Agile Coach Camp – Lightning Talks + Social Mixing

May 31, 20082 min

I got to Coach Camp last night and met a lot of new people. There are about 50 people here from all over the US, Canada, UK, Sweden, Ukraine and even India. Friday night was for meeting people, introductions and Lightning Talks. About 20 people talked for three minutes each and I described my Refactoring Challenge idea (more on that another day).

Here are the highlights I jotted down that spoke to me:

  1. NLP (nuerolinguistic programming) as a tool to understand other people’s frame of reference and overcoming resistence.
  2. Become a learner again so we (coaches) can learn and appreciate how it feels to be a beginners, struggle and be coached.
  3. Refactoring Challenge (me)
  4. We are here to create teams of problem solvers, not people who follow our directions.
  5. Discover the common thread (music, sports, etc.) among team members to unlock their potential.
  6. When was the last time we (the Agile community) learned a new trick? Too much effort is being spent “drawing lines” around the “process box” of what is Agile. We need to teach people how to fish.
  7. What makes the process of Agile agile?
  8. Agile INJFPA (Is Not Just For Programmers Anymore).
  9. Use affinity grouping to help people get over the initial struggle in Planning Poker over “what is a point?”
  10. What is the goal of agile? What is the objective? Agile is to create better business value in shorter time.
  11. Published books and case studies are the equivalents of “concrete code examples” for the Agile API. Cut-n-paste from the books or case studies and then evolve your own process.
  12. We need to coach managers on Agile as well as the teams. Help managers by creating a backlog of things managers can do to help the teams.

As for luminaries, Ron Jefferies, Chet Hendrickson, Bill Wake, William Petri, Brian Merrik, Henrick ??? and Deb Hartman (conference organizer) are here. Of course, the other people are just as interesting to speak with and have very interesting persepctives.

After the Lightning Talks, we went to get some food and beer in downtown Ann Arbor (a very pretty city center with the same brick architecture found in the San Diego Gaslamp). There were SO many interesting conversations, that I spent most of my time listening and there is no way I could capture all of them. The one thing I did learn is that Agile is really beginning to get traction in big corporations. At least half the people attending are from large institutions (banks, government, large health care companies, etc.) and they are carrying the Agile torch looking for ways to transform their departments.