Scrum Gathering New Orleans Highlights

Photo by Scrum Alliance

Photo by Scrum Alliance

Last week I attended the Scrum Gathering in New Orleans, and I wanted to share some of unexpected yet wonderful experiences from the conference:

1. Cherie and I presented Beyond Removing Impediments: Scrum Master as Team Coach!  We were originally selected as alternates, and a peer told me to always says yes to being an alternate because there’s a high chance someone will cancel.  He was right.  We found out the Friday before the conference, and I was out of town for another meeting, so the morning of our presentation, I was at Kinko’s printing handouts.  Cherie and I changed how we did the presentation, and the overall energy flow felt much better.  Every time we talk about this topic, I discover new points to share.

Blue Tape to the Rescue!

Blue Tape to the Rescue!

2. I am a bit of a foodie, so I was quite happy to explore New Orleans cuisine.  Ty and I had beignets at Café du Monde followed by a late dinner at Luke [one of John Besh’s restaurants].  Luke was incredible, and we could see into the kitchen from our table—the chef was right behind my seat on the other side of some glass.  So cool.  Best of all, a number of us from the Dallas area had dinner together at Peche; the food was delicious, and the company was delightful.  It was really nice to hang out with folks in a different environment.

3. On the last day, I finally got to see how an Open Space is opened.  I had read about it before, and it was cool to see it in practice.  My flight home was in the early afternoon, so I didn’t have much chance to participate in the open space sessions that day.  But I did get to participate in one: we sat on the floor in the hallway because the other rooms were full, and we talked about professional coaching, certifications, and touched on hiring coaches.  Jake Calabrese and Stephen Starkey led the group, and I elaborated some of the points about CTI and the Co-Active model since I am currently taking that training.  I met Jake and Stephen at last year’s Scrum Gathering, and it was great to see them again; it is exciting to talk to other coaches about coaching and inspires new ideas.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.