The Super Agile Satchel

This past July I wrote a blog post entitled “Agile Attaché or Coach’s Companion or Super Agile Satchel” about the agile facilitation kit I created in early 2016.  This post serves as opportunity to share the cool things that have happened since I wrote that initial blog post and an update on the Super Agile Satchel, as it’s now officially called.

The Cool Things

First, number of Super Agile Satchels on the planet doubled when one of the scrum masters I was working with this summer came into work one day with his very own! He had seen mine, thought it was cool and useful, and off to the Container Store and Office Depot he went! That made me feel pretty darn good.

Second, I was accepted to speak about the Satchel and agile facilitation techniques at AgileDC. I’ve attended the conference since it’s inception and submitted talk proposals before, but this was the first time one of my talks was accepted. It was an awesome opportunity and one that I really cherished. As a key part of my talk, I created replicas of actual information radiators that I created with Satchel contents and hung them around the room. Using the replicas as examples, I discussed why choosing the right materials, colors, and sizes are so critical to facilitation and creating information radiators that draw attention, are maintainable, and focus the team on what’s truly important. I received great feedback on the talk!

Here is my presentation from AgileDC.


Third, and by far the coolest thing, was when I was contacted by Mike Vance. Mike had attended my session at AgileDC and wrote to me to say that he was really impressed by the Super Agile Satchel concept. It turned out that his team had a similar “sad bag of random stickies” like I mentioned in my talk, and that my list of facilitation tools provided him with a clean, concise list to request from their project manager in order to improve their supplies.

Mike was even so kind to share the list he created with me (which included links to where to order each item on Amazon).  He also sent me a picture of the completed Satchel with a very nice note.  It was super cool of him. It made me feel like I truly gave back to the community by sharing the idea of the Satchel. Mike, in turn, gave back as well by sharing back the list that he developed. Win me Mike, win for me, win for the agile community.  Awesome.

I am happy to report that my request was successful and I am now the proud owner of our teams very own Super Agile Satchel. See attached for a pic in all of it’s glory. It’s way more organized than our prior lump of supplies and I think will help us take better care of our materials. Additionally, it will help us understand when we are running low on certain supplies and to know we have everything we need to be successful. We’re Lean practitioners, so a good 5S of our own materials is a bit of “Doctor, Heal Thyself.”

– Mike Vance

Mike’s completed Super Agile Satchel

And finally, I found out last month that my talk on the Super Agile Satchel got accepted at the 2017 Global Scrum Gathering in San Diego.  I’m stoked about making the trip out west and the opportunity to continue to give back to the agile community.

Update on the Super Agile Satchel

So how has the Super Agile Satchel evolved over the past year?  This was the original contents list from my blog post back in July:

  • Index cards (3×5 and 4×6 in varying colors, but a bunch of white)
  • Sharpie fine point markers (mostly black or blue)
  • Sharpie chisel tip markets (varying colors)
  • Dry erase markers (varying colors)
  • Dry erase eraser
  • Sticky dots
  • Scissors
  • Time timer (3 inch version)
  • Tape (painters, scotch, masking)
  • Ballpoint pens (I try to have 10 with me at all times)
  • Tacks
  • Planning poker cards
  • Tape measurer

Over the course of the year, I added these three things that I use ALL the time.

  • Ruler
  • Mounting putty
  • Paper cutter (a mini ceramic one)

In addition, I’ve started using (almost exclusively) a roll of banner paper versus flip chart paper. I wrote about the paper I use in another blog post. It’s been gold for me this year.

Here is a spreadsheet with each item, the cost, and where to buy it. I used the spreadsheet that Mike sent me as a starting point, but I modified the contents a bit and added some things. Remember that this is the Cadillac of facilitation kits! I hope you find it useful.  If you do, please let me know. I’d love to hear your Super Agile Satchel story!

Agile, Scrum Tagged: Agile, Facilitation, Scrum, Super Agile Satchel

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