Friday, January 1, 2016

The Swiss Agile Leaders Retrospective

If you never heard about the Swiss Agile Leaders Circle (SALC) – don’t worry.

SALC that is a bunch of individuals (Klaus, Line, Mischa, Peter and myself) out of the agile scene in Switzerland. Although everybody of us has a quite different history and job we share the common mindset and conviction. We share the vision that all these ideas around agile, lean, management 3.0 and so on support the development of organizations in a positive way. Thereby we define positive as: competing successfully in their market and offering a work environment where employees are intrinsic motivated and tell you that is fun to work.

Well, so far so good, and now?

We founded the SALC to share our experiences; and to share our experiences with others; and – in the best case – to seed a community of people that share their experiences on a voluntary base without our active engagement in any way.

To share our experiences is easy. We meet from time to time and have regularly skype session. As well we are present at events. This covers a part of our vision.

To share experiences with others is not that easy. What we did was driving community events like the Agile Unconference that took place Nov 4 2015 or workshops related to a specific topic. We organize these events, invite interested persons and hope there is any interest. Well, the Agile Unconference is a success and fun for us – although it is a lot of work us in preparation. Unluckily, we are not that happy with the workshop format. It is a tremendous piece of work to organize a workshop. The fun on our side was low and we are not that happy with the results.

Time to run a Retrospective…

There is our Retrospective: An image, painted on a piece of paper as we run through our retrospective in the West Park Coffee, 2nd floor feed with Latte Macchiato and Espresso (we needed two rounds of coffee…).

Retrospective Image
Image of our SALC Retrospective

What we found out: our vision is still valid. We are still convinced that all these ideas around agile, lean, management 3.0 and more develop organizations and companies in a positive way (see above).

We discovered as well that our goals to reach this vision as still to share between us, with everybody who likes to share – and to seed a community that shares our vision.

We discovered as well that the success of the Agile Unconference is that convincing for us that we go for a next run Thu 3 Nov 2016 at the SIX Swiss Exchange, ConventionPoint, Zürich.

We discovered that we are unhappy with the workshops as we run it today. Although we get a positive feedback from one or the other attendee, this format of sharing experience is a bit like pulling teeth. So we decided not to run any workshops in this way anymore.

So we did some brainstorming and decided to run some experiments. Why not acting kind of an agile / lean think tank? We could work with somebody, some organization – on the other hand while working with these individuals we can learn ourselves just the same.

Let’s run a limited experiment. We offer some individuals and organizations half a day or a day for working together on whatever problem or context under discussion there might be – with the prerequisite that is related to our vision and experience. There is no fixed agenda, no fixed topics; it will not be an educational event or training.

Ideally during such a think tank event we all together identify alternatives and options that might work to address the challenges in the identified problem space of the individual and organization. In the worst case we spend an intensive time with each other with the insight that even with the joint effort of engaged persons we were not able to find options how to improve. In the latter case it might be a good idea to rethink the whole scenario…

As you see on the image, we set ourselves three dates for just an experiment: 29 Jan 2016, 11 Mar 2016 and 27 May 2016. We are happy that we found as well a first chance to run an experiment…we will write a blog to give you feedback of the outcome

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