Archives for the Month of May, 2010

We’re off to see the Wizard in Paris!

Dorothy in Paris

The Agile Fairytales will be making their second ever appearance in Paris next week. Join us at Agile France (formerly known as XPDay France)  this Tuesday, 1 June 2010, for an adventure on the Yellow Brick Road to learn about Peer Coaching (‘La Route de Brique Jaune – De nouvelles manières de penser grâce au co-coaching’).

Places are limited to 18 so arrive early to get your place!

Return from Wonderland

A little imagination leads to great wonders

Imagine. It’s 3.35 pm on a warm summer’s afternoon in New England. I glance through the four-line subway map of Boston and what do I find at the end of the Blue Line? I rub my eyes with balled fists. There, plain as the nose on my face, is a stop named Wonderland. All my life, I’ve been convinced that Wonderland was a place of fiction. I was wrong. My heart’s aflutter. Wonderland exists. And it’s here. In Boston.

Now imagine this. What if not everything you believe in is true?

A week on and where do I find myself but at the doorstep of Arthur’s Seat? Have you noticed how we’re surrounded by stories straight out of books? Alas, that steep hearty 30-min climb is not for today. It’s pencilled for my next visit to Edinburgh. How much wonder have you experienced today?

Mini XP Days Benelux 2010: The Perfection Game

Dawson's Creek in Eindhoven?

What I liked about Mini XP Days Benelux

  • Pre-conference dinner on conference eve – this is a great way to get to know participants before the fun starts on the day of the conference!
  • Olivier’s Aikido morning meditation session. It’s unsettling how it’s so much harder to be still than it is to be engaged in constant activity.
  • Learnt at least two new recipes using white asparagus (a regional speciality).
  • The remarkable enthusiasm for the twists and turns in Agile Fairytales, an Agile retelling of stories you’ve grown up loving!
  • Nicole and Marc’s pair conference opening and closing – what a team! By keeping the ceremony short, sweet and simple, they made everyone smile and kept us all engaged.
  • Fresh local food and healthy, too!
  • Kappellerput is a breath-taking venue, with rooms titled ‘Challenge’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Reflection’ in a setting surrounded by a forest. It even has it’s own human bird house, this is a hard venue to beat! You really must come see for youself at XP Days Benelux on 25 – 26 November!
  • The fanatastic organisers for their sense of team, fun and always remembering to put the participants at the heart of everything we do.

What would make it perfect

  • A greater selection of hot meal options at lunch time.
  • I wish I had spent more time getting to know the first-timers at the conference.

Lessons (Re-)Learnt

  • Observers often come up with better questions than an interviewer because they suspend judgment long enough to listen and respond with another question to clarify or deepen their understanding of what’s being said by the interviewee.
  • To be a good coach, talk less, listen  more.
  • Great sessions, such as Pierluigi Pugliese’s session on ‘Solution Focused Agile Coaching‘, require practice, feedback and continuous refinement.
  • When you specify a maximum number of attendees for your session, stick to it to ensure you preserve the overall session experience for the attendees.
  • Presenting a session is one of the most effective ways to learn. It gives you a reason to research and get creative about a topic you feel passionate about and one that others are also interested in, too. It’s also the most direct way to get feedback on your presentation style and practice your public speaking skill. If you’re serious about learning, then do consider submitting to XP Days Benelux this year! Look out for the call for sessions here.

The secret is in the watching and learning

We hope to see you at XP Days Benelux, 25 – 26 November in Kappellerput in a sleepy town called Heeze (with a popular ice cream bar) in Eindhoven.

Thanks to Tjakko for the great close-up of the Observer role card from The Yellow Brick Road Game on Agile Adoption Through Peer Coaching!