Looking back at 2018

2018 was a fruitful year, with happy clients and interesting projects at Digipolis Gent filling most of my days. In this post I want to take a moment to look back at all the other professional stuff that happened in my life last year.

Community work

I’m really proud that we went into the 3rd year of organising Lean Coffee Gent. This wouldn’t have been possible without schip.gent. The LCG team grew too, Gert and I are really happy with the addition of our new co-hosts Erwin and Wendy.

I rejoined Toastmasters Gent! I’m well on my way on the Visionary Communication pathway.

We organised a crypto-roundtable meetup for a few months too. We used the lean meeting formula and it was organised towards discussing blockchain technology, we got full tables every night and we learned a lot but we had to set priorities and decided to put it on hold.

Training and events

I had the privilege of attending these courses in 2018:

I went to XPDays Benelux for the second time this year. It’s such a great and inspirational conference!

Speaking and teaching

I started working for WoltersKluwer on the side this year. The opportunity to take over a course on Digital Project Management Tools was offered to me and I took the opportunity. With no material to start from, and a zillion ideas in my head, devising a good curriculum turned out to be a really fun challenge. I’m grateful for the happy students and improved teaching skills.

I got the speak on the topic at “Dag van de Projectmanager” and I made a mini-course specifically geared towards Jira and Confluence for the “Digital Tools Experience Day“.

Looking forward

2019 looks like it’s going to an exciting year, I’ll definitely be exploring my current paths further. I’ll finish this post with …

“When the terrain disagrees with the map, trust the terrain.”

Swiss Army proverb

Lean Coffee Gent, a great meetup

In 2016 I started a Lean Coffee ™ in Gent together with my friends Gert Schepens and Jaqueline Gullion. With the help of the startup studio Schip.Gent we got a great venue to host a monthly meetup.

It’s an unconference that we run like a lean meeting. Every management subject is welcome at the table but we invite attendees to bring their experiences and questions about Lean and Agile.

Why start a Lean Coffee management meetup?
Doing these meetups keeps me on my toes. I get to meet great professional people. Every meetup is a reflection for me about how methodologies are applied in the field. There’s so much to learn just by listening to the stories and the discussions at the table. I get a kick out of it when someone has an aha moment, I’ve had many myself.

If you want to see what it’s all about or just want to experience the lean meeting technique, visit our Meetup group and RSVP. The drinks are on us.

On a side-note, getting Kanban training from Patrick Steyaert got the ball rolling, he introduced me to Lean Coffee. I went to his meetup in Antwerp  and met Wim Bollen before we started ours in Gent. Wim ties all the Lean Coffee initiatives in Belgium together.

If you want to get insights or certifications in Kanban, I couldn’t recommend Patrick’s training enough, his company Okaloa also offers a great lean management simulation game which is a true eye-opener.

I’m also keeping a list of books that where mentioned at the meetup.

In appreciation of the internet.

Sometimes I can just sit and be amazed about the the internet, it’s the single  largest human-made shared resource and it’s awesome.

It’s meant to be made by you and me. It’s Metcalfe’s law taken to an extreme.

There is nothing to be gained from restricting it or limiting its use in any way. I believe that it’s entirely possible that society as a whole can devise a system (legal and governance) that works with the internet, safeguarding the equality of all participants and the free flow of knowledge it entails.