So I’m at the Scrum Gathering in Stockholm right now.

Did my talk in the morning – it went reasonably well, did get some very good questions at the end. I think I could improve it now also after what I learned at another talk on the same subject. That talk itself wasn’t very inspiring but the discussion with other participants was very good and informative. Many companies now are thinking how to sell agile software development services, especially how to sway clients away from the fixed bid culture that is doing them no good. Another common problem is how to formulate “agile contracts” – that is contracts that are helping form this kind of relationship. I think we have pretty good standard agreement and model now, but I did pick up a few nice ideas from others that we could possibly use.

Jeff Sutherland had a very interesting lecture on “super-performing teams” that got me thinking seriously on how we could improve the way we measure our productivity. The thing he is saying – and many others have been for some time – that you can achieve more productivity while at the same time cutting the number of hours worked. Seems like impossibility, but from my own experience in agile I know this is true. I just wonder whether we did all we could in that area.

This was also my first time I could see Ken Schwaber in person. In the video from his talk at Google he comes across as a drill sergeant in civilian clothes – when you actually talk to the guy it turns out he is much nicer a person than that. Same with Jeff Sutherland, who also has this kind of military-“warrior”-like appearance – but at least Jeff was actually in the USAF once.

I’m overall positively surprised by the whole event, it will probably be much more valuable for me than Agile Development Practices was a year ago. I think I’ll seriously consider skipping this year edition of it.