Early registration for Agile Open 2006 ended on Friday. As usual when you set deadlines, a lot of registrations came in on the last day. Student Syndrome at work. Or is it the “Decide at the latest responsible moment” Lean principle at work?
We’ve now got 24 early registrations, that’s as many as the total number of participants last year. For the organizers, that means we’re in the “good scenario”.
Before every event, like the XP Days Benelux, we perform “scenario planning”. We explore different alternatives and decide what we would do in each scenario. We always have at least 3 different scenarios: “bad” , “normal” and “good”. As time goes by, we compare reality with our scenarios and see which one fits best. Of course, we adapt as new information emerges. We also keep a risk list, so that we know how to react when something bad happens. Both of these practices help us to organize an event without too much stress.
Why not try some scenario planning on your next project? Try to imagine a scenario where everything goes wrong; picture another scenario where everything goes well. How will you react when the different events happen? A scenario is not a prediction, a scenario helps you to recognize important events early and to be ready to react appropriately. Of course, you keep updating your scenarios and risk list as you get more information.
If you want to attend Agile Open, don’t wait too long to register, as there are only 16 places left.
p.s. What’s that “A princess arrives…” risk about? During the second XP Day, we heard the day before the conference that a Belgian princess would attend another event in the same location. Due to security reasons, we couldn’t have one of the rooms we had booked. Unfortunately, the replacement room we were offered, was quite far away from the other rooms. In the end things got resolved and we got all the rooms we had booked.Lesson learned: even if you do risk analysis beforehand, stuff will happen. From now on, the Princess is always on our risk list: both Belgium and The Netherlands have princesses. The Princess risk stands for any event where we can’t get the rooms we booked. We’re prepared for that. What new bad stuff will happen this year? Stay tuned…