What does it mean community?

During some recent community events I stood aside if front of the door and observed people coming to the event. They were coming in great numbers and I am always curious what attracted them to come and spending their evening with us.

“Are we here right for the training of …..?” people asked me and I confirmed them they are on the right place and directed them toward the room. They came for training they said.

Next day I have asked in several companies, which claims they are Agile but nobody showed up, what has happened they did not attend the event. “The topic was not interesting, it is not an issue for us, we couldn’t learn something there……“was quite common answer.

Well, here is SOMETHING WRONG I guess. Coming to training is passive attitude. It is about coming to listen to while somebody will speak and teaching us. It is all about taking away. Are we really coming just to take away something regardless of others?

Most recently, we have discussed role of ScrumMaster. It is a topic, which might be lightweight and clear, but complex in the same time. Since I meet rarely good ScrumMasters, but quite a lot those “ScrumMasters”, I know this role has many hidden pitfalls and space for exchanging experience is wide indeed. It did not surprise me then, when participants realized role of ScrumMaster contains much more. There is real value in discussing it.

 Michal Vallo presents ScrumMaster

So what it is community?

Agilia evenings are community events – organized by community for the community. Community is not me or those three guys across the country only. Community may be anybody who has interest in agile techniques. Simply, anybody from you!

Community is about sharing knowledge, and about sharpening it with other experience. It is important, because world of business is not uniform. And theory should be adapted appropriately. In the real world, I can observe that theory may be well understood and role well adapted for the environment and it maintains all attributes, which given role is supposed to carry – ideal situation. Unfortunately, it is very uncommon one. Other extreme is zero knowledge of theory, and amateur adaptation of the role to environment. Results are frustrating, but there are really many who are satisfied with this. Or there may be some understanding of theory, and adaptation may lead toward good one, or toward bad one, depends of which force of change is stronger – willingness to change or need to keep status quo.

And why we organize events? We have definitely no ambition to train you. The purpose is to provoke discussion, share positive examples or discuss misuse. The greatest value occurs when mixed group of experienced and novice are discussing together. It is then benefit for everybody. Community is about bringing in!

What does it mean community for you? What is your expectation? What are you bringing to the common table? Let me know your opinion.


About author: Michal Vallo helps companies deploy agile techniques and improve performance. He is agile trainer, coach and manager at Aguarra and founding member of Agilia community and organizer of Agilia Conference.