Not only was it a great time, I learned a ton from all the people who participated and want to share a few gems here.
1. Agile is still hot-hot-hot
People are massively passionate about understanding agile (lower-case “a” ) in all its forms so they can find the flavor that works best for their team and their company. One thing I’d stress is that there’s no one perfect way to do agile. And let’s face it: every team’s implementation is going to be a bit ugly and flawed here n’ there. THAT’S OK! If your team is working effectively and efficiently and keeping morale high, you’re doing it right.
2. Practitioners love their frameworks
LeSS and SAFe and DAD – oh my! There’s a lot of debate about which framework works best, but guess what? There’s no one perfect way to do agile, if you ask me (are we seeing a theme here?). I believe the “right” framework for you depends on your team dynamics, company culture, and project needs.
3. And, tools
In fact, lots of interest in topics like whether to use a physical board (e.g. whiteboard) or a digital tool like Jira for tracking progress during sprints. But remember: a fool with a tool is still a fool . And, spoiler alert… there’s no one perfect way to do agile. Culture and team collaboration practices are the real foundations of agile. I think people fundamentally understand this – that’s why we had so many questions about team culture, trust, and psychological safety.
4. We all want a crystal ball
“Does the future of work include agile? What’s next after agile?” These were recurring themes. I think agile will still be relevant for many, many years to come. What’s coming next is for teams to internalize the core principles of agile, and apply those to create their own way of doing it (because there’s no one perfect… ah, you know the rest). The other trend that stands out is team health. Two years ago, Atlassian were pretty much the only voice talking about team health. Fast-forward to the Agile2018 conference, and there are like half a dozen talks on the subject! It makes me so happy to see the concept of a team’s health being embraced with such passion and considered to be just as important (if not more so) as a team’s productivity. If you want to bring a little bit of the future into the present, check out the Team Playbook. Remember: the best way to predict the future is to create it.
5. The struggle is real, and it affects us all
Move over math and music – there’s a new universal language in town, and its name is teamwork. Scrolling through the names of AMA participants, it’s clear that agile, team culture, and the future of work are on the minds of people across the globe. Which make sense, right? There are something like 800 million knowledge workers worldwide, and working with other people toward a common goal has always been hard. The good news is that we live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. What one team learns about collaboration quickly spreads to other teams. So hang in there, everyone. Help is on the way.
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