Organized by Nagarro on Friday, 25 January, 2019 in Vienna, the Agile Challenge 2019 was a fun-filled event that brought 8 finalists head to head to a pulsating finish. Out of a total of 20 teams, jostling for the coveted top spot, the 8 teams that qualified for the main event were from companies namely: Admiral Sportwetten, Bundesministerium für Finanzen, Österreichische Post, Runtastic, Wiener Zeitung, Zürich Versicherung and Netural.
The winners of the Agile Challenge 2019 hosted by Nagarro with Jurgen Appelo and some Nagarrians
The event started off with an ice-breaker game, where the teams took the stage, one at a time, with a truth and lie game. That set the tone for the rest of the evening – competitive but exciting, totally informal and fun.
After that, I gave a brief talk on Nagarro and how we partner with the world’s leading organizations to support them in cutting-edge projects, crucial to their business. What I also underscored was the hyper competitive business environment that we live in and the compelling need to be agile, what I am convinced of.
Soon afterwards, Jurgen Appelo, an agile leadership pioneer and author of several renowned books, held an inspiring keynote. He spoke about the life-cycle of organizations, from the point of their inception, to scaling up and then finally to the end of their life, when they are no longer needed. He provided some great insights into how sustained agility could be achieved.
All this while, the excitement kept mounting. As soon as the rules of the games were explained, the teams got into action. The objective of the game was simple: teams were given activities in the form of XP games that they had to complete. As for the real world, prioritization was the key - the team that created the highest business value within the time at hand, would be the winner.
Each team was assigned a Product Owner, one of our agile experts at Nagarro worked with the teams in answering questions on the activities, that went into a backlog. Each activity was assigned a business value. The enthusiasm was palpable and the determination to win in each team was apparent. Self-motivated teams were working closely and with great fervor to deliver the maximum business value in the shortest possible time.
As the evening progressed, the teams continued to jostle with one another with the leader board changing drastically after almost every round. When all the iterations were done and every team had given it their best shot, they did a retrospective before the event reached its crescendo: the title of "Austria’s most agile team – Winner of the Agile Challenge 2019" went to the most deserving team – Netural Gmbh.
After the event, the teams and leaders from several organizations got an opportunity to get to know each other and to exchange notes, on what worked for them as agile teams, all this over some delicious food and drinks. All the 8 finalists took home some cool gifts, a photograph to cherish with Jurgen Appelo and a whole bunch of great experiences and memories.
In today’s age of digital disruption, driven by advances in technology, one of the building blocks of successful organizations are high performance teams. The Agile Challenge proved once again that given a conducive environment, a group of individuals, working together as a team, can deliver great business value, even in conditions of extreme competition and pressure.
The event also highlighted a very important and often overlooked ingredient of high performance teams and organizations and that is the element of fun and celebrating success.
Want to see high performance teams live in action? See you at the Agile Challenge 2020!