This year, Isos Technology was honored to be a platinum sponsor of Agile Arizona. Agile Arizona is the Southwest’s regional conference for Scum & Agile practitioners, coaches, trainers and enthusiasts. You probably noticed the logo of Agile Arizona is the Desert Jack Rabbit (AKA Hare) native to Arizona. Why do you think this is the logo?

Well desert jack rabbits rely on their exceptional speed and great leaping to evade predators. So it makes sense that this desert-dwelling mammal would be used as a symbol of agility. If you look up the word Agile, you’ll find:

ag·ile

adjective

able to move quickly and easily.

relating to or denoting a method of project management, used especially for software development, that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.

Source: Dictionary.com

Today, conferences like Agile Arizona with missions dedicated to furthering Agile principles and providing a venue for people and ideas to flourish are popping up everywhere. Did you know it wasn’t until the 1990s that methodologies emphasizing close collaboration between teams began to gain increasing public attention?

In 2001, seventeen independent-minded software development practitioners gathered in Snowbird Utah to discuss the term “Agile.” These practitioners realized that it was important to have close collaboration between the development team and business stakeholders to successfully run a business.

While there was a lot of disagreement, through this gathering emerged the Agile Manifesto. The four key values were:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

From these core values, several Agile Methodologies have emerged including Scrum, Unified process, dynamic systems development method, crystal clear, extreme programming, adaptive software development and feature-driven development.

This year, Agile Arizona had over 25 sessions daily that focused on using Agile to enable organizations to master continuous change in the customer driven marketplace that we live in.

Presentations focused on the benefit behind Agile to uncover ways that everyone can work together to overcome challenges. The adoption of Agile has led to success rates in software development, added quality and speed to the market and boosted moral, motivation and productivity of IT teams. Companies all around the globe are benefiting from the Agile approach. While tools are important, people are more important. The process is made by people with feelings, bodies, and thoughts.

An Agile organization understands that it is in a constant race to exploit new opportunities and add value and purpose. Forget about the traditional business model… Agile recognizes that a certain amount of autonomy must be given and encouraged to promote invocation and add value. Rather than relying on top-down directives, open interactive conversations are far more valuable.

A big part of Agile is to dive in. It’s about doing as opposed to being paralyzed by over-planning. At Isos Technology, employees are encouraged to focus on the company culture and mindsets when going about a project. We rise by lifting others.

Two of our Atlassian experts presented this year at Agile. Bob Wen presented on Common SAFe Pitfalls and How To Recover from Them.

“Agile is about getting value in the customer’s hands faster. By showing tangible, discrete items of value on a regular basis to the customer, the customer and the team discovers what works and more importantly, what doesn’t work.”

-Bob Wen

Larry Cummings, a perennial favorite at Agile Arizona,  presented on Practical Steps to Ensure a Successful Agile Transformation.

All in all, the Agile mindset believes that we are “ALL” a work in progress. Sometimes we fail… and sometimes we fail again. However we continue to improve. We use retrospectives to learn about what could have gone better and pat ourselves on the back for what did go well. Agile never gets stale because those who adopt it are fueled and crave for more.

Agile Arizona this year was full of insight, inspiration and networking. Check out some of the highlights below. Did I mention the image of Mary actually won the photo contest?

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