The Uncommon Conference
A Conference Like No Other
Don't get me wrong. Conferences are a great way to learn a lot in a short time and to see several speakers with diverse experiences. The downside is that speakers skim the surface of topics, or the room is full without any open seats, or the session is cross scheduled with other topics you want to learn.
Is there a better way? We think so. What if we could combine hands-on-learning, networking, teamwork, and a bit of fun? Imagine a game of Clue, a "Choose Your Adventure" book, and an Escape Room with applicable analysis tools you can use at work the very next day.
If you work with customers, create solutions that customers use, or care about your customers think, unlock your ticket today. This unique conference experience will use experiential learning to teach techniques that will transform your stakeholders’ experiences.
Go beyond what is expected. Prepare to go outside of your comfort zone to learn differently, beyond a typical symposium style conference.
Get uncommon methods, techniques and approaches from Uncommon industry leaders.
At the end of the day, you will have methods you can use the next day. Access to technique samples and templates, and a learning community that will support you in your uncommon pursuit to make a difference on every initiative you are a part of.
Take the Uncommon Conference Challenge
Most conferences you look at the agenda, then you pick and choose the sessions you want to see. Some are great, and some leave you wishing you could have attended more sessions and learned more. At the Uncommon Conference, you learn everything without picking sessions from an agenda, so there are no missed sessions or opportunities.
Learn 25+ techniques curated from around the globe designed to help you dig deeper into the story of your customers. Learn how to apply visionary thinking, developing exceptional UX/UCD customer experiences, and streamline process improvements that will boost your organization, Agile framework, or Digital Transformation efforts.
It's not all about techniques. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Learn how to apply what you learned in the real-world. The Uncommon Conference is a modern, interactive, gamified immersive experience where you will solve, create, learn, and control your experience just like you would in real-life.
What to Expect
Here’s what you can expect from an Uncommon Conference:
Learn Relevant Techniques. Learn techniques from industry leading experts to build incredible and effective customer experiences and solutions. All hands-on and all interactive. No boring slides or lectures. Explore customer journey mapping, customer empathy mapping, spectrum mapping, user story mapping, and much more. We’ll deliver a more comprehensive list shortly.
Fast Paced Learning. It’s like a “Speed Dating” and “Conference Workshop” hybrid. Learn techniques quickly in a fast paced environment. Perform the technique right on the spot. We promise there isn’t a drill sergeant. Just help industry-leading instructors to help you every step of the way.
Wide Open Roaming. No worrying about not getting a seat or being crunched into a standing only room. You and your team roam from technique to technique so nothing is missed. An optimized schedule created just for you means you don’t miss a thing.
Interactive Interaction. Work in teams to complete your learning journey and get fresh perspectives and insights to help you learn more deeply and quickly. Get your questions answered by industry leading experts. No waiting until the end of the presentation to ask a question. Get lost in a lively and informative discussion.
Useful Materials. You will get materials that provide descriptions, tasks, templates, and examples for each of the tutorials. We even scan your tutorial outcomes for you to share with folks back in the office and others at the event. No more out of focus photos with your smartphone. Get unabridged comprehensive materials that are useful after the conference.
Find Uncommon Ground. At the heart of it all is an area called the Uncommon Ground where you can interact with instructors and coaches throughout the entire day. Bring your vexing road blocks to thought leaders and experts to help you move forward in the real world.
Fail Fast - Fail Safe. Get a free copy of Fail Fast Fail Safe to learn more about how failure, change, and learning go hand in hand to create incredible customer solutions in Agile and Waterfall environments. We took our own book to heart and created conference environments where you can learn by experimenting and interacting with a technique all in a safe place.
Sharing is Caring. We even make taking the good stuff back to the office easier. We scan the outcomes from all folks in the conference and share them with you on a conference only web site. Share them with your co-workers back at the office. Get inspired and find deeper understanding from other conference attendee technique outcomes. Download and display it on the refrigerator at work.
An Awesome T-Shirt. Something to wear on casual days or around the office. Printed with the slogan, “No one’s ever made a difference by doing what’s expected.” There is of course other swag for the bag, so you won’t leave empty handed.
Agenda / Learning Objectives
Modern Ideation Techniques are used for the rapid development of ideas and determining the holistic perspectives of customers for product development, process improvement, transformation, product scope, and problem-solving.
The Standish Group and other research organizations continue to rank context as a driving factor in project success. More than just scope boundaries and brainstorming, ideation techniques help stakeholders and teams to collaboratively build a clear and shared understanding of the product, project, or sprint. With this common understanding teams more effectively and rapidly move through product development. Start strong and finish faster.
Understanding Ideation Techniques and their use at the start of the project.
Actively participate in a completing Ideation Techniques for product and project development, process improvement, or problem solving
Develop an action plan on how to use Ideation Techniques within your organization
Building Context and Vision
A significant factor in project failure is typically conflicting priorities and expectations of the team due to not having a Common Vision. In this section, we will use modern collaborative techniques to create a clear vision, discuss how to communicate it, and tactics for getting stakeholder and customer agreement.
Contextual Analysis drives project and product expected outcomes. These outcomes allow for building user stories and requirements later in the project or product development.
Learn techniques to build a common vision for a product or project.
Understand how communication of the vision is best performed and how to “market” your project or sprint to stakeholders
Build an action plan on how to use the techniques in your organization
Critical components to project success include decision making, prioritization, and building consensus quickly are the expected norms of the current marketplace. You will learn techniques to build consensus quickly, prioritize effectively, and communicate concisely on critical decisions.
Understanding the importance of decision making, prioritization, and building consensus as quickly as possible
Hands-on interaction with techniques to understand them more fully
Strategize on how to utilize the technique in your organization and determine potential projects or sprints where it could be used immediately.
Stakeholder and Customer Analysis
In today’s marketplace, we need to move beyond standard stakeholder analysis into understanding stakeholder personas and user stories. The key is determining CSPOV™ (customer and stakeholder point of view), reconciling differing CSPOVTM to build a common CSPOVTM and agreement. A strong understanding CSPOV helps build momentum in developing a product or project vision and direction, which in turns delivers higher quality outcomes.
Building stakeholder and customer CSPOV™ models to elaborate further on different points of view and reconciliation of those points of view to build agreement in the team
Use CSPOV™ to formulate an approach to define the product or project capabilities or features
Create an actionable plan to customize and utilize the techniques and approaches within your organization and career
CSPOV™ – Customer Stakeholder Point of View is a registered trademark owned by The League of Analysts Inc. ©2018 The League of Analysts Inc. All rights are reserved.
Capability and Feature Context
How do you globally develop your capabilities? How can you avoid missed or unclear requirements? To globally develop capabilities and features as defined in your vision, and to eliminate missed and unclear requirements, we will actively utilize the Requirements CompassTM model.
Understanding the Requirements Compass™ to build more complete and clear capability and feature requirements.
Determine how to utilize the techniques in your organization by creating an action plan to use it on your next or current project.
Requirements Compass™ is a registered trademark owned by The League of Analysts Inc. ©2018 The League of Analysts Inc. All rights are reserved.
Customer Experience (UX)
Learn to see things through the eyes of the customer or stakeholder in your organization and harness those observations into streamlined processing, simplification of workflows, and increased business value. Develop a working understanding of “leaning” out a workflow.
Understand and apply customer experience techniques within a project and how to avoid roadblocks
Determine and remove roadblocks, workflow complexities, and pitfalls in the customer experience
Discussion on how these techniques can be applied to existing or future projects
User Centered Focus and Design
Good design and user-centered focus can make or break any product. Face and defeat the challenges of poor user design and frustrating customer experiences. Learn the concepts of user-centered focus and design approach to more clearly define customer process and interactions with the product.
Understand how to more interactively develop a customer experience
Explore techniques to build a stronger relationship between customer experience and the product capabilities
Develop an approach for adoption of the techniques into existing challenges
Visualization of Data Needs
Data is the fuel that drives a business. In this section of the conference, we will be focused on Data Visualization of stakeholder and customer data needs from a high level, which can be used later in conceptual, logical, or physical data modeling. We will model data to help us more effectively understand the relationships of the data.
Building a graphical model of facts and data for a product
Understand the application of the model to develop strategic approaches to data modeling
Visualize the fact model to make it more understandable to stakeholders and the project team
We have all at one time, or another sat in a retrospective or lessons learned meeting and poured our hearts out of all the pain we endured in the project. We found good workarounds and solutions to those pains. However, in the end, it was just documented and set aside. Learn the importance of retrospectives and how to best learn from failures throughout the team’s journey to deliver the product. Learn approaches on how to make small adjustments that produce significant results that can lead to better team performance and eliminate team frustration.
Understand why harnessing retrospectives and lesson learned is key to making your team more effective and resilient.
Develop action plans to make improvements that can yield big results even as the project is moving forward at a fast pace.
Create your personal action plan on utilizing these techniques for your team’s process improvement
This section of the conference contains even more techniques and focuses on providing the learner with:
Coaching on existing issues the student has in their organization
Coaching on removing roadblocks to utilization of techniques that were learned
Validating the work performed at the conference
Being a resource to discuss ideas readily available
Reviewing the published work of others at the conference to learn a broader perspective of the technique
And more surprises await!
Speakers and Coaches
Bob is CBAP® certified with 25+ years of experience with a background in managing BA centers of excellence. Bob is an award winning curriculum developer. Bob has presented numerous Keynote, Workshops, Seminars, Conferences, and Training Sessions across North America.
Hans served as Group Vice President at SunTrust Bank where he helped develop programs and products that drove innovation, process improvement, and quality teammate engagement across the enterprise and helped establish three different Centers of Excellence. Hans is a keynote speaker and shares his life simplification tips.
Jennifer has an energetic passion injecting innovation and creative problem solving techniques into how BAs do their day to day work. Her passion is helping teams apply the art and science of business analysis techniques with fresh, modern perspectives. Jen is an internationally recognized conference speaker and thought leader.
Vincent Mirabelli is a leader in the fields of Business Process Improvement, Business Analysis and Lean Six Sigma. He is a Principal at Global Project Synergy Group, a founding member of The Uncommon League, and host of the podcast, “In Process”. A highly sought after speaker and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Paul is a Chief Financial & Marketing Officer with over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, education, and government sectors in the roles of CFO, Portfolio Manager, Program Manager, Project Manager, Educator, Editor, Business Analyst and Green Belt Process Improvement.
Date and Time
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - Begins at 8:00 am and Ends at 5:00 pm
Check In and Breakfast Opens at 7:30 am
Earle Brown Heritage Center
6155 Earle Brown Dr
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Venue Phone: (763) 569-6300
Venue Website: earlebrown.com
Free parking is available next to the center.
Lyft or Uber from the Airport to the hotel for approximately $32 - $44.
The hotel is directly connected to the conference center.
Embassy Suites by Hilton
6300 Earle Brown Dr, Brooklyn Center
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Hotel Phone: (763) 560-2700
Hotel Web: embassysuites3.hilton.com
Click here to: Book a Room at Embassy Suites by Hilton. Be sure to book your room by 9/21/19 or sooner to get the discounted room rate of $130 per night. Use Group Code: TUL.
Book by Phone
Call 763.560.2700 or 1-800-Embassy, and let them know you need to make a reservation with The Uncommon League. Let them know the Group Code: TUL.
Early Bird (Before 8/23/2019) - $ 369 - EXPIRED
Standard (After 8/23/2019) - $ 489
Tickets are limited. Unlock your conference pass before all sales close on October 20, 2019.
Discounts are available on standard pricing for groups of 5 or more.
Government discounts are available on standard pricing. Click here to contact our sales team to get the discount code.
Other Payment Options
Pay By Invoice or Check
You can pay for the conference by invoice or check by requesting an invoice. If a purchase order number is required, please add it to the request form. Please note we will need to receive your check prior to October 20, 2019 to complete the registration process.
Get a Green Light to Attend
Need a little help convincing your boss to attend? We gathered a few experts to help you out.
Directly State That You Want to Attend the Conference
Be direct when you ask to attend a conference. AJ Agrawal has seen people dance around the subject and fail to get a clear answer because management doesn’t understand why the topic is important, or even what the employee wants. Agrawal encourages employees to be direct, even if speaking in front of management is intimidating.
“A winner will go right up to their boss and say exactly what they mean,” Agrawal writes. “They want to go to the conference, and they are asking whether they can go and whether the company will foot the bill for it. It does not always lead to a positive answer, but you get a firm answer, and you know exactly where you stand.”
It’s OK to Show Excitement
When you present your request, make sure your excitement for the opportunity shows. Jeremy Goldman writes that excitement is contagious, and your manager could catch some of your enthusiasm as you make your presentation. This also shows you care about your job and want to perform better.
Sometimes, employees try to appear too professional and hide their eagerness. This can be counterproductive: Your boss might actually read your professional detachment as apathy.
Highlight the Importance of In-Person Networking
There will be mentors, vendors or experts whom you will have the opportunity to connect with and that can bring significant value in helping you and your organization overcome obstacles or roadblocks. Nothing beats in-person conversations when you are are looking for advice.
"It's easy to ignore an email. A follow-up email. Even a voicemail,” the team at Create & Cultivate writes. “But if you take advantage of the golden opportunities ... it could open a myriad of doors — not only for you, but for your company, as well.”
Emphasize the value of in-person networking that forms at conferences. Even waiting in line for coffee or finding a table at lunch can create useful connections. Starting a conversation isn't easy with folks that are not in your organization, but they can provide a fresh new perspective.
Return With Clear Objectives for Change
Once you get back, make sure you highlight exactly what you learned and include actionable steps your company can take to get better. The team organizing the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference highlights three ways employees can share this knowledge:
Use a staff meeting to review what you learned and any next steps that you recommend.
Write a blog post about something you learned.
Create a presentation for your manager and co-workers that you can give during a lunch-and-learn.
If anything you learned has a significant impact on your company, make a note of what impact it had. This will help you make a stronger case the next time you ask to attend a conference.