AgileCE 2010 is over. It was a great organized, unique in terms of scale and speakers agile event in Poland. All talks were recorded and will be probably published at the conference website, but here are some notes from the lectures I’ve attended and find interesting to share just right now.
Jens Korte – ScrumFluenca
Jens presented part of his great work on documenting sources, influences and theories that led to forming Scrum method and keep influencing all kinds of agile movements. Jens made a very interesting chart which you will find at http://www.agilefluenca.org and I strongly recommend you to take a look at it. This is a really good piece of work, that I hope Jens will continue to update.
Monika Konieczny – How to cope with communication problems in an agile project?
Monika presented an idea of using simulation games to improve communicating some ideas within teams and mentioned also an interesting theory called “The Fun Theory” which I like very much (see http://www.thefuntheory.com). All that started with a very funny game of backing cake by an IT team :-) You should definitely watch it when the video will be available at AgileCE site.
What I missed in Monika’s talk, were 2-3 cases or real projects examples of games that solved some particular problems which would turn the talk from theoretical to more practical.
Zuzana Sochova – Company Culture as the Key Agile Milestone
Zuzana presented some of the results of her MBA research on organizational culture influence on successful agile adoption. Zuzana already posted slides from her talk at http://www.slideshare.net/zuzuzka/company-culture-as-the-key-agile-milestone. Also the survey results are available at Zuzana’s blog (http://soch.cz/AgileSurvey.pdf)
Paweł Lipiński – Being an agile nearshore team
This was the best Pawel’s presentation I’ve seen so far. It’s because his talk was based purely on his experience from running his own company Pragmatists and building there a really agile environment. What we miss the most on agile conferences are the real cases and examples agile / xp implementations instead of all that couching / consulting theory many time full of wishful thinking. This presentation was real from the start to the very end.
There are also a few interesting ideas that I’ve noted out from Pawel’s talk:
- using a single user in your version control system along with pair programming to eliminate blaming and empower collective code ownership
- customer clicks through the application during the demo session – this makes him focused on what he actually accepts
- often pair switching when pair programming prevents team members from achieving small small goals and successes (like finishing a single task) and does not work well – switch pairs after the task is done
- customer not paying for not accepted work – encouraging time and material way of work by sharing a risk
Paweł Brodziński – The Kanban Story
Same as with Paweł Lipiński talk, this one also contained thoughts and motivation from the real life example of implementing Kanban. A few thoughts I’ve noted out:
- Kanban without strong engineering practices produces garbage (garbage in – garbage out)
- change of the Kanban board triggered by the team member that holds a sticky note and does not know where to put it
We also continued the talk about Kanban on the open session during the lunch break. You can read the full story about this kanban implementation at Pawel’s blog:
Gwyn Morfey & Laurie Young – The Sword and Other Tales
This was a great and entertaining closing of the AgileCE. The talk’s (or shall I say performance) main theme was how to focus on quickly and without unnecessary ceremony solving all kinds of issues that an agile team may face. Gwyn and Laurie talked about how to change and improve the solutions to make them stick. Definitely a video worth watching when it will be posted at AgileCE website (you will find out about sword of integration, stealthholders, heat-seeking actions and more).
So what went well?
- The venue was great and perfectly prepared for this kind of event
- Good set of talks with interesting and original content that we couldn’t hear before in Poland / Central Europe
- Very well organized (kudos to Paul Klipp and his team!)
What could be done better?
- Open Space sessions during the event of this size (150 – 200 people) should get their own piece of time line during the tracks instead of competing with the talks. The most talks has been scheduled during the lunch break as the most people did not wanted to choose between talks and open space sessions.
- Marketing should have been started much earlier. I had an impression that many people did not had a chance to come to AgileCE because they just learned about the event to late.
- The schedule should be posted earlier next time (even if it about to change slightly later on) because many people decide about attending mostly by looking at conference talks and schedule.
Overall the event was great and as tinyPM team we’re proud we could support it as the Bronze Sponsors. Now we’re waiting for a next great event in Kiev (AgileEE) and definitely are waiting for a next AgileCE in 2011.