BONUS: Building and growing an Agile Coach community in your organization, with Samantha Corbett and Jeff Campbell

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).


The Agile Coach team, at that time, had 9 people. And they all saw different problems in the organization. They struggled with slow decision making, problems at the team level, but when it came to seeing solutions, they all saw different approaches. 

Over time, they recognized they needed to coordinate their work to be successful. If nothing else, because several teams needed to be involved in solving some of the problems the organization was facing. 

The coaches started asking themselves: “Are we really performing as a team?”

This was what started the need for regular collaboration between the coaches. 

At first, they started by having a regular get-together with the team of coaches. 

Helping the organization see the whole, even when tackling local problems

During those regular meetings, the coaches started to observe that the teams were in conflict with each other even when trying to work on the same problems. We discuss what were the reasons for that conflict, and highlight how the locally-focused view of the teams (local optimization) led to conflicting solutions, even when they were working to solve the same problems. 

This is where the Agile Coach community helped, by helping the teams “see the whole” and take into account other teams in their solution design. 

Showing the value of an Agile Coach community to your boss

As it often happens, the value of Agile Coaches or Scrum Masters is questioned, and we must be ready to show the value that this community brings to the teams and the company. 

In this segment, we talk to Samantha and Jeff about how they were able to show the value of the Agile Coach community, and the role that the lead in the Agile Coach community played in preparing the coaches to deliberately measure and show the value they were creating. 

Herding cats: the nature of working with a group of leaders

Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters are leaders in the most practice sense of the word: they work with people in the organization to help them grow and succeed at work. However, the flip side is that by being leaders and focusing on helping teams, we often forget that we also need to be team members, in the coaching team. Therefore, working with a team of Agile Coaches or Scrum Masters will never be easy. In this segment, we explore what Samantha and Jeff have learned about the process of working with a team of coaches and offer some tips on how to achieve that. 

In this segment, we talk about the Gallup Strengths finder tool, which helped this team of coaches find the aspects each could bring to the team and therefore collaborate better.

How to get started creating a community of Agile Coaches in your organization

We end this episode by talking about how we can get started creating our own community of Agile Coaches in our organization. Samantha and Jeff share their tips and lessons learned and we focus especially on the aspect of “teaming”, making this team work well together and have an impact.

About Samantha Corbett and Jeff Campbell

Samantha Corbett is an Agile Coach at Meltwater. She previously worked in IT project management. Samantha credits finding agile and lean as the exciting alternative from the traditional 9-5.  At Meltwater she has been focused on training, coaching, and developing the Platform business unit.

You can link with Samantha Corbett on LinkedIn.

Jeff Campbell is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. 

He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook

As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website.

Read the Meltwater engineering blog at Underthehood.meltwater.com.

 

 

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