“Agile has become overly decorated. Let’s scrape away those decorations for a minute, and get back to the center of agile.” — Alistair Cockburn
The Heart of Agile is a rallying call from one of the founding fathers of Agility to help bring those who have lost their way back to the center where is all started. I first met Alistair in 2015 shortly after he had come up with the Heart of Agile and started to socialize it during a two day session he was facilitating at PNC Bank. I recall the idea of refocusing on the fundamentals of delivery, collaboration, reflection and improvement instantly resonating with me. In our quest for agility, many of us have become so process and framework obsessed that we tend to gloss over the fundamental interactions and results envisioned by the authors of the agile manifesto.
Fast forward one year after my first interaction with Alistair, the first ever Heart of Agile conference was held in Philadelphia in May of 2016. Immediately, I was excited at the idea of signing Pittsburgh up to be the host city for Alistair’s next conference. The conversation around bringing the Heart of Agile Pittsburgh was ignited by a single tweet and some passionate and determined people. The goal is simple, help refocus the conversation within our agile community solidly in the fundamentals that really matter, all while providing a regional forum for our agile community at affordable price.
To that end, we have assembled an unbelievable schedule of thought leaders from some notable companies such as Uber, PNC Bank, USAA, Rosetta Stone, Spotify, ThoughtWorks and more! Alistair will kick us off each day with a keynote talk each rooted in the Heart of Agile spirit. We have also layered in collaborative talks that have been crowdsourced by fellow agile practitioners on the most common challenges many of us face on a daily basis. To round off this line up we have representation from the top agile products and service providers to both contribute to the conversation as well as be available to answer any and all questions you may have.
As if this was all not enough, we have partnered with the Gateway Clipper Fleet to host the Heart of Agile conference with all of their vessels and crew at our disposal! That’s right, we will be hosting the conference entirely on river boats with breakout sessions distributed across vessels. The ships will be docked throughout the day and we will set sail for fully sponsored networking reception Thursday night. Couple this unique venue with the catered breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception and you have all the makings of a great conference. To sum it up, it will be twenty-four tracks over two days, food, networking and sailing! What more could you ask for in an agile conference.