Global Scrum Gathering Dublin 2017 co-chairs Iain McKenna and Michel Goldenberg.
What energizes Michel Goldenberg most about Scrum Gatherings is the opportunity to exchange ideas with others in the community. So when Iain McKenna invited him to co-chair the Global Scrum Gathering® Dublin 2017, an event that includes Open Space not just one day but every day, he accepted the offer with a smile.
“This alternative format allows you to interact with others within the conference,” says Goldenberg, who finds that for many, exchanging experiences with others individually or in small groups is the most effective way to learn.
“Our whole vision for the gathering is the primary value of Agile: individuals and interactions over process and tools,” says McKenna. Because both formal and open sessions will be offered on all three days, he believes more attendees will benefit.
“What I want to achieve is a more mixed program,” says McKenna, adding that people who don't enjoy Open Space will always have the option of attending the formal sessions. “Flexibility within the program is key.” An individual can attend a scheduled session for 60 or 90 minutes, then interact with people in Open Space, and later in the day attend another scheduled session.
In addition to learning from others, Open Space provides an opportunity for attendees to contribute by offering presentations in their own areas of expertise. “If attendees want to meet new people, if they want to share their experiences about situations in their workplace, Open Space is the right place to do it,” Goldenberg says.
Both McKenna and Goldenberg are Certified Scrum Trainers with extensive experience working with companies internationally. Among their many accomplishments, McKenna presented at the Scrum Gathering in Berlin and the Agile Business Conference in London; Goldenberg helped grow the worldwide Agile Tours with events in South America and Asia.
The co-chairs made the decision to change the gathering format based on their own experience and on what they have learned from other attendees. Simply put, some people love Open Space and some do not.
“In all the gatherings I've been to, the last day has been total Open Space. So people who don't like it quite often leave at the end of the second day. And they could be missing out on all sorts of things,” McKenna says. Having the option to attend formal sessions on the last day would give them more time to benefit from the conference.
The co-chairs are also considering offering some formal sessions twice, so attendees can have a second chance to participate in a session they missed the first time.
Another new feature of the Dublin gathering is the “Train the Trainer” kiosk, where attendees can ask work-related questions and learn about how to become a Certified Scrum Trainer®.
“We are looking into ways we can enhance the value of the gatherings for everyone who attends, giving everyone a collection of things that they would be interested in and excited about,” McKenna says. “We want to give people a better opportunity to mix and talk to each other, so there will always be something unpredictable.”