Dissatisfied with Agile 20XX Conference Submission Process – Yet Again

March 31, 20102 min

It is that time of year again – waiting to see if your submission has been accepted to Agile 2010.  This year, it seems that stage producers are bit-by-bit releasing proposals that were accepted.  Since I did not get my magic email I can only presume that my submission was one of the ones left in the rubbish bin.  So, in effect I have been given a de fecto rejection letter because I am hearing about all the other people that are being accepted.

I am bringing this up because from my perspective parts of the process still needs to be worked out – especially how people are notified.  It is disrespectful to have different timing for proposals that are accepted versus proposals that were rejected.  The producers care enough to send acceptance notice, but not a rejection notice.  Is that the message the Agile Alliance wanted to send?  The only reason why I am complaining about this topic is that I care.  I care about transparency, respect for the individual and that the process adheres to its vision.  In my opinion, the process and the way its implemented doesn’t represent the values I tend to think of as Agile.

What burns me the most, when I tried to provide feedback to some participants of the review process, some reviewers got defensive and challenged me to do better.  Hold on there – I’m a stakeholder in your process and I’m dissatisfied with the execution.  It is not my responsibility to fix your process, that is the job of the Team.  Stakeholders just provide feedback and guidance on what our expectations are.  Don’t hand me a squirrel burger and tell me it’s a Big Mac – I’m not going to buy it no matter how great you tell me it tastes.  I am not sure if I had the expectation of getting a Big Mac, but I am not pleased that I am being told this squirrel burger is all I get.

Update: Eating a bit of humble pie served to me from a number of my peers.  I apologize for my words since they may have come of for being disrespectful of the time and commitment many volunteers put into building these stages.  That was not the intention, but I was offering feedback in the spirit of continuous improvement and inspect-and-adapt.