The Importance of a Supportive Community - The story of the Tampa Bay Scrum Master's Guild

Have you ever been the only agilist on a team of agile-resistors? How about one of a few people with an agile mindset in an entire organization? It can be a lonely place. Which is exactly why having an agile support system is so important. And if you don't have one, you should create one!

In this session I will explain why and how I created the Tampa Bay Scrum Masters Guild, a meetup in Tampa Bay that has been going strong for over 3 years. I will share stories that teach how valuable a community of like-minded practitioners can be. I will provide testimonials from Guild members to demonstrate the power of a good support system and I will teach you how you can start a similar support system in your area. This will be an interactive session with discussions and exercises built in to make it engaging and fun!


Outline/Structure of the Talk

I can adjust timing to fit the session time box by adding or removing examples, stories and anecdotes from the talk. The times provides are guidelines that can be adjusted as needed.

Intro and background (10m)

-Describe how I found great support system when the Denver Scrum Masters Guild was formed.

-At my company, being the only one in the organization who did my role and being the one evangelizing a new way of thinking and working, I was quite lonely in my position. Not many truly understood. In the Guild, I found a place to connect with other like minded people who understood me and could identify with me through the role.

-I was so impacted by the support I got from being a part of the Denver SM Guild that I started a Guild when I moved to Tampa Bay.

[Examples will be provided here of how it helped me at work and in my personal life in Denver.]

-I wanted to create another support system to provide the same benefits to myself in Tampa that I had in Denver. I also wanted to help others who didn't have this.

-I wanted to be at the center of Agile in Tampa Bay and I knew starting an organization would do that.

-Exercise: Table discussion of a time when you would benefit from an agile (or other trade) support system

Purpose and Benefits (15m)

-Explain the purpose of a Guild: To provide a community where individuals with a common interest can teach, learn, grow and connect. To provide a support system and a place where people can hone their craft.

-After 3 years of successfully running the Guild, here are 5 powerful benefits of growing a Guild in one's community

Benefit 1: Provides emotional support, a sense of community, and a place to connect with others who can support you.; elaborate, provide examples

Benefit 2: Provides a place to build your skills, learn and share new techniques with others and opportunity to grow.; elaborate, provide examples

Benefit 3: Can give you confidence through skill improvement opportunities, support and connection with others; elaborate, provide examples

Benefit 4: provides a place to network and build relationships, which can lead to new relationships and professional opportunities; elaborate, provide examples

Benefit 5: Positively impacts other peoples' lives - it is rewarding to see others benefit; elaborate, provide examples

-Show video testimonials. These are powerful examples of positive impact by the Guild.

-Discussion: Group discussion of the value of these benefits.

How to start a Guild (15m)

-Start with a Guild Design

-Design it to add value each time and to each attendee. Each Guild meeting is a different topic, planned by the members of the Guild. [Discuss details of how the Guild plans this] The events are interactive and frequently involve games, workshops and exercises. [Describe several actual things we've done. Explain in detail the remote teams exercise we did with the Denver Guild via video conference.]

-Design it to be minimal effort to manage and sustainable. [Explain how I built a culture of belonging and community and how I have Guild members volunteer and run meetings.]

-Collaborate with someone who has done it. (I'll be happy help you!)

-Tell story of how I collaborated with Manny Segarra founder of the Denver Guild to understand what lessons he learned from starting the Denver Guild that I could apply. [Tell some actual lessons here.]

-Explain how I partnered with Tampa Bay Agile

-Explain how I attracted sponsors to provide rooms and food and supplies.

-Discuss steps to setting up events, using the Meetups tool, and planning events.

-Summary of Steps

Wrap up (5m)

-Exercise: what is one action you will take as a result of this session? Ask audience to share if they're comfortable doing so.


Learning Outcome

  • To learn 5 benefits of growing a Guild in your community
  • To understand the purpose of a Guild
  • To understand the positive impact a Guild can have on people's lives
  • To learn the fundamental steps to creating a Guild

Target Audience

Those interested in taking action to improve their business community

Prerequisites for Attendees

It will be fun and informative. A cursory knowledge of Communities of Practice couldn't hurt, but isn't necessary. Bring your curiosity about how to make a positive impact in your community.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago