I was fortunate last year to have several talks selected for the Agile 2008 conference in Toronto, one for the Agile Development Practices in Orlando, as well as a talk on Agile Certification at the Agile Business Conference in London. The problem was that all this was brand new content… none of the decks were ready made. That meant that in addition to normal client travel, I was traveling internationally for all these conferences, trying to keep up with my blogging, and developing five different ninety minute Powerpoint presentations.
Those few months were pretty stressful and I felt like I spent all my free time creating Powerpoint slides.
One of my goals for 2009 was to get selected for four of the big major conferences, but this time around, get the same talk selected at all four. Furthermore, I wanted to do a talk that I already had prepared. I was pretty lucky to meet that goal and got selected to speak at the Better Software conference in Vegas, the Agile 2009 conference in Chicago, the PMI Global Congress in Orlando, and again in Orlando or Agile Development Practices. The one that got selected was my “Agile PMP: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks” presentation.
I have to say, this was clearly an example of ‘be careful what you ask for’. In addition to delivering that talk at the four conferences I mentioned, I did it for two VersionOne Agilepaloozas, an Atlanta PMI Lunch Meeting, an ASPE webinar, an IT&T SIG webinar… and most recently for the Agile Edmonton group in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As passionate as I am about delivering the Agile PMP message… it starts to feel like Groundhog Day saying those same things over and over. The cool thing is that the message resonates, it is something that people want to hear.
So… while I am not going to officially retire the talk… I have decided not to submit the talk to any of the big conferences next year. Next year I am going to focus on new content centered around value driven agile transformations. I’ve already got several decks together, one on ‘Adopting Agile in the Enterprise’ and another I call ‘Value over Velocity’. Both deal with the challenges that large organizations face adopting agile… especially the challenges staying value focused while they do it. The first talk centers mostly on organizational structure, the second on enterprise agile metrics.
Hopefully these messages will resonate with the conference organizers and I’ll be able to get some traction in 2010. I’ve already got the decks together so let me know if you’d like me to do a webinar for your team… I need the practice ;-) We might even be able to arrange a lunch and learn for your company or possibly a talk at your local agile user group. I’ve got both the decks up on Slideshare if you are interested in taking a look… http://www.slideshare.net/mcottmeyer.
And… if you are REALLY interested… I’d be happy to reprise the Agile PMP talk ;-)