Agile Coaching? Sure thing! What about Life Coaching in Agile Thinking?

I love being around awesome people, who build great products customers desire. 
I love learning from and together with these amazing minds. 
I love creating the right environment for teams to flourish. 
I love change, and learning from new experiences. 
I love working in Agile environments.

How about you? 
I bet there are some elements of this list why you're in Agile, too. And you can probably add even more elements to it.

The Agile Manifesto states amongst others individuals and interactions, customer collaboration and responding to change.

In our everyday life doing Agile we already respect these aspects in many ways. 
But do we practice what we preach as best we can?

I'd like to challenge your current way of thinking about people and processes. 
I'd like to challenge you to focus on you, before you focus on others. 
I'd like to challenge your current way of reflecting. 
I'd like to inspire you to go different ways. 
I'd like to inspire you to inspire others.

In Agile we're already good in improving our processes and creating well performing teams and hence building the right things in the right way. And in the Agile Manifesto's communication and collaboration piece we can even get better.
"You have not yet reached the limit of what you're capable of!" means we can always further improve. And we do follow this idea in our Agile processes, too, through continuous feedback (Retrospectives) and improvement.

And why not take it even further? Why not go "Beyond Agile"?!

Here's where aspects of Life Coaching come in handy: through also understanding and improving ourselves (how do we interact with people due to how we perceive our environment) we will even further improve communication and collaboration.

Life Coaches believe our clients know the answer. And even if Agile Coaching is slightly different than Life Coaching, I see it as very relevant in Agile Coaching, too. If we apply this in Agile, instead of giving our clients (team, colleagues) the answers, asking them powerful questions to help them be more aware of what's happening at the moment, they will find their answer for it and will have a much better commitment to making the change for themselves, their teams and the company. It's not for us to TELL them what to do, but to ASK them what's going on for themselves. Here's where I see a huge chance for improvement.

In my session I give lots of examples on how to link Life Coaching ideas to our Agile work environments. I've given the session at LAST Conference Melbourne and at the Agile Coaching Circles Meetup Melbourne. The audience was engaged and the attendees were very happy about having some new ideas on how to improve their daily work life.

Come along to be inspired by Life Coaching and thus to benefit our Agile Thinking!

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

I'm doing a Presentation Zen style presentation with pictures and quotes to inspire and engage you!

In the end the attendees and I will share some ideas on the question "How can you apply these learnings in your worklife starting tomorrow"?

Learning Outcome

You will learn how to

  • challenge your current way of thinking about people and processes
  • focus on you, before you focus on others
  • challenge your current way of reflecting
  • go different ways
  • inspire others
  • experiment with the learnings in your everyday work and personal life

Target Audience

Everyone will get value from this session: Managers, Coaches, Product Managers, Developers, People new to Agile, ...

Requirements

Just bring yourself and an open mind.

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • gnuyoga
    By gnuyoga  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Woowwww i love the slides Victoria has put together. Definetly a + from myside.  

    • Victoria Schiffer
      By Victoria Schiffer  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for the good feedback gnuyoga. Appreciate!

  • pradeep panda
    By pradeep panda  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Victoria,

       I really liked the presentation and slides which you have provided here. And its really Life Coaching on Agile, rather i would define it as an approach to help us becoming more optimistic and pragmatic and thus becoming better.  I would however prefer some more thrust if given on the ceremonies of agile (i.e. planning, daily stand up, review and retrosective) with concrete examples, so that audience can relate more and take away will be maximum.

    Just to add, i like the way you have ended your slides. While listening to presentation, i was really thinking about the need of a strong end to make the slide complete and must say, you did it perfectly.

    Regards

    Pradeep

    • Victoria Schiffer
      By Victoria Schiffer  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for your comment Pradeep. Good to hear you liked my presentation and slides.

      "I really liked the presentation and slides which you have provided here. And its really Life Coaching on Agile, rather i would define it as an approach to help us becoming more optimistic and pragmatic and thus becoming better."

      You put it well in saying it is an approach to help us become more optimistic, pragmatic and becoming better!

      I would however prefer some more thrust if given on the ceremonies of agile (i.e. planning, daily stand up, review and retrosective) with concrete examples, so that audience can relate more and take away will be maximum.

      In my presentation I gave at the "Agile Coaching Circles" this week on the same topic, I gave plenty of expamples to relate to our Agile environments, the ceremonies and how and where we can apply the ideas. The discussion after the presentation with the attendees is especially valuable, as it helps them to relate to their specific environment and experience and gives others even more of an idea on how to apply the learnings.

      Just to add, i like the way you have ended your slides. While listening to presentation, i was really thinking about the need of a strong end to make the slide complete and must say, you did it perfectly.

      Thank you! Happy to hear I was able to make a strong end!

      Kind regards.
      Victoria

  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Victoria - you address several intereting perspectives in making coaching a much more holistic self-development endeavor than simply learning the mechanics of agile methods and practices. I think that is very interesting and perhaps much needed to generally improve the level of practitioners and coaches in general. However, one thing that I am trying to understand is how can we focus on identifying some really key topics out of it and, more importantly, give real-life examples that help practitioners relate to it in their daily routine. Given that this is a practitioner conference, we expect most attendees to have some level of functional skills, so it will be great if we could share some perspectives that they could relate to. Also, do you want to look at other tracks, e.g. agile lifecycle in case you find a better fit with that track? Of course, with more inputs, we will be in a better position to review it for Beyond Agile track. 

    -TV

    • Victoria Schiffer
      By Victoria Schiffer  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi TV, 

      thank you for your thoughts and questions regarding my session. 

      I appreciate you saying this, as it is the message I want to send: "you address several intereting perspectives in making coaching a much more holistic self-development endeavor than simply learning the mechanics of agile methods and practices. I think that is very interesting and perhaps much needed to generally improve the level of practitioners and coaches in general."

      "However, one thing that I am trying to understand is how can we focus on identifying some really key topics out of it and, more importantly, give real-life examples that help practitioners relate to it in their daily routine. Given that this is a practitioner conference, we expect most attendees to have some level of functional skills, so it will be great if we could share some perspectives that they could relate to."

      The key topics I'm covering is how can we improve our awareness and understanding of ourselves and our team mates and colleagues for a better communication and collaboration (a key part in the Agile Manifesto). In doing so we will further improve building the right product in the right way, as we will have a chance to get more insights in what's really important in a discussion. We don't just stop with statements like "we can't do this". We will approach this with curiosity and not judgement. "What if you could?!" is a very powerful question to ask in a situation like that. Or getting more insights into what "we can't" actually means. E.g. can't at the moment due to lack of skills, people on the team or anything else.

      In my session I give lots of examples on how to link Life Coaching ideas to our Agile work environments. I've given the session at the Agile Coaching Circles Melbourne yesterday and even added two group exercises which helped engage the audience even further. The attendees were very happy about having some new ideas on how to improve their daily work life.

      "Also, do you want to look at other tracks, e.g. agile lifecycle in case you find a better fit with that track? Of course, with more inputs, we will be in a better position to review it for Beyond Agile track."

      I was thinking about either the "Agile Lifecycle" or the "Beyond Agile" track and have decided to go with the latter in the end. The reason for it being in the statement "focusing on taking Agile methods to the next level". This is what I see in "Life Coaching in Agile". It's thinking beyond introducing Agile Practices, it's about further improving on a different level, which feeds into the Agile Process very nicely. If you feel it is better placed in the "Agile Lifecycle" track, I'm happy to discuss :)

      Let me know what you think and if I've covered your questions.

      Victoria

  • Jerry Rajamoney
    By Jerry Rajamoney  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Victoria,

    Thanks for this very different topic you have proposed. I have few queries after looked at the content, ppt and you-tube video.

    1. What is the value add the participant get out of this? What is the problem area you are trying to focus?

    2. I observed your ppts have reference to NLP & Coaching fundamentals (Which is great) but how do you link this links to the "Agile" Domain?

    The whole Coaching practice is based on the underlying belief that "You (the client) knows the answer” (ICF). Don’t you agree Agile coaching is very different from the life coaching?

    So, is your presentation is to help the life coaches to have Agile mindset? OR is it for the Agilest to use the concepts from Life Coaching?

    Could you able to throw some light on the above queries? Thanks for your time.

    Thanks,

    Jerry

    • Victoria Schiffer
      By Victoria Schiffer  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Jerry,

      thank you for your comment on my session proposal. I'm more than happy to throw some light on your questions.

      "1. What is the value add the participant get out of this? What is the problem area you are trying to focus?
      2. I observed your ppts have reference to NLP & Coaching fundamentals (Which is great) but how do you link this links to the "Agile" Domain?"

      In Agile we're already good in improving our processes and creating well performing teams and hence building the right things in the right way. And in the Agile Manifesto's communication and collaboration piece we can even get better. 

      "You have not yet reached the limit of what you're capable of!" means we can always further improve. And we do follow this idea in our Agile processes, too, through continuous feedback (Retrospectives) and improvement. 

      And why not take it even further? Why not go "Beyond Agile"?!

      Here's where aspects of Life Coaching come in handy: through also understanding and improving ourselves (how do we interact with people due to how we perceive our environment) we will even further improve communication and collaboration.

      In my session I give lots of examples on how to link Life Coaching ideas to our Agile work environments. I've given the session at the Agile Coaching Circles Melbourne yesterday and even added two group exercises which helped engage the audience even further. The attendees were very happy about having some new ideas on how to improve their daily work life.

      Jerry you said "The whole Coaching practice is based on the underlying belief that "You (the client) knows the answer” (ICF). Don’t you agree Agile coaching is very different from the life coaching?" - Exactly, we as Coaches believe our clients know the answer. And even if Agile Coaching is slightly different than Life Coaching, I see it as very relevant in Agile Coaching, too. If we apply this in Agile, instead of giving our clients the answers, asking them powerful questions to help them be more aware of what's happening at the moment, they will find their answer for it and will have a much better commitment to making the change for themselves, their teams and the company. It's not for us to TELL them what to do, but to ASK them what's going on for themselves. Here's where I see a huge chance for improvement.

      In regards to your question: "So, is your presentation is to help the life coaches to have Agile mindset? OR is it for the Agilest to use the concepts from Life Coaching?" - Even thought the Life Coaching area can surely also learn from Agile, I won't cover this, as this is not relevant for the audience. It is for the Agilists to use the concepts from Life Coaching!

      I hope this throws some more light on the open questions. If not, please let me know and I'm happy to provide some more insights.

      Victoria

  • Victoria Schiffer
    By Victoria Schiffer  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Happy about feedback, also if you're looking for specific ideas that I can cover in my session.


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    Talk
    Intermediate

    Over the last 2 years, in small pockets all over the world, people have been experimenting with the use of Agile and Lean in formulating and executing corporate strategy.

    The finding will astound you and lay the foundations for what may become the next wave of ‘Agilean’ transformations, thus paving the way for vertically transformed ‘Agilean’ organisations that deliver outstanding profitability.

    The ‘Lean Startup’ mentality or ‘Management 3.0’ are tips of the iceberg in recent strategic thinking.

    This talk draws on experience and real life examples to outline how Agile and Lean, and not just Porter’s 5 forces, can be used effectively to not only formulate and execute corporate strategy but also to enable transformation throughout the organisation.

  • Liked Fiona Mullen
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    Agile - An Australian Journey of Cultural Change

    Fiona Mullen
    Fiona Mullen
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How did one of Australia's leading financial services organisation become the biggest Agile transformation story in the Southern hemisphere and what did we learn?

    The Suncorp Group leads in general insurance, banking, life insurance, superannuation and investment brands within Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 16,000 employees and relationships with nine million customers. It is a Top 20 ASX listed company with over $93 billion in assets.

    In 2007, we embarked on our Agile journey of cultural change. In this talk we will cover the strategy taken, the roadblocks we came across, the mistakes we made and the achievements along the way.

    You will learn how to tackle an Agile transformation, what to do and what NOT to do, where to start and what to expect and most of all what impact it will have, both negative and positive.

    Today Suncorp are seen as market leaders in Agile and are known globally for the Agile Academy http://www.agileacademy.com.au/agile/ which was designed for both staff and also the external market.

    The role of the Agile PMO, how to get infrastructure to work Agile, what about all those legal challenges, the cultural differences and the resistance to change? These are some of the learning we will share.

    There were challenges and successes and in this honest Aussie presentation will share with you both the highs and the lows.

  • Herry Wiputra
    Herry Wiputra
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    The term "cross functional team" has been made popular by the Agile movement. In cross functional team, we put people with different roles to work together for a common goal/purpose.

    I have seen this worked really well in many agile teams. People are no longer on silo and everyone have better understanding what each other's role is and consequently, what each other do. This leads to better self organising within the team.

    However, I strongly believe we can take this concept to the new level. The concept of cross functional team should be extended to not just the team but also to the individuals within the team. Scott Ambler wrote an essay on "Generalising Specialist". The term T-shaped developer was introduced by Mary and Tom Poppendieck in her famous book "Lean Software Development". By nature, people don't like to get out of their comfort zone, hence the tendency to keep working in area that they are familiar with. When leaders can create an environment where everyone is encouraged to learn, grow and make mistakes, amazing things can happen.

    In my experience leading teams, I have witnessed many transformations that enabled individuals to go beyond their traditional role, such as a manual QA assuming Scrum Master role, a BA doing deployment, a developer doing QA for a story, etc. Not only this enablement help develop the individuals to widen their horizon and skillset, it also helped the productivity of the team through better collaboration. When a team reach this stage, we no longer have problems such as "The QA has nothing to do because there are no stories to test", "The developers have nothing to do because the cannot keep up", "The deployment took longer than expected because the Ops person was not aware of the special configuration".

  • Liked Andrea Heck
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    Distributed Product Owner Team for an Agile Medical Development

    Andrea Heck
    Andrea Heck
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Case Study
    Advanced

    We are developing medical imaging and workflow software in an agile way with development teams distributed to several countries. One of the major challenges is how to set up and communicate within the Product Owner team. There we have to deal with the distribution, e.g., have the Product Owner either onsite with her peers or with her Scrum team, travelling, or with proxy. We need people who are good in two different fields of knowledge: medical and software development. As a third issues, the environment of the customers may be different in different countries.

    We have ramped up local Product Owners in different countries, have found local collaboration customers, and have developed a set of communication channels and workshops how to synchronize Product Owners in the team, share a common vision and backlog with their Scrum teams, and collaborate with customers locally and globally.

  • Prasanna Vaste
    Prasanna Vaste
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

    On Agile projects we estimate user stories in order to allow team to

    1. 1. Track velocity
    2. 2. Decide scope for the Iteration
    3. 3. Help Prioritize stories
    4. 4. Help Release planning

    But most of the time we faced issues with estimation. It takes lot of time in estimating user stories, managers tend to relate estimate to number of days it will take to complete the story, in some teams estimate is equal to deadline. Most of the teams which use story points to estimate the work face these issues. This results in lack of confidence on development team when stories are taking more time to complete.

    Here I am going to talk about better alternative for both the suppliers of software products (financially and ethically) and their customers (internal and external). This alternative is being used in real companies delivering to real customers with great effect where team uses count of stories completed in an Iteration as measure of progress. Will talk about how this alternative can be used to track velocity, prioritize stories, planning Iteration and for release planning.

    I will share some exmples from my past projects where team did not use story points/velocty but used count of stories completed in Iteration to measure progress and also as best indicator of future performance.