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AgilePalooza in Atlanta

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NOTE:  This blog was originally posted on March 17, 2010

Several weeks ago, I attended AgilePalooza in Atlanta with some of my co-workers.  It was a well put together conference and, I must say, a very cost-friendly conference.  This was  a one day event, that was primarily put together by VersionOne.  I attended three sessions, and learned:

  1. It’s good to get away from the office to simply press the reset button.  Even if it is for an afternoon.
  2. COMMON SENSE RULES!  The basic principals of do what you say, treat others as you wish to be treated, enjoy life (which includes work since we spend a lot of time at it), and remember that tomorrow brings another opportunity and today is a blessing.
  3. Some people need to practice their speeches and make darn sure they are relevant to the topic as promised.

I have both Mike Cottmeyer and Lee Hensen (a.k.a. Agile Dad) in my “Like Minded” links.  Both of these guys gave advanced topic presentations and they were very good.

Mike’s focused on scaling agile across the enterprise.  The interesting thing is that at my work, we are doing this fairly well — specifically, buy in to the process and seeing value of implementing in other areas.  But even more interesting, it seems the adoption of agile in big organizations seems very hit-or-miss, and primarily miss.  I’ve worked in mostly large organizations until now, and I can tell you — I have felt the frustration and dismay that some of the folks in the room have.  But you can make the case, and prove it can work — but you have to continue forging forward and not give up.  Ensure you have all folks seeing the value and establishing the trust.

Lee’s discussion was a re-hash of one I’ve seen him present at the agile conference in Orlando last year.  He updated, expanded, and expounded the content.  It was a good refresher and a solid reminder that ownership and accountability must be at a team and individual level, not one or the other – but both.  I know common sense, but repeated the need to establish trust amongst all of the parties involved and ensure communication occurs constantly.  And importantly, keep focus on the value of the project or work product.  One other thing he demonstrated is his method for estimating, very good and worth putting to practice.  I’ll write more about that later and reach out to him to comment.

Here’s the links to their presentations at the AgilePalooza website:

BTW – This ‘palooza was nothing like my first Lollapalooza experience in ’94 – George Clinton, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, L7, Cyprus Hill, Black Crowes and Green Day – just to name a few.  That was a great time!

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