Get on board with Agile2017

Added to People The Alliance

So you’re attending Agile2017, right? Did you realize this makes you a member of the Agile Alliance? You have joined the ranks of an active community and the Agile Alliance Board welcomes you!


I was curious about how people end up on the board, so I tracked down current board member Ellen Grove for a peek behind the scenes.

How did you get involved with the agile community?

I attended my first Agile meetup in Ottawa in 2006 when I was working on an enterprise dev team that was looking to become more deliberate about working in an agile way.  In 2008, serendipitously I was lucky enough to attend the very first Agile Coach Camp (which is where I decided I wanted to be an agile coach if I ever grew up), and then later that summer I was at Agile 2008 in Toronto, where I felt like a bit of an imposter amongst all the Seriously Agile People.  Shortly after that, I became a serial organizer of Agile events, starting with Agile Ottawa and Agile Coach Camp Canada and then as far afield as Agile India in 2014 and 2016. I’ve lost track of the number of Agile conferences I’ve attended hither and yon over the last few years – I really enjoy travelling to different countries and finding out what the similarities and differences are in how people are growing Agile practices around the world.  I will confess though that it did take me a few years to get back to attending Agile 20XX – my personal preference is to participate in more intimate and less structured events, but I’ve been enticed back as it’s the one place where Agile friends from all over the planet come together.  And now of course, I’m on the Agile Alliance board…

When did you join the board of the Agile Alliance? Why did that appeal to you?

It’s all Declan Whelan’s fault! Declan – who’s been on the board for 5 years now – is one of the friends I made at that very first Agile Coach Camp, and after an Agile event in Toronto he suggested to me that I might present myself as a candidate to the board.   I saw getting involved with the Agile Alliance as a great way to be able to influence the cultivation of a world-wide Agile community in a different way than organizing individual events.  One thing I’m really passionate about is figuring out how to help agile practitioners share experiences and learn from each other regardless of where they‘re based; the annual Agile Alliance conference is one way to make those connections, and I’d like to help the board figure out other ways to support shared learning between people who don’t make it to the big conference.

What are typical duties of a board member?

The Agile Alliance board is primarily a policy board, so it’s actually quite hands-off with respect to the organization of the annual conference beyond approving funds and providing some bits of guidance.  As a board member, I’m involved in defining the policies by which the Alliance operates, devising experiments for new events (such as deliver:Agile, the annual technical conference) and making decisions about which member-proposed initiatives to support.  I’d love to see us as a board spending more time approving initiatives: our members have fantastic ideas about how to best meet the needs of their local communities in a variety of ways and supporting initiatives (with funds as well as other resources)  is one way the Alliance can help build the Agile community all over the world.  So please send us more initiative ideas to consider!

Do you have board member duties at the conference?

There are a number of board things happening as part of the conference.  One of our four annual face-to-face board meetings happens in conjunction with the conference. We also meet with board members from the local affiliates Agile Alliance Brazil and Agile Alliance New Zealand to catch up with what’s going on in their areas.  At the Agile Alliance Members meeting on Wednesday evening, we’ll announce the new board members for 2018 and we’ll share info about some of the other things that the Alliance has been doing.  And I’m sure there’s a few receptions along the way.

What are you looking forward to most at Agile2017?

For me, the conference is really about having the opportunity to meet up with Agile friends from around the planet and catch up on what they’re excited about.  I’ll be presenting one workshop on Humble Inquiry with my friend Bruce from Scotland – we first presented it at Lean Agile Scotland last year with a much smaller group so scaling it up will be fun.  I’m hoping that I can get into at least one of the Audacious Salon sessions as they were always full last year when I tried.  I’m also going to be spending a lot of time hanging out in the Agile Alliance Lounge as there will definitely be interesting conversations happening there, particularly around Business Agiility, and Agile Therapy will be on offer for people looking for a little bit of advice.  And between all of that, I’m hoping to get enough sleep that I can still be taking new ideas in through the end of the week!


Interested in the future of the Agile Alliance Board? I thought so! As a member of Agile Alliance, you are asked to vote to support the slate of candidates proposed by the Nominations Committee of the Agile Alliance. Board terms are 3 years in length. New board members will serve a term from 2018 – 2021. Board service is voluntary and unpaid.

Voting will continue through Wednesday afternoon, August 9, 2017 – the day of the Annual Agile Alliance Member meeting – when the results will be announced. The meeting will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida, in the Grand Hall, Ballroom Level 1 during the Agile2017 conference, starting at 5:30 pm EDT.

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

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