When is an agile coach not an agile coach?

I was talking to some experienced agile people and we started to discuss “agile coaching. ”We agreed that it was a great idea and that everyone should have an agile coach. But then we realised that we did not mean the same thing when we said “coach. ”We did agree on some things, like being able to…
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Is 'Communication' really the problem?

Many leaders I work with seek feedback from staff on what they can improve. Often by anonymous surveys*. There will usually be a response along the lines of "Not enough communication" or "Poor communication. "*could the fact that the survey is anonymous tell us more about the culture than we'd like…
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It's a catastrophe - how does an agile coach respond?

In this series of articles, I will provide suggestions for helping people tackle problems and “catastrophes. ”In each case, I either provide some open questions or “a couple of boxes on a wall. ”I have been working with some agile coaches recently and we discussed two related problems:When you do a…
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Coaching when they will do the wrong thing

My last couple of articles have been about presenting ideas so that people listen to what you are saying.  But what happens if you explain something to people and then they decide to do the wrong thing anyway? Of course, it is possible that you were wrong and that they are right.  But what if you are…
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What's needed with agile requirements documentation?

During agile training sessions, the most common question I get is, “Can you PLEASE just tell me what I need to document as an Agile BA?”So, let’s clear up this up once and for all!The answer is NOT simply user stories and acceptance criteria, or a traditional requirements document. Agile is just…
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Is Agile too much bottom-up and not enough top-down?

Back in the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell said, “No man travels as far as he who knows where he is going. ” I think Oliver Cromwell was right. Unless one has a clear objective, one tends to wander fruitlessly, so before embarking on a software development effort, project by project or via continuou…
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An Interview with entrepreneur, Pat Reed

Q: In what ways can we help the under-representation of women in STEM fields? A: I think the good news is that this issue is getting a lot more attention than it has in the past. Role modelling and trying to embolden it through awareness. One of the areas I think that has a lot of…
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8 reasons for an agile adoption

Companies adopt agile for any number of reasons, usually stemming from a dissatisfaction with how things are currently working and a desire to improve. Most are struggling with the reality of ever-changing environments, customer needs, technological advancements and competitor pressure.  Here are…
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To agility and beyond, the value of the BA

My keynote at the Melbourne BA development dayI went to the IIBA professional day in Melbourne and I gave the morning keynote for the day.   There were about 270 business analysts there to learn about all things BA. I thought I would publish the talk because a couple of people asked me about the…
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“What, why, how” coaching for skills

I recently wrote an article on coaching where I suggested building a toolkit of different approaches to use when coaching people and teams in different things. This is my (very basic) tool for teaching a skill – it is called “what why how”. I use it when I want to help someone develop a specific…
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Socrates' Triple Filter Test

Backbiting is an insidious problem. Imagine if a colleague spoke ill of someone that you were about to meet for the first time, at the start of a new project for example. "Oh, Joe! Let me tell about Joe … he's such a Wood Duck … he did blah blah blah in his last team … ". How does that affect…
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Would you prefer coaching or coaching?

I ran an agile coaching course recently and, naturally, we spoke a lot about coaching. We ran through a lot of different techniques and approaches to coaching people in agile teams, but we discovered that both “coaching” and “agile” might mean different things to different people in different…
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