Opt-in Participation is essential.
Here is the basic premise: the passionate and the responsible can and will show up to do the hard work of leading the Agile adoption. We identify the passionate and responsible by issuing invitations – instead of mandates.
As Harrison Owen says: “Without passion, nobody cares. Without responsibility, nothing gets done.”
In OSA, we replace coercive mandates of process-change with what amounts to an “an invitation to play a game.”
Here is the game:
- Explore how to improve continuously, as an organization, via the experimental implementation of Agile practices
- Experiment with Agile practices, and then inspect the results about every 100 days.
- Start and end the 100 days in Open Space.
- During the 100 days, “suspend disbelief,” “act as if,” and “pretend” these Agile principles and practices might actually work.
- After the 100 days, discard practices that are not working. Improve and keep using practices that are working.
- Examine the Open Space Proceedings, paying attention to the actions the organization is taking to improve based on this document.
- Observe the new behaviors of executives, directors, managers, and teams.
- Listen for the new stories being told.
- Pay attention to improvement in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- 100% opt-in.
In OSA, we hold that a well-structured and enticing invitation to participate is superior to a coercive mandate – in (almost) every way.