Coaching & Training

Green agility coaching

With green agility the organization chooses to pay equal attention to the product growing in the team as to the team itself growing in collaboration & capability.
For agile coaching this means, that it’s equally about the product (e.g. things like lean startup, design thinking, story-mapping etc.) and the team-dynamics (trust-building, visioning, meeting-culture, feedback-culture, conflict-resolution etc.)
In my coaching work I try to bring these things together by focussing on identifying & enabling what I call growth-conditions for one or more teams.

Defining Growth conditions

Growth conditions first & foremost involve the belief, that change is possible and worthwhile.
In an open and trusting environment the individuals‘ goals and needs can (usually) be aligned with the organization’s goals and needs. This process of trust & alignment needs to continue at deeper and deeper levels.
On the basis trust & alignment a team and organization becomes ready to move into product development that lives from inquiry driven by hypothesis, rather than pretending to know about the users. More diverse participation in product development becomes possible, rather than just asking the expert.
This is where spring time starts in the urban garden. This is where the focus shifts towards great user experience, great products and deeper purpose.

Concrete approaches

Teams and organizations are different. What builds trust and alignment for one might not be the most essential thing for the other. For this reason we co-create the coaching-strategy when we start. However experience has shown that there are typical things that can make sense to work on – always focussing on one at a time – to promote this development:
  • Appreciative & courageous human interaction
    (also regarding unpleasant feedback)
  • People getting to know each other from more than just the professional side
  • Explicit and unavoidably visible goals
  • Explicit tradeoffs for conflicting goals
  • Short cycles of valuable software & feedback – building confidence and trust in and outside the team
  • Single items built with high quality and craftsmanship
  • High levels of automation during development, test & release
  • A meeting culture that values diverse perspectives, routinely gets agreed results while including everyone affected
  • Recurring reflection & learning time with the whole team based on open inquiry
  • Strong focus on just a handful of things at any given time
  • High levels of team-collaboration (often across disciplines)
  • Low waste and optimal feature discovery by means of validating hypotheses on user needs
  • Empathic attention towards users and their actual experiences

Methods

Processes & tools are available from many years of training & experience.
I am constantly learning new ways.
Underlying all of my methods is my understanding and love for software development as well as my extensive training as coach & facilitator on the basis on Non Violent Communication.
Trust-Building and alignment on the basis of temenos is becoming increasingly important for the way I work.
I follow a lean-change methodology when changing or introducing anything. This means I support change in small steps and make sure the previous step was evaluated before we rush to the next improvement.
I do not introduce Scrum or other multipart frameworks all at once in one big bang. If Scrum should be used – and I do love Scrum under certain circumstances –  I want everyone to first understand the full consequences and opt-in on this basis.

Training

I offer in-house customized training for the organizations I work with in a variety of related fields:

  • Lean Startup & agile engineering methodology
  • Agile Product Management
  • Successful OKRs
  • Kanban
  • Scrum
  • Agile Basics / i.e. interacting with an agile team from the outside
  • Human interaction training – e.g. appreciative feedback training

Team-coaching & Facilitation

Many things can make sense in the particular case. Examples:
  • Running a team-diagnosis and charting it on a radar chart
  • Co-Creating a shared coaching-vision and guiding small changes on a PDCA-board
  • Introducing Kanban or Scrum
  • Establishing and adapting a useful & mindful meeting-pattern
  • Facilitating agreement on operating rules for the team
  • Facilitating agreement on collaboration rules for the team
  • Facilitating a delegation-board with the team & its management
  • Facilitating the introduction of OKRs for the team(s)
  • Facilitating a Temenos process to establish the central life-cycle of trust & alignment
  • Facilitating an impact-mapping session to become clear on product goals
  • Visualizing a product roadmap and establishing participatory ways to work with it
  • Mediation of existing conflicts in the team
  • Running an Open Space meeting to get everyone engaged

Individual Coaching

Depending on the circumstance I also offer individual coaching and mentoring. If there is ambivalence around certain new behaviors – particularly for new roles in leadership and product management – this kind of sparring can be perceived as very helpful.

The promise

In such an environment you can expect teams to eventually become the vibrant, committed, flexible and sustainable creative powers they are meant to be. Managers will eventually find ways to evade ongoing handling of crises. Instead they will become inspiring leaders as well as alert custodians of this highly productive system.

Over time – regardless of where they started to grow – teams will be fast to learn from the market (not just bringing the product fast to market).
  • They will produce & maintain products users love
  • People will enjoy their work
  • Features that sound simple will begin to actually be simple
  • New systems will no longer degrade into legacy to be re-written but live & change as markets and technology evolve.
And – finally – new challenges will come as the organization, the environment or the team changes ..