Agile2021: 20 years of “Responding to Change Over Following a Plan”

Agile Alliance
3 min readNov 16, 2020


by Brandon Carlson

With everything going on in this world right now, I’ve found myself using the phrase “I don’t know” more than ever and I’m guessing that you’re probably feeling the same way.

As mentioned in a previous post, planning a great conference when it seems the answer to every question is “I don’t know” is a daunting task. Today we want to take a reprieve from trying to figure out what we don’t know and focus more on what we do know about Agile2021 in July.

So What Exactly Do We Know?

  • We know that Agile2021 will take place. As Agilists, we’re used to dealing with changing circumstances and are prepared for it. For example, a month ago we were planning for a hybrid conference consisting of a virtual as well as physical component to take place in Denver, CO. As we monitored the situation in our weekly planning calls, we saw COVID-19 numbers trending in the wrong direction. We quickly revisited that decision and are moving towards a fully virtual, global conference experience.
  • We know that Agile2020 did not take place. All of the hard work our speakers and conference organizers put into the conference was for naught as COVID-19 changed everything beginning last March. After giving it much consideration, we have also made the decision to require speakers to re-submit for Agile2021 because of changes in the conference format.
  • We know that Agile2021 is the premier international Agile conference which brings the top minds in the field together to advance the state of Agile across the world. Given the switch to a virtual conference, we know we need to create interactive experiences and do our best to uphold that designation. We will work hard to find the best content from around the globe and make it as accessible as possible while also providing space for collaboration with your peers, no matter where they are
  • We know that 2021 is the 20-year anniversary of the Agile Manifesto. It doesn’t seem that long ago until I think about how old I was at the time the manifesto was signed (you may not want to think about that yourself, it’s depressing), and the values and principles outlined in the manifesto have generally stood the test of time. Like true Agilists we’ll be sure to “Inspect and Adapt” those values and principles and celebrate the past with an eye toward the future.
  • We know that we will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. Things have been changing rapidly and we are monitoring multiple sources of COVID-19 information including the WHO, CDC, and various local ordinances in order to keep on top of new developments. Our planning team meets weekly and makes certain our current plans align well with the state of the pandemic.
  • We know that safety is a top priority. If the situation involving COVID-19 allows for safely gathering, we will consider reintroducing a physical component to the conference to take place in Denver during the virtual conference.
  • We know that you prefer transparency about the conference planning process. It is with this in mind that we will be continuing to post updates on our planning process to the Agile Alliance website.

Even with so many unknowns, we’re looking forward to seeing you all virtually for the Agile2021 Global Conference, 20th Anniversary Edition, set to take place July 19–23, 2021.


The Agile2021 Planning Team

Originally published at on November 16, 2020.



Agile Alliance

Agile Alliance is a nonprofit global member organization, supporting and serving the Agile community since 2001.