FAQ

LAST Conference 2017 highlights. What is LAST Conference Melbourne? Find out in this highlights video.


Coming from outside of Melbourne? Here is our policy about interstate and overseas speakers.

What’s this all about?

This is a mini-conference, aimed at people who are working with Lean, Agile, or Systems Thinking techniques. The primary audience is drawn from the communities in Melbourne and other cities, although you’re also welcome if you are from out of town. The event aims to be participatory, and collaborative. Workshops, activities, and discussions are favoured ahead of one person speaking at the front of the room in front of a slide deck.

The event is run by practitioners from the Australian agile community. 2018 will be the seventh edition of the Melbourne edition, the third time for Sydney, and the second time the event will be held in Brisbane and Canberra.

Why is it a single day this year?

Read a post about our single day format in 2019, and the new innovation that goes with this.

Our Principles

Our guiding principles are:

  • To increase knowledge, understanding and capability of lean, agile and systems thinking principles and practices in our community of practitioners in Melbourne (and in other cities).
  • We believe that the best way to achieve this is to involve as many local community members as possible, as session leaders (speakers, facilitators), content curators and Local Organisers.

Why LAST?

LAST stands for “Lean, Agile, Systems Thinking”.

Our day is inspired by the Agile Tour, the inaugural Australian instance was held in December 2011, in Sydney. The organisers of LAST, felt that the Melbourne community could really benefit from something similar, and so LAST Conference was born. Here’s Ed’s write-up of that event. He also explains “Why I started LAST Conference”.

With the naming of the event, we wanted to provide a broad remit, so that the full scope of practice could potentially be covered.

Who should come?

The event is aimed at people of all levels who want to level up their skills by learning from peers, and for those who want to share their experiences with others in an inclusive, collaborative, and interactive environment.

This may include but is not limited to: Developers, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Product Owners, Designers, UX Designers, Iteration Managers, Testers, Scrum Masters, CTOs, Project Managers, Trainers and Coaches. Technical and non-technical practitioners are welcome.

Should I come if I’m a beginner?

We want to be more inclusive and help people with a wide range of knowledge to level up their skills and understanding. Don’t be afraid to ask and learn from others.

Can I come from interstate or overseas? Will you pay my travel costs?

As we are focused on the local community, we don’t expect people to travel from interstate or overseas to participate, although you are welcome if you choose to come. As LAST is an event with low registration prices, we need to keep overheads low. Therefore, we generally do not reimburse travel and accommodation or pay a fee to session leaders/speakers.

What is the submission process?

LAST Conference is a place where the community can gather and exchange ideas and experiences. We encourage people who haven’t “spoken” at many/any events to contribute a session idea. You will be able to receive support on our Slack channel and through some other initiatives that are planned in the lead up to the event.

We will start announcing the sessions for the day in mid-June. We want to encourage activities and workshops, as well as talks, about real-world experiences (both positive and problematic).

We will build the schedule iteratively, adding sessions if great new ideas come in or if there is a gap that needs to be filled. Don’t forget, you can edit your session and adjust the idea in the coming weeks, so don’t think that you’ve only got one chance.

Be as detailed as possible in your submission, as this will help you to refine your idea in your own mind, help the content curation team select your session, and allow people who are coming to LAST to decide that they want to come and participate in your session/s.

Interpret the brief widely. Pitch us your ideas.

The submission process is open until early June, with the schedule being released in mid-June.

What is the Diversity Charter?

This charter is for event organisers, speakers, individuals, employers, sponsors and venues, and was founded by Emily Webber. By signing the charter, we publicly committed to doing what we can to increase diversity. This includes engaging with groups in the community to encourage as wide a range of submissions to the conference as possible. We also provide support for people who may not otherwise have the confidence/experience to facilitate a session.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes. We want to create a safe and inclusive event for the participants. Read our Community Code of Conduct.

When will Registration open?

Registration will open in late May. In previous years, the event has sold out weeks before the date, so it’s best to get in quick. Once full, please join the waiting list, and if there are any spots become available, they will be released to the waiting list first.

Can I send someone else or get a refund?

Find out about substitutes and refunds on the Registration FAQ page.

What is ConfEngine?

Since its inception, LAST Conference used Lanyrd. This service used to provide everything that we needed for speaker and session details. However, it suffered from a lack of attention after being acquired and started to become unreliable. So, unfortunately, we had to stop using it.

In 2017, we started using ConfEngine for session submissions, and schedule and speaker details. It can be used to track sessions and speakers and find follow up coverage. The service is run by Naresh, the organiser of Agile India, and is being used by several conferences around the world.

Will there be stress balls/t-shirts/bags/schwag/tchotchke?

Not really. Our view is that there is too much tchotchke at a typical conference, so we aren’t having very much if any. We want to focus on communication, interactions and value rather than schwag and we also don’t want to create excess landfill.

We don’t include the cost of a shirt in the registration fee, but we do have a conference t-shirt available for purchase via Redbubble, with artwork by Bruce Taylor AKA @rooosterboy.

Also, you will find that some of the Supporters of the event will be in attendance with some freebies.

Your name badge is self-adhesive, so stick it on your shirt! Similarly, you’ll probably have your own bag, so you don’t need another one, right?

Don’t worry, we still love you though, and have thought about all of your really important needs.

Will there be food?

You’ll be adequately fed and watered at lunch, and morning and afternoon breaks by our magnificent caterers, Cafe Blac.

We usually have a post-event gathering. Make sure you allow time to stick around and engage in stimulating follow up conversations about the day!

Who’s organising it?

LAST grew from the Agile and Lean community in Melbourne that holds regular evening user group events throughout the year. Ed Wong and Craig Brown, co-organisers of the Melbourne Agile and Scrum group, the Agile Business Analysts group, and experienced practitioners, decided to make it happen.

Ed is also the director of Tabar, who are the organising supporters of LAST. Tabar provides coaching, training and consulting services…and events!

In Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, local organisers are leading the organisation, with Ed and Craig assisting.