It's Sunday evening and I just got back from the traditional welcome dinner for AYE 2008. It was great to see some old AYE friends and meet a couple of new ones as well. Some thoughts from the dinner and post-dinner conversations (which I want to just jot down here so I don't forget about them):
I heard the word "agile" from way more people than at past AYE conferences I've attended. There must be some sort of critical mass thing happening...
I heard some terms that I have to research in order to understand what some of the discussion was about: "the Nielsen problem", "Kano Analysis".
There was a post-dinner conversation about thinkers vs. doers. This was in the context of the differences between agile vs. planned methodologies.
In the context of customer feedback, I said something offhand that someone pointed out was actually something worth paying attention to. The point was about giving customers exactly what they asked for vs. thinking about why they were asking for what they were asking for and acting on that.
I heard a pretty inspirational discussion with someone who, 2 years ago at AYE, was talking about making big changes in his life and now has actually implemented some of those changes. Lesson for me: Question constraints.
Another point about agile: Agile is about driving the cost of failure down to the point where you are not afraid to experiment and learn. This applies to life as well..