OSA at AgileCoachCamp DC

We are both sponsoring and attending AGILE COACH CAMP USA EAST in DC July 31-Aug2.

In addition, we are offering a 1/2 OSA Experiential Briefing on Sunday Aug 2 immediately following the conference event, and RIGHT BEFORE the Agile2015 event.

You can learn more about AGILE COACH CAMP, and register, here: AGILE COACH CAMP USA 2015

You can learn more about the 1/2 OSA Experiential Briefing on Sunday Aug 2 here: 1/2 DAY OSA EXPERIENTIAL BRIEFING

At both AGILE COACH CAMP and the 1/2 day OSA event that follows, coaches, executives and teams can learn about how to replace mandates with invitations, in service to process-change that is fast, effective and lasting.

We hope to see you there !

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OSA at the PMI

OSA and OSA concepts are featured in a workshop, June 19 at the MASSBAY-PMI Professional Development Day in Norwood Mass.

Here is the link: http://www.myeventguru.com/events/PDDAY2015/


Here is the session description:

The Rapid & Lasting Agile Adoption: Push…or Pull?
Deep Dive Session

A mandate of specific Agile practices is a “push”, while an invitation to understand Agile principles and use practices that align with them is “pull”. Which actually works better? Push, or pull? Mandating, or inviting? Is Agile best implemented in an Agile way?!? The answer is YES, and in this experiential workshop we explore the details. Through a blend of short presentations, case studies and experiential exercises, we explore what actually works. Is your Agile adoption kind of a mess? The tools you take away from this session can be used to “reboot” your Agile adoption…and get it back on track.

What You Will Learn:

  • What IS Agile? Is there a clear definition that we can actually understand and agree to?
  • What is the role of the PMI-Project Manager in the Agile world? *Is every project an Agile project? If not, how do we address this?
  • Can we push “Agile solutions” on software people who create solutions for a living?
  • What is engagement? Why do we care?
  • Can we “make” Agile stick if the people who actually do the work are not engaged?
  • Is encouraging people to “self organize to another job” an effective way to deal with resistance?
  • In this session you’ll learn a proven step-by-step process for creating an Agile adoption that actually sticks.
  • Learning Objectives
    * You’ll learn how to get everyone– PMs, execs, BAs, developers– engaged in the work of “figuring it out”- across the entire organization.
    * You’ll experience these tools during the workshop– you will not just HEAR about them, you will EXPERIENCE them.
    * You’ll exit this session with specific facilitation tools you can bring back to work– and use in your own Agile adoption.
    * You’ll learn how to customize and tailor your Agile adoption plans to fit your organization.


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OSA at Agile2015

OpenSpace Agility (OSA) is featured in the Agile Conference held in Washington DC in August 2015.

We believe that most experienced Agile practitioners understand the futility of “forced process change” and simply need a way to gently introduce Agile to their organization. OSA is one approach that actually works.



Here is the link to the Agile2015 session: Scaling Agile With Open Space


“…this session presents narratives, pictures, videos and testimony from C-level people as well as team members. Each will describe how Open Space inside their Agile adoption literally changed their lives.

“…of particular interest are the stories executives tell about how they learned to let go and trust their people to provide everything the Agile adoption needed to succeed at scale.



Recently, Agile Manifesto signatory Andy Hunt has been speaking out about issues related to the forcing of process-change. Other Manifesto signatories such as Dave Thomas and Martin Fowler are also speaking out. It appears that there is a trend change well underway, towards invitation and experimentation with principles, and away from mandates…. and the forcing of practices.

The Agile2015 session on Scaling Agile with Open Space has a big story to tell.

We hope to see you there!



Related Links:

MARTIN FOWLER (Agile Manifesto signatory) blog

ANDY HUNT (Agile Manifesto signatory) blog

DAVE THOMAS (Agile Manifesto signatory) blog

Is Mandating Agile Practices and Good Bet?

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on Agile training, Agile coaching, and Agile-related software to manage the process.

Hundreds of millions. Annually.

It is not uncommon for a large organization to spend over 1 million dollars per year on Agile-related products and services.

Is this money being well-spent? Are the organizations that are spending this money making a good bet?

Gambling is the betting of money at unfavorable odds.

Wagering is the betting of money at favorable odds.

Let’s investigate, and see which one it is…



The History of Agile Adoptions

Let’s inspect this.

The sample size across the entire worldwide Agile experience since 2001 is at least 13 years of mostly-mandated Agile adoptions, worldwide! That might be 1,000 attempts a year for 13 years. Let’s use 13 years in this illustration. I am using low numbers, and being polite. (This was written in 2014….)

OK: If Agile-practice mandates actually worked, we would be able to point with pride to thousands upon thousands of verifiable and unmitigated success stories.


So for example, even with just a 20% win rate, we might be able to identify as many as 2,600 legitimate successes which is 20% of 13,000 attempted “Agile transformations.”

WOW-  TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED success stories worldwide. Great … right?

Not really!

If  a mandate works 20 times out of 100 attempts, and a consent-based approach works 80 times per 100 attempts, both can be said to work SOME of the time.

A 20% win rate is nothing to brag about.

If a mandate will work in about 1 out of  5 attempts, in the long run, it is a gamble a bet at very unfavorable odds. You are a “4 to 1 dog against.” 4 out of 5 attempts (on average) will fail in the long run.

Are those actually good numbers?

Are we actually happy with that?




The OpenSpace Agility (OSA) assumes that human engagement is essential.

It replaces the mandate with an invitation. It is an approach that succeeds in  greatly improving the odds for success in getting a rapid and lasting Agile adoption, by acknowledging the reality of imposed mandates and replacing those nasty mandates with opt-in invitations.

The method includes leadership storytelling, the use of Open Space, deliberate experience design, game mechanics and more, all in service to the creation of rapid and more lasting Agile adoptions.



OpenSpace Agility gets it done. Are you ready? Let’s do this: CONTACT US


Related Links:

The Ken Blanchard Companies revealed the shocking fact that up to 70 per cent of all change initiatives fail. The article:

Mastering the Art of Change (link)


Simplicity Is What Scales

Participant engagement is absolutely essential to enterprise-wide process change.

I do not believe I am oversimplifying when I say that engaging people- at every level of authorization– actually creates ALL of the “right underlying conditions for agility” that are necessary to succeed.

I do not believe I am oversimplifying when I say that engaged people can and do routinely solve big, huge problems like “crushing system dependencies” without any help from an external authority. Being able to do this (without an army of consultants) is, after all, what self-sustaining, freestanding, enterprise-wide Agility is all about.

Accepting the idea that the “it doesn’t matter if you mandate it or not” is very much out of alignment with absolutely core Agile principles. Martin Fowler said as much, directly and plainly, back in 2006. Back then, he issues a big, protective warning to the Agile community. You can see for yourself by following the link below.

Engaged people, by definition, already know how to self-organize.

Some “thought leaders” in the Agile community explain that “people do not actually know how to self-manage and self-organize”, and that experts must “help” them learn how to do this.

Really? Is this true? Do we actually believe this?

Are we then to “manage” this process of self-management? Self-organization?

If the answer is yes, perhaps we are part of the very problem we claim to be solving.

Martin Fowler said as much in 2006: The Agile Imposition:

“…Imposing an agile process from the outside strips the team of the self-determination which is at the heart of agile thinking.”

Simplicity is what scales. It all starts in Open Space.


OSA in New York City

Daniel Mezick recently delivered the keynote address at the Big Apple Scrum Day conference event in New York, New York.

You can learn more here.