Agile Leadership Pattern: Project Obituary Exercise
Don’t (Just) Drink The Kool-Aid

Update from The Agile Alliance Planning Meeting

Kennedy_school_1 I have just returned from the Agile Alliance board meeting in Portland, OR. The objectives were to develop the goals and objectives for the Agile Alliance for 2007, work through some conference planning details, and discuss research funding and other initiatives.

The meetings were held at the Kennedy School which is a very cool hotel, come arts and entertainment facility that houses a theatre, restaurant, several bars, and a movie theatre. The whole place has been preserved/restored to a historic school setting and decorated with a wide variety of art installations and period fixtures. The hotel rooms are old class rooms, complete with chalk boards, heavy baseboards and devoid of modern trimmings like TVs. The meeting rooms are old libraries, home economic labs etc. It really was a creative and inspiring setting and I believe helped contribute to a very productive set of meetings. If you are ever near Portland I would recommend you drop in for a look around.

Kennedy_school_2_1 Many of the items under review still require refining so I can not describe them until they are approved, but I think it is safe to outline some of the topics and themes discussed.

The Agile 2007 conference in Washington D.C. sounds like it will be a great event. It is good to learn that the Open Space sessions will be given a higher profile this year. They ended up a little buried away last year which is a shame because they can generate great energy and innovation. 

The conference submissions have now closed and many tracks received over 150 proposals. Unfortunately, some of the tracks only have room for about 50 presenters which means many good submissions will have to be turned down. We discussed other ways of harvesting this wealth of experience and information and I hope we can get some kind of knowledge-base CD of extra tracks or contributions into the Agile Narratives programs to recognize and make use of all these excellent submissions. From a lean perspective it seems like a lot of muda (waste) to let this information pass by the agile community as also-rans. Who knows, maybe there is an experience report or research paper out there that is just the solution you are looking for.

The venue for the Agile 2008 conference has not been selected yet, but planning is in progress. Major hotels and conference centres book up early and so preparations are already underway. Possible venues discussed included: Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Atlanta, and Santa Clara amongst others. Not only is the city important but so too is the conference site, we want somewhere that can not only house the large group, but also provide many gathering areas to promote discussion and collaboration.

It was also good to discuss the certification debate so more. I had a productive chat with Ron Jefferies, Brian Marick, Jutta Eckstein, and Ryan Martens and we all seemed to agree that if certifications are to exist they should be skill based and hard to obtain.

The sessions were well facilitated and productive. It is great to have a these face-to-face sessions it is just a shame that we are not located closer to one another so that we could easily (and responsibly) have more of them. My next planning trip is to Salt Lake City on Wednesday when the APLN board will be conducting a similar exercise for its planning year. Surprisingly the only overlap between these two groups is Todd Little and myself, otherwise we could have all gone to the Kennedy school which would have been a lot of fun.


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