The intersection of technology and leadership

Agile 2009 – Day 4

In the morning I attended the Michael Spayd’sDeep Democracy: A Radical Approach to Hearing from Every Voice” session.

What did I learn?

  • Clarity is important in a workshop format – I didn’t come away with a clear understanding about what Deep Democracy was. Perhaps it was my misunderstanding of the workshop however the program talked about the explanation and the demonstration of Deep Democracy. If they were to run it again, I would suggest being clear about what defines Deep Democracy versus not. I would avoid trying to introduce too many concepts such as relationships coaching or systems coaching unless it was relevant. Learning too many things at the same time is just plain hard.
  • Energy is important to workshops – The room was really cold and I found my fingers tingling by the end of the session (I ran to grab a cup of tea just to warm my fingers). I think an interactive workshop could have helped here, or more energy in the room. To be fair, the room was excessively large for the number of people.
  • A new acronym! ORSC (Organisation and Relationship Systems Coaching) – A certification body that teaches some coaching techniques and styles focusing on a more wholistic point of view. Whilst I’m interested in what knowledge they have to offer, I’m turned off by the certification process.

After that session I ran my session, Climbing the Dreyfus Ladder of Agile Practices.

What did I learn?

  • Assistants setting up and cleaning up make a huge difference – Thanks to Andy Palmer, Jen Mozen and Alistair Jones for your help. Having some help helped me to settle my mind both before and after.
  • Innovation happens when you state outcome (what) without prescribing method (how) – I handed out some flipchart paper and some headings and what amazed me was three different ways of putting the headings on to the flip chart given only five groups of about 6 to 9 people. What amazed me was how all of them were still very effective (one emulated what I had demonstrated, one turned the flipchart on its side (landscape mode) to fit all the headings, and another came up with a ladder based approach with items floating on either side. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful work!
  • Using the Dreyfus Model to communicate with other coaches – I love using the model for coaching tools, yet it didn’t strike me to use it as a way of agreeing with other agile coaches, some of the behaviours that we would expect of people (although I haven’t really worked in a place where I’ve had more than myself to coach but I will definitely keep this in mind)
  • Print more compact headings – The headings I’d printed were a little bit too small to put on a flipchart in portrait mode. I’ll make more compact version so that it’s not too hard to put them as headings
  • Have bigger fonts on the slides – I wasn’t counting on being in such a large room and having the tables so far from the screen (not to mention a weird projector that stretched out the slides vertically). As such some of the slides were a little hard to see so I apologise to all the participants for that.

The only afternoon session I attended was a panel featuring my Continuous Integration luminaries, and facilitated by Tom Sulston titled, “How to be really awesome at Continuous Integration“. It was a great discussion about lots of tips for newbies to Continuous Integration and a great opportunity to ask for advice. I didn’t necessarily learn anything new yet it was nice to see some great passionate people discussing their thoughts about CI.


  1. Mark Needham

    Thanks for the Agile 2009 writeups Pat – it’s interesting reading about the sesssions from someone who was there. Good stuff.

  2. Patrick

    Thanks for showing your appreciation. I hope you did get something out of it.

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