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Agile Australia 2011 Series - Agile Interest Group

This Topic is all about nurturing your agile workforce and wheedling out and identifying your biggest allies. Why it’s really important is because it’s great to identify your pals in your quest for doing more Agile projects; who is interested? who is curious? Equally, it can be telling to see who doesn't join up.
It’s very easy to start an Agile Interest Group:- just book a meeting and send it out to your organisation to find out who wants to come. To optimise this opportunity I would give you these four tips for your agile interest group:
  1. Email distribution list, or bulletin board, or blog; you need some way of keeping the discussion alive post any meetings. Encourage subversion on this electronic media, edgy new ideas and radical thinking. This encourages contribution and a noisy chat forum is alive and energising.
  2. Advertise outside the group often; to capture new members early and often as new people join your organisation. It also gives you an opportunity to extend the group into other business areas if you haven't already.
  3. Do food, equally brown bag lunches if the idea of having a forum during work hours is not acceptable in your organisation.
  4. Do not constrain. No matter what kind of power hungry megalomaniac you are try and keep the meetings driven by participants, and let the community own the engagement rules and what gets done when you meet.

At this point I need to confess and credit Richard Durnall here, for this was his suggestion very early on in our organisation's Agile journey. It was a passing comment he made in the lift well “Another thing you can do is form an interest group” I think he was reaching out as he could see the frustration I had in the early days trying to convince my boss, my peers and my executives to take a risk on Agile. It was a great suggestion of Richard’s and I felt instantly empowered when I was surrounded by a bunch of people I knew thought a little bit like me and wanted to help make a change.


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