ACE! Conference 2011 – A retrospection

ACE!Last week I attended the ACE! Conference in Krakow. The adjectives that come to my mind about this conference are awesome, fabulous and outstanding. It was also one of the best organized conferences ever. Kudos to Paul Klipp and his team.

The conference format

As every good agile team, Paul and his team collected  feedback from last year’s conference and made the 2011 edition even better. They decided to go for a one-track conference with open space sessions in the afternoon. And this was a great decision. Mike Sutton did a great job facilitating the open space and was able to energize the crowd to come up with nice topics. The open space enabled the speakers to run sessions based on their talks to discuss. Additionally the talks, except of the keynotes, were only 30 minutes long. Each presentation block consisted of 3 talks with no break in between. This gave the entire conference a great flow.

My favorite talks

Despite all of the talks were great, I still have some favorites. I really liked Pawel Lipinski’s talk about “Agile Metaphors” especially the one about the Montessori Kindergarten. Andrea Provaglio did a great job talking about “Overcoming Self-organization blocks”. He asked me to come on stage for a short role play, and I’m still trying to alter the color of my eyes from blue to brown ;). I also heard that he facilitated a great open space session. I also really liked Barry O’Reilly’s talk about “It’s all about the context”. He spoke me right from the heart It’s not Scrum, XP or Kanban that let you succeed, but the underlying principles. And last but not least the keynote by Jurgen Appelo. He added quotes of the other speakers into his slides and did a great job closing the conference. I highly recommend to take a look at the videos of the talks as soon as they are available.

My talk

I had a lot of fun slaying melons (Thanks to Marcin Floryan for the picture!). According to the tweets during my talk the audience did to. I talked about watermelon reporting and what you can do about it. You can read about the essence of my presentation here >> “Watermelon Reporting”. I really enjoyed to speak at the conference, and I’m looking forward to 2012.

Other resources

A lot of other people also blogged about this event. Here are the links:

* Marcin Floryan – ACE! – The right size conference
* Nick Oostvogels – ACE conference revisited
* Pawel Wrzeszcz – Agile Central Europe 2011 Impressions
* Pawel Brodzinski – ACE Conference 2011 – Summary

And here are also some nice pictures:

* Marcin Floryan – Agile CE Kraków