Do you like taking ownership of the agenda and exchanging ideas in an open environment? Last month we ran our first Open Space at our London office for 2 years. The goal: to create a space for open communication and empower our people to set the stage for a day of relationship building and knowledge sharing.
Read on to learn what an Open Space is, why they are important to us, how they make our people feel and what happened at ours last month.
What is an Open Space event?
“Open Space” is defined as a technique for running meetings where the participants create and manage the agenda themselves. Sessions can be for between five to 2000 plus people (providing you have a big enough venue!). It’s an ideal method if you want participants to gain ownership of an issue and come up with solutions.
Similar to Agile methodology, Open Space Technology sessions operate under a small set of guiding principles. These principles are deceptively simple, yet provide just enough structure for spontaneous discussions:
Whoever comes are the right people.
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
Whenever it starts is the right time.
Whenever it’s over, it’s over.
Wherever it happens is the right place.
Why do we like running Open Spaces at Codurance?
We facilitate Open Space days as they are a great opportunity to bring our team together and learn in person. They’re especially important to us as they create a culture of learning through sharing experiences and knowledge in a collaborative environment. A method which perfectly complements our values.
They also empower our people to co-create their own learning and development in a self-organised un-conference style. As we continue to expand our team these types of activities help us cultivate team cohesion and foster the culture of professionalism and pragmatism that we aim to spread.
"As we’re a consultancy we often have people on different teams and working with different clients, so it's really valuable to get each other together. Not only to get to know each other better but also to share our learnings and grow together based on our experiences"
Mattsi Jansky - Software Craftsperson
Our London Open Space June 2022
Our Open Space last month was an inspiring, challenging, and fulfilling, inspirational day of sessions in our London office. Everyone was given the chance to come with some ideas for things they’d like to discuss, present, work on, hack with, or show off.
The day kicked off early with breakfast before we dived into a day packed full of insights. After an initial update from senior leaders, everyone had the opportunity to propose a session to run on a post-it note and give a brief summary of their session. Sessions could cover any topic, come in many different forms, and quite often involved an open discussion or hands-on exercise.
“It’s on the spot, you don’t know what you’re going to get”
Daniel Bird - Software Craftsperson
To give you a taste of the topics and discussions that were shared:
- Learnings from our work with Cazoo
- Property based testing
- eClinicalWorks case study
- Chaos engineering and its purpose
- An introduction to Rust
- Blog writing workshop
- Craftsmanship vs delivery pressure
- Managing self learning
- Perspective blindness
- Why project management matters
- Migrating monolith front ends
- Microservices best practices
- From startup to scaleup
- Building productivity workflows
One of the best parts is that contributions happen organically. Everyone who participates is listening and taking part in the conversation making all feel involved and encouraged to contribute. It’s overall a highly inspiring experience - feeling part of a community who share the same values, objectives and goals.
“Working with different clients, and remotely, can make it feel a bit siloed. Having the ability to be able to share your experiences or listen to others sharing theirs makes me feel part of Codurance more than anything else.”
Sabrina Kemache - Agile Delivery Manager
Watch our video to learn what our people loved and valued about the Open Space.
“It's empowering and gives you free roam and autonomy, and that's something I really like about Open Spaces.”
Daniel Bird - Software Craftsperson
We’re excited to hold more of these days as our team grows. Learn more about our approach and what makes us different.