Product People 2019: A conference review

A conference review

written by Torben Berkemeier

On May 16 and 17, the conference “Product People 2019” took place at AXA (insurance company) in Cologne. Due to the constant increase in demand, it ran for two days for the first time. A conference review by Torben Berkemeier.

The Product People 2019 took place at AXA in Cologne. As every year, Avenga was present, this time represented by my colleague Maxime and me. After a steady increase in demand, the organizers decided this year on a two-day conference. Considering what I experienced there, and the variety of interesting topics and workshops, this was definitely a good decision.

Again this year, Avenga was of course, present as a sponsor and organized, among other things, the goodie bags. In addition, one of the meeting rooms had Avenga-themed decorations – which is where I felt most at home. 😉


The keynote address at the opening on the first day was on the topic “Toyota Kata“, a book describing the innovative management practices which have produced comparatively impressive results for the Japanese car manufacturer.

Afterward, all the participants were invited to think about topics and questions, which they wished to discuss in joint sessions in the Open Space format of the conference. (An explanation of the Open Space format can be found here.) Additionally, there were also the conference’s planned workshops and presentations – so, there was plenty of content on offer.

Both Maxime and I attended the following events on the first day of the Product People 2019:

  • Systemic coaching
  • Planning & delivery
  • Dealing with toxic team members
  • Digital misfits
  • Daily delivery with value

I particularly enjoyed the first session on “Systemic coaching”. It was primarily concerned with the question on how to help employees out of a stressful problem-solving mindset and into a more relaxed, but also more productive, working mode.

In the evening, we had a very relaxed barbecue together, which was a more than perfect end to our first day.


The second day of Product People 2019 started with a short presentation by Roman Pichler on product development, Scrum, and roles like Product Owner and Scrum Master.

Overall, the second day was relatively similar to the first: Again, the participants could introduce themselves in their own specially organized sessions. We attended the following sessions and presentations:

  • Agility with distributed teams
  • Body and mind relaxation
  • Why are sprint goals not achieved?
  • Agile product development with the example of

Particularly interesting and informative was the topic around the methodical handling of distributed teams – especially in the light of Avenga’s three German locations in Cologne, Berlin, and Frankfurt and the collaboration with our nationwide customers, with whom we are in constant contact. 


All in all, I really enjoyed the wide range of input from a variety of roles and people at Product People 2019. I can definitely recommend a visit and would happily attend it again.

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