I’m not a Bottleneck at Agile North

Agile NorthKevin Rutherford has invited Rob Westgeest and me to present our “I’m not a Bottleneck! I’m a free Man!” session at the Agile North conference. The conference is held on September 20th, 2006 at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

Are you local?

In his invitation, Kevin described the conference as “a local conference, for local people”. Accessibility is important. We can’t all afford the time and expense to go to international conferences in exotic places like Oulu or Minneapolis. Events like Agile North and the XP Days all around the world, bring agile conferences nearer to the people. These events are rooted in the local agile communities and feature local speakers as well as “the usual suspects”.

A Local shopPeople tend to buy from people like them. Business people will listen to consultanty types explaining the wondrous advantages of agility, but they won’t be convinced until their competitors start telling stories of their satisfied customers, increased cash flow and cost savings. Both types of speakers have their own type of credibility.

As the creepy shop owners in Royston Vasey say: “Are you local? We’re a local shop, for local people!

Talking of creepy (what’s with the ridiculous images that are totally beside the point?)… a certain “industry thought leader” is using some loaded questions in a questionnaire on his site to claim that “97% of all respondents indicated that the agile alliance needs to introduce new speakers at their conference instead of having the same speakers every single year“.

As I explained above, real life is a bit more complicated than this black and white statement. As conference organizers, we try everything we can to get new people to come and present their experiences. Real people, real companies, real problems, real stories how they applied agile techniques. Do non-agile conferences (say, those organized by analysts or on “enterprisey stuff”) have a better distribution between “incrowd” and “fresh people”?

Do members of the Agile Alliance really believe in Agile?” he wonders, because some agile bloggers don’t have trackbacks and/or comments. Subtle… Hey James, spamming your way into people’s blogs via trackbacks is not the way to start a great conversation. I allow trackbacks… when they add something to the conversation.

p.s. was that answer the only useful one out of that whole survey? What were the other results?