Sunday, April 14, 2013

How-To Guide for Planning AgileFest!

One of the suggested improvements for our AgileFest! 2013 was a  "How-To" document for planning a conference.  So in the nature of an experiment in gathering some "validated learning" I'm going to post a rough draft of this future book here.  If it gets some interest, hits, comments, suggestions then I'll turn it into an eBook.
Since this page will be an on going effort to create a draft, outline, sketch, etc. of the whole how-to guide, you may want to revisit this page in a week, and again in a month.
First, creating a conference is an Agile project, so treat it like any other agile project.  Hold several visioning meetings and workshops.  Insure that you and the core group explore your vision of the conference, understand the explicit goals, and try to uncover the hidden agenda of the conference drivers.  Don't kid yourselves there are alterative motives - everyone has some, so get them out in the open.

Define what a success will look like.  Define what a failure will feel like.  Now simply create a set of actions that will move along this continuum toward success.  At this point you should be dreaming big.  There will be plenty of time to reign in the dreamers.  Wait until later, or you might just kill the conference right here and now.

How will you reduce the risk of putting on a conference that no one attends?  One way is to partner with a group that already has success, and is looking to expand their reach.

An example of this is Version One's Agile Palooza events.  Version One builds community via these partnerships with clients and host wonderful events.

"AgilePaloozas are the ultimate community events. They’re fun, low cost events that bring internationally recognized coaches and trainers into communities for a day of learning and advancing agile methods. These events are about serious agile learning in a fun atmosphere."

"The world of agile changes fast and AgilePaloozas are specially-designed to keep you in the know."

We partnered with VersionOne in 2012 for our first event.  Building upon this success we then created AgileFest! 2013.  An event so similar it was astounding, and also very successful.

AgileFest! Goals
If you are use to agile projects then you must know about backlogs.  Creating a backlog of tasks, stories, and goals for your conference is an early milestone.  If having a template to iterate upon helps you, then use this one AgileFest Backlog (cvs).

AgileFest! Tasks


AgileFest! Improvements and Stories

Please leave a comment if you are interested in the topic or wish to download the backlog of AgileFest stories and tasks.

See Also:
“Serious” Fun at AgileFest!
AgileFest @ Sabre HQ
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