Saturday, August 28, 2010

Agile 2010 – Part 1

Im Just thinking back 2 weeks, to refresh my memory in order to write something about Agile 2010. The longest waiting post in my blog so far:-) As I said before.. Lots of memories and lot to write about..Top of that, all my colleagues accuse me for being so silent about the whole experience.:-). So I will try to summarize my thoughts in very short form here. Im sorry that I have no much pictures to share.. But if you need any pictures.., here is the link for you

And I see few pics here too

Conference was very well organized I think. Organizing 15+ Stages is no simple task. I like the casual environment they created, very good networking with all the people around the world ( Mostly USA ;-) ) and almost every person I met there was passionate, knowledgeable, so friendly and so down to earth.. Needless to say that Ive made lots of new friends who are willing to share their ideas about agile software development and challenge each other’s thinking.

Starting from the beginning.. It was quite a long long long flight to me as I traveled all the way from Sri Lanka.. ( Am I the only Sri Lankan who was in the conference?? I think so…) I reached Orlando by Saturday midnight..dead tired.. But still got up early on Sunday morning… looked outside…Here my Beautiful view from the room at Disney Dolphin resort… Sure I was back in my full energy in no delays..

Thanks to my friend Caryl, I spent the day with her and her mom by going around and doing some shopping in Orlando on Sunday..I was so late to arrive back in the hotel. so I missed the “Dinner with a Stranger” event organized to facilitate networking among attendees. But it was an unbelievable experience to meet many people in real world whom I have been interacting online for a long time.

Monday was the first day.. It was hard to decide which lecture I should attend to as almost all the lined up parallel lectures sounded interesting. So for the morning session, I selected to go to Mary Poppendieck’s lecture on “Making Change Happen and Making it Stick”

I selected this session due to 2 reasons
1. Of-course she is a well known speaker and that was my idea for a while to see her presenting
2. At Exilesoft we have done the big change.. We have changed the whole project organization to agile. Now its time to learn how we stick with the change.

This is an informative post written by one of the attendees about her lecture
. So I think I shouldn’t try to write about the whole lecture here. ( Im not that disciplined person who makes any notes.still I try to listen during the sessions. :-)

Just to summarize my own thoughts about the lecture;

- It was not tiring at all to listen to her for 3 hours - She took lots of real examples from many corporate which really helped to relate her theories in real world
- She stressed the point, for corporate to be more successful for getting the maximum productivity out of employees is by treating employees as volunteers. There she had many examples from Opensource community and how that works. We had a small exercise with each group members discussing about our own experience about an assignment where we worked as volunteers and led volunteers.. however there were some contradicting thoughts among the team members;
o – When people volunteer they have more personal agendas than when they work for a fee and its sometimes more painful to manage – Some examples were taken from some of the team members local PMI chapter work

o - This theory depends on the context and some of the asian cultures where the “Pay” and “title” define your social status will find it difficult to implement

o - Will the corporate management will act with the attitude of “Sharing the pain” with teams who are volunteering and working so hard while management act differently to them.

o - However all agreed that they have contributed to the best when they have volunteered to something in the past.

- She mentioned that there is nothing called a project is technically successful.. If project has no business success, its not a successful project at all. All geeks.. listen well.. This is very true !!!! –
- Further she mentioned the importance of teams making decisions.. she mentioned that there can be mistakes of teams when they make decisions.. but in long term those mistakes are better than the huge problems which can be created by the decisions made by management without knowing exact details as much as teams do.. she said it best !

Oh Boy.. Mid of the day.. I was sooo tired and never been so badly Jet-lagged before..
Lessons learned: if the event is in USA – reach there at least 3 days before.


Thomas Araki said...

Nice reading. I look forward to hearing from you about the rest. specialy about your presentation with your colleague. I found it interesting.

Thushara Wijewardena, PMP, CSP on 4:44 AM said...

Thanks. I will add some notes here on that.

Max Headroom on 5:51 AM said...

Dear Thushara,

Is there anyway that I could lay my hands on the book written by David Anderson, called "Kanban"? Do you know anyone in Colombo having a copy that I could borrow for a week? Any bookshop locally having it? Also could you give me some leads to view these presentations. Thanks!

Thushara Wijewardena, PMP, CSP on 6:01 AM said...

Sorry I hardly find anyone who practice KANBAN or any bookshop where they have good agile books in Colombo.. Amazon is the option I have to order the agile books I want to have .


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