APLN – Research Laboratory 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the frequently-asked questions below.  If you don’t see an answer to your question, use the button at the bottom of the page to submit your question and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Q:  When is the conference?

A:  We are targeting three half-day sessions June 7-9, 2021,  8am – 1pm  CDT

Q:  What is the cost to attend?

A:  The conference will not be free.  There are costs associated with hosting an event of this size and complexity which will be factored into the individual ticket prices.  These costs may be offset by contributions from our sponsors.   Ticket prices will be posted when the links for registration are made available.


Challenge – a complex issue facing an organization for which the stakes are high, the time to react is short, and the need for action is imminent.

Q: What kind of challenges are you looking for?

A: We are literally looking for anything that could be causing you stress in your business.  Are you concerned about product delivery?  Are you worried about the processes used in your organization?  Are you looking for better ways to engage your employees?  

Q: Do you have a specific industry preference?

A: No.  The more varied the problem space(s), the better!

Client Partners

 Client Partner – an organization facing a vexing problem that is ready and willing to commit to trying new ways to address those problems

Q: What do you mean by Client Partner?

A: If your challenge is accepted and becomes one of the approved research topics, a research team will be assembled to address your issue.  You are a partner in this effort because ultimately, only you can commit your organization and people to trying out the suggestions and share the results.

Q: I’m interested in learning more, but don’t want to commit yet.  What should I do?

A: Submit your challenge using the submission form.  Filling out the form primarily provides us with contact information so we can call and discuss your options.  You are under no obligation to participate, and if you choose to decline, we’ll remove your information from our prospective partner list.

Research Partners

Research Partner(usually) the employee of a Client Partner who will join the Research Team assigned to their organizational challenge.  In the days and weeks following the conference, they will communicate the team’s recommendations into the Client Partner organization



Research Participants

Research Participanta conference attendee who has expressed an interest in joining the Research Team assigned to a specific organizational challenge.  Research participants will gain experience being part of a consulting team, as well as become co-authors of the resulting experience report.



Research Leads

Research Leadthe member of a Research Team with primary responsibility to collect and report on the outcomes that result from the application of team suggestions within the Client Partner organization.  The lead is the principal author of the resulting research paper and experience report (other members of the research team are co-authors).



Research Coordinators

Research Coordinator the member of a Research Team with primary responsibility to ensure the team meets regularly to engage in the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle.   Each team needs one coordinator.



Research Teams

Research Teama cross-functional consulting group dedicated to supporting a Client Partner in facing down a vexing Challenge.  The team will consist of a combination of Research Partners, Research Participants, a Research Lead and a Research Coordinator.  



Virtual Attendees

Virtual Attendee – an attendee to the conference who does not wish to be part of one of the research teams.  They can attend the keynotes, workshops, and problem statement sessions, but do not participate in the research team’s post-conference meetings.  Virtual Attendees will not be co-authors or take part in creating the experience reports.  Their involvement ends with the close of the conference.



Workshop Facilitators

Workshop Facilitatoran experienced trainer/facilitator who can moderate a virtual workshop during the conference, with the aim of teaching an applicable skill to Research Team members, Client Partners, and Virtual Attendees.



Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakera thought leader who opens one day of the conference with an inspirational topic relevant to the theme of challenges being explored each day.



The Call for Challenges has begun.  If your challenge is accepted, you will become the key stakeholder to an agile research team that will propose solutions and document the outcomes as your challenges are addressed.

Each real-world challenge will be assigned a team of researchers to analyze the challenge, recommend solutions, monitor the results and adjust course as necessary.  Results will be captured and the research team will be co-authors of the resulting experience report.

Before you register, consider whether your organization would like to be a sponsor.  Sponsors get many perks, including free tickets!

During the conference, all attendees will have the opportunity to attend skill-building workshops to learn about specific agile practices and how to apply them.  Do you have what it takes to show them how it's done?