Agile2011 Tag

I finally take some time to finish my series of articles about Agile2011. The fifth and last day was actually only one morning with two keynotes.

The morning started very well. I was having my breakfast, seating alone at one of the round tables near the entrance of the Imperial Ballroom of the Grand America, when a familiar voice asked me the permission to sit down at my table. It was Linda Rising. She was with someone who had just asked her a question. She spent some time gently answering him. When the guy excused himself to go get a refill of coffee, I took the opportunity to refresh Linda’s memories about our first encounter.

The other guy came back and the 3 of us continued with our conversation, when Mary Poppendieck joined in. She and Linda know each other pretty well, so she sat down with us. This breakfast that started like any other morning ended up being the most interesting of my week.

Linda left the table, saying she wanted to get closer from the stage because she didn’t want to miss Kevlin Henney’s keynote. She assured us he was worth listening to… which he was.

On Thursday I went to the following sessions

  • Stages of Practice : the Agile tech tree by Arlo Belshee and James Shore
  • The Agile Scaling Model (ASM) : Be Agile as you need to be by Scott Ambler
  • Telling better stories with User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
  • Slackers and Debtors : Meet commitments, reduce debt and improve performance by James Shore

My Thursday afternoon started with my first and unique session at the Little America Hotel, with Jeff Patton. Jeff told us a story, or better said, he taught us how to build a story map. Most of people who are experienced in Agile know about user stories.

As an Agile practionner
I want to write user stories
So that my requirements are clear, short, focused, well understood, shared, easy to maintain, etc.

On Thursday I went to the following sessions

  • Stages of Practice : the Agile tech tree by Arlo Belshee and James Shore
  • The Agile Scaling Model (ASM) : Be Agile as you need to be by Scott Ambler
  • Telling better stories with User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
  • Slackers and Debtors : Meet commitments, reduce debt and improve performance by James Shore

On the fourth day of Agile2011, my subconscious brain seemed to have decided that I needed a little fun, because I did a lot of sessions about games and workshops.

It started with the morning session where Arlo Belshee tried to have us create a Civilization like tech tree for Agile. For those who don’t know the game, in Civilization, the tech tree represent a tree of different technologies that you acquire with experience. Technologies are organized in different branches (Sea, Religion, …) and to discover a new technology, it is first necessary to discover the prerequisite technologies (for example, democracy can only be discovered after the printing press). You also have Wonders of the World and many other things that make your civilization more advanced and more powerful. To summarize, that’s what leads your civilization from obscurantism to space travel.