XP Days France 2009 – a retrospective

What went well

  • Running “Miroir, gentil miroir…” for the first time in French with about 45 eager and open-minded agilistas. A great way to open the conference.
  • Meeting and talking with participants about their struggles and successes trying to become more effective.
  • The wonderful location of “La Porte Jaune” and the opportunity to go out for a bit of rowing or running.
  • Running the BusinessValue Game in French with Portia and Laurent Morisseau. Watch out for BVG v2.0 soon with French and English cards.
  • Seeing Héloise, Caroline, Didier, Laurent and Olivier from Atos Worldline presenting the good and bad experiences when we introduced Agile in their teams. Loved the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairytale theme of the “Legacy People” session.
  • The retrospective cards and the game by the “Agile Alchimists“, Jacques and François.
  • The session cards we made to describe our games. We’ll publish them soon on the Agile Coach website.
  • Relaxing before and after the conference in Vincennes and the Champs Elysées.

What went wrong

  • Missing Dominc Williams’s presentation about “Le développement hédoniste”. I’d already seen the first part of this mixture of philosophy and agility at XP Days Switzerland and I want to know how it ends. Dominic, won’t you submit this session for XP Days Benelux?
  • Except for the large auditorium the rooms were too small for such a large number of people. Luckily, we could do part of our Mirror Mirror session outside and we got a part of the dinner space to run the Business Value Game.
  • Attending too few sessions to work on our own sessions.


  • What was the message of the keynote “La longue défaite…” ?
  • Second-hand conflicting message about Lean vs Agile.

Lessons Learnt

  • We need to explain more during our sessions, give more context.
  • We need to limit the number of players we accept in our sessions or find a way to scale the game to more players.


  • To Sara Lewis and Raphaël Pierquin for helping to translate ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… Why Me?’ en français
  • To Laurent Morriseau for helping to translate The Business Value Game en français
  • To the organisers for finding a great location, a smooth organisation and providing us with all we needed to run our sessions.
  • To the location staff for setting up the large room to play the Business Value Game in.

More feedback from participants and other bloggers on the Agile Coach site.