Geoff highlighted areas often overlooked in considering why a team is failing to meet its targets -- the targets themselves, for example. Too short a sprint and the team can end up too focused on that short-term goal, killing potential creativity and longer-term success. Then again, short sprints can provide a lot of feedback, building a more resilient, responsive team. Geoff's talk showed that there's a lot to consider in building a good Scrum team, and a good servant-leader should help teams to solve their own problems, getting them to figure out what works best for themselves.
Stew posits that architecture is everyone's responsibility, and that team members of all levels of ability should be able to make valuable contributions. Questioning why certain patterns exist in the code base can lead to a better end result and shared understanding of the system amongst more people. Different views of the architecture should exist for the different parties involved, to enable as much contribution and understanding of it as possible. Its documentation should be lean and up to date so it is as inviting to read and as relevant as it can be. Stew's talk made it clear that Agile development at its best has architecture as part of the process, as a system's architecture will certainly affect the work taken on by any Agile team. Stew's slides are available here.
The evening ended with the monthly prize draw and drinks in the Midnight Bell. Thanks to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and finally thanks to main sponsors iSource IT, Piksel, Callcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'Reilly, JetBRAINS, Manning, Wrox and PluralSight.