Trip Report: Medellin Colombia and Agiles 2014

Trip Report: Medellin Colombia and Agiles 2014

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Last week I attended the Agiles Conference in Medellin Colombia. Velocity Partner’s latest office is also in Medellin, so I had the chance to hang out with some colleagues as well.

First let me tell you that this was my first trip to Medellin and Colombia. So I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised at the altitude, the lush greenery, the cosmopolitan nature of the city, and most pleasantly surprised by the people. They were warm, fun, bright, welcoming, energetic, and engaging.

I gave a 4-hour advanced agile practices workshop to our Velocity team on Wednesday evening. It was scheduled from 3-7pm. I was worried that it was too late, so I tried to let people “go home” early. To my delight, the team was incredibly passionate about the subject matter and enthusiastically hung on to 7pm.

I’m not sure there are that many teams in the US that would have done the same. Their questions were good and the collaboration was outstanding. It reminded me just how solid our Velocity teams are. This is a relatively new office for us (~ 1 year old) and I was really impressed with the quality of the teams we’ve built. Our clients are very lucky to have them.

What a conference! There were nearly 700 raging agilistas in attendance. The energy and enthusiasm was palpable. The conference ran from Thursday, October 23 – Saturday, October 25. The first two days were presentation focused and the third was Open Space.

I was fortunate enough to present my “Essential Maturity Patterns” series across two days. On Thursday, I presented – Essential Patterns of Mature Agile Teams and then on Friday – Essential Patterns of Mature Agile Leaders. Both sessions were packed. In fact, so packed that the temperature almost caused me to melt. But seriously, the audience was high-energy and engaged with my as we explored each topic.

First, I want to thank my Velocity Partners guide Juan Carlos Morales for making my stay so enjoyable. He went out of his way to make sure this gringo didn’t get lost.

Next I want to shout out to our entire Medellin Velocity team. They were incredible and I wish them all the best in their agile journeys.

I also want to thank the volunteer team that put on Agiles for inviting me to be a part of the action, with a special thank you to Lucho Salazar and Adrian Moya.

Finally, there was a wonderful young lady who captured some of the sessions graphically. I forget her name, but I believe she billed herself as a “graphics facilitator”. No matter what she called herself, she did an amazing job of capturing my Friday session. Here’s the picture that describes my talk – in Spanish of course.

I sincerely hope I get the chance to attend a future Agiles Conference. I think my KEY takeaway was that Agile is alive and well in Central and South America!

Here are links to my two presentations:

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

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