The agile community in Belgium(Benelux) started somewhere in 2001.
There were three kind of ways we interacted:
- Pairprogrammingparties: People meeting at the backroom of a café/restaurant, where they programmed the whole evening in pairs.
- agile evening events: companies that had a problem, provide us with a room, food & beverages and we came with a bunch of people interested in agile. We discussed, played a game …
- the yearly xpday benelux 2 days event
All that was completely self-organized. We had enough companies interested and we lots of different topics.
Gradually, the focus of the regular people came on the yearly event. I think that pretty quick after the mini-xp days (which is basically a best of the previous xp days) was started, the monthly evening events died.
The nice thing about the Belgium agile community is that every times this happens, there is someone who stands up and starts to organize a new kind event.
Years ago we had Jurgen De Smet launching Agile in Belgium.
A few years back, we had Mark, Bruno & Xavier launching the agile beer drink ups.
- Last agile beer drink up, the question came, it would be nice to have an evening event where we can do more then just talking.
So tonight we had the resurrection of the evening events.We had an agile games night.We played:
- Alan Cyments multi-tasking game
- a coin game version adaptation of “I’m not a bottleneck, I’m a free man”
- non musical chair game
My lessons learned:
- As this was taking place at a customer I am currently helping, I did not really wanted to facilitate. Yet I never really made a clear decision and thus no clear communication. That ended into a lot of confusion for many people. That was a big mistake.
- I had lots of facilitation stuff in my car, I did not bring it to the office, thinking I will have time. When we have 3 hours and lots of games to play, we can’t loose time. Another facilitation mistake.
- In XP: the customer is the bottleneck. That was a take away that links two idea’s I like.
- things to think about: as part of a debrief we discussed that it’s better to start then to think. Someone repeated that as: in agile there is no thinking.
- While driving home I realized that as these days I do facilitation most of my days and thus when I go to a local event I avoid more of the same. Ignoring the fact that I learn a lot by doing facilitating my own community.
- As being an agile adapt for quite some times, I am always looking for new games and things to learn. yet sometimes it’s good to remember that a lot of newbies, don’t know the basics games like the XP game, the leadership game or the bal game.
yes I play these games with almost all my customers, yet I should not forget to play it also for the community from time to time.
- A few years ago, I have decided to drop out of a lot of evening events, in favor of my family. Last year I realized that this decision made me miss a lot of local agile friends. In return I started having lunch with at least one agile friend a month. Tonight I realized I want to open this up. hence: alunch short for agile lunch. Watch this blog, my twitter feed for an announcement in the next days.