This was my second Agile conference and I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it went. For a gathering of 1600 people I was pleasantly surprised at how intimate it can be, I kept on running into many of the same people again and again.
I already wrote about my top sessions for InfoQ so I will just link to them instead of repeating myself here:
Agile Alliance Functional Test Workshop
Coaching Self Organizing Teams and Part Two (Joseph Pelrine)
Touchy Feely Impediments to Agile Adoption (Amr Elssamadisy)
Beginner’s Mind – An Approach to Listening (Jean Tabaka and David Hussman)
Overcoming Resistance to Change (Dave Nicolette and Lasse Koskela)
Following JB’s lead, I will do a short, short retrospective:
- Open Space – I didn’t use it as intended – for me it was a great place to check email and as a result bump into people. Please keep it big and central.
- Great Quality Sessions – the submissions system idea really worked well, you know maybe this whole Wisdom of Crowds thing has legs. Seriously this worked really well.
- Pre planning my sessions in the week before I was able to avoid caring the conference program book around.
- Posting the day’s conference Agenda once in every area meant that I was never confused about finding my next session.
- Wireless access was slow.
- Internet access from hotel rooms should be part of the negotiated deal.
- Hotel was insanely expensive – my pre-conference breakfast of eggs, coffee and orange juice was $30. Nuts.
- Hotel food for meals and snacks was very heavy on carbs and light on the protein.
- Coffee – I’ve got insanely high expectations here
- Overlap between three hour and ninety minute sessions – many long sessions lost half their attendees after the break. Net result the quality of the conversation suffered.
- Better wireless Internet access
- Provide wired Internet access in the open space and other key areas
- Food – more protein options, berries and vegetables for snacks.
- More of the conference rooms in one area
- Film every session and make them accessible via the web after the fact. Make access to that part of our conference fees. If you didn’t attend the conference then you can buy access to the sessions for $200-300 after the fact.
- Provide family events every day. This will especially important in 2011 when the conference is in Europe. There needs to be something for family members with young kids to do while there spouses are at sessions.
What did you like about the conference? What needs improvement? Please share.
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.
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