Why you should be a Lean coach regardless of the method you use

Two foundational tenets of Lean is leadership and systems thinking. Both relate to the fundamental philosophy that systems affect people significantly and that it is management’s responsibility to create the environment within which teams can work autonomously towards the goals of the company.

Scrum Masters somewhat already have a limited aspect of this role in that they are responsible for removing impediments to the team. This relates more to how the team interacts with those outside the team. But within the team, Agile team coaches also have the role of facilitating improvement of the system within which the team works.

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A personal goal of almost two decades manifested today

I founded Net Objectives almost 20 yrs ago. I have always loved solving problems and having a chance to earn a living by helping others solve problems has been a very wonderful opportunity for me.

I have long thought that training methods have had to change significantly to keep up with the growing demand. It has in some ways – simulations, games, group exercises, etc. But basically, training is how it has always been. Especially in the area of growing Scrum Masters or Agile Team Coaches. In particular provide 2-4 days of coaching and then either let them go on their own or pay a lot of money for a coach.  Continue reading “A personal goal of almost two decades manifested today”

Why you should grow your own Scrum Masters instead of bringing in outside coaches

If you are kicking off new teams there are two types of coaches you can bring in. While it’s useful to bring in someone who can actually help with the work, such as a technical or ATDD coach, when it comes to Scrum or Agile coaches it’s usually better to grow your own. There are several reasons for this:

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The Agile Coaching Manifesto: The Agile Manifesto re-written for Agile consultants

We have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over PowerPoint presentations
  • Actual increased ability over understanding frameworks
  • Helping students over following a set curriculum
  • Adjusting to needs of the student over preparing for certification
  • Our highest priority is to increase the ability of the student through early and continuous learning
  • Welcome changing needs of students, even late in the course. Agile courses harness change for the learners’ advantage
  • Deliver small, absorb-able increments so the students actually learn
  • Teach individuals on their own projects and in their own environment. If they stagnate, trust that they are doing their best and see how to help them.
  • The ability to create software of value is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile teachings promote sustainable learning.
  • Continuous attention to Agile skills enhances agility
  • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount not required to teach–is essential.
  • The best learning paths are those that allow for ability to emerge by attending to skills that enhance future learnings.
  • At regular intervals, the consultant reflects on how his students are doing and adjusts the curriculum as needed.

Piano tops and Agile

Writing a page on “How to Adopt Scrum” reminded me that the CSM course started around ’02 because Ken wanted to help those of us who already knew Scrum to be better coaches. It was a great experience and helped my coaching ability. But it didn’t teach me scrum. I already knew Scrum & reading Ken’s book was a prerequisite for the course. Continue reading “Piano tops and Agile”

Writing a portal page on what you need to do to promote an adoption of Scrum. Here’s what I have so far

Here are tips for writing a page about promoting an adoption of Scrum in your organization.

  1. Provide a laser focus on what the development team needs to accomplish.
  2. Provide a workshop that includes the team doing some of their own work.
  3. Provide an online, support system that includes both courses and reference materials so the Scrum team can continue learning over time as needed.
  4. Provide a way to clearly specify the why of the requirements.
  5. Provide Scrum teams a way to create small, well-defined stories.
  6. Provide a way to validate the stories.
  7. Provide an easy and efficient way to estimate.
  8. Ensure Scrum is applicable to the situation.
  9. Provide an explanation for why a focus on getting quick feedback, working on the appropriate amount of work and a focus on finishing is essential in order for any Agile method to work
  10. Engage Product Owners in the training by having them work with developers in the way they will work once Scrum is adopted.
  11. Teams need to understand the bigger picture goal within which they fit.
  12. Teams that will work together should be taught together.
  13. Management must be learn their role in the adoption of Scrum and Agile

Continue reading “Writing a portal page on what you need to do to promote an adoption of Scrum. Here’s what I have so far”