Shanghai Scrum Gathering 2010

Several members of our Hangzhou team attended the first official Scrum Alliance Gathering in China this past Monday and Tuesday. Two members of the team, myself and Abel Shen, a Sr. Engineer and fellow Multi Shoring blogger, were invited speakers to the event. Mary Jiang, another of our Multi Shoring bloggers and another colleague, Garriot Zhang, were volunteers who helped with various coordination activities during the conference.

Even before the Gathering formally started on Monday morning it already began to exceed expectations. The audience was initially anticipated to be below 250 participants, and arrangements for conference materials, seating, and meals were planned around this number. As we manned the registration desk it became clear that a lot more than 250 people had decided to join the event. Things started good and busy, and got better and busier from there.

After a brief kick off speech from Tom Mellor, the President and Chairman of the Board for the Scrum Alliance, one of China’s best known Certified Scrum Trainers (CST), Bas Vodde, presented a keynote on “Scrum Doesn’t Work in China”. Bas presented research he has been doing on the ability of different cultures to effectively adapt Agile concepts, practices, and principles. Not surprisingly Bas’ conclusion was that Scrum could indeed work in China. Of course that didn’t surprise us or any other members of the audience.

Following the initial keynote we went into breakout sessions with parallel presentations across a variety of Scrum related topics. Both my presentation on “Healthy Scrum – The Agile Heartbeat” and Abel’s presentation on “Scrum with Inexperienced Teams” took place during this initial breakout session. I’m sure both of these will become more detailed blog entries, so I won’t spend any more time on them here. In addition to Abel and my presentation Monica Yap presented “Product Owner Anti Patterns”. Another parallel session that had originally been planned, “Building a Great Team” by Mikeal Boman was replaced with an alternative session since Mikeal, along with several other Scrum proponents from Europe were unable to attend due to flight restrictions put in place as the cloud of volcanic ash from the eruption in Iceland made its way over Europe.

After lunch CST Kane Mar presented a keynote on “Scrum and XP: Myths, Truths and How to Do It”. After a short break the audience split into two large groups, one using the Open Space format to exchange ideas across a wide range of topics and another group participating in a Scrum Clinic, where individuals could consult with experienced Scrum practitioners to answer their specific questions. The conference day ended with a Social Evening Reception where discussions from Open Space and questions from the Scrum Clinic continued in small social groups.

Day 2 started with a panel discussion around a variety of topics. Panelists Mitch Lacey, Kane Mar, Tom Mellor, Bas Vodde, and Bjorn Jensen responded to prepared and ad-hoc questions about software engineering vs. software craftsmanship, Agile adoption, challenges in adopting Agile practices, etc. The panel discussion was followed by break-out sessions with topics from China’s only (current) CST, Lv Yi, presenting on “System Thinking in Large-Scale Scrum”, Julien Mazloum and David Du presented on “How to Maximize the Agility and Innovation Potential of Scrum Using Opportunity Engineering”, Steven Mak presented on “Driving Quality with TDD and Friends”, and ex-Perficienter and Certified Scrum Trainer Brad Swanson and Bjorn Jensen presented on “Agile Estimating 2.0”.

In the afternoon, CST Mitch Lacey presented on “Agile at Microsoft; Keys to Success”. The afternoon was followed with breakout sessions from Paul Culling on “Project Chartering: An Introduction”, Daniel Teng and Bill Li on “Scrum Beyond Software: Successfully Applying Agile Mindset and Techniques to Book Translation”, Daniel Gu presented on “Success with Agile Data Warehousing Teams at eBay”, and Xu Yi presented “I’ve Run Out of Silver Bullets — Now What?”.

After an afternoon coffee break an additional round of breakout sessions took place with the topics “Learning to Lead” presented by Brian Rabon, “Building Shared Leadership in Scrum Teams” presented by Sky Jin, “Release Your Daily Software Builds” by Dou Hanzhi, and “Successful Distributed Teams” presented by Monica Yap.

That brought us to the end of the conference with Tom doing a brief wrap-up.

It was an incredibility busy and informative two days. The two most difficult aspects of the conference were trying to decide which of multiple interesting break-out sessions to attend and trying to break out of impromptu question and answer or information sessions that started over lunch or during the breaks. As is common at such conferences some of the most interesting and informative exchange of information occurred outside of the formal agenda.

The Gathering was an overwhelming success. Besides attendance that exceeded expectations — demonstrating the increasing interest and awareness of Scrum and Agile in China — the various presentations, Open Space and Scrum Clinic all received very positive feedback from the attendees.

We ended the Gathering tired after two long days of sharing, but satisfied with what we had learned and excited about the prospects of both future Scrum Alliance Gatherings in China as well as our own Hangzhou Scrum Forum which we anticipate hosting again in the second half of 2010.

Thoughts on “Shanghai Scrum Gathering 2010”

  1. nice blog, it is really good gathering, and I got some ideas for your heartbeat presentation

  2. Pingback: Shanghai ScrumGathering 2010

  3. Vernon Stinebaker (Hangzhou, China) Post author

    Glad you enjoyed it Larry. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to describe my Agile Heartbeat presentation on this blog in the next day or two. I’m already behind my planned schedule in getting to it, but it’s coming to the top of my backlog soon.

  4. Pingback: I Ran Out of Silver Bullets, Now What? @ Shanghai Scrum Gathering | BE AGILE & LEAN

  5. Pingback: Shanghai ScrumGathering 2010 | Enjoy the life of coding

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Vernon Stinebaker

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