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Topics: Agile, Outsourcing, Schedule Management, Scheduling
How can you reconsile events planning and agile?
The majority of my career has been in software production, so Agile and all the flavors of "scrum" that people try out were what I was most familiar with. I transitioned into an events planning role where we rely heavily on external partners to execute on many aspects of each event.

It has been requested that I implement sprints with my team - how can I approach making a disjointed and mostly waterfall process more agile? How do I sprint plan when I'm not even always sure when items will be ready to work on, and when I have team members who are intensely resistant to process change?
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You can use an hybrid approach, but instead off using fixed-frame time box iterations you can use, feature based iterations (in your case the features could be the event preparation phases perhaps) , using feeding buffers because of the dependencies that you have with external partners and the things that you have to plan at front you can used a predicted approach. I am kind expeculating a bit because I do not have deep knowledge of your project, but hybrid approaches are common, you just have to find a way to make it work. But my advice is first to evaluate if the agile approach is worth it, in your case, as project managers we must choose what it work best and not implement an approach only because is trend, all approaches are valid depending of the project. Perhaps someone from the events organization area can help you better and share here is experience.
Perhaps consider using a Kanban flow-based approach rather than the change revolution which Scrum would introduce to such a team...

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