SF Agile 2011 – Quick Reflections

I authored most of this on my flight from San Francisco back to Midway last night…my Southwest flight did not have wifi for me to post it, however.

It’s Friday night, and I’m traveling home from San Francisco where I had a great experience at the inaugural SFAgile conference.The conference had high quality speakers, most of the speakers were also able to stay for the duration of the two-day conference. Not only did I receive a lot of value from the formal sessions, the conversations outside of the sessions were particularly valuable(See note 1 below).

SF Agile was an intimate, single-track conference that covered a breadth of topics, including Lean Startup, Lean UX, Teams and Product Stewardship, an Innovation Game, escaping timeboxes (new term materialized: “neo-post-agile”)… And that was Day 1!

Day 2 had topics that included  Agile Leadership, a panel discussion with audience-selected topics, lessons from Dr. Who, Coaching, the team/business bridge,  and happiness.  Although I neglected to put a mark on the “Value to Time Invested” retrospective chart (sorry Angeline), I will posthumously put it to “up and to the  right,” which we learned at the conference is where all good data on a graph goes.

Each day culminated in  a trip down Market street to Blu to socialize with other attendees. The conference’s size allowed for interaction with almost all of the attendees. This is the second conference this year that I have attended that had a single-track format( See Note 2 below).  I think I am a fan of the format. The single-track format creates a shared context for all the attendees. During breaks and after the day’s  formal activities, there is a common reference point that helps create cohesion as attendees can discuss a range of ideas presented throughout the day.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you to all the sponsors for making the event very affordable for attendees.
Thank you for allowing me to share how lean principles and getting close to the customer and market were instrumental in shaping my path to being an entrepreneur.
Thank you Angeline and the rest of the folks who contributed to making this event a success. I hope to attend next year’s event.

For those of you who did not go to the conference, consider putting it on your calendar for next June.

Note 1. One example of the additional value was with Joshua Kerievsky’s who recommended the book The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg, I actually had to put that book down to capture some of my reflections on the conference.

Note 2. KalamazooX was the other conference. That, too, was a valuable conference and I am way overdue to create a blog post about that. KalamazooX was a very nice one day conference focusing on the softer skills required in technology. Sorry Michael Eaton for the delay in writing about that conference. There was no flight home from Kalamazoo for me to draft it!

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