The OpenSpace Agility Handbook 2nd Edition
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- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 130 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0984875336
- ISBN-13 : 978-0984875337
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.31 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Freestanding Press; 2nd edition (October 16, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I received the book at the Agile Alliance Agile Conference in August 2015. I attended a talk by Daniel Mezick called "Scaling Agile With Open Spaces" not entirely sure what I would get from the talk. This book was the best piece of swag I got from the conference and here is why.
I am a fan of Harrison Owin's Open Space Technology (OST) for creating change through open discussions of important topics. When I read Openspace Agility Handbook I was really pleased how they take the core philosophies of OST and the Agile Manifesto and combined them. It was the first agile transformation framework that I have read that stayed true to the tenets of The Manifesto.
Daniel Mezick first and foremost focuses on human choice. It is through respecting the individual's choice that we eventually gain buy-in from from all individuals. Daniel emphasizes several times that we need to respect peoples choice to find flaws in what we are doing that encourage engagement. Peoples objections become a way to engage and create leaders who take charge of the transformation.
Choice and encouragement may one of the primary themes of this book, but there are a lot of other note worthy things.
The hole process starts with 60 days of education and coaching. It is designed to get initial understanding, buy-in, and opinions.
It then uses OST as an opening meeting designed to allow people to gather understanding and owner ship of agility within their organization. This meeting does not have mandatory attendance. That is part of the power of this approach. This meeting will draw those who feel strongly for or against the introduction of agile thought within the organizations. This aligns with the OST Principle "Who ever comes is the right people." It also ensures powerful conversations.
From that initial meeting there is a 100 day process where people are allowed to experiment and play with adding agile thought processes within their work. This time period is designed to allow all those involved to discover what they do not know and seek help. Most importantly it allows all involved to form opinions about what it means to be a more agile organization.
There is another OST meeting that works as a company wide retrospective. This meeting also has optional attendance for the same reasons the previous one does.
It ends with a 30 day period designed to help the people in the organization take full ownership of its transformation.
The book is an easy read and was easily digested. It focuses on the people more then any process and is designed to work for various sized businesses.
Where the book falls short is that it makes the process sound easy, despite warning that it might not be. It also does not address with any detail concerns that can arise in larger organizations. Things like distributed workforce or multiple shifts.
Despite those short comings, I feel the book is well worth the read. It is an original solution to the problem of transformation, and its human centric approach is very refreshing.
As an Agility Coach by trade, I have found that the compassionate principles behind OpenSpace Agility create an overwhelming bond that fuels an organization's purpose in ways that leave me in awe. To that end, I am on a lifelong journey to fully anchor my understanding and beliefs, so that I can bring a deeply-principled OpenSpace facilitation and coaching stance for the full benefit of an organization. I encourage you to do the same by starting with this handbook.
Word of Warning -- It sounds simple on the surface; however, I assure you that if you choose to embark on this journey (through the handbook), it will open the door to a lifelong pursuit of learning & growth within yourself. It might even change the way you think about ..... well ..... *everything*.
I've had the humbling opportunity to live through a *real* "Chapter of Learning" with Daniel Mezick. Not only did it help me grow as an Agility Coach, it literally changed my life. This was within a huge company that was struggling to find its purpose and how best to let its people own the journey. It was a deeply-purposeful endeavor that created breathtaking levels of energy that continue to guide this proud organization's Agile transformation into present-day.
Thank you to Daniel Mezick and his Team for making their profound wisdom available to all of us.
Top reviews from other countries
This is an instant classic. Dan shows how to use established practices (Open Space) that many coaches are familiar with, and tweak them to help with one of the hardest parts of an Agile Transformation.... Engagement.
Thank you Dan and co. Massively useful and practical.
If you consider an agile transformation or are in the middle of one - this book is for you! Use Open Space for smoothing your transformation.
(Fun fact: In my very first book"Agile Software Development in the Large", I recommended to use Open Space for introducing and sustaining agile. Yet, due to a different focus I didn't provide the necessary details on the how as this book provides. That's why I'm really happy that this knowledge is now shared! Thank you!)