Amsterdam Scrum Gathering, a Recap. 1 of 3

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I had the pleasure of attending the Scrum Gathering on November 22 – 24 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands; here is a recap of what happened.

I always enjoy taking time out of my busy schedule to network and connect with colleagues from around the world. The three-day Amsterdam Scrum Gathering brought some of the worlds brightest agile minds together to discuss the latest developments in the world of Scrum. Day one was opened with Gerry Kirk, one of the conference organizers, and then a series of eight full-day deep dives followed. The toughest decision of the conference was choosing which deep dive to attend. The morning of day two was filled with traditional breakout sessions and the afternoon featured six twenty minute bare talks and nine five minute lightning talks. The third and final day of the conference was an all day Open Space session with the theme of Scrum dysfunctions. Here is a brief rundown of what happen each day.

Day One Summary

I decided to attend Lee Devin’s “Artful Making” deep-dive session. Lee is a retired professor at Swarthmore College and a retired actor. One day he joined forces with Rob Austin (from the agile community) and “Artful Making” was born. I knew this session would stretch me, but I didn’t know how much. Within the first five minutes we were asked to take our shoes off and within the first hour we were crazy walking and moaning loudly. Lee was getting each of us to step outside of our comfort zones using the latest improve exercises from theater. The key lessons that I gleaned from “Artful Making” were; in order to collaborate we need to listen to each other and add our own little part and in order to have an effective team we need to create a safe environment by getting people to step outside of their comfort zones.