Posts tagged ‘OpenSpace’


Toronto Agile

This past Saturday I attended an OpenSpace event hosted by the Toronto Agile Community. This was two firsts for me, in that I had never been to an OpenSpace event and I had never been to an agile event. I will admit that I contemplated staying home to enjoy the sunshine and get my motorcycle ready for another season of riding and I am glad I went.

OpenSpace is a fascinating idea, essentially a self-organizing conference. A bunch of time slots are allocated, and a big pile of paper and pens are placed in the middle of the room. Attendees create topics they either want to present, or learn more about, and post it to the schedule. There is some negotiate around combining sessions, or moving sessions so interested parties can attend what they are interested in. Then it starts, or not. While time slots are allocated, sessions can start and finish whenever they want. If a session isn’t interesting you, get up and wander over to the next session, or stare out the window. Whatever works for you.

About 55 people showed up for the conference of the 70 or so that registered according to the organizers. The group was quite diverse, from young to…umm…mature, and developers to managers, and at least a couple of agile consultants/coaches such as Michael Sahota. Topics discussed covered such things as using improv to improve your stand ups and how to do Scrum in a distributed environment. Some topics didn’t go in the direction the speaker intended and it was a very lively and interesting discussion. In others, such as the distributed Scrum practice, we were all experiencing the same pain, and coming up with the similar solutions which made at least me feel a little better.

Overall, I enjoyed the OpenSpace experience and will look for opportunities to attend future events, and perhaps even use the concept myself. I have an idea of where it might be applicable. My only possible regret was not going for drinks afterwards but I had a burning desire to get that new motorcycle battery. A great day because I did learn new things, and I was only a day ‘late’ in getting the motorcycle prepped for a new year of riding.

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