Global Scrum Gathering 2016 – A Synopsis

April 21, 2016

From The Desk of Brian Rabon:

As you probably know, this week was the Global Scrum Gathering in Orlando Florida. Both Braintrust and the new Center For Agile Leadership played large roles in the event this year, culminating with me giving the opening keynote speech in front of 1,100 of my closest friends.

If there were one word to describe the Orlando Scrum Gathering, it would be “ELECTRIC”. From co-chairs Anu Smalley and our own Kate Megaw’s grand entrance in their astronaut costumes, to the overwhelming response to my opening keynote, to the hundreds of conversations that followed. It was amazing.

After speaking with hundreds of the conference attendees a few patterns emerged:

First, if you were at the Global Gathering (or following along on Twitter) you probably heard that I took a little jab at Agile scaling during my keynote. I want to take a minute to clarify that I don’t hate SAFe or any form of Agile scaling for that matter, I was simply using them as a tangible example of a larger problem that is facing Agile as a movement. Our biggest problem is that there is way too much focus lately on the “process” and not enough focus on the “individuals and interactions”. The major theme of the conference was on the need to put humanity back into Agility. To me, this is a far more important conversation than which scaling method is best or most effective. As an industry and as a movement, we have got to re-humanize agile implementation and that begins with top-down cultural shifts.

Second, we all want our employers to be Agile to focus on the “results” rather than the “face-time” we put in the office. We are all adults, we don’t want to ask permission to go the doctor or pick up our kids. We want flexible schedules and the trust from our bosses that we will “do the right thing”. We are Agile and can prove our worth through the results that we produce.

And finally, Agile Leadership is here and needed in a big way. Agile leaders are inclusive, democratic, and exhibit a greater openness to ideas and innovations. With a passion for learning, a focus on developing people, and a strong ability to define and communicate a desired vision, they possess all of the tools necessary to successfully inspire others and become an agent for change within any organization. As leaders we want to be Agile and we want those who lead us to be Agile too.

Thank you to everyone who came by to share their thoughts on the keynote. I am honored that I was able touch your lives and inspire you. Every story that you shared with me touched my heart.

Final thoughts… Remember that sometimes your high expectations won’t be met and at times you may feel like a loser. Being a loser is just one step on your path to winning. With Agile Leadership you can put the individuals and interactions back into Agility and win.



Brian Rabon, CST, PMP
President, The Braintrust Consulting Group
Founder, The Center For Agile Leadership


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