For the past 2 days I have been part of an amazing and dedicated team supporting the inaugural event, Agile Cymru 2015. Agile Cymru 2015 was the brainchild of James Scrimshire and went from a humble idea to a 2 day conference with 4 parallel tracks in the beautiful Wales Millennium Centre located in Cardiff Bay. Well it’s fair to say, after a great deal of time, effort, dedication over the past 9 months and incredible risks taken by James, the conference was a success and well worth the effort. This was the first of many Agile conferences we hope to see in South Wales, bringing in a wide range of industry leading speakers.
With so much to see and and learn at the conference, it’s difficult to choose which talks to see. We tried to select a wide range of speakers which cover more than than just software craftsmanship, but learnings on the wider business, systems, teams and people involved with developing great products. This included a spread of topics including, but not limited to Complexity thinking and systems, Coaching, Improvisation, Theory Of Constraints, Management, Strategy, Extreme Programming, Projects, Scrum, Kanban and more.
Being part of the team at the event was a lot of fun coordinating and facilitating the event. Behind the scenes we had a Whatsapp group chat in action, which allowed us to support each other and share learnings fast. If anyone needed support or we learnt something about a room such as connection issues, events, questions or speaker needs, it went straight onto Whatsapp which would pull in support as needed. This allowed us to be effective and autonomous as a small team. In addition to this we used the eventbrite app to register everyone and Whova to have oversight of the conference twitter feed using the hashtag #agcym15 In addition to this we managed to stream some small clips from some talks and behind the scenes tours using Periscope for those who couldn’t attend the conference starring our very own Sam Whiting.
During the conference I was lucky enough to attend some really interesting talks where I took away a lot learnings, including but not limited to some thought provoking coaching insights from Kim Morgan, how we navigate complexity considering systems as mechanical or organic by Tobias Mayer, XP allowing us to deliver value sustainably and how XP has expanded and used at Unruly by Rachel Davies, and how we can use improvisation in Agile and businesses with Neil Mullarkey and Paul Goddard. I was also lucky enough to attend one of the most entertaining presentations I have ever sat in with Nigel Baker reminding us how to embrace uncertainty using Scrum as well valuably challenging us on thinking about how we scale Agile and manage risk and uncertainty in organisations. To embed the point, Nigel gave out sticks of rock which he had made, with the word “Uncertainty” embedded within. When the video’s are processed, I hope to catchup on some of the other talks I missed.
As James said in the closing keynote, this conference was made possible not because of the organisers, but by the attendees and community investing in learning at the conference and the generous speakers willing to share their experiences and learnings. We hope with this success, this will become an annual event where people come together to learn, share and support the on going development of Agile practices. We hope you enjoyed it and found it valuable.
If you would like to see some of the photos taken at the conference, please click here.