One Does Not Simply Become an Agile Coach, or How I Learned to Embrace Being a Beginner at this Whole “Agile Thing”

You've found yourself at the beginning of a journey where all roads lead to Agile coaching. You might be asking yourself, “What do I need for my coaching journey? Am I ready for this? Who can I ask for help? What is being an Agile coach really about, anyway?”

In this session, aspiring coaches will hear about an atypical journey to becoming an Agile coach, learn three key lessons, and remember why living Agile values is the key to, well, everything.

You’ll leave the session with the desire to live fully Agile, have a better understanding of where to start your own Agile journey, and discover how to learn more about yourself along the way.

This talk was previously presented at Manulife’s Agile Day 2018, organized by Jeff Kosciejew, and received an NPS score of 78.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

Section Description Timing (min)
Intro A little bit about me and why I’d like to share my story 5
My professional and personal journey From technical writing to internal communications to People Operations to Coaching 15
Three key learnings for aspiring Agile coaches All about introspection, reflection, and learning more about yourself 20
What Agile is really about An exploration of the meaning behind the Manifesto and current Agile frameworks 10
The power of community How we can lift each other up and inspire each other to do our best 5
Questions 5

Learning Outcome

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand that the path to becoming an agile coach, or whatever role they might aspire to, isn’t always clear, straightforward or easy
  • Uncover their own grit and resilience through reflecting on their experiences
  • Use reflection and introspection to better understand themselves, their needs, and their desires
  • Find courage to ask for help when they need it
  • Connect the Agile values and principles (Manifesto, Modern Agile) from theory to practice, not just in the workplace, but beyond
  • Call upon the power of the community

Target Audience

This session is targeted at anyone who wants to learn more about this whole "Agile coaching" thing.

Prerequisites for Attendees

Foundational understanding of Agile values and principles, a sense of humour, and fearlessness to feel feelings.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker

  • Liked Ellen Grove
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ellen Grove - Making our Mark: Drawing Together to Enhance Collaboration

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Co-creating drawings helps teams enhance their systems thinking abilities by really seeing the big picture. A group of people talking around a whiteboard is an effective way to share ideas across a team. Imagine how much richer the conversation is when everyone on the team has a marker in their hand and is actively contributing! Graphic visualization is an important tool for talking about new ideas, generating insights and developing shared understanding. In a team context, drawing is a thinking tool rather than an artistic endeavour. When everyone participates in creating drawings, all team members can see how things fit together and what mental models are at play in defining the situation. And, by drawing together, the team is collaboratively creating meaningful records that are being validated and updated.

    Come along on a visual adventure into how teams can collaboratively visualize ideas and make sure that everyone at the table has a voice. In this workshop, we will warm up with some basic doodling skills practice. No drawing experience is required to take part in this session: if you can hold a marker, we can teach you the skills needed to put your ideas on paper. Together we'll consider the ways that collaborative drawing can be used to enhance group work, and we will share practical activities that you can take back to use with your team for setting the stage, gathering information, and sharing stories.

  • Liked Lee Elliott
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lee Elliott - How to #FAIL at Agile

    Lee Elliott
    Lee Elliott
    Director of Agile
    Prodigy Game
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    “Are we Agile yet?”, “Of course we are agile, we stand up every day”, “We have a hybrid Waterfall/Agile technique”. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

    After several years at multiple organizations it is interesting to find the same mistakes being made over and over again. This talk will discuss the various ways that your company can fail at agile and what you can do about it.

  • 60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    For anyone willing to take some risk and create a success on your own terms.

    -This Agile Business presentation best represents: Experience, Exploration and Adaptation.

    "This talk is centered Agile being all about People and Business - on what’s in it for you and what’s in it for your clients.

    I initiated the McCafé concept at McDonald's and will share both the development stages and collaborative drivers. It’s about understanding where the real levers of power lie – with YOU.

    I will step beyond Agile for IT – and show how Agile Values bring the Business and People together – I open the Kimono with the client, build the relationship and I will share with the audience:

    How and What real life experiences were discovered with the McCafé launch. The presentation has useful lessons about Agile Business techniques to help participants gain insight and develop important skills with Executives and Clients. It’s a fundamental shift in mindset.

    Instead of focusing on what you can sell, the focus is shifted to what your unique talents are. Discover more fulfillment in the process of uniting and practicing with your client.

    Can't wait to share!!

  • Liked Pawel Mysliwiec
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Pawel Mysliwiec - Lead with CARE - simple framework to create, foster and enable meaningful connections

    Pawel Mysliwiec
    Pawel Mysliwiec
    Enabler
    Pyxis Technologies
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Pressured by results, overwhelmed by schedules to meet and expectations to live up to we so often lack to recognize the power of meaningful human connections around us. Still, when we recall some of the leaders that created the most lasting change in our professional and personal lives, there are a few common traits that seem to be part of their behavior.

    I have lived and practiced various roles in my life and career, and derived a simple way of reminding myself on how to create more meaningful connections for more powerful impact on the human level. In this talk I will present for the first time what has driven my teaching, coaching and leading along these years.

    CARE stands for curiosity, authenticity, respect and empathy. And it represents care, genuine and uninterested, for people around us- colleagues, relatives, managers and reports. In an illustrated way I will tell stories about how this simple framework can change the impact of your leadership and foster a stronger engagement for anything you stand for.

  • Liked Fernando Cuenca
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fernando Cuenca - Visualizing Work: If you Can't See It, you Can't Manage It

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Unlike a factory, where we can see work literally moving around, piling up waiting, being worked on, or even deteriorating with time, knowledge workers have to deal with abstract constructs that are largely invisible. Suddenly, answering questions like "what are we working on?" or "how does work get done here" can become tricky.

    The basic premise that the first step towards effectively managing knowledge work is to make it visible will not come as a surprise for anyone with some familiarity with Agile. That said, there's more to effective work visualization than a 3-column board showing "To Do | In Progress | Done" columns, and visualizing work items is only the first step.

    This session will explore approaches for visualizing otherwise invisible aspects of work, such as commitments, process, rules and, of course, work items, and using them to enable more effective management and collaboration.

  • Liked Mike Bowler
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mike Bowler - Brain talk: More effective conversations through clean language

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Clean language is an easy to use technique for getting deeper and more effective conversations. It leverages our understanding of how the brain actually stores and accesses information to get past superficial conversations quickly so that we can get into the core of the problem faster.

    In this workshop, you will learn some theory and then will get hands-on practice with the techniques that you can immediately take away and start using.

    Useful for anyone facilitating retrospectives or understanding product needs or collecting feedback from others, all things that agile leaders have to do.

  • Liked Dave Dame
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave Dame / Aaron Sampson, PMI-ACP, ITILv3, SMC - Your Proxy is Killing Your Product...One Delay at a Time

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    A supported Product Owner has the power to prioritize. An empowered Product Owner has the power to say 'No'!

    The Product Owner is the most underutilized and unsupported role in large organizations that are trying to increase their speed to market. Product Owners are only business people playing a 'weekend dad' to the team or they are merely only writing requirements for the team.

    Companies that are successful in delivering products to market empower the Product Owner. The Product Owner has one leg in Product Management and the other leg with the Scrum Team. The empowered Product Owner engages the business, customers, engineering, design, sales groups as stakeholders. They are empowered to optimize value by creating vision and context to enable teams to deliver products people want to buy and are technically sound to maintain and scale.

    In this workshop, we will help you unleash this opportunity and guide you in understanding the role of an empowered Product Owner.

  • Liked Sriram Natesan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sriram Natesan - How adopting an agile approach helped Finance & Risk group deliver a regulatory initiative

    Sriram Natesan
    Sriram Natesan
    Sr. Manager
    Deloitte Consulting
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    CFOs in today's digital economy are looking to invest significant capital on data driven initiatives to deliver strategic analysis to business partners. However this is often reprioritized due to regulatory requirements.

    This session is about how a large European Bank successfully delivered a large regulatory transformation program in 2017 using an agile approach. Driven by Finance & Risk groups and enabled by technology, incremental business value was delivered to Finance and Risk stakeholders.

    The key challenges faced required an approach to handle evolving regulatory requirements, lack of trust and collaboration between Business and Technology, lack of knowledge and experience in the solution domain, integration of new technology assets to automate business requirements and an aggressive timeline enforced by the regulator.

    As an Agile Coach on the project, my role was to help the Finance & Risk groups with the value stream mapping, formation of cross functional teams, developing an agile delivery approach, and provide training and coaching for the teams and leadership on adoption of agile principles and practices.

    The successful delivery was largely due to business foresight to maneuver around typical IT challenges and instead adopt an approach using agile principles that put delivering business value over fixed scope. Through this approach, the clients were able to deliver the solution that addressed the immediate needs but this also position them to leverage for future regulations.

    This talk will elucidate the backdrop, challenges that posed the business, the agile approach, culture and mindset that was adopted, and the resulting outcomes.

    If you have thought of or thinking of adopting Agile mindset in a non-IT environment, this is the session for you. In this session we will share some techniques we developed and hiccups that we managed along the way.

    By the end of this session, you will likely have gained some valuable insights that you can take back to your Organization and adopt agile principles and practices in areas outside of IT.

  • Liked Joanne Stone
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Joanne Stone - Shattering How we Hire and Build Scrum Masters

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Our industry exploded with tons of newly certified scrum masters. HR folks go through 50+ applicants to find a good scrum master. New Scrum Masters are challenged gaining experience to help them get a job and/or improve their abilities. How can we help new scrum masters become great and how can we help HR find them?

    Join Joanne to review new approaches to interviewing scrum masters (any scrum team member) utilizing experientially based questions. Explore how as a community we are able to grow scrum masters and agile coaches internally and externally in our companies.

    Let's disrupt the way we do things traditionally - the world is changing faster than our traditions.

  • Liked Gillian Lee
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gillian Lee / Courtney Kurysh - Team Health Checks for the Rest of Us

    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Want to experience a health check that you can use with your teams the day after this session? Join in this workshop where you will get hands on experience with Spotify's Health Check model and hear an experience report of applying it to 10+ teams.

    Evaluate what aspects of this model are relevant to your context and goals. Hear about what factors contributed to our success and what potential pitfalls to watch out for.

    Take the guessing out of what to improve on teams and how to measure it.

  • Liked Gil Broza
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gil Broza - How to Make Real Collaboration Possible

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Collaboration is generally considered a net positive, and everyone knows it’s a key principle of Agile. Yet most Agile teams -- even those that seem to work well together -- don’t collaborate nearly enough, and thus don’t reach their full potential. It takes attention and work to make collaboration possible, let alone appealing and practical! In this interactive talk, the author of “The Human Side of Agile” explains the not-so-short list of not-so-simple factors that get in the way of real collaboration, and provides a process for determining actions that will make collaboration possible.

  • Liked Jerilyn Edginton
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jerilyn Edginton - 5S Refactoring: Understanding Refactoring for Non-Techies

    Jerilyn Edginton
    Jerilyn Edginton
    Product Owner
    Microdea Inc.
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Developers are always wanting extra time to refactor their code. But we have deadlines and commitments to make - and really, what is refactoring anyway?This session aims to help non-technical team members to understand refactoring, why it's important, and why you don't have enough time not to refactor. Using Lean 5S, we're going to go through a non-technical example of what refactoring is and the types of things your teams may be doing during refactoring and the language they use.

  • Liked Matt Dominici
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Matt Dominici - Self Organizing for Fun And Profit

    40 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate
    1. Have an already successful company
    2. Read “Agile At Scale” article in latest HBR
    3. "Go Agile" (Pay large sums of $ to a large consultancy)
    4. ????
    5. Profit

    Self Organizing teams are the heart of agile software development. The Agile Manifesto practically reads as if it was written by a Team who were sick of being told how to do their job… “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it…”

    As in “We will figure this out, if you’d just LET US!”

    But for all the leadership training and blogs about how important an ‘agile mindset’ is, most teams are simply never allowed to sufficiently self organize.

    In this brief interactive session, we’ll uncover what it means to be part of a self-organized team, the boundaries of self-organization, and how Managers and Scrum Masters can exercise servant leadership by enabling teams to self-organize.

  • Liked Mary Aquilina
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mary Aquilina / Jeremy Bailey - The success and failures of Project Renegade at FreshBooks: A Kaizen Event gone wrong.

    40 Mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

    Kaizen Events can bring people together from all levels of your company to tackle particularly knotty problems. Leaders or Agile Coaches can use them to help create and support a culture of learning by developing skills and emergent leadership. They are usually five-day-long events that include problem definition, research, data collection, brainstorming and solutioning, resulting in a plan.

    In this session, not only will we tell you what a Kaizen Event is, but also show how an experienced leader or practitioner can put one together, and still get it wrong. We’ll share our learnings from our first Kaizen Event at FreshBooks, so that that you can avoid some of our mistakes. We’ll cover what a Kaizen event is, how you can benefit, and how to organize one. We’ll also share details like logistics, success metrics, messaging, problem solving and solutioning tools. Most importantly, we’ll be telling you what worked and what didn’t, so that you can successfully run your own Kaizen Event.

  • Liked Michael Sahota
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Michael Sahota - Wave 2 of Agile: Living The Agile Mindset

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Wave 2 of Agile is a way to understand the high-performance results that come from Being Agile. We know many in our industry have fallen into the trap or “Doing Agile” – where people lose sight of the objectives and lasting results.

    Wave 2 is about Living Agile. It is how we show up. It is how we work with people and organizations to shape the Culture. It is living Mahatma Gandhi's truth:

    “Be the change that you want to see in the world”.

    When we focus on our own behaviour, we model Being Agile. This is the only way to invite the Agile Mindset. This is Wave 2 Agile. We stop creating conflict and resistance. We become the effective leaders and influencers of lasting change in our organizations.

    “To be or not to be? That is the question.”

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    We've all heard how we need to collaborate better, but what does this really mean? What results can I expect to see with better collaboration?

    This workshop will demonstrate how productivity increases with greater collaboration and how to create better a more collaborative environment. We'll use a simple simulation and ratchet up the level of collaboration each Sprint. In the session you will not only have an opportunity to experience this relationship with a relatively simple learning game, but we'll look behind the curtain at the science and how some various behavioral models explain why this relationship exists. We'll then explore some tactics you can use to help teams collaborate better and close with an exploration of what either helps or hinders collaboration and how you can use this information as well as the game with your teams.

    If you have an interest in improving productivity of your team or the teams you serve, then this is the session for you.

  • Liked Pawel Mysliwiec
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Pawel Mysliwiec - Stop protecting your Scrum Team and removing impediments! - debunking most persistent misunderstandings behind the Scrum Master role

    Pawel Mysliwiec
    Pawel Mysliwiec
    Enabler
    Pyxis Technologies
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    'Talk to our Scrum Master if you want to discuss something with me', 'Sorry, the team has already started their Sprint, you will need to wait for another couple of weeks', 'If only these middle managers understood what Scrum is all about!', 'Lets place this impediment in the 'blocked' column and assign it to the Scrum Master'....

    I could continue citing these quotes for quite a while. Do they sound familiar ?

    If so no worries, that's how the Scrum Master role is being understood after assisting to a 1, 2 or 3-days Scrum class (followed by a certification, or not). While sometimes some of these may be options that bring the most value to the team and to the organization as a whole - on a short term, far too often it becomes a 'recipe' on how to act as a 'good Scrum Master'.

    Digging into my own 10 years of experience (mistakes, failures, and, some successes here and there), complemented with powerful insights from experienced practitioners, this talk aims to help the profession of Scrum Masters (and Agile Coaches of course) in stepping up their game and contribute to sustainable, long term organizational benefits while still continuing their service to the team.

  • Liked David Sabine
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David Sabine - The Art of Agile Documentation

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Myth: "Agile teams don't document."
    Truth: Some of the best documentation we've ever seen comes from Agile teams.

    Agile Engineering practices have revolutionized the ways in which documentation is treated and produced. In high-stakes environments with heavy compliance and audit requirements, a tendency toward exhaustive documentation is dangerously common. This workshop provides direct guidance and simple tools to help a document-heavy workplace think differently about documentation.

    I have developed this workshop to help an organization reframe their understanding of documentation with respect to knowledge work in complex environments so that they may eliminate unnecessary artifacts and simplify/automate others.

  • Liked Chris Kaknevicius
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Kaknevicius / Lee Elliott - The Magic of Measuring Agile Adoption

    40 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Have you ever been asked, “Are we agile yet?”

    That’s a daunting question to answer as there is no single best way to measure adoption. Chris and Lee, experienced Agile veterans, believe that measuring adoption is not one-size-fits-all, but rather requires strategic planning tailored to the needs of that team.

    Over their careers, Chris and Lee have worked with upwards of 70 agile teams. After learning and improving over several years, they have successfully developed a simple yet collaborative approach to measuring agile adoption - all while maneuvering the minefield of executives looking for performance metrics.

    Join Chris and Lee as they let you in on their approach to developing an agile adoption strategy, starting with a simple survey. The pair will also share some of the challenges they encountered and how they were able to mitigate them to improve team performance.

  • Liked Gillian Lee
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gillian Lee / Varun Vachhar - Agile Development with JavaScript

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How can we deliver value continuously when building modern JavaScript web applications? In the past 5-6 years, the popularity of JavaScript has exploded. There’s a good chance that you’re working at an organization where you’re using JavaScript.

    Learn about component-based architecture and approaches to state management that help us respond to changing requirements or even pivot in a new direction as a product evolves.

    What architecture choices and patterns enable meaningful independence and which ones hinder them?

    For all you non-developers out there, this is a fabulous opportunity to deepen your understanding of what choices your software development team may be making. Developers, here’s your chance to learn more about what Agile-friendly modern JavaScript development can look like.

    While some concepts are indeed language agnostic, this session will focus on the JavaScript ecosystem. We will cover the tools and techniques specific to component-based frameworks such as React, Vue, and Angular.