I see coaching values as a “problem” which is why I am so passionate about it

A problem is (also) a question to be answered or solved. Especially by reasoning or calculating Cambridge Dictionary – https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/problem I love problem solving I love to help others to learn to solve problems. But there is a problem with this. When I say problem I often mean “a puzzle to be solved” or “a thing to understand” but I think what people hear is: A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. The first thing that came up when I googled “meaning of problem” This is a bad starting point … Continue reading I see coaching values as a “problem” which is why I am so passionate about it

When is ignorance better than clarity?

I strongly believe that coaching teams (and leaders) is a great idea. I think an agile coach can do a lot more than increase velocity with a team or have decent stand-ups.  I also read a lot about different approaches to coaching and like to hone my craft as a coach so that I can become an expert coach. Sadly though, I often remember my father’s old joke that the definition of an expert is that they come to know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing. So I sometimes questions when my expertise … Continue reading When is ignorance better than clarity?

Maybe our definition of coach is too narrow

Some time ago, I was wondering why I was noticing people moving away from agile approaches (and cultures). One of my theories was that people were neglecting “craftsmanship” when coaching agile teams. I am an agile coach and I often explain to people that agile coaching is about helping teams build the capability to interact better together and better adapt to change. I also say that we are all about helping people discover, pursue and share value. Alas, some stakeholders thing that agile coaching is really about implementing agile best practices from the big agile book of correct behaviour. But … Continue reading Maybe our definition of coach is too narrow

Keeping people on track in meetings

Some people have amazing leadership skills such as communicating a clear vision or aligning people to a cause. I did not receive those awesome gifts, but I did inherit a super power that often comes in handy – managing Bureaucracy. For example, I like to have meetings that are effective. This probably does not seem like a super power to you – but nor should meetings be a terrible curse. When people encounter Scrum, they are often shocked that there are so many meetings (OK we hide the fact by calling them ceremonies, events, rituals, celebrations or something, but they … Continue reading Keeping people on track in meetings

How would a teacher assess our agile teams (part 2)

Previously in “teachers assessing agile teams” In my previous post, I derived a lightweight model for building team and product metrics from the Kirkpatrick model, which is normally used to assess training effectiveness. A key theme was that we should think about what, specifically, we want to learn from our metrics before adopting any typical “agile,” or “product” metrics out of the box. The result was a series of questions that you would want to use your metrics to answer. The questions are, similar to the Kirkpatrick model, taken from different levels or perspectives. But you do not need to … Continue reading How would a teacher assess our agile teams (part 2)

How would a teacher assess our agile teams (part 1)?

I have been thinking about how we measure our performance and how we track our goals at work. Specifically, I want to look at how we would use assessment in the teams that are customer focused, product led and/or agile. There are plenty of good books in each of these domains and they have a lot of good techniques, tips and even philosophical concepts to help me. However, many of the books seem to look only at product metrics or only at agile delivery. So I thought that I would take a step back an look at what these teams … Continue reading How would a teacher assess our agile teams (part 1)?

Ranting and raving about agile metrics

I have been talking to people at work about measuring performance lately and it got me thinking about how we use metrics to understand our work in an agile context. In some ways, results are results and impediments are impediments, so maybe the way we measure things is based on what we measure and not how we work. In other ways though, the way we work and even our attitude to work will impact what we measure, how we measure it and what we learn from it. I often tell people that in agile teams we try to measure the … Continue reading Ranting and raving about agile metrics

One goal or many

The tennis is on in Australia and I guess people are being distracted by a lot of things that have nothing to do with the game. I assume though, that the players are staying focused on playing the best game that they can – and hopefully winning if they are good enough to have a chance. That bit is similar to work at the moment – there are so many distractions going on around me that I think I could spend the whole day doom-scrolling. However, I am likely to be more successful (and happier) if I can be a … Continue reading One goal or many

Measurement and The Paper Factory

When I was a schoolboy, I used to catch the train to school. Every day I walked past a paper factory, or it might have been a warehouse (I don’t really know exactly what they made, I assume it was exercise books, big rolls of paper and stuff). There was a big sign next to the front gate that proudly displayed the number of days since the last injury had occurred in the factory. It was actively maintained, so I would walk past one day and the sign would say “185 days since last injury,” then the next day it … Continue reading Measurement and The Paper Factory

Improvement goals – verbs, adverbs or adjectives?

It is a new year and so I am returning to my blog, which has been neglected for a couple of months. Perhaps I should set myself a typical goal to keep me focused, something like Write 2 blog articles a month; or Publish 2 blog articles by the end of February 2022 These are action based goals and the outcomes are pretty clear. They might even be smart goals because they are pretty specific and they can be measured. In fact I can even predict that I will be 50% complete in attaining the second goal by the time … Continue reading Improvement goals – verbs, adverbs or adjectives?