Agile2021 Updates: Partnerships, Speakers, and More!

Agile2021 Conference

Reinventing Agile2021 as an online event has led to reconsidering almost everything about how we put the conference together. On the upside, moving the event online has really opened up opportunities for us to think differently in designing the experience. With three time blocks of programming so that everyone can attend during daylight hours, shorter sessions designed for an online experience, and digital spaces where attendees can gather and talk, it will be very different from past events.

Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance Partnering to Serve the Agile Community

All of these changes have also caused us to consider how we engage with all of the people and organizationas who come together to make this the premier Agile conference. As a non-profit member organization, we rely on help from others to make this scale of event possible. I’m particularly delighted by how Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance are partnering in a different way to create an exceptional experience for the Agile community around the world: as a Global Partner, Scrum Alliance will helping us make Agile2021 a one-of-a-kind experience.

In late summer 2020, when it was impossible to predict how the pandemic might impact 2021, Howard Sublett and I started chatting about how Scrum Alliance and Agile Alliance might collaborate to mitigate the risks associated with the big in-person events that we each were planning in Denver in 2021.  Scrum Alliance was planning a Global Scrum Gathering in March; Agile2021 was scheduled to take place in July. Both of our organizations were committed to onerous venue contracts signed long before anyone could imagine a global pandemic disrupting everything. Many people who attend Agile2021 also participate in Global Scrum Gatherings, so we brainstormed options for how we might work together to serve participants of both events and minimize the risks we were each facing.

Even after it became clear that in-person events would be out of the question this year, it still made sense for us to find ways of working together to serve the global Agile community. We recognize the devastating economic effects the pandemic has had on our members. With this in mind, the conversation shifted to how we make something really special happen in 2021, rather than offering separate global events. Why make people choose?

A Long, Common History

Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance have much in common. Both organizations were founded in 2001–we’re each celebrating a 20th birthday this year, along with the 20th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto. We have similar missions to change the world of work by supporting people and organizations in adopting Agile thinking and practices to build more effective, humane, and sustainable ways of working. We are both non-profit membership organizations which exist to support our members with events, resources, and education that advance the Agile movement. (Also, because we’re both 501c6 organizations, we are subject to US regulatory requirements that constrain our activities differently from commercial enterprises, but that’s a whole different blog post). And Scrum Alliance has been a key sponsor of Agile20XX over the years so it felt right for us to find a way to work together to make Agile2021 a really fantastic conference.

A Truly International Experience

In addition to helping with promoting Agile2021 around the world so that we can create a truly international conference experience, Scrum Alliance will be hosting two Coaching Retreats as part of the Agile2021 program. The Coaching Retreats will offer Agile2021 attendees the opportunity to do a deeper dive into Agile coaching and to network with other coaches. This provides an additional type of learning experience that wonderfully complements the talks, panels, workshops, and other activities you expect at Agile2021. What isn’t changing is the overall mix of great content you can expect at Agile2021 — it will still be the “big tent” where Agile practitioners of all stripes can come together to learn from each other and have passionate debates about different approaches.

Agile organizations value collaboration, adaptation, interactions between people, and delivery. I believe this unique global partnership demonstrates what it means to work together to solve problems and find new ways to serve the Agile community, including Agile Alliance members, Scrum Alliance members, and Agile practitioners everywhere. We are also exploring how we might work together for future events to better support agile practitioners around the world.

Keynote Sessions

In other news…while we’re still nailing down the details, I’m really excited to let you know that one of the Agile2021 keynote sessions will feature a conversation between Alistair Cockburn, Gabrielle Benefield, and Jutta Eckstein about sustainable disruption. Each of these luminaries has been a leader in Agile since before we called it Agile, and together they will explore how we can use Agile approaches to nudge the post-pandemic world into a better place.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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Ellen Grove

Ellen Grove

Ellen Grove is the Interim Managing Director of Agile Alliance. Based in Ottawa, Canada, Ellen has been working in software development for over 20 years, moving from software testing to user-centered design to managing development teams to Agile coaching and training. Ellen is an Agile Coach, trainer and facilitator who works with organizations of all sizes - from startups to multinationals - to help them find more effective ways of working based on Lean and…

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