Agile2009 Drawing to a Close

Posted by Doc
Aug 27 2009

I have to admit that barring the cold I got and the exhaustion, this has been an outstanding experience.

You may be thinking “Doc must have attended some GREAT sessions!”

First of all, I was privileged to be a Stage Producer. This means that I got to go through 120 submissions to choose around 20 presenters/sessions. Along the way, I recruited some outstanding people to be on my committee, including Ola Ellnestam as my Assistant Stage Producer. Ola is a star in his own right.

During the conference, I tried to get to say hello to all of “my” presenters, and spend a minute or two in their sessions. I didn’t quite make it.

There were also over 20 ThoughtWorkers presenting, and I tried to spend a minute or two in each of their sessions.  This was particularly hard today, when there were as many as four of them presenting concurrently, along with one or two of “my” presenters.

Then there were the amazing people I got to hang out with, meet, and connect with, like Alistair Cockburn (poetry readings and shamanism this year), Jean Tabaka (I love Jean Tabaka!), my dear friends Julie Chickering and Christine Delprete, Chris Matts and Olav Maassen, Diana Larsen, Esther Derby, Johanna Rothman, Martin Fowler and all the other fabulous ThoughtWorkers, Twitter-friends whom I finally got to meet, Corey Haines, Phil Brock (without whom the Agile Alliance would fall apart), Jim Newkirk, and on and on. I spent a significant chunk of my time in the Open Jam area, which I have dubbed “The Shmooze Pool”, since that’s what I did there.

I also became a member of the APLN board, and spent more time with Julie Chickering in that endeavor, along with Pollyanna Pixton, Todd Little, Jim Highsmith, David Chilcott, Linda Cook, Rose Anton, Sanjiv Augustine, Robbie Mac Iver, Cesar Idrovo, and Susan Fojtasek. As a combined effort between the APLN and ThoughtWorks Studios, I am starting to plan a series of Agile Leadership Open Space events. We’ll probably initially focus on cities where there is both a ThoughtWorks office and an APLN chapter. And then? We’ll see. ;)

I met so many interesting, smart, challenging, engaging people this week. Just amazing. If I didn’t name you above, I apologize – you helped to make this an exceptionally rich experience for me.

And then there was my session on Facilitation Patterns & Antipatterns.  The feedback was excellent, including some critical comments that will enable me to improve the offering and generate more value.

Expected more focus on how to be a facilitator and practicing facilitation.

Could benefit from connecting the patterns to when to use them, how some of them help.

Very well presented and very thoroughly prepared and thought out. Would love to hear more project/real life examples as anecdotes.

Loved the presentation and the interactive activities with the deck of cards. Learned lots of great stuff.

The cards were a big hit.  Someone at each table got to take the deck from their table home with them, and a bunch of folks asked me to send them one (I have to have more printed!).

Tomorrow we have the Agile2009 retrospective for the organizers, and stage producers, and so on.  It should be very valuable, and should start Jim Newkirk off on a great path toward Agile2010 in Nashville.

So while I really, REALLY wish I hadn’t gotten a cold, I’m still a happy boy! :)

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