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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

We want to make Agile Finland even better, who wants to join? A platform for 2014-2015


The ideas below reflect the discussions we (Maaret Pyhajärvi, Martin von Weissenberg, Vasco Duarte) have had while reflecting on our Visions for Agile Finland. We hope these ideas are discussed and developed within the Agile community in Finland, and end up in a set of actions for the Agile Finland Executive Committee 2014-2015. We also commit to present ourselves as candidates for the Agile Finland executive committee in the next Annual Fannual meeting and are open to you joining our group to be part of the next executive committee.

If you share our ideas, get in touch and join us for the Agile Finland board. If you don’t share our ideas, please join the debate! Publish your ideas, volunteer for the next Agile Finland board on your own or as part of our list. Our goal is to spark debate and ensure we will have a strong group of committed individuals to continue the work that we feel Agile Finland needs to complete.

Read our ideas below, and let us know what you think.

Community services

Agile Finland needs to take a role in the progress of software industry in Finland. One way in which we can do that is by cooperating more closely with the companies that identify themselves as Agile companies, both consulting and product/service production.

We want Agile Finland to be a platform for all members of the Finnish Agile Community, be they individuals or other organizations (for profit or not). As an example of this cooperation, we want to establish a yearly market research process financed by Agile Finland that would deliver a yearly “state of Agile in Finland report” and distribute it to the companies in the Agile community as well as to the media and individual Agile Finland members. This report can include topics such as:

  • Market size for Agile contracts
  • Market size for Agile software development (revenues, number of jobs, etc.)
  • Key trends from the Agile market in Finland (topics of interest, business models, etc.)
The full list of topics to cover is to be decided by the group that will create the report.

Sponsorship and funding for Agile Finland

Over the past years, conferences (especially Scan Agile) have been a major funding component for Agile Finland. We want to propose some changes in this respect. We recognize that it is today unclear for Sponsors to know which events to participate in as sponsors. If you support Tampere Goes Agile does it make sense to support another major conference like Scan Agile? How about conferences that happen at similar times? Which one to choose?

We find these choices confuse sponsors and do not adequately serve our present Agile Finland members either. Therefore we propose a change in model for 2014-2015. We propose that companies interested in sponsoring Agile Finland be able to sponsor the whole year of events (several major events are held by Agile Finland every year) and be allowed to choose which ones they participate in. For example, if Company A purchases a yearly sponsorship from Agile Finland they could be features in Scan Agile, Tampere Goes Agile and local events that will happen during the year.

Alternatively, companies could still purchase sponsorship packages for specific events just like they did until now.

Additionally we want to propose a change in the Agile Finland bylaws to allow corporate membership. This membership would allow companies to have access to services such as market research, recruiting communication and other services that Agile Finland may want to develop in support of the Agile business community.

Sponsoring local events

Agile Finland wants to support local Agile communities around Finland, therefore we will commit a minimum amount of money to self-organized community events. All that is needed is a request to the board and the funding will be approved provided we stay within the agreed limit. If you have an idea to support your local community we want to help you without a long wait for either practical or financial support. We want to help local communities get more active, and our support (advertising and financial support) will make it easier.

Developing a future for the Finnish software industry

In 2014-2015 we want to start what we hope will become a trend for the future of our industry. We want to support events designed to support future professionals get familiar with what it means to work in a software organization. For that we will organize events with school-age children on topics such as what the “maker” community already supports all over the world. Creating projects that young Agilists could work on, from concept to execution. But we will also try to grow partnerships with student organizations, universities and companies to have a mentorship program started to help integrate students in the software industry easily.

Major events for 2014-2015

Events such as Turku Agile Day (which we want to support actively), Tampere Goes Agile and Scan Agile are events that attract a large audience and spreads knowledge and awareness of Agile within our community, but also helps establish strong links to other communities.

We want to continue to host and these events but also recognize that a voluntary-only approach has risks that must be tackled. We will consider how to support these events on a case-by-case basis and will work to make their organization a sustainable project that does not require heroic efforts from some of our members every year.

We recognize that each event has their own identity and we want to support that diversity.

As first actions we will:
  • Reach out to the Turku Agile Day group and learn how we can further support their goals;
  • Help find voluntaries to help host Tampere Goes Agile and Scan Agile;
  • Work with each event to make sure they receive the support needed, including professional services for event organization, design, web-hosting, etc.

Do you want to help shape the next year for Agile Finland? Participate by sharing this blog, commenting or tweeting/blogging about the topic yourself! Be active, let's make Agile Finland even better!

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