Friday, March 19, 2010

Turku Agile Day 2010 Retrospective

I participated to Turku Agile Day 2010 and thought about sharing my insights about the conference.

What went well
  • Organizers were helpful and you could feel their excitement. Thanks.
  • There was some buzz. That's a good sign.
  • 6 presentations talked about goals from different angles - having a goal is truly important (as is having a method)!
  • Presentations were good. Too bad I missed the Kanban talk while having my own session. Luckily got a chance to share ideas with Joakim later on :o)
  • Socializing events were excellent.
What to improve and how
  • Awareness room was way too big - hard to get "connected" with the speaker. Get a smaller room.
  • I (as a presenter) want some feedback - People should tweet more, be proactive :o). I hope hearing some feedback from the organizers in order to improve.
  • I felt that the presentations did not necessarily met the majority of the audience (some individuals yes..).
Other thoughts
  • Pascal's & Portia's keynote got people involved. Need to think about applying some of their presentation methods :o)
  • Vasco's session was very good and I enjoyed it a lot. I personally would have taken the path from business to R&D instead starting from R&D and kind of leveraging it to business - even the cases are "bottom-up". R&D is there for the business so presenting that direction might help the audience to grok the presented ideas.
  • Petri Heiramo's talk was about training the customer. Once again solid and well articulated presentation from Petri. It would have been interesting to share ideas how to overcome investment policies ("we need budget for the total investment!") that some companies have and look a bit more into contractual aspects.
  • Elisabeth had interesting case and lots of energy in her talk about "Get Real". "Spec" mean speculation :o). I tried to ask about how she has overcome the problem of Product Owner speculating as according to my experience there are lots of teams doing the WRONG thing RIGHT. In addition I think it is not Lean to learn what is the RIGHT thing to do by iterating it with implementation and demonstrations. I felt I failed to deliver the question so I might get back to Elisabeth about it. So far I have heard Eric Ries talking about solving this issue with Customer Development and it would be nice to hear how others are solving it. (How Eric has done it (compare the slides 21 and 22)). I feel Customer Development is not been discussed enough in agile conferences as we have Product Owners to abstract that issue (but very rarely ScrumMasters/kanbanists are able to coach the Product Owner to do customer development...).
  • It was interesting to hear Ola speaking about sex. :o)
  • Enjoyed the dinner with Lars and Lasse ;o)
Overall it was a good conference.

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