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What is your biggest regret as an agile coach?

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach? I’m not somebody that believes in regret. Professiona…

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach?

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach? So, the contract element …

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective?

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective? It used to be ‘Mad | Sad | Glad’. Many moon…

What are the 3 things that trip you up as an Agile coach?

What are the 3 things that generally trip you up as an Agile coach? This is an interesting one. Ther…

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach?

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach? Your first step is to stop think…

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach?

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach? It’s contract. I…

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out.

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out. That is a tricky one…

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach.

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach. I used to think this was true. Maybe that was my ego…

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching This is an interestin…

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable.

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable. This is an interesting one. It’s something that I ha…

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks This is one of …

The Definitive Guide to Scrum Training

Why take Scrum training? Scrum may appear simple at first, but it is deceptively difficult to do wel…

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems.

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems. All teams have problems and op…

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure?

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure? I’m going to put my consultant h…

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?
How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization? I’m go…

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning?

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning? This answer may be a bit different to how a scru…

On-demand Scrum Master Preparation Exams

For many, the Certified ScrumMaster® or Professional Scrum Master™ exam is the most nerve-wracking a…

How Agility has Moved Outside the IT Industry and is Shaping Top Companies Around the World

For many, the mention of the word agile conjures up images of software engineers, stickie notes…

6 Proven Ways to Make your Organization More Agile

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries organizations saw great leaps forwards in t…

The 6 Enablers of Business Agility – Creating the Organizational Operating system for Success

We live in a world that is more interconnected, more volatile, and more unpredictable than at a…

Powerful Questions in Coaching
Powerful Questions in Coaching

A powerful question is a question that evokes or draws out a reaction, an insight, a fact, or an opp…

Benefits of Coaching to the Coachee
Benefits of Coaching to the Coachee

As the world becomes more complex, many managers and leaders are turning to certified coaches to hel…

Avoiding Assumptions in Coaching

Assumption is defined as ‘a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof &#…

Product Owner Origins: Liam Neeson or Dragon’s Den?
Product Owner Origins: Liam Neeson or Dragon’s Den?

Product Owners hold a lot on their shoulders. Responsibility for return on investment, ens…

5 Levers for Changing Organisational Culture

Organisational culture is one of the most powerful, and misunderstood, concepts around. Leaders and …

Agile getting stale? Take the Mani-fresh-to Challenge
Is your Agile getting stale? Take the Mani-fresh-to Challenge!

TLDR; Everything changed in 2020, even the Scrum Guide got an update, but the Agile Manifesto didn’t…

On Agile & Mastery
On Agile & Mastery

I’m lucky enough to find my job professionally satisfying. That’s because I think the line of work I…

Scaled Agile Framework
Introduction to SAFe

SAFe® is an acronym for Scaled Agile Framework® and was introduced in 2011 by co-creators Dean Leffi…

Leading SAFe with Jon Spruce

SAFe® (Scaled Agile Frameworks for enterprise) is one of the most popular frameworks for large organ…

Why OKRs aren’t enough on their own: Goals and Standards

Objectives and Key Results – OKRs – are a well known goal-setting technique; there&#8217…

Essential Skills – Critical Analysis

In a recent conversation with Tyrrell Basson from Manchester University, we explored the topic of ‘e…

Creating Alignment and Autonomy

We know from Dan Pink’s work that high levels of autonomy are a powerful contributor to motivation. …

There Are Sabre-Toothed Tigers in Your Office

An ancient part of our brains that existed to keep us alive in a world of danger has evolved. But ra…

The SCARF Model – How it affects agile teams

In the previous article ‘There Are Sabre-Toothed Tigers In Your Office‘, we discussed ho…

Agile Coaching Capability

I’m a bit of a rugby fan and often find myself wanting to run out with the lads, moving through the …

Innovation versus Protectionism

The last time we suffered a global pandemic that brought the world to its knees was in 1918. A littl…

I’m in a Theory X Team, Get Me Out Of Here!

For 20 years, ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” has been a staple of the UK pre-Christmas …

ORCA – A powerful feedback model

Ken Blanchard described it as “the breakfast of champions”; Bill Gates said “We all need people who …

Where did you get that hat?

In my previous blog post “Where are all the managers in Agile?”, I discussed why agile doesn’t need …

Where are all the managers in Agile?

The heart of agile is described in the few words of the Agile Manifesto and its accompanying princip…

Bring rigour to your thinking

“Belief is so often the death of reason” – Lord Varys, Master of Whisperers – Game of Thrones …

Genesis: Levels of Agile Capability and Competence

Once upon a time, circa May 2016, the world was a comparatively predictable place. For the most part…

Covid Hack – Intention Versus Strategy

Small, cross-functional teams working closely together to frequently and consistently deliver featur…

The History of Hierarchies

For 95 percent of the 200,000 years modern humans have walked the earth, there was no such thing as …

Covid Hack – Resilient versus Robust

Many of the corporations we work with are inherently designed to be robust. A concept that permeates…

Covid Hack – Technical Debt

We’ve all experienced massive disruption, complexity and ambiguity in the face of Covid-19 hitting t…

Facilitate rapid and effective decision-making

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a collaborative, coaching-style workshop that brings together the team…

Covid Hacks – Hiring

In a recent Zoom session with Laura Howie, CEO of Reel Media Africa, we chatted about the importance…

Management versus Leadership

5 Weeks ago, our revenue streams dried up, literally overnight. The Covid-19 fairy waltzed in the fr…

The Coaching Imposter #2

When I last posted something, before life changed significantly for all of us, I was coming to terms…

Customers and Developers in the same room. WTF?

At the turn of the 20th Century, the father of modern Business Management – Frederick Winslow …

First they ignore you

‘How do I get the senior leadership team to buy into Agile?’ is a question I’m often asked. It’s a g…

Stealth Agile

I recently connected with Tyrrell Basson from the University of Manchester in one of my ‘Ask me Anyt…

We didn’t do anything wrong

‘We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.’ – CEO of Nokia There’s a moment where the CEO o…

We didn’t have time for Governance!

Many Agile coaches and trainers often speak about the unicorns of Agile. Spotify. Netflix. Amazon. A…

Building bridges amidst disruption

The Case for Business Agility As an Agile coach, consultant and trainer, I pretty much live in a wor…

Coronavirus and The Corner Shop – A Portrait of Agility?

If ever one wanted the ultimate portrait of a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and a…

The Coaching Imposter

Agile Coaching? Hmm, yes I know what you’re thinking, “what does that mean and how is that an actual…

Exploring & Exploiting: Striking the Right Balance

In 1913, Henry Ford implemented one of the greatest innovations ever seen in manufacturing: the movi…

Agile Bootcamp #4 – Using Story Mapping to Teach Agile

User Story Mapping is a great technique to help teams explore their product scope and plan how they …

Agile Bootcamp #3 – Scrum Simulation with the Inception Deck

There are lots of ways to help introduce the concepts of Scrum to teams and to give them a chance to…

Agile Bootcamp #2 – Behind The Scenes at an Agile Bootcamp

The bootcamp is planned, the travel arrangements made and suitcases packed. Now, the hard work start…

Agile Bootcamp #1 – To Fail To Plan is to Plan To Fail

When we were asked if we could help another organisation start on their journey to agile, I was keen…

The opportunity of IR35 for organisations and start-ups

The recent announcement from HMRC that IR35 and Off-Payroll Tax would come into effect on the 6th of…

Meteors, VUCA, and Business Agility

Once upon a time, two-ton wombats lumbered across the Australian Outback. Around the same time, sabr…

Predict Success by Finding Problems

Agile was supposed to make things easier. It was supposed to fix the problems of large projects with…

Scrum Beyond Scrum

On my professionalisation journey to Scrum Alliance Certified Team Coach, I am collecting badges and…

The 6 Enablers of Business Agility

  When I first started my journey as a Scrum Master, I devoured books on how Scrum worked. I le…

Agile Project Management

To say the words ‘Agile Project Management’ in front of Agile purists falls somewhere in the spectru…

The Scrum Framework

The Scrum Framework is an Agile framework within which various Agile methodologies can be both emplo…

What is Project Management?

Project Management, as both a profession and specialised discipline, is relatively young. From the d…

Don’t look back in anger

Continuous improvement is a core agile principle. The retrospective is an important event in all agi…

The Peak of Mount Stupid

This is a blog about coaching; specifically, lean and agile coaching, though it applies to leadershi…

Ways for a group to reach a decision

There are always moments in a project when decisions must be made. How those decisions are reached w…

Personality traits of an excellent Scrum Master

“Bring it to the team” should be the daily motto of an excellent Scrum Master. Nobody can truly fulf…

How Agile benefits Kanban and XP Development Frameworks

Above all, Agile is about focusing on the customer in the most streamlined way possible. Fundamental…

The Origins of Scrum and Agile

As leadership guru Steve Denning has written, Agile is “not about doing more work in less time:…

Scrum and the agile Manifesto
Scrum and the Agile Manifesto

The values and principles of the Agile manifesto are designed to remind you of one thing above all: …

Ethics and morals

Anyone whose profession involves advising others needs to be concerned about ethics. In a more gener…

Feedback: it’s not what you get, it’s what you do with it

When teaching Scrum a large part of the information is around feedback: product feedback, process fe…

Feedback in Coaching

All coaches reading this will probably agree that the following outline, provided by Jonathan Moss, …

Metaphor, Simile and Analogies

Communication in all its aspects is of vital importance to effective coaching. Getting the most out …

Challenging and Requesting

A considerable part of a coach’s job is to challenge clients. If they do not stretch, if they do not…

The CLEAR Model

In the early 1980s, Peter Hawkins developed the CLEAR model, and thus slightly pre-dates the GROW mo…

The FUEL Model

The FUEL model is a coaching tool that consists of four components: Frame the conversation: Set the …

The Art of the Post-It®

For years I have watched my husband, John, sticking post-its all over the place while working. I nev…

Hidden Aspects of Communication

Communication consists of far more than speaking and writing. Most of us are unaware that we communi…

Show Confidence

We hear a lot about confidence in the contexts of business, personal relationships, and just about e…

Body Language

As important as the spoken word is, body language may convey even more information than speech. As a…

A brief overview of Scrum

In this brief overview of Scrum, we introduce you to the Scrum Framework, roles within the Scrum met…

The Trust Equation
The Trust Equation

Trust relationships are vital to the way we do business today. In fact, the level of trust present i…

Coaching: Face to Face or Over the Phone?

Coaches are often called upon to work with clients who do not live or work in proximity to them. In …

Sprint: the Heartbeat of Scrum

A Sprint, as described in the Scrum Guide, is a time-boxed period of one month or less during which …

Introducing Certified Agile Leadership® (CAL1)

Throughout my years as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Scrum trainer, there has been a common and pe…

Empathy

Empathy is a quality particularly crucial in a coach. Clients, as a rule, start out as strangers―the…

Grow Model
History of the GROW Model

In the mid to late 1980s, Alan Fine, Graham Alexander, and Sir John Whitmore developed the GROW mode…

Reflecting

As a coach, you cannot afford to misunderstand your clients. Communication between you needs to be c…

Active Listening

Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to feed back what he or she…

Levels of Listening

For a coach, there can surely be few skills more important than listening. Hearing what your client …

The GROW Model Explained

The GROW model is a solid, time-tested coaching tool that can help coaches ensure efficient results …

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