By Damon Poole
Atlassian clearly loves its customers. For a conference with over 1,800 attendees, Atlassian somehow managed to create the intimacy of a much smaller conference. There was a wealth of session content on a wide variety of topics including product keynotes and training, how-tos from practitioners, Agile, and my personal favorite, scaling in the Enterprise. In addition, the expo floor was jam-packed and the conference party was a blast.
I had one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a speaker. Ken Olofsen and his crew of reviewers reviewed the presentation twice and provided valuable feedback both times. They really cared about producing the highest value conference possible and I believe my presentation is much better as a result.
The topic of my presentation was “Enterprise Agility;” refactoring your Enterprise to create an ecosystem that maximizes the benefits of Agile. Enterprise Agility consists of a big-picture diagram; a ten page guide with team level, cross-team, and organizational practices; and an Agile Maturity Matrix which corresponds to the practices in the guide. The Agile Maturity Matrix assists teams and organizations in understanding where they currently are on their Agile journey, their goals, and their progress.
As a result of reviewing the presentation, one of the Atlassian reveiwers, Matt Schenck, decided to create a JIRA-compatible version of the Agile Maturity Matrix. The result is a CSV file that can be imported into JIRA and used to measure your Enterprise Agility via JIRA. He has recently posted “Agile maturity – How agile is your organization?” on Atlassian’s blog explaining how to do it.
Scaling Agile and JIRA in the Enterprise were a major theme of the Summit. There was a whole track entitled “Inside the Massive Team.” Interest in the topic was high. There were well over 200 people in attendance at my session and I heard that another session on Scaling Agile in the Enterprise also garnered similar interest.
After my session, a number of people approached me about using JIRA Agile for large-scale Agile projects. They wanted to know for instance if JIRA could be used in conjunction with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) or Enterprise Agility. While there is no out-of-the box template or configuration for that, the Atlassian tools are very configurable and people are definitely using JIRA Agile for large-scale Agile implementations.
Spending time on the expo floor was worth the trip in and of itself. I already knew there were lots of plug-ins for the Atlassian products, but touring the expo floor really brought home just how robust the Atlassian ecosystem really is.
One thing I would definitely do differently next time is to plan further in advance and stay at one of the conference hotels. Parking near the venue was next to impossible, but there were regular shuttles to and from the conference hotels.
This was my first time at the Atlassian Summit, and now I wish I had attended previous years. I had a rewarding experience and look forward to participating again next year. Many thanks to everyone at Atlassian for producing such an amazing and rewarding event.
Video of the session: Enterprise Agility .
Damon Poole is the chief Agilist for Eliassen Group
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