Skip to main content

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
Post a Comment

Most Popular on Agile Complexification Inverter

Exercise:: Definition of Ready & Done

Assuming you are on a Scrum/Agile software development team, then one of the first 'working agreements' you have created with your team is a 'Definition of Done' - right?



Oh - you don't have a definition of what aspects a user story that is done will exhibit. Well then, you need to create a list of attributes of a done story. One way to do this would be to Google 'definition of done' ... here let me do that for you: http://tinyurl.com/3br9o6n. Then you could just use someone else's definition - there DONE!

But that would be cheating -- right? It is not the artifact - the list of done criteria, that is important for your team - it is the act of doing it for themselves, it is that shared understanding of having a debate over some of the gray areas that create a true working agreement. If some of the team believes that a story being done means that there can be no bugs found in the code - but some believe that there can be some minor issues - well, …

Elements of an Effective Scrum Task Board

What are the individual elements that make a Scrum task board effective for the team and the leadership of the team?  There are a few basic elements that are quite obvious when you have seen a few good Scrum boards... but there are some other elements that appear to elude even the most servant of leaders of Scrum teams.









In general I'm referring to a physical Scrum board.  Although software applications will replicated may of the elements of a good Scrum board there will be affordances that are not easily replicated.  And software applications offer features not easily implemented in the physical domain also.





Scrum Info Radiator Checklist (PDF) Basic Elements
Board Framework - columns and rows laid out in bold colors (blue tape works well)
Attributes:  space for the total number of stickies that will need to belong in each cell of the matrix;  lines that are not easy eroded, but are also easy to replace;  see Orientation.

Columns (or Rows) - labeled
    Stories
    To Do
    Work In P…

Webinar: Collaboration at Scale: Defining Done, Ready, and NO.

I was invited to participate in a Scrum Alliance Webinar.  Maybe you would like to listen to us in a discussion of techniques to collaborate at scale (remotely and with many people).  The topic is one that I've got some experience in discussions - yet I never seem to get to done...
Collaboration at Scale: Defining Done and Ready and NO for Distributed Teams
With Joel Bancroft-Connors, Agile Organizational Coach; David A. Koontz, Agile Transition Guide; and Luke Hohmann, CEO and Founder of Conteneo, Inc.


14 February 2018 11 a.m. ET (USA).




The Scrum Guide is pretty clear on the criticality of the definition of Done: "When a Product Backlog item or an Increment is described as "Done," everyone must understand what "Done" means. However, the Scrum Guide ALSO says that the definition of Done can "vary significantly per Scrum Team." This leads us to examine when and how the definition of Done should vary, how distributed teams should cr…

David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

Amazon book order
What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.

Introduction

Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…

A T-Shaped 21st Century Knowledge Worker

Knowledge workers in the 21st Century must have many areas of deep knowledge, while also be capable of collaboration across multiple other domains with dissimilar T-shaped individuals.  This description of a person is a metaphor.  Compare it to the shape of the "I" in the classic saying there is no "I" in Team.


I first read about Scott Ambler's term "Generalizing Specialist" - but it's so hard to remember the proper order of the words... get it backwards and it has an inverted meaning... T-Shaped is easier to remember. 
A generalizing specialist is someone who:
Has one or more technical specialties (e.g. Java programming, Project Management, Database Administration, ...). Has at least a general knowledge of software development. Has at least a general knowledge of the business domain in which they work. Actively seeks to gain new skills in both their existing specialties as well as in other areas, including both technical and domain areas.  General…