LeanAgileExchange 2021 Conference Report
I’m concerned. I’ve been thinking that folks seem less engaged with my blog, Slack workspace, etc.
But the past two days have caused my to rethink somewhat. It’s been the 2021 edition of the LeanAgileExchange conference (virtual). And I’ve been seeing the same lack of engagement there as elsewhere.
Seems like indifference and lack of engagement is a more or less ubiquitous phenomenon, presently.
Overall, I found the event rather, umm, flat. Which is to say, lacking in excitement, a sense of occasion, buzz.
I guess it’s really hard to translate a successful IRL format into the virtual space. Or so it seems.
Not that everyone, especially the organising team, seemed to be doing other than their very level best. Everyone I “met” was keen, courteous, helpful, pleasant and diligent.
With three tracks (I loathe multi-track conferences, whether IRL or virtual, BTW) over two days, we had some 28 sessions to choose from. I did my usual “butterfly” thing, and frequently exercised the Law of Two Feet.
Aside: I tend to treat all conferences as OpenSpace events, whether formally governed by the Four Rules, the One Law and the Two Insects of OpenSpace, or not, whether IRL or virtual.
The sessions I stuck with were few, but I did much enjoy a couple:
- Technical debt isn’t technical ~ Einar W. Høst
- Inclusive agile – smashing the silos ~ Caroline McDowall (M&G case study)
Most sessions were recorded (although not publicly available), and I have yet to catch up with a few I missed on the day.
Although supported by Slack, I missed the hallways and lounges of IRL conferences. I generally spend little time in sessions, much preferring to hang out in the interstitial spaces for pleasant and interesting conversations. I find Slack to be a very poor substitute, more useful as an intercom or public address system.
I feel driven to briefly mention my session – “CultureShift through memeology”. The three-track setup meant that few attended (some 20 people, IIRC, the conference hosting, I guess, some 200 attendees, all told).
And aside from two most welcome Q&A questions and a smattering of chat, zero feedback (so far). Aside from using the session as a mini book launch for “Memeology”, my key message was (as ever):
“Organisational Psychotherapy proposes a sea change for the software Industry, and for business generally. Away from methods, processes, practices and tools, and towards people.”
I truly wonder how many folks are even interested in a sea change, let alone feel the need for one. This session failed to answer that question.
As this was a ticketed (paid-for) event, I wonder how many people felt they received value for their money? Personally, as a speaker, my entry was complimentary (thanks! to the fine Software Acumen folks for that). Even so, attending was hardly (borderline) worth my time.