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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Introduction to David Hussman (The Dude) at the Agile Austin 2012 Conference

With apologies to the Cohen brothers, my modifications in italics.  

Way up North there was this fella I wanna tell ya about. Goes by the name of David Hussman. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. See, this Hussman, he called himself "The Dude". Now, "Dude" - there's a name no man would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense to some. And a lot about where he keynoted, likewise. But then again, maybe that's why I found the place so darned interestin'.

See, they call Austin the "Capitol of Live Music"; but I didn't find it to be that, exactly. But I'll allow it as there are some nice clubs there. 'Course I ain't never been to London, and I ain't never seen France. And I ain't never seen no queen in her damned undies, so the feller says. But I'll tell you what - after seeing Austin, and this here Agile Austin 2012 Conference about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin' every bit as stupefyin' as you'd seen in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin' like the good Lord gypped me.

Now this here Agile Austin Conference about to unfold took place in the early '10s - just about the time that agile adoption hit its stride, but people were starting to miss the point. I only mention it because sometimes there's a man... I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? Sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talkin' about the Dude here - the Dude from Minneapolis. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude. The Dude, from Minneapolis. And even if he's an agile man - and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the agilist in all of Minneapolis, which would place him high in the runnin' for agilst worldwide. Sometimes there's a man, sometimes, there's a man. Well, I lost my train of thought here. But... aw, hell. I've done introduced it enough.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 Agile Austin Conference: Keep Austin Agile - Enabling a Culture of Agility!

Note:  This will be in the Program Book for the 2012 Agile Austin Conference.  There are still two weeks to register for this valuable conference! 

You have made a choice in joining hundreds of others today who share a common purpose in helping to create, sustain, or promote a culture of agility.  Everyone has their own unique perspective on why being here was worth the investment of time and mind.  But there is one thing that unites every one of us here today--an incredible opportunity to interact, learn, and teach to make lasting positive changes within our organizations.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have culture be the focus of this event.  Lasting change that transcends charismatic leadership at the boardroom or grassroots level can only occur through a deep and fundamental cultural transformation of the entire organization.  This is not the responsibility of a committee, consultancy, or management team.  It is your responsibility to achieve the "art of the possible" within your organization to create a system that will deliver valuable software to your end users in a competitive marketplace while respecting the humanity of every individual involved in its creation.

This conference was brought about by a decentralized and self-selecting team of people who are passionate about changing the way that software is developed and the culture that sustains that development here in Austin, Texas.  There was no hierarchy of this all-volunteer effort, but there was a wealth of leadership that emerged from every member of the planning committee.  Team members selected work that accentuated their strengths and problems were continuously exposed, solved, and the knowledge in solving them was shared.  It was truly a model of an agile culture that I am proud to have been part of.  I would like to thank the team that made today possible, along with our partnering sponsors.  If you would like to be part of this effort, we would love to have you.  Feel free to make note of what you would change based on what you've learned today, and join us in shaping the next Agile Austin conference!

Please do not let the conversations and learning that start in the sessions end there.  Allow them to flourish in the hallways and resonate in your minds long after the day is over.  Bring them with you to work in your retrospectives and interactions with others in your organization.  Share the knowledge you've learned with others in our community through the various Agile Austin meetings, SIGs, book discussion groups, and workshops.  Extend your knowledge into other communities in Austin and then take back what you've learned and why it was important so that we may all benefit from and develop cultures of continuous improvement, learning, and agility!

Matt Roberts