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Scrum Alliance Coaching Retreat Goa – Feb 2016

I recently attended the Scrum Alliance Coaching Retreat (SCR) at Goa, India from 31st Jan thru Feb 2nd. It was a very good event to network and learn. Here are some details of the event

The Objective and the group

The objective was to get together as experienced professional and take the participant knowledge to the next level. The group was a set of 30 very experienced professionals from the industry. Most of the participants where CSTs or CSPs or were experienced Agile Coaches in their respective organizations. Most individuals had years of experience implementing Scrum or Agile practices in their careers.

The Venue

To make such an event successful, the venue has to be fantastic.. and it was supurb!! The Leela at Goa. It was just of a beautiful white-sand beach of Goa and not too far from the airport and the railway station.

The Diversity

We were from Spain, France, Germany, US, Singapore, Malaysia and of course India… Isn’t that great to learn from the entire world!


The Learning

First about the serious part and that is the learning. We got together on 31st Jan evening 5PM (just after a fabulous win of India over Australia in a close 20-20 cricket match) and formed 5 groups of 6 each. Madhur Kathuria (CST, CEC) was the host for this event and he took the facilitator role. We all deliberated using a white board on various topics that we wanted to discuss. Then there was a vote on the topics and finally 5 topics were selected which all of us had voted for. We selected the topic which we wanted to discuss and started off. 31st evening was about selecting the topic, forming the group, knowing each other (the forming phase – luckily none had the storming phase in the 3 days we were together) and creating a Product Backlog of the topics we all wanted to deliberate on and learn from each other.

On 1st Feb 2016, we got together at 9AM. As a group we decided to run the whole 2 days in 3 Sprints. Sprint 1 – 9AM to 12PM on Feb 1st, Sprint 2 – 2PM to 5PM on Feb 1st and Sprint 3 – 10AM to 1PM on Feb 2nd.

In each of the Sprints, we discussed, deliberated and came up with deliverables which was a set of discussion points. Now point to note here was, there was a tremendous amount of brainstorming and serious discussions facilitated by Madhur. Since each one of us were very experienced people, there was always something to learn from each other.. There was really no powerpoint presentations and no “gyan” from anyone.. Simply, hard facts, experience and best practices. Fantastic way to share and learn.

At the end of each sprint, there was a detailed sprint review where each team presented topics and the rest of the team asked clarifications or gave suggestions to work.

At the end of 3rd Sprint, there was a concrete deliverable that each team produced. We presented to each other and shared with each other.

Overall, a good learning, No prescriptive stuff, No competitive stuff and absolute fun!!

Networking and Fun

And we had fun… Lots of it… On 31st Jan evening, we had a nice networking dinner (and drinks of course..) and post dinner, we had enough time to go to beach and have some nice quiet time on beach at night.. Each one of us felt, it was so very nice to experience the beach in the dead of the night!!

On Feb 1st we had a nice elaborate breakfast and had a good networking lunch in the afternoon. The Red Snapper Goan Curry was absolutely fabulous, and so was the Shrimp Salad and many other items. In the evening, we had a nice pool side get-together.. Some of us enjoyed in the fabulous swimming pool of Leela (with a simulated waterfall!!) while some of us enjoyed on the pool side. At night, some of us preferred to have a quiet time for ourselves and most of us went for a dinner outside Leela. Either ways, we got to do what we wanted!!

On Feb 2nd, we enjoyed the breakfast and Lunch which was equally good as the earlier day.

Overall, a fabulous event and good learning. No prescriptive stuff and lots of friends and professional connects! I would like to recommend this event to everyone who wants to learn from others who are equally good in the industry.