THE GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM ORIGIN STORY:
written by DANIEL MEZICK
The history of the GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event is interesting.
We started Agile Boston, the user group, in 2007. The first meeting featured @JeffSutherand. We got 90 people for that meeting.
Then in 2008, we did a conference that was 100% Open Space. People loved that and our mailing list grew and grew. I started thinking about how to get Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the same room.
I kept asking Jeff & Ken for dates, but they were always all over the world, teaching #Scrum.
So I kept thinking about it.
One day after pondering this for weeks, I had a breakthrough. I realized they were both probably at home in #Boston for the holidays.
From there it was a very short thought process to realize that the week of USA Thanksgiving was probably perfect for a conference date.
I called up Jeff Sutherland; we had a good friendship going from the Agile Boston meetup experiences.
I asked Jeff if he was cool with speaking to about 200 people on the day before USA Thanksgiving. He said YES.
Then I took that email and forwarded it to Ken Schwaber and HE ALSO said YES. It was like, BOOM. Instantly huge conference !
We did the first event 12 years ago, in 2008. It was totally amazing.
We called it GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM, and it was awesome.
The AM was for sessions from Jeff and Ken; the PM was for a Q&A panel where Jeff & Ken took questions from the crowd.
In between, we had some breakout sessions in the AM and PM, and also a lunch.
A year came and went, we did the event again. It became a regional CELEBRATION of fact Scrum was BORN in #Boston.
Everyone who came to the event realized we were doing something special as #Scrum grew worldwide. We were part of something BIG.
One year, we put a “Scrum timeline” on the wall, inviting people to mark when they started with #Scrum.
On that timeline, some people put, for the year 1957, “A 4-year-old Ken Schwaber refers to his Mother’s rules “too prescriptive.” People loved that one.
We kept going, but the event never grew beyond 250 since it was during a USA holiday week. It stayed at 250 or so. It was a REGIONAL event. We did always get some from NY, CT, NH, VT and Maine.
After a few years, we started selling it out in about 3 weeks. Locals from #New England and the #Boston region just registered instantly.
So this went on: every single year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016….always 230-250 participating.
Then in 2016 or so, Ken Schwaber started to reduce his public speaking schedule. In his place, Dave West the COO (and later CEO) of Scrum.org came into the event.
And we have continued on, year after year, with great speakers on #Scrum and a real regional celebration of the fact Scrum was BORN IN BOSTON. These last few years, we have had musicians play classical music during the lunch break.
Then in 2020 the COVID panic hit and we were like “now what do we do?”
And we decided to just go all the way and go global, online. The 12th & 13th Annual GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM conference events have been the best events ever. We have met and embraced presenters from all over the world, including Australia, Africa, Germany, Netherlands and England; all the while still clinging to our roots that Scrum was born in Boston Massachusetts with the continued presence and support of Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Dave West representing Ken Schwaber and Scrum.org. We are one BIG global community connected through our love and appreciation of Scrum!