During the period between the first and second open space, teams are encouraged to experiment with process – within the guardrails of the agile principles.

With the number of failed agile adoptions in the industry today, it is easy to understand how most people come to Open Space Agility with a certain amount of cynicism.  Teams are encouraged to suspend disbelief and experiment with processes.  When teams see the specific practices they are using actually work, the cynicism slowly fades and the team begins its journey to hyper productivity.

Experimentation is the key to creating the fertile conditions for continuous improvement across the organization.

To effect a change in an organization, the behavior of the individuals comprising the organization need to change.   Cognitive science tells us that people resist change.

Major transitions are fraught with stress and fear of the unknown.

As people settle into their careers, they learn the culture of the organization and how work gets done.  There is a natural comfort that comes with knowing the rules of the game.  When a shift in how work is done is introduced, fear and uncertainty naturally follow.  Experimentation can reduce this change-anxiety, since nothing is framed as permanent or “set in stone”.  Without that fear and anxiety present, the experiments run for some number of days. When positive results ensue, this encourages the formation of new habits and changed behaviors.

Experimentation is the key to igniting the learning for the teams and ultimately the organization as a whole.


Written by: Deb Pontes, OSA-Certified Instructor