Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nashville Agile User Group: Getting Our Act Together

I became involved with the Nashville Agile User Group a few years ago, first as an attendee and then helping out as an organizer. As with most groups with volunteer leadership, the group’s activity rises and falls with the free time of those organizing it. Both my self and Jeff Mikres have tried to keep things consistent, but its been hard in the last year to get the group back to a regular meeting schedule and drum up more attendance.

With the Agile Alliance’s annual conference, Agile 2010, being held here in Nashville this year, I think this is a golden opportunity to grow the group as well as our local Agile community. We had a reception in March with several of the Agile Alliance board members to help kick things off and I am hoping that leading up to August we can keep up the momentum.

Here’s an overview of what going on:

Monthly Meetings

Our monthly meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month. We moved them to 12 PM per the requests of those who regularly attended. We are currently hosted at the Vaco offices, but have opened up the possibility of rotating meeting locations every 3 months to different parts of town so everyone does not always have to drive out to Brentwood.

These meetings are run in an open space style with topics suggested and voted on in the meeting held previously. And even though we always start with that topic in mind, if the majority of those in attendance want to talk about something else, then so be it!

We do have plans to take advantage of our affiliation with the Agile Alliance to have some nationally renown thought leaders in the Agile community take part in meetings in the future. They provide funds for expenses for bringing in speakers that we can use.

Our Website (

Our old website was a fairly active Google forum that eventually died out. We then moved to a site hosted on that offered a bit more features. The Agile Alliance is experimenting with their own social networking site for user groups to use and while we have a site up there now, until that becomes official and supports all the features we need, we will still use our Ning site as our main website.

I encourage everyone to participate in the forums and online polls on the site because that really helps us gauge interest and preferences of our members.

Another Agile Alliance Reception

We are looking into having another (albeit somewhat smaller reception) with the conference planning committee from the Agile Alliance later in April. They will only be here over the weekend and we hope to host something on a Monday near the airport so they can participate. Check for updates for this on the website events page.

We Need a New Logo

I am asking for helping creating a new logo for the user group. We would like to incorporate something about Nashville. I ham-fisted one out, but it really is only there until someone with better artistic capabilities and create us one. You can post those to the website as well.

All in all I think this is going to be a great year for the Nashville Agile community and we would love more people to get involved with the user group. Please sign up on the website and spread the word around!

No comments: