Monday, October 17, 2011

Call for speakers to share with our Local Agile community

 During the ALE2011 unconference, a few of us spoke about local communities and ways to improve them through the ALE network.

Hereafter, I tell you about what we are doing in Lyon this year and then ask you how we can share tips and get speakers to come here.

What we used to do
When we started having monthly meetings two seasons ago, we tried to produce slide-shows by ourselves or we took them from the Internet. Then, we presented them to the small group of attendees.
We really understood we were missing interaction with people and also that the core volunteers were getting tired.

The second year, we mixed games and conferences in different ways. But even though the sessions were improving, we were struggling to satisfy all attendees. Beginners felt the sessions were too high-level, and others were expecting more expertise or a different format.

While writing these lines, I feel like we still miss something. Although we want to spread the best AGILE/LEAN practices to our area,, we have to encourage attendees not to act like consumers. Anyway, this year our new model will shake up this mindset.. At least, I hope so.

What we plan this year
This year, the core team is stronger and we had some interesting feedback from a wider range of people.

Apart from the conference we organise with the local JUG team (Mix-IT), we plan to have two types of sessions:

Running thread: For beginners and people who want to improve their skills, we have a full season, running thread session, from the product vision (product box innovation games), to the “Done and Deployed phase”. Organising linked sessions may be seen as a V step model to explain agile, but we haven’t found something else yet except to focus on one category of knowledge in each session.

The full year running thread session:
  • Define your product vision
  • Elaborate your backlog
  • Lean and prioritize your backlog
  • Planning and estimation
  • Daily meeting and self-organisation
  • Definition of done
  • Retrospective
  • Others methodologies and tools

As I’m writing these lines, the second session is over. 33 people met there to play games, learn and share. So, compared with the format of previous sessions, a running thread seems to have more permanent adepts, but we still have a small turnover between sessions.

Expert conference
There is nothing new here, but we aim to have experts to come and speak here for an end of day or Saturday session.
We haven’t defined the format yet, or the type of activities.
That’s where we need help and tips from you.

Please help us improve our skills
I’m asking ALE network today, because this is my community, but everyone can answer and share.
We found a format this year with the running thread where people learn, share and play games. How could we add an additional session every 3 months, that provides content to people with already a good knowledge.

Do you have small conferences, like this one?
If you have a talk ready to be launched, do you think it could be the place to test it?
Are you going Skiing in France this winter? Could you stop to give your talk while travelling to this destination?
Are you interested in visiting Lyon? If so we can help you come here and talk?
Any others suggestions?

Please feel free to post comments.

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