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InfoQ Homepage Podcasts The State of the Alliance and the Future of Agility

The State of the Alliance and the Future of Agility

This is the Engineering Culture Podcast, from the people behind and the QCon conferences.

In this podcast, Shane Hastie, InfoQ Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, talks to Phil Brock, Rebecca Parsons, Paul Hammond and Victor Hugo about the state of the Agile Alliance, new initiatives being worked on around the world and the future of agility in the workplace.

Key Takeaways

  • The Agile 2016 conference was the largest ever with nearly 2500 people attending
  • The Agile Alliance is spreading around the world with events and through affiliates
  • The Agile Alliance has responded to the criticism about the main conference having less technical content and ran a Technical Conference in 2016 with another scheduled for 2017, as well as having technically focused initiatives which are exploring new technical practices in response to the changing technical landscape
  • Member driven initiatives are receiving more focus and more funding to engage the agile community
  • The Agile Alliance website has a large repository of content which is freely available to the global agile community, and more is constantly being produced

Show Notes

1m 00s Introducing the interviewees – Phil Brock, Managing Director of the Agile Alliance; Rebecca Parsons, Chair of the Agile Alliance board and CTO of Thoughtworks; Paul Hammond, board member from England who works at eBay, Victor Hugo Germano from Brazil and owner of Lamda3, a consulting company.

2m 00s The Agile2016 conference in Atlanta, GA, USA was the largest ever with nearly 2500 attendees, a record number of talks and sponsors.

2m 35s The Board are very conscious of the growth in demand and the need for keeping the character of the conference consistent with the community culture embodied in it until now. Agile Alliance conferences have a community and collaboration culture that is important to maintain while growing or expanding to more events.

4m 05s The Alliance is doing a number of additional events to meet the needs of a wider audience. These include

4m 55s The Agile Alliance is spreading into parts of the world beyond North America with affiliates and with events in different countries.

5m 05s Victor talks about the Agile Europe and Agile Brazil conferences.

6m 09s The value of having an Affiliate in Brazil is about providing a structure and support for the large Agile Brazil conference as well as providing a vehicle to support the growth of a healthy agile community in Brazil

7m 25s There are a variety of Initiatives which the Alliance supports. These are ways for the community to get involved and to propose ideas for areas they want to see the Alliance working in. There are three types of initiatives the Alliance supports

  • Event focused
  • Community building
  • Content production

7m 40s Some of the Event initiatives include the Agile 20XX conference, the OnAgile virtual conference, the Technical Conference and the Agile Executive Forum

8m 15s Initiatives focused on community building provide support for new conferences, open space events, supporting agile user groups bringing speakers to their events, community support to nurture new agile user groups

8m 40s Initiatives focused on developing further agile related content which is made available to the global community. An example is the technical debt initiative which is focused on helping provide ideas around avoiding, reducing and removing technical debt in software products.

9m 10s Initiatives are the way that members of the Agile Alliance can contribute back to the community.

9m 20s This year the volume of Initiative proposal received has been more than ever before and the board were able to provide funding to support more than ever before – funding for initiatives doubled in 2016.

10m 15s The volume and quality of initiatives is exciting and bodes well for great things happening in the community.

10m 42s We now have communities in different parts of the world who are developing different content which addresses the different needs in these communities and can be shared with other communities to assist in the global adoption of agile ways of thinking and working.

11m 10s Tackling the misperception that the Agile Alliance is only about the annual Agile20XX conference is being broken – the Alliance is about much more than just the one event. There are many events in different countries and lots of new content being made available.

12m 10s The Alliance website has a list of the initiatives that people can access.

12m 30s Paul & Victor explain why they wanted to become board members, looking for ways they can add value to the agile community.

13m 45s The importance of the Agile Alliance as a “big tent” – inclusive of all approaches, ideas, and methods that fall under the banner of agile.

14m 55s The value of the wide and broad global community and the importance of creating links across this global community.

15m 38s Rebecca reflects on her motivation for being on the board. Her role at Thoughtworks means she has contact with software developers all around the world and she wanted to support and push the internationalization drive which has been a strong focus of the board in the last five years. This is about providing a leg-up to the communities in places such as India, South America, Asia, Africa and others to enable them to take what has been learned about applying agile methods and apply them in their own communities, making the resources of the Agile Alliance available to the global community.

17m 05s The need to overcome the perception that the Agile Alliance had moved away from the technical roots of agile development through initiatives such as the technical conference and supporting the exploration of new technical practices (eg through vehicles like the technical debt initiative).

17m 50s We need to consider the next stage of agile – what is the impact of things like the data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things?

18m 40s The trends going forward are both further fragmentation and more focus. The continued spread of these ideas geographically as well as spreading into wider areas of the organisation beyond just software development into different areas of business.

19m 24s The Alliance is working with other organisations to support the expansion of agility into other areas of business and help keep it true to the roots of agility.

21m 00s The power and value of the Agile Alliance comes from the diversity of viewpoints and ideas represented on the board, in the staff, the volunteers and in the membership of the organisation.

21m 34s The Alliance is adopting an agile approach to identifying the future needs through running experiments and getting feedback from the community.

22m 10s The Agile Alliance Technical Conference as an example of an experiment to gauge community response and see if there is value in running such an event.

22m 30s Briefly reflecting on five years as a board member.

Organisations Mentioned:

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