Where does your help come from?

Maybe you work and/or live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and have been asked to catch up to this “Agile thing” that has become so conspicuous in all organizations, and you are trying to make sense of it all. Where do you look for help?

Maybe you are an Agile practitioner living and/or working in the GTA and are looking to expand your Agile toolkit.

Or, you just moved to Toronto and want to start building your local network (smart move by the way).

Whatever may be your case, there is help and support available within a thriving community right around the corner (especially true if you work in the Toronto Financial District).

In the last two years, I have had the privilege to participate and volunteer at several Agile Meetups in and around Toronto.

It was meetups like these where I found help and support to continuously learn and grow.

I thought, why not make it easier for you to find all of them in one place. Following is a list of all of the meetups I know about in and around Toronto and why I think they might be worth your time. Oh, by the way, all of these are free meetups 😉

 

  1. AgileTO
    • Why: This is by far the largest meetup community of Agilists in Toronto with 2668 members till date (and counting). Visit to either begin your Agile journey (like I did) or, to expand your network and more importantly, your Agile toolkit. This meetup is usually divided into two sections: A break-out activity followed by a talk. No matter where you are in your Agile journey, there is something to learn here for everyone, every time.
    • When: 3rd Wednesday, every 2 months (next meetup will be in July).

  2. Agile Drinks
    • Why: Several AgileTO attendees wanted to socialize and network after the meetup and that is how this meetup was born. A very casual and laid back networking-only meetup for anyone who is interesting in a dialogue about Agile and all things related. PS: I don’t even drink alcohol (just wanted to make sure I clarify that because I don’t want my family thinking OMG!) and I still go just to stay connected with the local Agile community.
    • When: 1st Thursday of every month.

  3. Toronto ScrumMaster Clinic
    • Why: This meetup is like a Toastmasters Club for Scrum Masters. Unlike other meetups, this meetup is restricted to a small group each time (about 20 people) and focuses on enabling a safe environment to practice the much-needed skills for a Scrum Master like facilitation and coaching. Unsure if you can facilitate that new improv game you just read about? Well, you can try it here and get instant feedback.
    • When: 1st Monday of every month.

  4. SystemsThinkingTO
    • Why: One look at this meetup page and you instantly wonder if this is a TV Series (a cool naming convention in my opinion). Just a heads up, if you get paranoid thinking about large & complex systems, then it’s best to stay away from this one. However, if you embrace the idea of taking a holistic approach to everything including the way you work, then this meetup is for you. Come and learn how to become a better systems thinker, one system at a time.
    • When: Last Thursday of every month.

  5. Agile Lunch
    • Why: Do you work in downtown Toronto? Love eating out on Friday afternoons? Love talking about Agile (even while eating)? If the answer to all three questions is a Yes, you’ll find your tribe at this meetup. A part of the Agile Alliance Community on the meetup website, they are known to host AMAs with some renowned folks in the local and global Agile community.
    • When: Last Friday of every month.

  6. Agile Ontario
    • Why: This is the oldest Agile meetup running for more than 4 years. If you are really passionate about Agile and are willing to sacrifice one Saturday morning every month, then head over to this meetup to share your experiences with other Agile practitioners. They have a different topic each month and have great facilitated conversations. This meetup is also a part of the Agile Alliance Community just like Agile Lunch.
    • When: 2nd Saturday of every month.

  7. Halton Agile/Lean Network
    • Why: If you live in the Oakville or surrounding areas, do not miss this one. Only a small group of people meet each month but they have amazing conversations and facilitated activities not only about Agile but also Lean. A cool thing about this meetup is that they have a learning backlog for their future sessions on a trello board.This is also a part of the Agile Alliance Community,
    • When: 2nd Tuesday of every month

  8. Envision Agile
    • Why:  They started this year (2018) and have taken a different approach to engage with their members. Not only do they meet every quarter and promise to bring in speakers to talk about things that are current in the Agile community, but also have a bi-weekly touchpoint conference call (as they call it) to enable you to get help with some of the challenges you might be facing and to share and learn best practices on an ongoing basis.
    • When: Meetup – every quarter of the year (no fixed dates/days); Conference call – bi-weekly.

  9. KanbanTO
    • Why: If you are curious to know and learn more about Kanban (like I am) then surely join this one. Currently they are testing waters so their first meetup on June 26, 2018 is restricted to a small number of people but hopefully the future ones will be available to more people.
    • When: Not much information is known as of now but I will update once I know more.

  10. Agile Dialogue Mississauga
    • Why: This one is close to my heart (and also to where I live). After being a volunteer and an attendee at several other meetups and conferences, I am finally helping organize this meetup along with some amazing folks. The Agile community in Mississauga is growing and there was no meetup to cater to them so we decided to start one. Now you won’t be able to give excuses about traveling so far to attend meetups. Hope to see you there.
    • When: 1st Wednesday, every 2 months (first meetup in July).

Most of these meetups have slack groups where they continue the conversation after the meetup. if you cannot find the link in the meetup group description, feel free to reach out to one of the organizers and they will be glad to assist you.

 

Which of these meetups have you been to already? Which ones were the most valuable for you and which ones were not? Did I miss any meetup that you might know?

 

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