Agile Success with Open Agile Adoption™

This course is taught instructors certified in the Open Agile Adoption™ method. It’s a full-immersion experiential course for those who are seeking a rapid & lasting Agile adoption.

Next Upcoming Class: June 20+21 in Los Angeles CA

Certified OSA Instructor: HAROLD SHINSATO

(Questions about the course? You can contact Harold here.)





Course Objective

Learn the concepts and facilities of the Open Agile Adoption method, such that the student can assess the approach and begin using it to achieve rapid & lasting Agile adoptions in their organization. Full Description:

 Course Duration

This is a 2-day experiential course.

Course Overview

OpenSpace01This is a 2-day experiential course on creating rapid and lasting Agile adoptions across multiple teams, using the Open Agile Adoption technique as described in the book THE OPEN AGILE ADOPTION HANDBOOK. The author, Daniel Mezick, is your instructor. The class includes ten experiential exercises, books from the instructor, and 30 days of support by email after the class.





What You Will Learn:

The successful Agile adoptions are powered by human engagement. Improvements in morale, productivity, quality & predictability follow. This course teaches how to achieve very high levels of engagement in your Agile adoption, leading to strong improvement in everything you are measuring.

During this course:

  • Participants gain an understanding of the cultural dynamics of adopting Agile
  • Students learn the Open Agile Adoption technique, a proven method for obtaining a rapid & lasting Agile adoption
  • Students learn how to rapidly implement Agile in service to creating a high-performance organization
  • Executives, sponsors, coaches and team members learn how to create a rapid and lasting Agile adoption
  • Participants learn how to apply the Open Agile Adoption method to stabilize ongoing & troubled Agile adoptions
  • Students learn how to customize and tailor the flexible Open Agile Adoption method to fit their organizational context and circumstances

Who Should Attend:

  • Progressive leaders of organizations that want to rapid and lasting success with Agile adoption;
  • Executives beginning to implement Agile across multiple teams;
  • Executives with current Agile adoptions that are having problems;
  • Managers, Coaches, and Team members who are participating in new or existing Agile adoption in their organizations;
  • Anyone leader who wants to avoid the pitfalls of implementing Agile in their organization


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.04.23 AMTakeaways for Each Student:

Every student receives:

  • The Open Agile Adoption Handbook
  • The certificate of completion
  • 30 days of support for your Open Agile Adoption questions after the class

The course provides everything you need to GET GOING NOW with Open Agile Adoption. Each of the takeaways are discussed below:


The Open Agile Adoption Handbook

The handbook provides ABC, step-by-step guidance on how to execute an Agile Adoption using the Open Agile Adoption method. This book is written by Daniel Mezick and includes a tutorial, reference guide, Frequently Asked Questions (the “FAQ”), forms and checklist, and some of the earliest Open Agile Adoption case studies. The book is a user’s manual on preparation, planning and execution of the Open Agile Adoption technique.


The Certificate of Completion

Everyone who attends this course receives a certificate of completion which attests to the fact the student has successfully participated in the workshop. This course is a prerequisite that qualifies the student to attend more in-depth training in Open Agile Adoption and become certified as a practitioner if and when such a course becomes available.


Thirty Days of Support from The Instructor

Every student receives the certificate of completion, 30 days of support after the class by email and phone. Those considering using Open Agile Adoption to implement an Agile adoption after the class can use this feature to ask questions, get answers, and receive specific guidance after the class.


Success with Agile using Open Agile Adoption™

Full Description:




Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.07.59 AMOverview of Organizations and Social Systems

OAA is based on the social science and is a sociological approach to process change. Rather than being based on practices, OAA is based on sociological concepts. Most organizations have a substantial amount of energy just under the surface which is available for engagement in the work. The Open Agile Adoption process makes this energy available.

  • Culture as a Game: Purpose, Norms, Feedback, Opt-in Participation
  • Self-organization and High Performance: Same thing
  • Experiential Exercise: Culture as a game


Open Agile Adoption Theory

Open Agile Adoption has foundations based in game mechanics and cultural anthropology. This section of the course explains this solid foundation.

  • Mandated Agile Practices: The Problems
  • Opting-out: Disengagement & Resentment
  • Mandated Agile Practices: The Solutions
  • Mandating an Agile direction vs mandating Agile practices
  • Mandates & Disengagement
  • Invitations and Self Organizing
  • Learning and Stability in Agile Adoptions: The Issues
  • Exercise


Open Agile Adoption Components

Open Agile Adoption is a complete system for implementing a process change (such as Agile) in your organization. It contains several elements which as explained in detail in this section of the course.

  • Executive Summary of the Open Agile Adoption Technique
  • Open Space, Invitation, and Opt-In Participation
  • The Open Space Meeting Format
  • Passage Rites
  • Liminality & Learning
  • Communitas
  • Game Mechanics
  • Leadership Storytelling
  • Exercise


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.06.00 AMOpen Space and High Performance

Self-management can release tremendous amounts of readily available energy into the work. Open Space is a self-managed meeting format that sets the stage for the process change which the people themselves will implement. Self-management is self-organization and self-organization leads to HIGH PERFORMANCE. This section explains these concepts and sets the stage for a rapid and lasting  implementation.

  • Overview and Design of the Open Space meeting format
  • The purpose of Open Space
  • The one law and five principles of Open Space
  • After the meeting: Open Space proceedings & leadership action
  • Exercise


Results: Exploring the Open Agile Adoption Case Studies

There are many ways to stumble when introducing process change into your organization. Open Agile Adoption is one way to introduce process change. Following the steps, knowing what to watch for, and making adjustments is essential. These case studies show what can happen and provide a narrative context for understanding the dynamics of the Open Agile Adoption technique.

Sample of What to Expect:

  • Organization A: Developer and Vendor of Online Casino games (125++ people)
  • Organization B: Specialty Retailer Online (100++ people)
  • Organization C: Entertainment Industry Non-Profit (70++ people)
  • Organization D: Insurance company (150++ people)
  • Organization E: Division of a financial software and services company (90++ people)
  • Organization F: Software company (75++ people)


Summary of Lessons Learned From Experience

This segment of the course summarizes the lessons learned from experience implementing Open Agile Adoption across a wide range of organizations.

  • What must be happen each and every time, to be successful
  • What to Avoid
  • Things to Expect


The Open Agile Adoption Toolkit

The toolkit provides everything needed to bring the dynamics of a rapid & lasting process change. There is substantial work in preparation, implementation and inspection/adjustment. The entire process is best divided into 3 segments: pre-execution, execution, and post-execution.

A major activity thoughout the process is the ongoing education of executive leadership. The consultant or coach must attend to leaders throughout the process to be successful with the OAA process.

As a consultant or an executive, you exit this class with tools that provide you with guidance and structure as you move through the process as a Sponsor or Facilitator/Coach. Everything you need is here.

NOTE: These tools are available in the class only and do not appear in the Open Agile Adoption Handbook

Pre-Implementation Tools


Tool #2: Understanding the Client’s Situation: New adoption, or Troubled Adoption?

Tool #3: Strategy & Talking Points Part 1 for 1st discussion with leaders

Tool #4: Strategy & Talking Points Part 2

Implementation Tools

Tool #5: Executive Commitment and Sign Off Document

Tool #6: Email and signaling scripts for the Executive (guidance and candidate scripts for each stage of the process)

Tool #7: Executive Script for Sponsoring and Opening the Open Space events

Tool #8: Guidance and steps for processing Open Space proceedings

Tool #9: Measurement Tools: Engagement Scorecard, Happiness Survey (aka Safety Score™), more

Tool #10: Talking Points and suggested script for communication to employees from consultants and coaches


Implementing Open Agile Adoption: Getting Higher Performance

This segment walks though all of the steps to implement a process changs in your organization using the Open Agile Adoption technique

  • Executive Summary
  • Using the Assessment Tools
  • Coaching Executives and Sponsors
  • Preparing for Open Agile Adoption
  • Executing an Open Agile Adoption
  • Inspecting & Adjusting
  • Exercise


Implementing Open Agile Adoption: Maintaining High Performance

A successful Open Agile Adoption process continues after the consultant leaves. This continuation is manifested as the installation of 2 cultural holidays on the organization’s annual calendar. This section of the course explains the advantages, concepts and practical steps in getting this done.

  • The Culture and the Calendar
  • Installing the Twice-a-Year Meeting
  • Exercise


Using Open Agile Adoption Inside an Troubled Agile Adoption

Many Agile adoptions are troubled because they were implemented as well-intentioned yet misguided “mandates of process change”. In this part of the class you will learn how to use the Open Agile Adoption technique to help bring health and wellness into the picture, by raising levels of engagement.

  • The Assessment
  • The Issues
  • How it works
  • Exercise

Live Simulation: Open Space

As an executive or consultant, you must understand the basics of the Open Space meeting format and process. Open Space is a process, and the meeting is a major element. In this part of the class you gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and facilities of Open Space.

  • Theme and Invitation
  • Working with Leadership
  • Executing the Opening Open Space
  • The Middle
  • Executing the Closing Open Space
  • Proceedings

Summary and Class Retrospective

This is the end of the class: a time to reflect on the experience, offer feedback on the course, and prepare for what’s next in your organization.

  • What are you leaving with?
  • What worked
  • What can be improved
  • 30 days of support by email for each student
  • Sources of more resources and tools


NOTE: Everyone who attends this course receives a certificate of completion which attests to the fact the student has successfully participated in the workshop. This course is a prerequisite that qualifies the student to attend more in-depth training in Open Agile Adoption and become certified as a practitioner.






If you are registering for a class in CAMBRIDGE MA, then this guidance applies:

You can attend this class from out of town without the need for an automobile.


  • Fly into LOGAN AIRPORT and then
  • Use public transportation at Logan to get to the “T” and get to the RED LINE following the map (10 minutes) and
  • Use  the RED LINE to get to your lodging and get back an forth to the classroom each day.

The class venue is:

150 Cambridgepark Drive, Cambridge MA

It is an office building and a short walk from the Alewife “T” (subway) station. So, all you have to do is find lodging along the Boston T RED LINE, depicted here:

Boston T Subway MAP:


Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 8.49.16 AM



Go to AIRBNB and get a place there for about $125-$150 a night or use one of the MARRIOTT hotels in Cambridge- all are along the RED LINE:

Lodging Links:

  • Cambridge Marriot (link)
  • Cambridge Marriot Residence Inn (link)
  • Cambridge Marriott Courtyard (link)
  • AIRBNB (find lodging along the RED LINE) (link)

For AIRNBNB specify “Cambridge MA” and look for lodging advertised near the Central, Kendall, Harvard or Porter stops on the RED LINE . The Kendall stop is where the Cambridge MARRIOTT is located, if you want to pay a bit more.

NOTE: If you want to have fun in Cambridge, avoid the TRIA Hotel (a BEST WESTERN) if you see it because… although it is about a 15-minute walk from the classroom, there is absolutely nothing nearby. By contrast, any AIRBNB near Central, Harvard or Kendall stops (or the Marriott options) have much more going on in terms of bars and restaurants in the evening.