For a long time now, we have been thinking about creating a time and place for inspiring creative solutions and providing a new way for departments to communicate and collaborate at CM4all. This forum would augment our SCRUM system already in place, which features stand-ups and retrospectives as well as regular Technical Talks events.
We asked ourselves: What would be the best way to identify critical issues, unlock passions, and help us learn from each other? Open Space Technology was the answer - a tool that enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with hugely complex issues in a very short period of time.
In an effective Open Space event, participants organize their own time at the conference for maximum benefit. The Open Space “Law of Two Feet” says that if you’re neither learning nor contributing in a session, you can get up and move to a different session.
Open Space Technology is based on four principles:
1. Whoever comes is the right person.
2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
3. When it starts is the right time.
4. When it's over, it's over.
Complicated? Not really. We decided that a series of participant-led sessions on a wide variety of topics that concern us as employees was exactly what we were looking for. And we were right!
The agenda of our half-day CM4all Open Space was set by people from various departments, and anyone could bring an issue to the Marketplace. We ended up with variety of topics like Open Source possibilities, data protection, internal tools, resource issues, improving cross-team collaboration as well as a status assessment of our agile software development.
The four principles and the Law helped a lot in creating a great event motivated by the passion of the participants. Employees reported enjoying the flexibility and wide variety of discussions at the Open Space event. Afterward, the feedback was clear: We want more Open Space at CM4all!
So, here you go: next CM4all Open Space will take place end of August 2016.