities since 2007, we had never seen these city-specific communities come together prior to Scrum Australia event. It was great to see speakers and participants from cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wellington, Shanghai and Denver in Sydney for those two days making it a genuinely national (and even international) event.

It brought the Scrum Gathering experience to Australia for the first time.

One of our primary goals was to bring the spirit of a Scrum Gathering to Australia. The feedback we received indicated that it was mission accomplished without question! The hallways were buzzing, intense discussion flowed for a full half-day during the Open Space and once people discovered what the Coaches Clinic offered, our Scrum ‘doctors’ were kept extremely busy! None of this would have been possible without the willingness of the participants to jump in, share and discuss. Through this willingness, participants demonstrated an interest in “Individuals and Interactions over Podiums and Telling”!

It brought Scrum Alliance managing directors current and past to Australia for the first time.

It was an honour to have current Scrum Alliance Managing Director, Carol McEwan, open the event and we certainly appreciate the early and unwavering support that we received from the Scrum Alliance as title sponsor. Carol's introduction was followed by a world class keynote titled "Economically Sensible Scrum" from Kenny Rubin. Kenny was the first M.D. of the Scrum Alliance and his recently published book is my number one recommendation as a Scrum reference - particularly for ScrumMasters and managers.

It introduced a large number of Scrum practitioners to the value of the self-organising Open Space format

At the start of day 2, a quick show of hands revealed that about 80% of participants had never participated in an Open Space before. This would seem to tally with the reality that most other Agile conferences do not feature anything like an Open Space Technology. This made the passionate discussions and self-organisation that occurred so naturally that morning all the more remarkable. We have received feedback from numerous participants indicating that the Open Space was one of the most valuable elements of the gathering.

I mentioned that Scrum Australia was the culmination of 12+ months of planning and yes, yours truly was involved in every month and week of that. It was absolutely a team effort with a self-organising team of 7 +/- 2 comprising Ilan Goldstein, Colin Tan, Martin Kearns, Dave Bales, Stuart Bargon, Jessica Reid, Cathy Tang and myself.

If I had to identify one secret of our success, it was that we were committed. Committed to a shared vision. Committed to an outcome. Committed to making it happen. Committed to each other. This experience has reminded me why Commitment is such an important foundation for team success and one of Scrum's values.

And in case you are wondering, something else that we are committed to is shipping v2.0 next year. In fact, we've already started planning it! See you there!

To keep in touch with upcoming Scrum Australia events, please follow @auscrum on Twitter or subscribe to the mailing list at