Jason’s coaching journey – the struggling coaches

Some context before we start

This is the second in a series of long articles about Jason, who is an agile coach.

In the last episode, Jason was coaching away happily when suddenly it all came crashing down.

In this episode we look at how he reacts and how his friend Sonja tries to help him through some agile coaching.  Then we look at some tips on how Sonja could have more effectively coached Jason.

coach focus when slapped

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Jason’s coaching journey episode one. The big slap

The great thing about agile coaching is that you are helping people to help themselves.  So if you get some traction, then people usually enjoy the journey and start to build momentum.  Then they help themselves (with your support) and you can clearly see the value of your effort.

But it is not always as straight forward as that.

Once upon a time an agile coach faced a setback …

This article, and some others called “Jason’s coaching journey”, are a long read.

The article is a mythical story of  how an agile coach found himself on a journey that turned into a real struggle.

As we learn about Jason’s journey, we will also look at whether, if we were coaching him, we could help him get back on track.

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When you lack evidence (or have too much)

I have been writing a couple of articles about presenting new ideas in workshops.

But sometimes you want to make a point, but you lack the evidence to back it up.  And sometimes you have heaps of points to make, full of evidence and highly relevant learning, but all the evidence will actually get in the way.

So let’s look at ways to present ideas, that reduce the use of evidence.  You might like some of these and not others, so read through and see what you think.

You might also notice other people using these approaches quite often when you start to listen for them.

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Introducing ideas when you need more credibility

In my last post I talked about about presenting new ideas to people.

But sometimes you need to be a little bit more convincing – Especially if you do not yet have credibility with the group or if your idea might by challenging what people currently think.

Let’s say for example, that you are telling business analysts that they are not needed anymore, or if you are explaining to a project manager that they do need a BA even though it will cost them money.  People will not accept these statements at face value.

You can plead with people to believe you, but that rarely helps.  You can yell and scream – but nobody will care.  So what can you do?

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Facilitation tip – introducing new ideas

I gave a friend some feedback on his facilitation style recently. I suggested the he “introduce new ideas really well and stuff.”  Great advice, but perhaps not very specific or useful.

Then I ran a facilitation related course and gave people feedback on, among other things, presenting ideas to the team.  There seemed to be a pattern where people were passionate about what they were saying, but not clear on exactly how to say it.

So what does “introducing new ideas really well and stuff” entail?

Firstly, passion and authenticity count. But there are also some basic mechanical steps that you can take to structure a message so that you are clear on what you want to say and the audience is more likely to take it in.

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My keynote at the Melbourne BA development day

I went to the IIBA professional day in Melbourne and I gave the morning keynote for the day.  There were about 270 business analysts their to learn about all things BA.

I thought I would publish the talk because a couple of people asked me about the content.  Apparently there is still some confusion about business analysts on agile projects … and I assume also on data science, political and design thinking type projects.

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Quick view: Is 2 speed IT a good thing?

I was talking to someone today about “2-speed IT” and whether it is:

  • An excuse to avoid going agile, while still hoping to be invited to all the cool “go digital” fun projects; or
  • A recognition that different types of technology require different approaches, requiring IT teams to adopt a strategic view.

I started to explore my thinking on this when I found that the argument had already been succinctly captured elsewhere. So here is a quick summary of other people’s thinking about what “2-speed IT” means and why it is good or bad.

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