Create a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts, Part 5: Write Your Bio

Your bio establishes your expertise, authority, and credibility in your field. If your conference proposal has a speaking experience field, use that field to explain your expertise, authority, and credibility. I like to think of the bio and speaking experience fields as ways to connect with and invite the right people to your session: These …

Create a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts, Part 4: Complete the Proposal

You know who your audience is because you framed the proposal. You started with outcomes, and you refined those outcomes when you wrote the abstract. Now it’s time to complete the rest of the proposal, excluding your bio and the title. Bios and titles are different from the rest of the proposal. (Those will be …

Create a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts, Part 3: Write the Abstract

You decided who your session is for: the people with the problems. You’ve got the outcomes. Now, it’s time to write the abstract. Conference proposals always have a short abstract. Some conferences, such as the Agile 20xx conferences, also have “Information for the Program Team.” You might think of that as the outline or more …

Create a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts, Part 2: Start with Outcomes

Now that you’ve framed your proposal, start with what you want people to take away from the talk, the outcomes. Why? Because too many descriptions are a promise for an outcome or what people will learn. If you’re coy about the outcomes, people can’t select themselves in or out for your presentation. Speakers who say, …

Create a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts, Part 1: Frame the Proposal

You want to present a talk, workshop, experience report at a conference. (Or, a lightning talk, Pecha Kucha, or more.) You have something important to share. How can you create a proposal that the program committee will accept? I’m writing this series to explain how to do just that. The series parts are: Understand who …

Say No to Mandatory Fun

I keep encountering managers and consultants who want to make work “fun” for people. As a goal, “fun” is a bunch of hooey. Before I was a consultant, I held various Director-level positions at local companies. Each organization had mandatory fun days. In one organization, we played softball. Yes, everyone—especially the managers—had to play softball …

Agile Approaches Can’t Save Impossible Projects: Fixed Cost, Scope, Date

You’ve got an impossible project. You have no flexibility. The project is a fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed-date project. And, you have a specific team to do the work. (There are other impossible projects. Such as when you have a collection of people who multitask among several projects.) Can an agile approach save these projects? No. An agile …

Three Ways to Manage “Extra” Work in an Iteration

Many of my clients use an iteration-based agile approach. And, they have these problems: They “push” too much into an iteration. They use velocity, not cycle time to estimate.  They rarely finish everything before the iteration ends. They have to manage extra work—work they had not estimated—in the form of an emergency or production support. …