I’m heading off to the Agile 2007 conference in Washington DC next week so you can probably expect a short gap in postings here as I take in the sessions and events there. This year’s conference sold out early as it was capped at 1100 people due to venue capacity. Next year’s conference will be in Toronto and there has been a good dialogue on the Agile Alliance board recently regarding the objectives for the 2008 conference including optimal size and format.
An element I have suggested for inclusion is a stronger community involvement. On agile projects we let the users prioritize the requirements and I would like to see a similar approach used for Agile 2008. Agile Alliance members could be encouraged to suggest a conference theme and asked to vote on the splits for conference tracks (development, testing, project management, etc) as well as the formats (presentation, Open Space, workshops, etc).
The same could work for selecting presentations and papers too. Why not employ the Wisdom of Crowds and Participation of Crowds in choosing presentations also? Rather than having only a selection committee, give members the facility to vote for presentations using modern web 2.0 collaboration tools. Or if that is too radical and a selection committee is required to ensure a balanced mix of programs across the spectrum of agile methods, at least give 50% of the voting power to the agile community.
The tools to allow such mass collaboration are already available and being used by Amazon in UnSpun and Cambrian House in RobinHoodFund. I’m sure Agile 2007 will be a great conference and with more user participation, Agile 2008 can break new ground in user driven content.