A conflict of interests

It starts in the usual way: You’re having a discussion with somebody from your current client and he/she tells you that agile practice X is bogus/useless/… and that that person is not going to use it/apply it/promote it to others. Now… what do you do? Before you realise it, you are having a conflict of … Read more…

„Scaling“ the team – part two

In the previous post I introduced you to Solution Focused scales and how they can be used in a one-to-one scenario. Now we’ll extend this to a team context, but first, here are some tips… Tips on using scales A constructivistic approach is important also when using scales: whatever numbers the client chooses, it must … Read more…

„Scaling“ the team – part one

No, this post is not about increasing the size of your development team, but about how to establish some measurements in your team – typically during the retrospectives, but not only – to support continuous improvement: let’s talk about Solution Focused Scales. I already discussed this technique in my Solution Focus presentation, but listening to … Read more…

There is no resistance in coaching

One of the concepts I hear many colleague agile coaches talking about is the concept of „resistance“ of the client. Typical sentences are „he is resisting the agile transition“ or „I talked to her about X and she resisted the proposals I made“. Now here’s one thing that is important to consider: there is no … Read more…

The best way to coach a team is…

…to coach its individuals one-to-one! Contradiction? Well, some time ago I thought so as well, but… Over the last years I had a few clients where, because of some constraints in the setting I was working with, I needed to „speed up“ with the coaching program and „deliver“ a high-performance team faster than I usually … Read more…

Agile mythology?

Last November I presented at the Deutsche Scrum the first version of my new presentation „Debunking Agile Myths“. The core message of the presentation was to show that many of the things we believe in the world of agile are based on… ehm… nothing, actually! Surprised? So was I when I started checking the scientific … Read more…

The Six Conditions for Change

So you’re out in the field trying to change companies by „coaching them to agile“, do you? Are you sure this is possible at all? If yes, then this article is not for you yet: please come back when you are doubting. The assumption this article is based on is that we’re not sure whether … Read more…

Learn to watch. And watch to learn!

In my work very often I stress the role of the observer: it’s a vital one when practicing coaching techniques and it’s an incredibly useful tool to use in every coaching activity. In the workshop I delivered at the Turku Agile Day together with Mike Sutton, we stressed the importance of the Observer role in … Read more…

Coaching Organisations as Systems, i.e. Agile as a Systemic Change at the Scandinavian Developer Conference

At the Scandinavian Developer Conference I presented today some concepts useful for coaching at the organisational level. The basic idea behind this presentation is that thinking about agile at the team level is a necessary step, but not the only one needed in order to create an agile organisation. In a parallel presentation I argued … Read more…

How do you choose the ScrumMaster?

Suppose you need to choose the ScrumMaster for your team and there is no „natural“ candidate available. Suppose you have two alternatives who could do the job, but you are not sure who fits best? I got a similar question proposed some time ago by one of my customers. Instead of giving my answer, I … Read more…

The Three Hows

If you have followed my blog, you know that I am somewhat critic of root cause analysis like the „5 Whys„, especially when applied to non-purely-technical issues. On the other hand I am actually pretty much in favour of more systemic tools like the Cause-Effect Diagrams and the Thinking Process, despite the risk of using … Read more…

It’s not just about teams! – „Agile as a systemic change“ presentation at the Italian Agile Day 2010

Agile has been a refreshing wind of change in the software development world. A very much needed one, actually. Yet, I believe these days a big part of the agile community is stuck in a cul-de-sac called the teams! What’s wrong with teams? Nothing really. Except that… they are just a model! A team is … Read more…

Solution Focused FAQ

As you have probably noticed – in case you did not fall asleep while reading these pages – I am a strong believer in the solution focused approach and I wrote already several articles about it (see this and this and this). The approach generated interest in many of my peers, so over time I … Read more…

Wishes – Messages – Questions

I recently had a situation where two teams based in two different locations had to start working together on a project. While waiting for a planned face to face meeting between them, I used the following technique to prepare each team for the upcoming meeting. When establishing a new co-operation with another team, each team … Read more…

Solution Focused presentation again: Mini XP Days 2010

Here’s a short post to publish the slides and the handout for the third version of my Solution Focused approach to Agile Coaching presentation. This time I gave it at the Mini XP Days Benelux 2010, a one day conference with the presentations that were voted the best at the XPDays Benelux 2009. It has … Read more…