Draft/Send InvitationIn OSA, we use Open Space to get everyone in one spot…. to discuss what they want, think, and feel about the contemplated Agile adoption.

Every Open Space meeting includes a genuine invitation, meaning it is OK not to attend the event if you are invited. To decline the invitation. Folks who decline the invitation must be able to do so without any real or imagined sanctions.

Drafting the Invitation requires that the Theme is already developed and defined. The Invitation provides a little more detail about the Theme, but not too much. The Invitation is an opt-in opportunity “to help write the story of the Agile adoption.”

This means the Invitation must be written in a way that the story is not fully defined. On the contrary, the best kind of Invitation is the one that leaves most of the details out. Less is more.

It is best if the Sponsor writes the Invitation with some help from the Coach, who presumably knows and understand Open Space,  the OSA method. It is best if the Coach provides some samples and encourages the Sponsor to write something similar in their own words.

In all cases the Invitation is best issued from the Sponsor. This signals that the event is important, and that responsibility for issuing the Invitation is not being “delegated down.”

In general, it is not a good idea to have a tight deadline for responding. The invitees need time to carefully consider the Invitation. Most of the people invited will probably be new to Open Space, and may be hesitant at first. By allowing sufficient time, invitees will probably discuss the meeting and their ideas about it, and whether they plan to attend.

Part if the Invitation process includes the creation of handbills and posting them in public areas like kitchens, entrance doors and hallways. The invitation and the handbills confirm each other and make the event an obvious item to talk about in the days leading up to the event.