Agile 2011: The Rest of My Notes

Notes

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I think I was pretty lucky with my choices for sessions this year at Agile 2011 as I was able to take a number of things of interest from almost every one of them.  I’ve summarized talks by Christopher Avery and Stephen Denning in other notes, as well as some additional books for my reading list. This posting includes the remainder of my notes from the conference.

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Agile 2011: Stephen Denning on Creating Customer Delight

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Two sessions that I was really looking forward to at Agile 2011 were Making the Entire Organization Agile and Creating Customer Delight by Stephen Denning. My first exposure to his work was through his 2010 book The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century. In it, he discusses how some companies are changing their structure and purpose to follow agile and Scrum principles in order to create customer delight and success.  Coming from an agile environment, this made a lot of sense to me and it was very interesting to see how this scaled outside of engineering and into the entire enterprise.

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Agile 2011: Christopher Avery on The Responsibility Process

I think the most rewarding session I went to at Agile 2011 was Coaching Success: Getting People to Take Responsibility & Demonstrate Ownership by Christopher Avery.  There were a number of reasons to attend this session, including a recommendation from a friend based on a session at Agile 2009 and the applicability of the topic as our team becomes more focused on assisting our growing customer base. I didn’t enter with a notion of what to expect or exaction what I wanted and this likely put me in the right frame of mind for his introduction to The Responsibility Process.


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Becoming Iterationless

Flow

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For our 4.0 release, we experimented with shortening our iteration length and got some mixed interim results.  At the retrospective to discuss our what we wanted to do with these observations for the next release, we talked about the positives, negatives, and related ideas about our ideal iteration length. The results were actually somewhat surprising.

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The Importance of Slack

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Sometimes in a startup environment, the pressure to constantly deliver new features to support existing customers and potential leads can fill your entire working day and then some. However, when the team is fully utilized and committed to feature development, the lack of time can introduce some significant challenges that can only be addressed by slowing down and introducing some slack.

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