An interview with outgoing board member Craig Smith

As we come to the close of the year, we’re also nearing the end of the terms for two of our volunteer board members, Craig Smith and Ellen Grove. We interviewed them both so they could share their thoughts about what it was like for them to serve on the board, including the highs and lows, some surprising things they learned, and more. This is the second post of two and features a Q&A with Craig Smith. You can read our interview with Ellen Grove here.

Serving on the Agile Alliance Board of Directors (or any board of directors) is a significant responsibility. What is the most surprising thing you learned from being a board member?

The first thing I realized upon joining the board of directors is just how much work is accomplished with such a small team, and this was further amplified due to events over the last couple of years. As an Australian board member representing the Asia-Pacific region, one of my hopes was to amplify the awareness of Agile Alliance outside of North America.

The organization continues to make inroads into South America and continues to have a small presence in other parts of the world, but bringing together a worldwide Agile community is a large job, and with such a small team, progress is slower than I would hope.

As a community, we have many problems to solve and opportunities to realize, and it surprised me that even when we had funds to spend on member initiatives, it was hard to find people to organize around a problem or a cause. So, if you have an idea or want to solve an Agile-related problem, member initiatives are there for you!

Craig Smith Board Member

Other than the issues surrounding Covid-19, in your opinion, what is the biggest opportunity/challenge facing the organization?

In the early days of Agility, it was relatively easy to keep up with all of the ideas; however, 20+ years on that is no longer the case, and it is daunting for those new to the community to know where to start with all of the different frameworks, methods, and practices that are available.

Agile Alliance is the perfect vehicle given it is framework agnostic (what we call “the big tent”) and all ideas are welcome. Therefore, the biggest opportunity is two-fold: how do we help people make sense of all the options that are available to them as well as continue to innovate and improve our practices to meet the changing needs in our VUCA world? I would like to see Agile Alliance be recognized as the voice for the issues the Agile community is facing and be a trusted, independent source for information.

What was your favorite part of being an Agile Alliance Board member?

Everybody says this but it is true–it is the people. From all my wonderful colleagues past and present on the board of directors, and the small group of dedicated staff at Agile Alliance, to all of the Agile colleagues I got to meet over the years at conferences and events we were a part of around the world.

In relation to the board, we tackled some major issues over my six years, and it was a privilege to work, debate, and get stuff done with a wonderful bunch of people that are not just colleagues but also friends for life.

What is your ultimate wish for Agile Alliance and the Agile community?

Agility is more than just team events and organizational scaling. It’s our time to be bold and find solutions to wicked problems. As a community, we have the skills and the access, and there is lots of awesome work being done that is probably not as visible as it should be. My wish is for Agile Alliance to be the place to highlight the great ideas that are being developed across the world whilst being the leading voice on the future of Agility.

Please join us in thanking Craig Smith for his time served on the board and all of the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to Agile Alliance over recent years!

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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Teresa Foster

Teresa Foster

Teresa Foster is the Managing Director of Agile Alliance. Teresa is a certified association executive with more than 20 years of executive-level experience in association management, including time spent at national, regional, and local organizations. While most of her experience is in executive leadership, her skill set includes internal and external communications, corporate sponsorship, and financial management. She also has extensive experience in human resources, contract negotiations, and program development. Teresa’s passion is helping companies…

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