One Good Thing

I have been trying to get out to more networking and technology events lately. In the past, I have gone to some of these events with high expectations and have sometimes left disappointed.

I have a new milestone for these types of events that I am calling the “One Good Thing” principle. If I can get one nugget of wisdom or truth: an idea to put into practice, a new blog to read, a new way to use an existing tool, a good contact, then I should consider the event a success.

Some recent examples of the “One Good Thing” principle in action

  • Pollyanna Pixton at an Agile Boston event gave some great tips on collaborative leadership that I was able to put into immediate practice
  • Sue McKinney at the same Agile Boston event was talking about how she implemented Agile techniques at IBM (which I hear is a pretty big company). There were a lot of good things in this talk, but one that I found particularly useful was how she dealt with teams that were resistant to adopting Agile practices. She did not force it on them, it was OK if they didn’t want to adopt it, but they could not disparage it publicly.
  • A recent Ignite event at Microsoft NERD. I had never been to an Ignite event, but I hope to go again soon and maybe even present. I learned something about how to present an idea well (and sometimes not so well) in a short amount of time. Kudos to all who tried, I learned quite a bit there.

And finally, with all the Microsoft bashing in the world, I would like to say thanks to Microsoft NERD who seem to be making a concerted effort to open their space for networking and technology events in the Boston area. If you are in the Boston area, you should keep an eye on their Events page

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2 thoughts on “One Good Thing

  1. Ryan

    Have any of the events touched on getting an organization to buy into Agile? My current employer would greatly benefit from the Agile model, but they seem to be afraid to leave what they know which is the “mini waterfall” and move to agile, despite “wanting to.” They are literally drowning in meetings and process.

    Reply
  2. mdenomy Post author

    Sue McKinney talked about that quite a bit. Instituting change is difficult, and at a company the size of IBM, even more so. There is an interview with her here that may be interesting http://agile.dzone.com/videos/sue-mckinney-agile-2009

    One key with getting a company to adopt Agile is to start small. Convince management to try it for a small pilot project. Try and get people on your team that are open to Agile. If you can afford some training I would strongly recommend it. And keep in mind, Agile won’t work if there is not buy in and active participation from the top.

    After you demonstrate success with the pilot project you can expand Agile to other teams. At that point you will also have one team that can act as in-house “trainers” and champions of the process.

    Good luck

    Reply

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