The future of Open Space is not in Outer Space (aka. larger and larger self-organizing events), but in Inner Space.
In an organizational transformation, an authorizing event where the corporate powers that be reach a consensus about leveraging the power of open space in general, and Open Space Agility in particular, is best served by holding a very small Open Space, or what I’m calling Inner Space, because it is represented by officially authorized players of “the inner sanctum” of the organization.
Working well with the Willing in Inner Space is the ultimate destiny of any truly empowered Product Owner. Why? Let me explain:
In order for a Product Owner to create a Product Vision, Roadmap, Go Canvas, User Story Map, Release Plan and Product Backlog (Phew!), there must be a Big (or small) Room Event where the product stakeholders, including the sponsor, are gathered together to voice their desires, see that they are heard, a record is kept, and their inputs are integrated and reflected in the each level of planning and adaptation of the organization’s endeavors to create the working product.
Such a Big Room Event, would be facilitated in the tradition of open space. -Every one is invited, and nobody is obligated to attend or stay to the end. Engagement occurs commensurate to the level of passion and responsibility that each individual has. Proceeding are kept for the benefit of everyone and some combination of the artifacts above are consumables for the Product Development Organization via. the Product Owner’s level of engagement with them.
The scale and duration of this event follow the rules of Open Space. Whoever attends are the right people, and it’s over when it’s over.
In future articles I will details specific procedural guidelines for the reference of Product Owners wishing to remove their neck from the noose (or Choke Chain, as the case may be) by working with the willing, real caucus and consensus. So, stay tuned.