XP Days Benelux 2015

XP Days Benelux 2015 took place 3rd & 4th of December at Elewijt Conference Center. The conference has a lot of history! XP Days has been running since 2003. XP Days brings together enthusiasts to share and learn about agile product-software development, lean thinking, eXtreme Programming, etc.

The XP Days 2015 edition has been great! We learned Italian on the tunes of “old Macdonald had a farm” and Japanese when watching Aikido and Danish when humming a beer song with Per Beining. The atmosphere at XP Days is excellent, and the overall experience is enjoyable.


At the start of the morning sessions and the start of the afternoon sessions, speakers have the opportunity to pitch their sessions. In this way, the conference attendees get a better view on the topic of the different sessions and can decide last moment which session to attend.

The sessions I have attended:

Freedom within bureaucracy, or reaching hackstability

Asterix vs Julius Caesar! A story about barbarians (agile warriors) vs civilisation (bureaucracy). A tale of how agile warriors enter bureaucratic organisations to exploit and next abandon the organisation when no value can be exploited anymore. A story with a message that we probably shouldn’t battle forever to “transform” complete organisations to an agile way of working. But try to answer how bureaucrats can encapsulate small villages of barbarians and benefit from their exploitation and discovery?


Sharpen your story splitting skills

A Good workshop on explaining and sharing thoughts on user story splitting patterns. If you want to know more, look at materials by Gojko Adzic: Fifty ideas to improve your user stories; splitting user stories, the hamburger way.


Xtreme Facilitation

Great workshop by Jenni and Ole Jepsen on facilitation. They explained several “Facilitation Nerd Alerts”,; stuff you shouldn’t be doing when facilitation. The second part of the workshop consisted of facilitating a workshop made possible by everyone.


Delegation is an Art

A workshop on management 3.0 delegation poker. Delegation Poker can be used to make clear who’s responsible for what and to what level. Moreover, in this way, you engage employees through self-organisation and clarify who’s responsible for what kind of decisions.


Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory

Incredible workshop to experience queuing theory: queue sizes, limiting work-in-progress, sequential work, etc. We were working in a chocolate/candy factory, creating and packaging boxes of sweets.


The scaling game

A scaled version of the “point ball game”. A great exercise to experience the consequences of working in multiple teams and producing 1 “integrated” end-product.


I wrote a review for Yves:

“Who has attended a Scrum training probably has played the ball-point game. The ‘scaling’ ball-point game takes the same game to a higher level: You experience the pains of growing teams and working with multiple teams: trying to optimise the flow as a whole. The scaling ball-point game probably should become de facto part of a ‘scaling’ agile course.”

Find out more in the book: https://leanpub.com/TheScalingBallGame

Your colleague is an idiot, how to tell him?

Good session on how to give constructive feedback; and avoid offensive language.