Back from the Scrum Gathering Paris 2013

Scrum in Paris - Keep on MovingA quick retrospective of my Global Scrum Gathering Paris 2013

What Went Well

  • The opening keynote "Culture > Process" by Henrik Kniberg. This journey throughout Spotify culture was inspiring. From now on, it will be difficult for me to think about organizations without referring to squads, tribes or guilds. The slides of the session are available here. And for those who could not attend, you still can read Markus Gärtner blog.
  • Following the keynote, I attended "Removing cultural barriers in an Agile Team" by Luis Castro: a good introduction to indexes in Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory.
  • The "Training from the back of the room" workshop by Jef Cumps and Kris Phillipaerts had the highest pace I ever experienced. Working in small groups, we had to create a training sequence meant to learn one of the Cs (Connect-Concepts-Concrete Practice-Conclude) to the other attendees. Our group was working on "Concrete Practice". Of course, we had to use the 4 Cs to create this training. At some point, there was this strange feeling of being like Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception with everything looping over itself, except that, in this case, time was not slowing down at deeper levels. Being surrounded by seasoned trainers flying at 10 ideas per second did not help me :) Nevertheless, this was a good experience. I might not put Sharon Bowman's book on the top of my reading list but I grabbed some ideas on how to improve the Soft(ware)Ball sessions to come.
  • The Tuesday keynote "Open Agile Adoption" by Dan Mezick brought interesting ideas about going agile by changing an organization culture. More details on
  • An agile event without legos is not really an agile event. I did not miss the opportunity to discover a new game: "Whole-Team Dynamic Organizational Modeling" by Raj Mudhar and Catherine Louis. Basically, you use legos to represent the structure and interactions within an organization. This game is still in its infancy but it shows, I think, good potential to involve people in designing their own organisation and let ideas emerge.
  • My favorite session of the gathering was "The Agile Girl Scouts" by Karen and Dave Prior. It certainly will not change my daily life at work but it was the most entertaining and the most mind-boggling when you think about agile in a broader perspective (and we also had cookies). Every people should think about the simple idea that agile is natural and that waterfall processes are instilled at some point in life.
  • My Soft(ware)Ball session was ok. The audience could have been larger but the ones that were present and active enjoyed the game. The feedback trend is that there's something new and fresh in this game but it has to be improved.

What Went Wrong

  • The welcome reception is a challenge when you are not familiar with this kind of event. I got the feeling of attending someone else family meeting where every people knew each other...
  • Number of hearts for target audience was mostly a joke. I attended two lame "3 hearts"(=expert) session. The one on automated testing was so painful that I had to leave during the session. I would be ashamed to present such a poor content at a local group meeting - and here it was in front of an international audience.
  • Most of the open space topics did not strike me. I expected something spicier.
  • Theoritically, the hotel was a 4-star. In practice, I already had a better experience in a 2-star hotel, even in Paris.


  • Given "100% predictability = 0% innovation", how much predictability do we really need?
  • Is there a good way to define a target audience for session?
  • Is "Screw the rules" a rule to follow?
  • How are we, as kids, teenagers or young adults, drawn to waterfall? Is it the educational system or the work place ?

Lessons Learnt


To all the people I met from so many different countries.
New Orleans 2014 is not an option for me but I have to think about Berlin...