Agile 2019 – A conference summary

Agile 2019 in a nutshell: Jam packed with inspiring, informative talks! I tried to sum up my experience when I came home from DC a couple of weeks ago, but there were just too many good things to say! So I’ll leave you with the graphic above with some of the highlights, and I’ll share what I’ve actually followed up on since I’ve been back.

The session that piqued my curiosity the most was Diane Zajac’s. She talked about the communication techniques that Chris Voss has written about in “Never Split the Difference”. Her talk was well facilitated with a mix of small group exercises and lecture. I’ve since listened to Chris Voss’ book and I’ve started paying more attention to when people say “yes” to hear if it really means yes. You should pick it up if you’d like to be better at listening to understand people. He wrote the book to help you be a better negotiator, so you’ll get that advice too 🙂

The session that has helped me most in my current assignment is Melissa Perri’s Stalwart (I missed her earlier session). The session was basically a Q&A format where participants got to sit with her on stage to ask their question. Her answers were insightful and always clearly formulated. I’ve since read her book “Escaping the Build Trap”, and I’ve used her terminology to help clarify how we’re working with product management.

The last two special mentions come from sessions with Michael Sahota and Michael Hamman. They both have books out that are now on my reading list. Michael Sahota’s answers in the panel discussion about leadership dovetailed with the Professional Coaching coursework I’ve been doing this year. His book is called “Emotional Science”. Michael Hamman touched on adult development and how we can help people grow by cultivating the right kind of culture. His book is called “Evolvagility”. 

Finally, I’m glad that I was also able to attend the Women in Agile half day on Sunday. This short conference was a great way to kick start the Agile 2019 conference. I left with a lot of energy and ideas. Watch for the three speakers who were part of the “New Voices” program in future conferences: Leah Burman, Nazee Hajebi and Arundhati Dutta.

This was my first Agile Alliance conference, but I don’t think it will be my last 🙂 I only hope that my conference buddies Matti Klasson and Karin Hagren will be there next time as well so we can discuss all the talks and share what we’ve learned!

Get in touch via my homepage if you have questions or comments!