Scrum Gathering = Summer of Love mixed with great content



The biggest gathering of Scrum practitioners occurred earlier this month in Orlando, Florida and I was lucky enough to be there along with only a couple of other Australians.

Overall, I have to say that this was the most enjoyable of the gatherings that I have participated in to date. Krishan Mathis of Scrum Center responded to my comment that it felt like the best Scrum Gathering ever with:

“Because it was and we wanted it to be. Summer of Love mixed with great content.”

There certainly is a great feeling in the air at these events. A Scrum Gathering simply doesn’t feel like a conventional conference… because it isn’t. Tom Mellor made this point during his closing remarks and Karen Graves captured this nicely in her summary of the gathering.

Here are some of my most vivid memories from the gathering.

  • Harrison Owen’s keynote which was a provocative wake-up call on social complexity and self-organisation straight out of his classic book, Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World. Whilst a lot of people focus on Harrison’s invention of Open Space Technology, I think that his thoughts on self-organisation are also very relevant for Scrum practitioners.
  • Seeing Jeff Sutherland more impassioned and animated than I’ve ever seen him before during his joint keynote on Scrum and CMMI.
  • Lyssa Atkins taking me into a calm and self-reflective state in her Coaching the Coaches deep dive.
  • Joseph Pelrine finding time to deep dive into the ABIDE model/’stove’ for working in a socially complex environment using case studies from the Scrum Development list and the archetypes from Fearless Change.
  • My former colleagues Simon Bennettand Mark Summers with their Incentive Trap simulation which saw team outcome-based incentive structures produce 50-60 units of value whilst my team with a typical role-based incentive scheme produce 0 units! You can find a post about the experience on Mark’s blog.
  • Discussing an Australian Scrum Gathering with the Scrum Alliance and the small contingent of Aussies at the gathering. Stay tuned for a exciting announcement about this soon.
  • Christoph Mathis describing the experience of expanding the Scrum implementation at SAP in “Introducing Scrum at a rate of thousands of developers a year”.
  • Lyssa Atkins describing the challenge of unwinding command and control tendencies as she did in transitioning from traditional Project Manager to Agile Coach.
  • Mike Cottmeyer with the most tightly orchestrated Pecha Kucha delivery that I can imagine with timed slide transitions and with him repeatedly turning to point to slides that had arrived on screen just a second before!
  • Dan Rawsthorne with his whirlwind tour of Scrum metrics and enhancement to commonly used metrics which require follow-up study of the slides to fully appreciate.
  • Simon Roberts giving me a demo an exciting new presentation tool called Prezi.
  • The raw passion and energy of Alan Cyment and Tobias Mayer who just couldn’t stop themselves experimenting with Scrum games – even after the gathering had finished!

The full gathering program is available from the Scrum Hub. Many of the presentation materials are available fromthe Resources section under the 2010 Orlando Gathering tag.