Unforgettable 2 days at the 3rd Global LeSS Conference, at Angel Orensanz Foundation – the historical landmark in NYC.
Conference Space and Our People
Experience Report by Guest-Blogger Ram Srinivasan
Though I have been associated with the Large Scale scrum (LeSS) community for about five years (though the “community” did not exist, I can think of my association with like minded folks) this is my first LeSS conference. While I used to attend a lot of conferences in the past, I have started focusing more on deep learning (by attending focused workshops) than focusing on conferences. But this year, I had to make an exception for the LeSS conference Why (a) it was the first LeSS conference in North America (b) It was not very far and (c) I was thinking that I might meet some of the smartest people in the LeSS community whom I may not meet otherwise and (d) I have heard that it is a “team based” conference (unlike other conferences where you are on your own) and I wanted to find out what the heck it was. I was not disappointed.
The venue itself was very different from the conventional Agile conferences – not a hotel. That definitely caught my attention !! I was pleasantly suprirsed to see both Howard Sublet (the new Chief Product Owner from Scrum Alliance) and Eric Engelmann (the Chairman of the Board of Director of Scrum Alliance ). Howard and I had good discussions on LeSS, Scrum Alliance, the marketplace, and scaling
Some sessions that I attended and major takeaways:
- Day 1 morning keynote – Nokia LTE implementation – Takeaway – Yes, you can do Scrum with more than 5000 engineers
- Day 2 keynote by Craig Larman. I always find Craig’s thinking fascinating and learnt quite a few interesting facts about cognitive biases (and strategies to overcome them).
- LeSS Games – component team and feature team simulation lead by Pierluigi Pugliese – very interesting simulation – I used a variation of this in my CSM class past weekend and people liked it. I hope to write about sometime, in the coming days
- LeSS roles exercise by Michael James – I have always been a fan of MJ. Very interesting exercise which reinforces the concept of LeSS roles
- TDD in a flip chart – Guess I was there again, with MJ. Well, just learned that you do not need a computer to learn about TDD.
- An open space session with Howard Sublett on LeSS and Scrum Alliance partnership (yours truly was the scribe) – Lot of interesting discussions on market, strategy, and positioning of the LeSS brand. I personally got some insights from Rafael Sabbagh and Viktor Grgic.
Two days was short !! Time flew away. It was a great experience !! And I wish we could have a North American LeSS conference every year !!
I’ve attended the 2018 LeSS Conference- my first – in the Angela Orensanz Center in New York. I was really inspired by the many great speakers, experiments and experiences and was glad I could help Jurgen de Smet by his workshop on Management 3.0 practices that can complement LeSS with experiments.
A couple of notes on the Conference; it has been the first Conference I attended in years where I actually learned a lot, either from the many speakers, experiments and experiences, but from my ‘team’ as well. As the LeSS Conference is a team-based conference, we reflected on the content and our insights during the Conference, which accelerated my learnings.
As I use many games and practices in organizations or courses, I’ve seen several great new games that I can use myself. The ‘building agile structures’ game of Tomasz Wykowski and Justyna Wykowska was the most outstanding game for me, because it makes the differences between component and feature teams very clear when scaling work, and I will use this for sure in the future. The experiences at Nokia by Tero Peltola were very inspiring and especially the focus on the competences (of everybody) and technical excellence I will take with me.Thoughts that will stick with me the most after the conference: the focus on technical excellence (including e.g. automation, code quality, engineering practices etc.) and the importance of the structure of the organization, following Larman’s fifth law ‘Culture follows structure’. The latter I’m already familiar with, but needs to be reprioritized in my mind again. The former will be my main learning goal the coming period and I will need to dust off my former experiences.
Interesting quote to think about, by Bas Vodde: ‘we should maximize dependencies between teams’ (to increase collaboration between teams).
Games and Team Activities
LeSS Graphic Art
My partner in crime (Ari Tikka) and me – Presenting on Coaching
Click here to download presentation: Ari’s deck | Gene’s deck.
Personal Memorable Moments
Next LeSS conference (2019) – Munich, Germany