Agile and Beyond: A Right-Sized, Value-Rich Conference

VersionOne was proud to sponsor and exhibit at the 4th Annual Agile and Beyond conference on Saturday, March 9th in Dearborn, Michigan.

We talked with many project managers, developers, business analysts and directors about their past, current or future agile aspirations.

The highlights:

  • The vendor space: The exhibitors were placed in the lunch/break area; this was the perfect place to capture attendees’ attention during breakfast, lunch or between sessions. A fully-loaded cappuccino cart certainly didn’t diminish the traffic flow. We’ve been placed in ‘far-away-from-the-action,’ ‘off-the-beaten-path’ locations at many conferences, but this location was ideal for attendee interaction — significant conversations and product demonstrations.
  • The attendees: Some agile events get an influx of job seekers or people with a curiosity to get to know agile. Agile and Beyond delivered practitioners who are living and breathing agile every single day. These were developers and project managers who have worked with sticky notes, Excel, tools (hopefully VersionOne ;); they were clearly able to articulate the challenges that hold their team back from consistent agile excellence.
  • The sessions: The VersionOne team didn’t have much time to attend sessions, but a few of the sessions shone.

@mattbarcomb presented: “Building a Learning Organization From Any Level”. Anyone working in software knows that you must always be learning. The pace of change is exhilarating, but stressful. When everyone’s learning, we can share best practices, doing our best to keep all aware of the latest trends and techniques. You can’t learn everything, so why not ‘divide and conquer?’ Matt’s exercises and examples of how organizations and individuals can start learning smarter now through apprenticeship, mentoring, shadowing and more were extremely energizing.

Our team also had the chance to hear @toddkaufman present a talk titled: ‘Failing with Agility’. In a crowd and environment that’s markedly bullish on agile practices, it took some courage to mention missteps. It’s through failure, however, that we learn. Todd was able to share a strong message about not just going around the periphery with agile, but ways to unleash agile’s power of true organizational change.

Thank you, Agile and Beyond, for a wonderful conference; VersionOne is looking forward to next year.

Dan Naden
Community Manager
VersionOne

 

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