Three KNPeers at Agile Tours Nantes

Published on

Nov 26, 2013

We were so happy to meet again (after one year), Carol and Cécile from Nantes and Eve from Caen, at the Agile Tours Nantes event. We got our tickets as early birds, so we were just happy for the Agile Association that the event was sold out much before the 14th of November. 250 agilists or future agilists came together at the "Ecole Supérieur des Mines" and we had a great time! We dispatched though the program as good as we could, but for some workshops you had to run to have a place ;-) There were two general keynotes: the first one dealt with quitting traditional managing system and the second keynote presented the utility of serious and innovation games in the working life. Some impressions and feedback for the highlights of this Agile Tour day...


The Keynote by Alexandre Gérard from Chronoflex

Carol : Flat management is on all lips... The presentation from Alexandre Gérard is undoubtedly the future of all great companies and by far the best moment of this Agile Tour day. In sum, a great case study! My new guru praises listening of his team and the suppression of power signs. This implies : he no longer is the one that comes the earliest and leaves the latest, he has no "woow" office desk (in fact he has no desk at all), no close parking space assigned... He doesn't hire nor does he fire. So who does that?.... His staff! And ah yes, guess who took a sabbatical and travelled one whole year around the world with his family last year? His Greatness Alexandre Gérard himself... Whose job (yes he has one) is to remind his team the overall vision of the company. Hats off Sir! (by extension hats off to your own guru Jean-François Zobrist too) ;)

Eve: I agree a 100% with Carol and just want to add that it was a great lesson of how the agile philosophy can help a company to be again competitive on a fast changing market, the buzz word this year seems to be holacracy  :)

Cécile: Very interesting Keynote indeed, one of the most powerful moment of the day. How this CEO decided to change *completely* the way he manages his company is amazing. Share your vision with your employees, let them decide for themselves how to get there, don't put pressure on your middle management and relax, everyone's doing their job just fine.

Kanban or Scrum ?

Carol: I've sneaked around two other Kanban/Scrum conferences, one of which compares Kanban to Scrum. Why compare the incomparable?... So we agreed at last, Kanban is not a method for PM (no deadlines, no resources and no budget managements  dealt with) unlike Scrum!! Just a powerful complementary method.

Non violent communication on agile projects

Eve : At the same time I joined a workshop about non violent communication where we did role playing : A situation we already experienced where it came to a real conflict. Once played, the others could replace one of the actors to propose a better alternative to avoid the conflict and find a solution.

Transferred to agile project management, a CNV retrospective proposes to write down a timeline and indicate important events (a developer changed on the project, client changed... ), then below each team member draws a line with his happiness index, according to the timeline. We can see if an event was good for the team (and the project) or not. The team draws the value tree, the roots are the values and the apples their results. I found more information on slideshare (another workshop) by Patrice Boisieau (sorry it's in french)


Again Kanban

Carol: The other Kanban conference praises the horizontal management on your Kanban/Scrum boards. So I guess that's the way : all scrum tasks should be cut and evaluated to one same point or time value. One move of card from one column should bring the same movement to all active cards on the board. This implies that tasks should be thoroughly estimated.

This system is called "Système à flux tiré"; literally pull flow system; in other words, "Just in time" system ; whose advantages creates flexibility upon the ever-changing self-defining IT specifications. For more information, you might consult Laurent Morrisseau.

Rock the product map

Eve: I joined Bertrand Dours workshop. I invited him last year to a conference and since, I am always happy to chat with him on agile events. His slides are very fashion and his speech always fun. This time, he played with us "Rock the product map". Our mission was to organize the revival of ... Pink Floyd. We worked on each step of agile project management (brainstorming, speed boat, buy a feature etc...)

Sketch your meetings

Carol : My next favorite stop was at Pierrick Thibault's (from Agile Garden) one-hour long workshop. In groups of 4 persons, we have to prepare a meeting within an association to plan a group travel to Spain for a flamenco contest. We have :

  • About 10 minutes to figure out with words what we really need at the end of the meeting (not the current meeting prep, but the meeting itself)
  • 10 minutes to lie down sketches to define the result
  • 15 minutes to sketch the story board and the associated result
  • 5 more minutes or so to present and/or visit the other groups' story boards.

In a few words, nice short pragmatic intervention can make you love meetings... how by making nice short pragmatic sketches within nice short pragmatic meetings' preparation. No more no less!!!

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Cécile: Interesting conferences about how agility was applied in 2 IT companies and what it changed for the employees, the clients, the results. All in all, a very good day!

Thanks to Agile Nantes members who organized the day! We'd love to come back next year! And thanks to Pierrick Thibault for his shots.

Written by

Eve Vinclair-Berkemeier
Eve Vinclair-Berkemeier

People Manager @ KNPLabs

Scrum Mistress - AFOL at home and at work :D Helping hand for client projects and internal organization of our teams at KNP.