Pecha Kucha “My Agile Suitcase” at Agile 2011

Last week at the Agile 2011 in Salt Lake City, Martin Heider and I hosted another session in the Pecha Kucha format. After WJAX 2009 and 2010 in Munich and XP Conference 2010 in Trondheim, this was the fourth event of that kind.

This session was half a workshop and half a session format in Pecha Kucha style. Martin and I alternated between those two formats: a Pecha Kucha (audience is in record mode), then a few minutes interaction (audience is in play mode), then again a Pecha Kucha, then interaction, and so on. 90 minutes can be very quick.

A Pecha Kucha is a special kind of presentation. A speaker’s presentation consists of 20 slides. Each slide will be shown for exactly 20 seconds, so that the presentation ends after 6’40 minutes (20 slides à 20 seconds). The speakers can order their pictures before the presentation in whatever order they want, but they can’t change the sequence during the presentation.

The story for the workshop goes like this: A coach on an island (called Waterfall Island) once was in trouble. He called his friend on Agile Island, and his friend sends an armada of experienced coaches for help. Each of the coaches has an Agile suitcase full of precious methods and tools with what a coach needs to do what a coach has to do.

Martin and I told this story – of course – in a Pecha Kucha style. Here are the pictures:

We were honored that we had again a few experienced coaches in that armada and in Salt Lake City. They shared their secrets inside their Agile suitcases. Here they are with their marvelous pictures (hint: view them in fullscreen mode!).

Portia Tung was the first on the stage. She carried the audience away with her passionate speech. Her theme was “Agile is a party!”, and so she did. 

Ole Jepsen just entered the stage afterwards, and he rocked the house with his awesome mix of great pictures, music, and he even worked a horn into his performance. His message was “Create Ownership”.


Lyssa Adkins was next, and she did a rousing speech about a whole umbrella of things in her Agile Suitcase – hence the picture No. 14! (I don’t want to add too much information here, cause she told me that she tries to record her speech along with the pictures for a video she wants to share soon.)


Krishan Mathis was a good counterpart for his louder predecessors. With his calm voice he shared his treasure, consisting of

  • Ask the team
  • Inspect and adapt
  • Deliver every 30 days
  • Treat people as adults

Ola Ellnestam formed the armada’s rear light, but his light glowed very strong, since his 6’40 min were all about powerfull questions. I really liked his selfmade fotos, which gave the whole presentation a nice consistency.

The audience was fabulous! Between the presentation they formed their own Agile suitcase in  a workshop format. They did it in iterations:

  1. Iteration: A pair (two people) formed a group. The group’s exercise was to come up with 5 items (no less, no more) they would put into their own Agile suitcase. What’s important for them regarding Agile? What are their most valuable tools, methods, things, whatever?
  2. Iteration: Two pairs (four people) formed a group. The group’s exercise was that one pair should show their 5 items to the other pair and vice versa, and after that to eliminate 5 items, so that again the group would come up with five of their most valuable suitcase items.
  3. Iteration: Two groups of four (8 people) formed a group. Same exercise as in iteration 2.

Between the last two Pecha Kuchas, each group of 8 was asked to come on stage to present their Agile Suitcase to the whole audience. Here are the results.

Workshop’s results: Agile suitcases from the audience

Afterwards we did a big group photo with speakers, audience and hosts.

Group photo of speakers, audience and hosts of “My Agile Suitcase”

What a great session that was! Thanks everybody for attending, participating and energizing this session!

P.S.: The feedback from the audience’s feedback forms of that session was awesome. Almost every attendee gave us best marks. Thanks again!

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About Bernd Schiffer

Bernd Schiffer is consultant, trainer and coach for Agile Software Development in Melbourne, Australia. Learn more about him on his personal homepage, have a look at his company Bold Mover, or contact him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, XING or LinkedIn.

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