Can the various European Agile User Groups benefit from working together? I am cautiously optimistic.
At XP2011 this week, Jurgen Appelo has taken the initiative to launch the Agile Lean Europe network. This is an initiative to bring together representatives from 17 European countries. Sergey Dmitriev and I will be representing Norway. To what end? I’m still not sure.
There is no doubt that there is much Europeans can learn from each other. For example, Norway has long had several active user groups (Oslo XP meetup, Oslo Lean meetup, and Oslo Coding Dojo are my personal favorites). The biggest of these groups gather as many as 100 people on a monthly basis. We have also hosted a local, Norwegian language conference for four years. Last year, the conference had over 400 attendees.
Norway has also had several large public sector projects adopting Scrum, driving the commercial adoption of Agile.
Our “sweet brothers”, the Swedes, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any user groups on the same scale, but they have a local, somewhat smaller Swedish sister conference to Smidig 20xx.
However, the Swedes have several very high-profile speakers, like Marcus Ahnve, Thomas Nilsson, Staffan Nöteberg, Henrik Kniberg, and several others. In Norway, we practically only have local speakers.
Also, the Agile Sweden mailing list is very successful. We have made a few attempts in Norway of getting an online community going, but it has never taken off.
It seems clear to me that there is a lot we Agile Europeans can learn from each other. Exactly what remains to be seen.
What do you think is the future of the Agile community in Europe?