The Issue With Conference Review Processes

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation.


I have been the chair of two Scrum Gatherings.

I have done keynotes at three other international Scrum Gatherings.

I have organized numerous other large events.

I have been a reviewer and speaker for Agile 20xx conferences for the last 5 years.

I am the founder of Agile Delaware and have advised the current leadership team for the last 4 years.

As a CSC and CST, I am more or less at the top of the “food chain” in the Agile world.

All in all, I have quite a bit of experience and knowledge with events, groups, speaking, etc.

Recently, I was rejected for Agile 2015 with a speaking proposal that I had worked diligently on by soliciting feedback and advice before submitting.

I was really upset.

Foolishly, I lashed out at the review team, the process, and several others publicly on Facebook. It was an emotional, knee-jerk reaction with the emphasis on “jerk”.

In the days after, a very good friend called me out on the comments I had made and, I am glad that he did.

I have thought about the whole thing some more and I finally realized the major issue with conference review processes across the board.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I am seeing that I have developed an inappropriate sense of entitlement based on being selected in the past for speaking and leadership roles. Rather than thinking: “Hey! I deserve to be a speaker since I have done all this…” I should be thinking: “Wow! How lucky and fortunate I have been to have done all this… THANK YOU!!”

So, I am going to own this impediment and see that I remove it; i.e. I am going to work on changing my attitude and practice more of what I preach to organizations, teams, leaders, etc. as an Agile coach.

My apologies to the Agile 2015 review and leadership team.

When I reflect on how difficult it is to create an event program and the vast number of folks who don’t make it, I feel the pain and angst that you have probably felt in putting together the program for Agile 2015. Based on past history of the Agile 20xx events, I know that this year’s program is going to totally rock.

Thank you all for your service as volunteers.

Peace and blessings-