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Patrick Debois

Agile Consortium Benelux: my first impressions

On 27/02 the Agile Consortium Benelux held what they call a Knowledge-sharing meeting. This consortium is actually a resurrection of the former DSDM consortium and has been around for a while. The main difference between the existing Agile initiatives in the Benelux is that it does NOT target the usual Agile suspects such as the developers, tester or project manager but it goes for the Directors, Senior Executives and Programme Managers.
Target Audience:
When I first saw the program it felt like a more traditional approach that I'm used to dealing with Agile events. It somehow missed the humor, playfullness that i'm used to. I wondered if this would not just be an organisation making a select management club for a new hip brand called Agile. But during the meeting I adjusted my opinion: maybe this stiffness is a kind of requirement for getting more traditional management involved. After all you have to tune into your audience, and maybe I was not the targeted audience.
This year theme
This year they will focus on the theme "Time to Market:". Definitely something that Agile can be useful in and one of the worries of upper management. On march 25th there will be Agile Management Conference where they hope to get initial commitment of some of the bigger players on the market so that they can have a solid member base. They currently have around 70 members.
Unfortuneatly the person driving the workgroup (Patrick Verheij) was not there. So not much of details here. This is an important topic for everyone in the agile community. But it is not an easy task: how do you measure agility. We all laugh on the easy certificate for Certified Scrum Master. To be continued for sure, but I hope they open this process up to more people so that we as community can drive this evaluation so that we can rely on the certificate. Also if it becomes important that we can define what it takes.
Only Agile?
BecauseĀ  completely agile companies are rare, it will embrace different ideas from XP, Scrum, Lean, Atern, FDD, DSDMĀ  but also from other frameworks such as RUP, Itil, Cmmi. This makes sense as there is always an integration necessary: f.i. Scrum does not tell you much on the phase before your projects starts so RUP might tell you more on this.
European Agile Conference
There will be an European Agile Conference on June. There will be call for papers and this is also where the first certification will take place.
Putting BE in the Benelux
We need to get Belgian companies on board of this organisation so that we can have a good balance in this initiative. Eventually this might lead to a Belgian chapter. But first things first, if you are interested in this idea and have connections with Belgian Management interested in this idea, we'll be happy to help you with your pitchtalk. Sounds we need once again Selling Agile for Cx0!