Agile Denver’s volunteers have started putting together Mile High Agile 2017! This will be the 7th Mile High Agile conference, and we’re working to ensure it will be another valued and successful one for the Front Range Community.
Here, you should be able to find all the information you’ll need to submit your proposal. However, if you have any questions regarding speaker proposal submissions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our volunteers coordinating this effort will reply as soon as possible.
Interested Presenters: if you are interested in presenting at MHA2017, which occurs on May 22-23, 2017, please submit your proposal via this Speaker Submission Form link. (That’s right, 2-days this year; 1st day focuses on presentations, and 2nd day focuses on Open Space sessions that build on previous day’s presentations, discussions, learning, and connections made with others.)
Submitting and Editing your proposal – after you submit your proposal, you’ll see a screen appear thanking you for submitting, and there will be an automated confirmation email sent to you acknowledging your submission (note: this email will not include any URL for editing your submission; for editing please read on). On this screen you will also see two links. If you click on the “Edit your response” link and save the url to the page it takes you to, you can use that url to come back later and tweak your proposal if needed, up until we close submissions. If you did not save this link, please contact email@example.com, and we’ll provide you the appropirate url.
Submission Closing: any submission timestamped after January 31, 2017 (11:59 pm mountain time) will not be considered.
Mile High Agile 2017 Track:
Listed below are the tracks that have been selected for Mile High Agile 2017. Please note, however, the descriptions will undergo a few more “just-in-time” tweaks as we continue to refine them just a bit more over the next few weeks based on feedback from potential attendees and the speakers.
I) Leading Enterprise Transformation
Enterprise transformations involve hundreds to thousands of people, and therefore require strong leadership and coordination. We recognize that these companies face different challenges and impediments than Agile adoption at the team level. Agile challenges us to imagine new and inclusive leadership models that engage teams, programs, leaders, and peers laterally throughout the organization. Agile disrupts traditional patterns of hierarchy and title and asks leaders to lead through service, to lead by influencing, to step up when needed, and to create opportunities for others.
The track will feature a broad range of perspectives from across industries and environments, describing the initial, evolving, and long-term challenges of leading enterprise transformations.
II) Organization, Culture, and Collaboration
Organization Design focuses on the system, including the group and the whole organization, and the business processes, for example, how work flows in order to create some kind of product, service or deliverable outcome. Organization Design encompasses both traditional hierarchical organizations and alternative designs, including networked organizations, Holacracy, self-management, Sociacracy, Teal Organizations, Molecular Structures, Liquid Organizations, cooperatives, worker self-directed enterprises, democratic workplaces, and much more.
Organization Development focuses primarily on the individual and the group, and secondarily on the human processes, including conflict, decision making, interpersonal change, and change management. Organization Development addresses the processes that enable people to experience satisfaction and joy at work.
While the goal of Organization Development is high member satisfaction, the desired outcome of Organization Design is effective organizations that are sustainable. They are fundamentally different but both are needed.
The work of Organization Design and Development yields culture. Depending on their evolutionary stage, organizations will exhibit cultures somewhere between prosperity, engagement, inclusion, and self-direction, at one end, and “business-as-usual” disengagement, alienation, and exploitation, on the other end.
The degree to which the members of the organization develop transforming and consciousness raising skills influences how human and sustainable a culture is. Raising consciousness is a not a linear experience. Every new situation provides a chance to grow the agility and intelligence of the organization. Releasing the untapped intrinsic multiple intelligences of the enterprise and its members enables all members to overcome any challenge, whether personal, professional, societal or global.
Collaborative Design is about team members working together in complex environments to produce the best product or outcome in the shortest time possible. Collaborative design enables innovation and creativity, and it accelerates the delivery of solutions that truly meet human needs in creative ways.
Applying the principles of collaborative design, not only at the product development level but throughout the organization, between organizations, and globally, yields profound benefits. Collaborating across boundaries de-concentrates decision-making authority and reduces power distances. Collaborating and teaming across boundaries, whether they be hierarchical, functional, or extra-organizational, increases trust and psychological safety in the organization. Thus trust and collaboration increase in organizations which cultivate networks and rather than hierarchies.
In every context, the periodic execution of controlled mini-experiments maximizes learning opportunities. Exercising regular experimentation widely results not only in learning teams, but also learning organizations and learning communities, both locally and globally.
Learning organizations are agile. Agile organizations are safe. And unsafe organizations cannot learn. Learning organizations support a culture which accepts failures without judgement and mines them for lessons learned. In such organizations transparency, visibility, and vulnerability become strengths.
III) Product Ownership
Possible topics could include: Prioritization, Value, Agile Product Development, design thinking, demos and brain science, customer collaboration, impact mapping, personas tied to stakeholder management, value mapping, uncovering hidden users, delighting customers, personas, product vision. This Track focuses on how we connect with customers throughout product life cycles from defining early stage MVPs to delivering ongoing improvements in our products. A feature that ultimately we think is cool and fancy does not mean much unless it appeals to people who can understand it and use it in a way that provides value.
IV) Agile Fundamentals (Agile 101)
The Agile Fundamentals track addresses the first and foundational principles of working inspired by Agile ideas. This track provides insights into essential Agile concepts and practices. Especially for those new to Agile, these sessions focus on core practices and insights from experienced practitioners.
V) Agile beyond Software
Improving speed to market, quality, feedback loops, and experimenting, are not software or even technology specific goals, but agile is designed to target them. Non-technical teams, and companies, where technology is not a focus, are looking to agile to attain these business goals. Although agile has its roots in lean, these applications are more agile than lean. This is more than visualizing work with Kanban.
Agile is NOT just for software teams! It is for all teams – executive, marketing, sales, HR, etc. All teams can benefit from agile principles to improve speed to market, increase team engagement & communication, understand team throughput, learn how to experiment, understand how the software team is working and work together as a team using the same personal operating system. Hear from experienced practitioners and visionaries who are applying agile in non-technical environments.
What we are seeking:
We are planning on delivering a compelling and engaging conference for MHA 17. Therefore, the more your ideas, talk, and submittal meet the following criteria, the more likely your name will bubble to the top of the list.
We are seeking presentations that are:
- simple and clear
- authentic and true
- original (possibly avant-garde, counterintuitive, controversial)
- entertaining (better yet funny)
- experience-based (as opposed to theoretical)*
*If you are a consultant and you worked together with an organization, your talk will be valued more if you feature people from the client organization to speak with you on a panel.
What you will need to submit:
- An email address where you can be reached
- A biography of up to 500 characters.
- A title for your presentation of up to 100 characters
- A summary of your talk for the conference program (750 character maximum). The selection committee may email you for clarification or expansion on points made here.
- The suggested agile expertise for your audience: novice, intermediate, advanced, or all levels.
- The track that you feel your talk best fits. The selection committee may also suggest a different track after reviewing your submission and others.
- Information on whether this talk has been presented before. Agile Denver encourages people who have not spoken at a conference before to approach us beforehand. We also have monthly meeting speaking opportunities that are less imposing.
- Last, we offer the opportunity to add keywords or tags for your talk
Other Key dates related to submissions:
- Proposal Selection – will be completed by 2/21/17, and then notifications will be sent via email to submitters of selected proposals.
- Confirmation of Acceptance to Present – Submitters of selected proposals must confirm acceptance via email within 14 days from date notification email was sent. Confirmations not received by end of this date (MST) will be considered “forfeited” and the speaking slot will be offered to a selected alternate.
Selected Speaker Value Proposition:
- The opportunity to speak and present to the Denver Agile community (amazing value)!
- Complementary entry to the conference.
- Invitation to the Speaker’s Dinner the night before the conference (a great opportunity to meet other speakers and some of the Agile Denver board memers).
- Travel Stipend – for selected speakers traveling 200+ miles there is a small stipend available (1 stipend max / session).
Additional notes to consider:
- There will be 25 speaking sessions, all 50 minutes in length (session lengths may be tweaked a bit as we nail down the schedule).
- Submit Early! Submitting early allows selection committee members an opportunity to review your submission earlier, and if there are any questions there will be time to reach out to you. As we get closer to the submission deadline, this gets difficult to do. And in cases where the selection committee members are considering nearly equal submissions, preference will be given to an earlier submission. We encourage you to submit early as possible, and then edit if necessary!
- In previous years, high level sponsors were provided a speaking spot as part of their sponsorship package. This year, all talks will go through the same peer review and vetting process. Expect more competition this year than in previous years; many of our sponsors are expert agilists themselves!
- Talks can involve more than one speaker. If you plan on more than 2 speakers total, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to discuss.
- Talks that involve an active learning like a teaching exercise tend to be rated higher than pure lectures.
- When preparing your proposals, keep in mind that historically over 80% of our attendees are repeat visitors to this conference.
- As per the MHA Conference Goals, we encourage you to consider submitting a proposal in particular if:
- it reflects your actual experiences related to the above listed themes (ex. identified problem, analysis performed, proposed and selected solutions, and outcomes, learnings).
- you’ve presented this material before, even if only within your organization or at a smaller venue like a local user group, and feel confident and comfortable presenting it again but now to a broader community in a larger setting.
Note: there are many in the local Agile Denver community who have presented at an Agile Denver monthly meeting or previous MHA conferences, or at other user groups and conferences around the country. If you’re a bit inexperienced or unsure, we encourage you to leverage your networks and reach out to these connections, and seek a little mentoring and assistance, to help you with putting a little more polish to your proposal and presentation. This is an important part of the purpose behind MHA, and when it comes to presenting, a little iterative improvement and a little feedback goes a long way. We also encourage you to leverage the opportunity to present at an upcoming Agile Denver monthly meeting or at one of the associated SIGs (see Agile Denver Meetup About page), another great way to tune up a presentation.