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 Subject: OST blew me away
 Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 00:54:33 +0200
 From: Chris Wege <wege@acm.org>
 To: mherman@globalchicago.net

Michael,

we met at the XP conference in Chicago. You convinced me to use OST for our annual plenum of my non-profit association in Germany. So we left out a technical talk. The day before the plenum we found out that the whole board didn't want to get reelected. Luckily we had scheduled for OST to discuss the most burning issues - and we really had burning issues. OST saved our day. Now we have two completely new people and one temporary solution. And we changed the minds for the future.

I facilitated the session. The energy was nearly blowing me away. Thanks for having introduced me to OST and for pushing me to use it immediately.

Best regards, Chris


these comments pasted from the Agile/XP Conference Wiki... so the names and other links have disappeared and become ?'s again.


I am very pleased with the response to Open Space. Lots of interesting topics have been proposed and discussed. I love being a butterfly and floating from topic to topic. AnnAnderson?
Found the Open Space experience to be extremely valuable as I get to sit with other practitioners to discuss the problems of the community rather than just hear preaching. There's only one problem with Open Space ... it has spoiled me. I'm going to be bored with any conference that doesn't have an Open Space track now.

Also, one possible addition to the Open Space process is to incorporate the note card technique used in design patterns study groups. The general idea is to hand out several 3x5 cards to everyone in the group. As they hear something interesting, they write it on the 3x5 card and toss it in the circle. The moderator collects all the cards at the end and uses them to write up notes. See http://www.industriallogic.com for details.

Finally, Wiki is great collector for the final form of the written knowledge as it can let the discussion continue.

-- MarkKilby?


I really found the Open Space experience very helpful since it brings people, including the experts on the issues, together to share their experiences and brain storm on the issues. Next conference can be Open Space Session by itself. I felt that I got much more out of the Open Sesssions than the tutorials for which I paid so much! PinarKinikoglu?
Open Space is something that I have tried before and I was happy to see it here at the conference. It allowed people to share thoughts and ideas. It also allowed people to find the other people who wanted to talk about a subject. It was a great idea for the conference to use this medium. GermaineCharleston?
I was so pleased to participate in Open Space! I agree with Mark Kilby's comments above that I will now judge all future conferences by their "openness" to Open Space. Additionally, gathering the output in Wiki is phenomenal. JeanTabaka?
What an exciting time we had in the Open Space experience. JanetDanforth?
I was excited to see that this conference would be offering an Open Space track, as I have had experience leading and participating in them in the past and have found it is invariably the most fruitful place for my learning in conference settings. Once again this has been proved true for me. Thank you for including the Open Space. DianaLarsen?
I enjoyed the Open Space experience coupled with the Wiki to capture discussions and enable continuing discussions. I definitely gained much more from the Open Space sessions than the typical paper presentation sessions. -- BilKleb?
I had a great time in OpenSpace. I much prefer it to traditional paper presentations. However, I thought the themes were weak. It seems to me that the purpose of the theme is to weave all the threads of conversation back into a coherent fabric. You want the scattering to take place, but the gesture is not complete until it comes back together. --KentBeck?

Note: "...comes back together." Coming back together is neither assured or always necessary. It's a function of time, energy, and value. Always, this sort of coming back together at the end is a function of the people, rather than the theme. It sometimes helps to design in time for sorting and clustering, priorization and next steps. But when the things to do will mostly be done by individuals scattering to the wind, no theme or design is going to overcome that inertia. In those situations, we do a simple closing circle and where integration is needed and valuable, the people make it happen, in their own time. In our case, "the future of software" theme was intentionally expansive, not intended to "come back together" until the following year's conference, when perhaps some brave new papers would emerge. --Michael Herman


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© 1998-2017 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael