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XP Days Benelux 2012, first day sessions on agile

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The 10th anniversary edition of the XP Days Benelux 2012 conference was held on november 29 and 30, in the Netherlands.

XP Day Benelux is an international conference about Agile methods, intended for people from all walks of life who are involved with IT. It provides a good opportunity for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences and is suited for both experienced participants and beginners in Agile methods. The focus of this conference is on practical knowledge, real-world experience, and active participation of everyone.

The 2012 XP Days Benelux consists of parallel sessions of 60-90 minutes, containing presentations, exercises and games. The plenary meeting kicked off the conference, and presenters gave a 1/2 minute advertisement for their session.

  • The agile and lean mindset by Yves Hanoulle is about "being agile" in stead of "doing agile". He explained ideas that help to create an agile mindset, like "STOP Starting & START Stopping", "brutal transparency" and the boy scouts rule: "Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it". Yves also gave the audience food for thought, with quotes like "If you can't say no, your yesses mean nothing" and "Feedback is something you need to learn how to deal with that".
  • In Agile Maturity, from project to the agile organization maturity, Raimond Wets & Jasper Lamers presented how they use an agile maturity model at Rabobank International in the Netherlands. The model consists of questionnaires and radar charts, which provide insight in the usage of agile practices. Teams using the model can decide where and when they want to improve. In a workshop, the attendants explored the question "What should the Maturity model on an organization level look like?", where they looked at business-IT cooperation.
  • Erwin van der Koogh did a crash course on storytelling in business. He explained the structure and elements of a good story. Attendants paired up to tell stories and listen to each other, to understand the context, challenge and celebration of a story. Erwin also gave an introduction on communicating value with stories, where the attendants practiced this with value stories.
  • In exploring culture on agile teams, Nicole Belilos & Jenni Jepsen gave an introduction to cultural differences based upon research from Geert Hofstede.  They used role play to have the attendants experience cultural differences, and find ways to improve collaboration.

More information can be found on the XP Days Benelux conference website, which will also provide access to all conference materials in the near future.

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