2012 was a great year of learning, collaboration and fun at AgilePalooza.

We’ve crossed this great nation of ours, bringing stimulating talks on release planning, retrospectives, Lean thinking and more to project managers, developers, ScrumMasters and executives.

As we retrospect, here are the top 5 things we will remember from the year.

1. Open Space is a big hit.
Attendees were blown away by the stimulating conversations that grew organically from this format. We were encouraged to hear many ‘Open Space beginners’ say that this was the highlight of the event.

Diana Larsen, one of the 2012 Palooza speakers

Problems were shared, answers were recommended, discussions were spirited – all under the fun, lively, flexible umbrella of Open Space.

2. The basics are back.
But perhaps they never really left? Even the more experienced agilists found tremendous value from some of the beginner/basic presentations/workshops on the agenda.

Many agile veterans commented that the talks on ‘User Story Writing’ or ‘How to Start Release Planning’ gave them a fresh, actionable perspective to share with their teams.

3. Bring the whole team.
It was wonderful to see many managers bringing their entire team to AgilePaloozas. Teams of developers, project managers and ScrumMasters were frequent AgilePalooza attendees this past year.

With multiple tracks and simultaneous presentations happening, it became mandatory to divide and conquer to soak in all the learning that was happening at AgilePaloozas during 2012.

4. Everyone’s situation is different.
What fun would it be if everyone’s implementations of agile were identical?

It was cool to hear the interesting make-up of teams and the journeys being taken to adopt agile in organizations. Some teams are struggling to find the right ScrumMaster; some loved retrospectives. Other teams were having trouble connecting with remote workers.

We all have our unique and intriguing paths to agile transformation. Let’s keep an open mind and learn from one another.

5. Encore.
Attendees want us back this year. Our schedule for 2013 is filling up fast (D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Columbus, Austin), but keep an eye on AgilePalooza.com for exciting announcements.

We hope to be back to your market soon.

Do you have a suggestion for where to host an upcoming AgilePalooza? Email me at dan.naden@versionone.com.

2013 is here. I can’t wait to see where the community takes us.

Here’s to a great year with agile!

Dan Naden

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