May 10, 2012

Scrum Alliance Gathering Atlanta

I had the honor of speaking at the Scrum Alliance Gathering in Atlanta this week. Honestly, I was not sure how the Agile community would respond, fearing I would be presenting to an empty room. The session was very different from the others, where they were to deepened the Agile proactive, while, mine was why to be passionate about Agile and broaden Agile to transform the world. I was very surprised by the interest and buzz around the of using Agile for learning session! I was so excited to share what we are doing at Litchfield Elementary School District at the Cortes Sierra Elementary School, with the passion and leadership of an awesome teacher, Mrs. Kimberly Mills, the most charismatic and innovative Principals in history, Chris Barnes, and a class of 4th graders who have grown close to my heart and have grown so much this year. I did have some technical difficulties that prevented me from playing some of the videos, my computer experienced some corruption the night before. I apologize to the attendees they did not get to see everything. We performed a live video feed to the Mrs. Mills classroom doing Scrum to talk about how they love Scrum and to answer questions from the audience. This was a big hit, despite some of the issues from a bad network connection. The students were awesome and so was Mrs The audience burst out in applause on many occasions, especially when they saw the video of one the students state during a Sprint Review, "I think we overestimated". So many attendees approached me afterwards, stating how they left with goose bumps. Two people even told me tears came to their eyes (tears of joy I hope). The students and Mrs. Mills are an inspiration. They are what one would consider and average classroom in a Title 1 school. A "Title 1" school is a school the Department of Education has determined to a significant population "disadvantaged" students. Mrs. Mill class ranges from resource students (students with Special Needs) to gifted students, diverse races & backgrounds. The beauty is you can witness how these students work together so well and how the students self-organize the strengths and passions of each. I had little to do with, what I consider a big success, I owe it all to this ordinary classroom, with a teacher bold enough to listen to my crazy idea that Scrum would be wildfully successful for learning. A learning experience based on Scrum can and does transform an ordinary classroom into an extraordinary one. Perhaps, what it really does, is remove the impediments for the greatness already in each student and teacher that is suppressed by the usual classroom experience. I have some great lessons learned on presenting at a big conference, especially about relying on a conference's network. I was happy that people left being inspired. Agile can transform the world for a vibrant future. You can find my Prezi here .

Thank you for all the Agilists at the Scrum Alliance who inspire me to keep moving forwards.

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John Miller