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Lessons learned from Agile Portugal 2015

In the last week I attended to the Agile Portugal 2015, an amazing event that gathers the agile community. I had the opportunity to listen excellent speakers as:

The event was amazing, and I want to share with you the main lessons that I learned.

The importance of Visuals

Lachlan Heasman has made an amazing talk. He reinforces that the Visual Management is really important to succeed.
That thought made a lot of sense to me. Nowadays, we have a ton of excellent applications to do kanban boards and that's OK, especially if you have remote workers. But I believe that, if you have your team in a single place you should have a physical kanban board. Why? Because your team will look into it every day... every single day. Even if they don't want, they will! You will see that your team will be positively influenced, building a culture of transparency and trust.

Kanban style

User stories

Why we are writing User Stories in the form of "As a... I want to... so that..."? Will the customer realize the language? Or will they think that we are crazy nerds? As the wikipedia (that eternal font of true) refers, an "user story is a description consisting of one or more sentences in the everyday or business language of the end user or user of a system". Have you ever listened a business person talking like that?

Carlton Nettleton, presented a simpler and much objective way to write user stories. How? Answering the following questions: Who? What? And Why? I'm a fan of the Six W's method to describe and understand complex problems, and Carlton made me correlate that with user stories.

The true essence of agile

The industry sells us the idea that Agile (or Scrum), is a magic formula that we should apply to have good results. You just need to have some meetings, do sprints of "X" weeks and you will be fine. That's not true.

Companies are made from people, so they are different. Each one has a different culture and a different identity. This uniqueness will make them agile.

Agile, isn't a process, a system or a mathematical formula. Agile is a culture. It's different be agile than have a certificate that says that you are agile. The process is the less important part. You should have the focus on the outcome. Always think on where you want to go, not on what you need to do to go there.

Was an amazing day, with incredible people, in an awesome place. Hope to be there next year.