About Agile on the Bench

Agile on the Bench was set up by David Lowe and Emily Webber in late 2014. It was started as an event run by passionate agile practitioners for passionate agile practitioners.

The premise was simple: could we run a low cost fun event, that gives people the chance to share their stories with like minded people over a lunch break and help strengthen the Agile community’s connections? We decided that excluding technology (strictly no PowerPoint or Keynote slides), keeping talks short and informal and hosting the event outside in a public place would be a good place to start. We shared the idea amongst our Agile networks and they seemed interested, so we gave it a go. We hosted our first minimum viable event in November 2014. It went so well that we have continued to host it and our audience has grown.

Topics have been broad, but all related to Agile, lean and teams, including how a pasta factory improved through transparency, how the making of Blondie’s parallel lines is like an Agile project and what learning how to ride a motorbike teaches us about being Agile.

We extended the lunchtime event to a one-day conference. In keeping with our original ethos, we aim to keep the event accessible, both in terms of location and fees. Because of this we chose to host our minimum viable conference at a campsite close to London and will keep the ticket price to a minimum ( just £35 a ticket). We have chosen to not make it free as we want people to commit to coming. As the organisers, we will not be making any financial gain from the conference, and plan to publish all costs. Event sponsorship will go towards keeping costs low. Any money that we raise over and above the cost of the conference will go towards food and drink on the day or future events.

If you think the name sounds familiar, you’re correct: it’s a friendly nod to Agile on the Beach, an annual Agile conference held in Falmouth.