This week Carrie and Priscilla from Magma, attended the Agile Business Conference 2018 in London. They set off from Preston around tea-time and joined the train, for the trip down to Euston.
After navigating the London Underground they made their way to the hotel to review the conference programme and choose which of the track talks they would attend.
The Agile Business Conference is the longest running Agile conference in the world, something we did not know before. The Agile Business Consortium is a not-for-profit organisation that pioneered Agile.
Sending two team members from Magma really worked well, as it meant that we could attend the keynote talks together but then split up to make the most of all of the track talks throughout the two days. Something to think about if you are going to attend next year and can send more than one team member along!
The conference was well organised. We arrived in good time for registration to find breakfast already laid out along with our name badges and sponsor stands buzzing with attendees. The venue was spacious and well equipped and the conference team were really helpful and friendly.
Opening Keynote by Dr Sue Black
She focused on how her own agile mindset had led her on a journey from childhood to the present day and the slide below summarises her agile journey. Sue talked about her own journey of discovery in terms of technology & computers and her work with the coding clubs and saving Bletchley Park.
Creating an Agile Organisation
After the keynote, I attended a talk by Dr Hilary Scarlett on ‘Creating an Agile Organisation: Insights from Neuroscience’. I really enjoyed this talk as this is a subject that I am particularly passionate about given my background as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist in the NHS.
Hilary gave a solid introduction to many key themes relating to neuroscience, the brain and organisational change. I particularly liked her slide on Agile traits that people display within organisations and how this can be understood when we consider change and behaviour in our organisations. My particular favourite is the ability to ‘fail fast’ something I think many people and organisations still struggle with conceptually and practically!
My Favourite Talk of the Conference
was given by Dr Nicola Millard. Nicola gave a very insightful keynote called ‘The D’s Shaping the Future of Work”. Her talk was grounded in fact and full of humorous anecdotes and satire! Of all the talks over the two days, Nicola was the speaker that grabbed my attention by the scruff of the neck and did not let me go until she had done with me. There were many slides of her talk that I would share, but given the space in this blog, I cannot! I did, however, tweet them @magma_digital.co.uk.
A useful slide Nicola used discussed productivity and how we are in danger of killing this if we are not mindful in our organisations of: Techno-overload, Techno-uncertainty, Techno-complexity, Techno-invasion and Techno-insecurity. Her warning relating to the risks of having a workforce that is “always being on” now that technology is so accessible, was a warning well received by many in the audience.
We really enjoyed our trip to London and to the Agile Business Conference 2018. We went to some great talks, too many to mention in a short blog! We met some lovely sponsors and probably bought more sets of planning poker cards than any team would ever need, but hey ho! 🙂 On the train home we slumped into our seats happy but exhausted and with our heads buzzing from all we had heard and learnt from our 2 days at the conference. Thank you to everyone involved in organising the event, we know how hard you must have worked!