Wave making – gently creating radical change

Position Paper

A Position Paper…

…is a plain text response to the following questions:

  1. What’s your experience coaching teams toward being Agile?
  2. What do you plan to learn / explore at this conference?
  3. How do you plan to contribute?

…is your Price-of-Admission:

We are looking for passionate and responsible individuals – XP Coaches, Scrum Masters, Trainers, Change Agents, Product Owners, Managers and Mentors. If you are actively engaged in helping a team or organization adopt Lean or Agile software development, or in helping an established team sustain their continuous improvement, please do come! The cost of admission is merely this: your position paper.

Enter your brief position paper when you register on Eventbrite, to complete your registration. Registrations without PositionPaper are incomplete.

Still want to know more?

Your position paper must include at least one Potential Topic you might be interested in hosting as a discussion session. You don’t have to be an expert in the topic, in fact you might not even have a clue about this topic, but you are interested in posing it as a question, exploring it. Questions make great session topics. When others see what we are interested in, it could help them decide whether to attend this event or not.

Please note that these are potential topics, not final. If you want to start your conversation early, you can do so here on the conference wiki, but the final conference agenda will be made up of “whatever happens” at the start of the conference, when we collaborate to create an agenda.

The conference will be low-cost. Your Position Paper (and, following that, your time, energy and passion) is the real investment you are making.

Rationale for requesting position papers

What we’ve seen at various leading conferences like OOPSLA, AWTA (Austin Workshop on Test Automation), AAFTTVW (Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tool Visioning Workshop), SDTConf (Simple Design and Testing Conference), etc is that having people write a position paper before coming to a conference leads to better discussion because people have thought about what they want from the conference. You don’t spend half the time figuring out what you want to figure out.

Position papers are rarely rejected. If we are not happy with the position paper, we might ask the participant specific questions to help them come up with a better position paper.

At the 2007 Simple Design and Testing Conference, organizers introduced similar position papers. The feedback from the participants was that it was a great idea and it really helped them come more prepared to the conference. Out of 82 position papers, they sadly had to reject 8 position papers (after giving them enough feedback and time). Basically they worked very well for us and we would like to continue using the same technique till we discover a better one.

A Position Paper is an excellent springboard for a Lightning Talk, if we end up holding such an event at the conference, though you may choose to talk about something entirely different, too. See Lightning Talks for a list of ways to approach.

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