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04 August 2010


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André Dhondt

Thanks, Rachel, for the context. This year, will the board discuss ending the program, before considering candidates? There was never a public call for nominations...

Rachel Davies


The Agile Alliance board approves each of it's programs at the start of the year and then the programs report back quarterly. Although the board has power to terminate any program during the year, in my opinion, it's unlikely to do this until the program is up for renewal in January 2011. Meeting minutes of board meetings are available on our website.

Regarding nominations for the award, I have already asked Joe Rainsberger about this, he is the current program director. I have not had a reply yet. Some years we have taken nominations during the conference. Other years we have had an email alias and call for nominations in the Agile Alliance members newsletter. As I recall this email alias generates only a small number of nominees. It's not too late to set this up again but we'd better be quick about it.

Rachel Davies


If you check the http://www.paskaward.org/faq/

It explains
"How do I nominate someone? Send an email to pask-nominations AT agilealliance DOT org. Please explain the reasons why you think the person you nominate should be considered."


Jean Tabaka

I'm so saddened you singled out my tweet in this discussion about the award. I had a very good interchange with JB Rainsberger, the first award winner, about my sloppiness in joking in the tweet. I think I have just learned an extremely valuable lesson about tweeting. There was much tweeting going on at the time that the truth is, there are no woman award winners. That is just the truth of it. I do not want that to take away from any of the incredible gentlemen who have been awarded this wonderful recognition. As I told JB and will tell anyone else, I have never sought the award and was shocked anyone would put my name in as a candidate (which apparently happened and I laughed at the thought.) But then I also don't consider myself accomplished, just incredibly incredibly lucky to be part of this community.


Nice write up. I especially like your attitude that trying to force a false diversity actually harms the allegedly slighted group (women, in the case of s/w). Amen to that.

Rachel Davies


I'm sorry if by quoting your tweet I upset you that wasn't my intention. I quoted your tweet because it was made a couple of weeks ago and sparked the train of thought that resulted in this blog. I don't remember seeing any others around the same time. Although there were also some tweets around the end of Agile2009, I haven't done the digging to see who those were from.

Yes, I appreciate that there have been no women recipients of this award and wanted to talk about that in this blog post.

Having seen you in action, I can say that you are in my opinion truly an accomplished facilitator and I highly recommend you to others.

Best regards,


Hi Rachel,

thanks for posting this!

Personally, I'm a little bit troubled already by the way the award seems to have come into being (and I did get that impression from other sources, too). It sounds like it has been created without much consideration of what the goal actually is, and what would be a good way to achieve that goal.

In fact, from the people involved I get very mixed messages about what the goal actually is:

- encourage the receiver of the award to be more active. As you might be aware of, I'm quite sceptical of providing extrinsic motivation, doubly so when it comes in the form of money.

- support the award receiver and give him visibility. Sounds to me like handing out money in a ceremony at a conference is rather weak compared to other possibilities, both in support and visibility. I don't even remember the names of the award receivers of 2008, and I was there. And if I ever was a receiver, money wouldn't exactly be may main concern about how to become recognized thought leader.

- encouraging others to follow. Having been at the 2008 ceremony, it actually *discouraged* me.

I also remember tweeting Joe Rainsberger that he wants to "recognize his peers". Not sure what exactly that was about, but it certainly added to the impression that the goal of the award is not well thought through, kept alive and communicated.

Regarding diversity, selecting a woman just because of her gender is a strawman. Noone is asking you to do that.

I have the strong feeling, though - and it looks like it is shared by others in the community -, that the selection process is strongly biased to a specific form of contribution to the community. Personally, I'd see more value in a program that recognized and made visible the diversity in which people contribute to the community.

And to preemptively answer that question: yes, I do think that women's contributions tend to be different from those of men.

J. B. Rainsberger

Hallo, Ilja.

A few people have now told me that women contribute to the community differently than men, and that the Pask Award is skewed towards the archetypal Male Style of Contribution. Would you, or anyone else, please explain to me the archetypal Female Style of Contribution so that we can adjust the Pask Award's charter to include it? I don't know what it is and no-one has explained it to me yet.



Hi, thanks for the post. I enjoyed it and it was good to read some explanation around the award! All the best

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