Victorian Society for Computers & the Law  

Agile software development for Lawyers - Part II

  • 09 Aug 2012
  • 12:45 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Allens, Level 37, 101 Collins Street Melbourne

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Abstract provided by presenter:

In September last year, I gave a session at the VSCL introducing lawyers to so-called "Agile" approaches to software development.  

This follow up session revisits some of the key concepts and drivers behinds Agile development as well as delving a little deeper into proposed commercial and contractual models for engaging for Agile.  Fear not, however, if you didn't make last year's session I will provide sufficient of a refresher to bring first-timers up to speed with the basic precepts of Agile, such that you do not need to have attended the previous session.

The so called "digital revolution" is seeding an ever increasing speed of change in the business environment; the traditional business models underpinning industries including music, travel, publishing and retail (to name but a few) are being effectively dismantled and rebuilt in a world in which the digital domain in king.   And this is happening at an ever increasing rate -  the average lifespan of a company in the S&P index was 61 years in 1958; today it is 18 years and falling.  At the current churn rate, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027!

In response to both this and the failure or more traditional "waterfall" models, there's no doubt that Agile approaches to software development are rapidly becoming more mainstream as companies seek to increase their level of responsiveness and business agility.   And it's not just for the small guys anymore either.  Heard about Google?  SalesForce.com?  Amazon?  Flickr?  What about some examples from closer to home - perhaps Telstra, Suncorp, NBN, NAB, MYOB, BankWest, SEEK, Allianz, Lonely Planet, Jetstar or even the Queensland Government?

However, Agile is not a silver bullet and successfully adopting Agile within an organisation is not something you just "turn on"; there are significant expectation and implementation gaps between conceptually buying the idea and delivering on the promised benefits .  Adopting Agile also means engaging with stakeholders in an entirely new way; including, of course, legally and contractually.
In this presentation, Chris provides a brief refresh of Agile software approaches, discusses some of the pitfalls that he has seen (as well as many of the advantages), and gives an overview of some of the commercial and contractual approaches he has seen to enterprise organised engaging for Agile approaches to software development.  

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Professional Biography

Chris Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer, ThoughtWorks

Chris is Chief Strategy Offier for global IT consultancy ThoughtWorks, best known for its technology leadership and it’s pioneering application of Agile and Lean software development techniques to the enterprise. ThoughtWorks employs approximately 2000 people across 25 offices throughout Australia, India, China, the US, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and Germany.

Chris has 15 years experience in the ICT industry, in a diverse variety of technical and business roles including as a software developer, IP/IT lawyer (both in Australia and in the UK), and in senior commercial and operations positions within the IT industry. He holds Bachelor degrees in Science and Law from the University of Melbourne, Master degrees in Information Technology and Law (Intellectual Property) from Monash University, and is qualified as a solicitor in Australia and England.  

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