Agile Tour 2009 retrospective

Agile Tour Besançon and Lille 2009

This year, I participated in two stops of the Agile Tour in France: Besançon and Lille.

In Besançon I presented the “Résoudre les Conflits sans Compromis“. In Lille I presented the “A l’aide! Mon processus m’étrangle“. The participants of the Conflict Resolution in Besançon did a session retrospective.

This is my conference retrospective

Bottleneck Game at Agile Tour LilleWhat Went Well

  • Both conferences were relatively small (fewer than 100 participants) with three tracks, so that it was possible to meet many of the participants and the audience sizes weren’t too large.
  • A mixture of foreign and local presenters. Although, in Lille the presenter from Toulouse was more foreign than the one from Belgium 🙂
  • Participants to both workshops happily played along and told me they had learned some useful techniques.
  • Going to lunch and dinner with local agilistas and hearing about their challenges and successes.
  • I’ll be back soon in Besançon.
  • I hope I’ll be back soon in Lille, and this time not just as a train stop between London and Brussels.
  • Participating in Christophe Thibaut’s well-rehearsed and interactive Haskell kata and going off the cliff with him as we “implemented just one more small feature” because we took too big a step and failed to really let the tests drive the code.
  • Participating in Olivier Albiez and André Dhondt’s Pomodoro simulation.
  • 15 participants for the Conflict Resolution session.
  • 8 participants for the Theory of Constraints session is just enough to run the simulation.

What Went Wrong

  • My French could be better. It’s sometimes hard to switch between Dutch, English and French from one day to the next. “Today is Friday, this must be France.” 🙂
  • Not being able to talk with all the participants I wanted to talk with.
  • Only 8 participants for the Bottleneck session.
  • Forgot to bring Belgian Chocolate to Besançon, so got lots of “What Went Wrong” feedback.
  • My eyes hurt during the Haskell kata session in Lille, probably because of the lighting in the low-ceilinged meeting room.


  • What’s the real state of agility in France? It seems that there’s less uptake than in the “Anglo-Saxon-oriented” countries (UK, the Flemish part of Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland). Why? Is the language a factor?
  • Where are the French-speaking Belgian Agilists hiding? I know only three, but there must be more.

Lessons Learnt

Merci aux organisateurs, orateurs et participants. Et, qui sait, à l’année prochaine?