Impressions after the first edition of Agile Tour Zurich
Last Saturday November 24th, the first edition of Agile Tour took place in Zurich. For me, it was the first time being in the organization team of such an event. I would like to use these lines to share some details of this amazing experience, that I strongly recommend to everyone!
It all started in August during the Agile Lean Europe conference held this year in Zurich, Léo Davesne and I met early in the morning, before the beginning of the second day of the event. We agreed to organize an event around Agile for the community, by the community. We checked dates and picked the 24th of November, exactly in three months time.
When the Open Space was being closed the last day of Agile Lean Europe, I announced to all participants our intention to organize an edition of Agile Tour for the first time in Zurich, and asked for people willing to collaborate in the preparation tasks. Shortly afterwards we got the approval from Agile Tour and started the preparation. Olena Bura joined the team at that time.
Agile Tour is a series of “non-profit events for enthusiasts of Agile to spread the word about Agile practices and to share their experiences (…) within their local community”.
You can find more information in this post.
It had already been held many times in the French-speaking part of Switzerland: Geneva, Sierre and Lausanne.
The event had not crossed the Röstigraben…until this year!
During these three months we met in person weekly, at the beginning of the week, with the goal to identify the priorities at every given moment and work on them. Additionally, we made a short online meeting, time-boxed to 15 minutes, by the end of the week, to see how much we advanced and reprioritize if needed.
During that time, it was not always possible to meet in person in Zurich because of different personal or professional reasons. In these cases, we connected online from different locations: from the USA, from Kyiv, from Barcelona, from Lausanne or even from the bus, see the picture below 😂!!
This high degree of flexibility gave us the opportunity to reduce the wasted time syncing bilaterally, or not syncing at all and losing track.
The tool we used to manage our work, as many other teams for the organization of similar initiatives, is Trello.
Currently, one week after the event, our “Done” list contains 249 items… not bad for just 3 months and 3 organizers!
Actually, at some point during these three months some of us believed that we would not be able to make it, and that we had done a crazy thing when we announced in front of the whole Agile Lean Europe audience that we would organize Agile Tour in Zurich. In any case, we decided to go ahead and to organize the kind of event that we, as participants, would have liked to find, no matter the final amount of speakers or participants.
One of the things that most positively surprised me was receiving talk proposals from people from all around Europe: Apart from Artur, Joanna and Gaël, who could finally join the event, we were additionally contacted from the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Germany. Not to mention those from India and the USA!
In the end, we had a very nice mix of participants, with people from Zurich and from other locations in Switzerland and Europe. This diversity was reflected in the speakers lineup as well, including a 50-50 balance of women and men.
And the day of the event was approaching…
The D-Day started with a group of people joining at 8:00 (yes, you’re reading it correctly, Saturday at 8:00) the Introduction to Agile session given by Léo before the conference official start.
We were positively surprised of having a 100% of attendance. There were 0 (zero) no-shows. And indeed, we had a bunch of highly motivated attendees, fact that most of the times, makes the big difference when it comes to enjoy and learn from an event. I humbly believe that it was one of those events where you can feel in the atmosphere how the concept “by the community, for the community” becomes a reality.
I must say that one of the speeches that impacted me most was Artur Margonari’s. It does not happen every day to see how a talk about agility and change management turns into a ukulele concert. And he did so:
In summary, from the organizer’s perspective, it was very nice seeing people happy by the end of the day for the contents and format of the event. Of course, there will be some things to improve if we want to make a new edition next year. We will be checking them soon in the retrospective we are having these next days.
First of all, I want to thank Olena and Léo for making things thaaaat easy. Thanks team!!
I would like to thank all the people who devoted a Saturday to come and share the day with us and (hopefully) learn something new.
Of course, I want to thank Peter Stevens for having the guts to sponsor an event that three crazy folks had been preparing in such a short amount of time and whose outcome, at first, was rather unclear.
To liipers working on the second floor. Thousands of thanks for your kindness and for letting us use your daily workplace. I just hope you found your stuff on Monday (almost) in the identical place where you left it on Friday. I can say we did our best for that to happen, and would like to use this chance to apologize if something was not as it should have been.
And of course, if you have any further feedback besides the notes you left us when leaving the event, feel free to send them to us via email to agilezuric(at)gmail.com or fill out the contact form here: Contact.
Agnostic agile practitioner, I strive to improve work environments by putting human beings in the center of all interactions.
CSM, CSPO, CAL 1, Sociocracy 3.0 practitioner and SAFe Agilist.