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Live from #Agile2016 in Atlanta

07.27.2016 | 11:10 AM EST

Movements are finicky. There is always a balance of retaining the original fire that drove the change but also looking forward to see the greatness that could be as the movement gains traction and fresh perspectives.

Over the past several days I have seen some people tweet or comment about “how xyz isn’t what was intended when the manifesto was signed,” or one of my favorites, “I don’t remember massages at Snowbird.” While I have a tremendous amount of respect for these “founding fathers,” Agile is not a government of rules or a republic, We Are Agile – the people, the decisions to think outside of the norm, and continuous ability to consume change! I believe in honoring the past and in remembering our history, but I also believe that the beginning was just that – a beginning!

Outside of Agile, I have been involved in other movements that always look back to the “firsts.” These firsts are looked upon not only as absolutely amazing and empowered people [that they are/were], but in some ways “the finals” as well. They were the last ones allowed to do awesome things or say amazing things or even have any new insights. And anyone who adds, subtracts, or has a different viewpoint are considered apostate – even if they still focus on the core values and principles – and are pushed into some corner reserved for the rebellious and stupid kids.

Today, at Agile2016, there was a new idea spoken about called Modern Agile. This set of principles or strategies takes the amazingness of the Agile Manifesto and slightly shifts them for modern era. You see, we have accomplished a lot using the tools and practices of the Agile Manifesto and team/organizational change agents like Scrum, etc. But we can do better. We can think greater. We can inspire!!! It is completely understood that Modern Agile seeks to inspire, but it is not the only movement that is pushing us to think ahead, to focus on developing a vision for the future, and encouraging us to move “beyond” the beginning.

So whether it is Modern Agile or other “streams” of Agile, it is time to stop just implementing Agile – it is time to start developing the future of good work, empowered employees and customers, innovative practices, and more!

07.26.2016 | 1:30 PM EST

Technically, Agile2016 is not software, BUT Agile2016 is about product delivery. It is a product of hard work of countless volunteers, track and submission reviewers, sponsors, companies, and the people who attend. And while I know that there was probably copious amounts of documentation and communication in paper form, the end game is not and will never will be about the documentation.

To dig into this further, I went to the principles behind the manifesto to get more understanding on this key pillar of Agile and how it applies to the actual conference. If you peruse through the principles, there are key phrases related to the actual software product such as, “satisfy the customer,” or, “deliver… frequently,” or that the product is, “the primary measure of success.” Each of these could be asked as questions in regards to the success of Agile2016 so far.

Is the customer satisfied?

As a customer (and no, I will not format this as a user story) – yes! The way that the hotel staff has been attentive, the quality of the company booths, the attentiveness of the volunteers, the excitement and energy exuded by the attendees. The answer is a whole-hearted YES! Add to that the camaraderie of even competing organizations and the people focused on skills improvement and relationship building and Agile2016 is a resounding success. I wish I could find the picture of one of our competitors chatting it up with us in booth – sharing stories, or seeing the two name sponsors’ staff hanging out in each others booths. It is a sign of success of not just the conference but the movement. Customer Sat? Check.

Is there frequent delivery of value?

Again, absolutely. In 1:15-increments, speakers are delivering value. In 3-hour bursts, the exhibit floor is bursting with value! Even the breaks where one can chat with other agilists is a sign of creating instantaneous value.

Is the customer satisfaction and product delivery the primary measure of success?

This one adds to the first. Not only do we recognize the need to create satisfied customers, but for our growth and for our validation of abilities, we need to actually deliver something. What is the “product” that Agile2016 delivers? Strategic and tactical agile transformation concepts, relationships, and vendor solutions. On that note, welcome to Agile2016 day 2! We look forward to more “quality product delivery” today!

Live from #Agile2016 in Atlanta

07.25.2016 | 3:00 PM EST

As an agilist, I sometimes get worried over what I would call the “consumerization” of Agile. Along the way it feels as though it has become less of the anti-command-and-control, return to the people, transformative movement and has become – more or less – a way for all of consultants to make money. It has become about your process and your tool set.

Enter Agile2016: the largest Agile Event ever. Over 2500 attendees from over 40 countries represent the thing that we love about Agile – the people. It has been ultimately refreshing to walk among our competitors and have conversations about our experiences with Agile. It is good to have a majority of people simply want to know who you are, what hasn’t worked well (and what has), and just connect with another Agilist.

Around 12:15 we did a Facebook Live Stream. As we wandered around, one of the guys from MATRIX actually commented that he was shocked at how open the other booths were and how ready people were just to talk about their experiences here at Agile2016. It goes back to what we all are here for – “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools.”

 

07.25.2016 | 12:15 PM EST

Robert Woods and Joshua Jack are live from Agile2016:

07.25.2016 | 9:30 AM EST

We're here at Agile2016, one of the largest gatherings of us weirdo, hippie agilists – alongside some still buttoned-up folks – in the United States.

Upon walking in, I was met by a wonderful group of volunteers; ready and eager to help as well as to laugh at my silly jokes. I was also faced with my company’s competitors but this week we are not mortal enemies, but fellow Agile journey-takers on a mission to get more info, sharpen our skills, and most of all, meet more Agile folks.

There is excitement in the air; a sense of urgency as people make their way to the keynote speaker session. Others are headed down to put the finishing touches on booths or just talking with people they haven’t seen since last year. All this excitement could also be because of the copious amount of coffee available to the attendees!

Overall, I’m looking forward to a week of getting to know a new set of people, talk “shop” for a full week, and listen to some thought leaders in the space. Watch for Facebook Live, Periscope, Live Tweets, and other nonsensical stuff coming from us this week from #Agile2016.

-Joshua (@joshuaajack)

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