It’s been a big year, and we finally have a chance to slow down and take a much needed break.

Since the last yearly missive ( Nancy & I have both been pretty busy.   For me it’s been another good year with Software Education (, I’m incredibly fortunate to work with a great group of people doing stuff that I really enjoy and care about.

Nancy and Caren have been busy with their new venture – Fascination Creations (  making mixed-media artworks, wearable art, fascinators, jewellery and hair accessories.  They’ve made work for commissions and exhibited three times over the year, one exhibition included a fashion show.  “Put a little glamor in your life”


In March we celebrated my 50th birthday with a Scots themed party at home – thanks to everyone who came along, and for all the good wishes.  Friends and family came from all over the world, and it was a wonderful evening. A jolly good time was had by all –

We ran the SDC conference in March and had a fantastic time with the speakers.  We took a trip to Kapiti Island (embarrassing to admit that we have lived in the Kapiti area for 15 years and only visited the Island for the first time this year).  If you get a chance to come out this way then I strongly recommend a visit to the Island – we had a great time.

The year has been full of travel for me – in the first half it was the usual Australia & NZ trips, and then things changed from about August on.

Unfortunately Nancy’s knee has been problematic and has prevented her from travelling much with me this year.  She had surgery in November, and was give the go ahead to travel this week by the specialist to hopefully she will accompany me on some of the trips next year.

In May I had the opportunity to teach in Hobart (Tasmaina) for the first time – a fascinating place:

I attended the Agile 2011 conference in August and stopped in Turkey (one day to see Istanbul) and Israel on the way to deliver a training course in Tel Aviv.  The story of the trip unfolded over a series of entries in my travel blog:

At the Agile2011 conference I was elected to the Agile Alliance board of directors, which means board meetings in the Northern Hemisphere four times a year.  I’m also a volunteer on the IIBA ( Core Team writing the next release of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge and have been working on the Agile Extension to the BABOK ( – a sucker for punishment.

One of the great things about the volunteer work I’m involved with is all the great people I get to work with on a regular basis.  It’s wonderful how many passionate and positive people there are involved in both the Agile and Business Analysis community around the world.  It’s a real privilege to work with them.

The remainder of the year was hectic – September there was an Agile board meeting in Rome, and I stopped in Paris on the way to spend a couple of nights with Karl and Theresa (thanks for the great hospitality).  It was wonderful to spend a bit of time with them – the last time we caught up was in Chicago in 2010.

In mid-September we had a chance to get away together for a weekend, en-route to delivering a course in Hamilton.  We spent a lovely weekend exploring parts of the Waikato we hadn’t seen before.

From Hamilton Nancy flew home and I flew to Saudi Arabia to deliver some courses and presentations there.  A really interesting and enjoyable trip in a brand new environment for me.  I made new friends and learned a lot my the time there.

In November I made some new friends in Brazil – my first trip to South America.  I was invited to give the keynote talk at the first BA Brazil conference in Porto Alegre.  I was treated fantastically and really well looked after – thank you to everyone who I met there.

To cap off the year I went to Bangalore in India for 12 days.  Another new culture and great people.  An added benefit of that trip was spending some father-daughter time with Melody, she works for the company I was doing the training at.

In January we fly to the USA for a couple of weeks – a busman’s holiday since there is an Agile Alliance board meeting at the beginning of the trip and a BABOK 3.0 working session at the end.  In the middle we’re spending a few days with Nancy’s cousin Pauline and visiting Denver (in the mid-winter) just because we can J

So that’s the story of our year.  We’re all well, and heading into 2012 looking for new and exciting adventures.  Nancy & Caren already have orders for weddings and events for next year, Software Education continues to grow and expand into new realms.

We’re relaxing at home over Christmas – enjoying the new kitchen and relishing in a wonderful Kiwi summer.

At this time of year we get to reflect on the people whose lives have touched our own.  Often long periods go by in which we don’t see each other, nor do we communicate well, but that doesn’t mean you are not in our thoughts and prayers.  If we haven’t been in touch it’s not due to a lack of care or concern – it’s truly because we just haven’t had a chance.

We miss you all and wish you all the very best for a peaceful and happy holiday period, and may 2012 be a fantastic year for you all!

And if Google Translate worked properly the appropriate greeting should be in the list below:

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  • Feliz Natal e feliz Ano Novo
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
  • Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
  • Geseënde Kersfees en Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar
  • Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year
  •  חנוכה שמח שנה טובה
  • سنة جديدة سعيدة

With much love and best wishes

Shane & Nancy