Thursday March 9th. Mammoths are in town. And not any kind of Mammoths, the Agile ones.
And once again I was one of them. Agile Mammoths Games, organised by Colours in Projects is the coolest Agile conference in Cluj-Napoca. It has a certain vibe which makes you start the year off on the right foot.
My focus this time was only on the Agile Talks, but the Mammoth Games have everything that is needed for both fun and learning: good speeches, nice workshops (and not only) and a very interesting gamification for the participants.
I don’t know what the others are expecting when participating in an event like this, but my goal is always to have fun. Not in the terms of laughing all day long, but enjoying the event. When somebody forgets in the backstage a mike open while Jeff, the keynote speaker, has a very interesting speech on how to Excel at Change it’s just a bonus for the good time. I listen, I do analogies with what I know, I take what I find useful and I am just enjoying being there. Due to my constantly newbie state I find it very hard not to acquire valuable info during such an event. It is like entering a good restaurant and you know that there is always a steak somewhere in the menu.
Listening, talking, learning.
I had the chance to deliver a speech about something which I am really fond of. I talked about Product Mindset, a concept we have defined in our company over the years and which we proudly wanted to put it out there for everybody to digest it. I was involved in many stages of the process and I also was a part of the small team that worked on the latest refinement.
Dan had a very original approach on what Agile Mindset is, Matei presented just enough from Design Thinking for people to want to dig more into it and Cipri had a very interesting view on how to grow heroes in our teams. Alex spoke with considerable passion about product owner role and the conference ended in a high note with Chris talking about the product manager samurai.
- Focus on product. If there was something which struck me this year then it was the high focus on the product. It seems that people are becoming more and more aware of the fact that Agile is focused on the outcome and not on the output. By focusing on the value of what the IT is delivering it brings the Product into the centre stage. This is an aspect which has changed a lot lately once we all started to feel more and more the actual meaning of Agile Mindset.
- Gamification rocks. Being there for the 3rd or 4th time, it was a pleasure to see that the conference is becoming better and better each year. One of the key changers is the gamification. I watch people being caught up in the game frenzy. I looked at the people I didn’t know and I paid even more attention to the people I knew I was curious about how they would react. . Cheerfulness, high involvement and the joy of playing are only some of the benefits that learning through gaming brings to the table. Everybody seems to be all in.
Mammoth for a day is definitely a cool thing. An Agile one is even better. I am already looking forward to next year.