As with any good retrospective, I took the time to appreciate Agile 2015 last week. Yet, as much as I’m still riding high from such a terrific week, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Disclaimer: Yes, I’m on the program team. However, no idea or thought I list here is a guarantee for Agile 2016. Our team discusses all the ideas and determines what makes most sense for next year. There are also times where I learn that an idea doesn’t really fall into the program team’s responsibility. Although, people are always willing to listen. These are my thoughts and/or ideas or from when people highlighted their ideas to me and my immediate thought was “oooh…I like that”.
- Lyssa Adkins highlighted that you couldn’t see Talk/Workshop indicator on the mobile app. This is a big deal…people may or may not be in the mood for activity. She then highlighted maybe there is a third distinction: Tell (talk), Show (demonstrate), Do (Practice). Sometimes a workshop is really a show and sometimes it’s a do. I would want the Do sessions, so this made a ton of sense to me.
- Feedback, feedback, feedback. There is an experiment with feedback almost every year. Finding the right balance between getting quality data for the speakers and the Agile Alliance while minimizing the time/energy/mistakes of volunteers. We have gone with the app only approach the last two years – the feedback numbers are not as high as when we have paper in the room. I was discussing with Peter Provost some ideas but very much open to any you may have.
- Open Jam location: We were limited in the common areas available at this hotel. Unfortunately, I do think Open Jam was a little tucked away and not as utilized as I’ve seen in years past. As I’m one that loves the sessions that pop up in Open Jam, I found I didn’t leverage it as much this year 🙁
- Someone approached me with the idea of a “support area” – I apologize for not knowing your name. At first, this caught me a little off guard as I assume that anyone knows they could go to a volunteer, the registration desk, etc. However, when I stopped to think about it – these places are always busy. It may seem like asking a question about which session makes sense for me may not be appropriate in their minds. I’m still pondering this idea.
- Introvert room: I saw this on twitter quite a bit. Personally, I have no idea what I would do as an extreme extrovert. However, I very much appreciate the need for quiet and maybe even mediation.
- There were a number of hotel issues: Again, I apologize to anyone that may have eaten their lunch on Monday on the floor. Cutting your food balanced on your lap is a skill but should never have been mastered.
- 1st time orientation: I almost put this in the other post because I feel like this was the best that it’s ever been but the fact is that it could still be better. Maybe we could have taken time to have people find a partner. Maybe we could have taken time to do individual Q&A (not everyone wants to ask their question publicly). I’m anxiously waiting to hear from the group of people that approached me at the conference party indicating they have tons of ideas 🙂
- Speaker quality: Just because you can write an amazing submission doesn’t always mean you can deliver that content well. Speaking and writing are different skills. Would video submissions help or be too much of a hindrance? I’m not even going to lie that there were a couple of times that I wanted to give a speaker a link to my Training from the BACK of the room course. Don’t get me wrong, most were absolutely amazing…I just want the program quality to continue to rise!
- How do we help attendees know when a session is full or almost full? I know I sent a few people to a different session (after finding out their first choice was full) only to have them come back to me because I sent them to another full session.
There are also aspects for the submission process for Agile 2016 – more topics than ideas at this point:
- How to emphasize the Help option more for attendees?
- How to help volunteers give exceptional feedback to submitters?
- How do we facilitate a place for sessions that may not fit “a track”?
- Personally, how do I provide clear expectations for the track chair role?
I’m interested in what thoughts/ideas you have! Also, if you have interest in helping explore how to make Agile2016 even better, please message me your information.