The final day of the conference contained three general sessions. I found a few people who skipped out on these sessions - too bad for them as the sessions were a great wrap up for the entire week.
Dave West talked about Product-Centric Development and the move away from the separation of business and IT (yes please!). He asked us to start measuring ourselves and our teams by how much value we deliver and not by on-time, on-budget, # of defects, # of stories, lines of code, etc. We can’t make our teams act as part of the business unless we change our measurements.
Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson provided both comic relief and poignant commentary. I think Chet's comment sums up their talk: "there’s lots of ideas out there and we need to look at every damn one of them”.
Finally, Mike Cohn's talk was a great ending to the conference as he challenged us with some practical ideas of how to spread what we’ve learned using the ADAPT model. Create Awareness of the problem by communicating using metrics and stories. Focus on one or two reasons to change. Increase the Desire to change by communicating that there is a better way. Get the team to take agile for a test drive and focus on addressing any fears. Develop the Ability to work in an agile manner by providing coaching and training. Promote agile by publicizing success stories or holding agile safaris where people can drop in to agile teams for a short time to see how it works. Transfer agile to all non development teams, departments, divisions, etc. Align promotions, raises, HR, and Marketing. Finally, don’t expect an agile transition to happen all at once. Create an improvement backlog and improvement communities and work on a few stories that are important to your community before tackling the next ones.
A final call to action from Mike: “Now we’ve upped our skills, up yours!” Well said.