Starting at 8:30 am Mike Sutton did a great job facilitating the OpenSpace. A lot of interesting sessions were proposed by the attendees.
9:30 am. I hosted a session called "Drive-Driven Personality -or- how to handle driveless people". Pierluigi Pugliese joined in with his similar topic about dealing with unmotivated teams. For me this session's result was to underline that people can't be motivated, only their environment can be changed to help them getting motivated again on their own. I will adapt some insights and improve my lightning talk on "Drive-Driven Personality" at the XP2010 conference in Trondheim.
10:30 am. Joined a session by Martin Heider "Sharpen your saw - how to improve as an Agile Coach". Basic insight for me was that co-coaching and pair-coaching is helpful to improve.
10:00 am. Sneaked into Christine Neidhardt's session on graphical and visualization techniques at flipcharts. Nice ideas how to improve my presentation skills just by drawing good looking visuals.
11:30 am. Krishan Mathis, Nicole Rauch and I hosted a joint session composed of "Agile Skills meeting in Ann Arbor", "Agile Skills Project", and "Clean Code Developer". We spend 90 minutes to talk about how it all started in Ann Arbor and how the Agile Skills Project developed until the present day. There is lot of doubt if such a project is needed and if it's heading in the right direction. I focused on the "Quests" of the project as a good starting point for interested people to join, experiment, and contribute. We also took a look at the German "Clean Code Developer" initiative and compared both approaches. What I learned from this discussion is that any approach to do a job is highly related to the passion of the people doing it.
1:00 pm. Lunch time with 30 minutes delay. Food was good, nothing more to report on this.
1:30 pm. Joined a session by John McFadyen on "Comfort Zones". Many definitions were discussed so we finally knew about people's comfort zone, safety zone, and safe zone. The question came up if we as coaches should be prepared to kick people out of their comfort zone. Fortunetaly we calmed down and said that we're not able to move people. We only can move the environment so that people's comfort or safety zones get moved. The goal is to make people notice that they are about to leave their safe zone by staying in their comfort zone.
2:30 pm. Joined a session by Joseph Pelrine on "Psychology of Task Estimation". It is not enough to give the number of hours for a task but also to give the confidence level of that estimate. People are much better to estimate in real intervals: "if you need four hours for this task, do you think you will be finished by lunch?" Estimates are based on the current status of a system and knowledge. Therefore estimates have a best-before-date which is by the end of the current sprint. Re-estimating is necessary in many cases.
3:30 pm. Joined a session by Rachel Davies on "Improving Retrospectives". I got some new ideas for retrospective activities to try. My basic insight of this session was to strengthen my belief of the major importance of the inspect-and-adapt principle.
4:30 pm. Break. Closing the day and some organizational topics.
7:00 pm. Dinner and socializing. After the food we had some nice improvisation games and theatre moderated by Mike Sutton. This was great fun mixed with brain confusing short-term memory games. The day was finished for me after a funny Agile Jeopardy game.
This was a great conference day with lots of insights. My strongest belief was affirmed by many sessions, I heard it over and over again: software craftsmenship, being agile, teamwork, promoting change, team building, as well as any other topic related to people working in an organization depend on the passion of these people to do a great job. People have to love what they do to be good and to be able to improve constantly.
Tomorrow is the last day with another five sessions... I'm curious to get more insights.