Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category.

Berteig Consulting Agile Clinic

Berteig Consulting has recently launched the Agile Clinic (TM) for companies to diagnose their Agile implementation and provide customized remedies. The goals of the one day clinic are to help organizations:

  • fine tune its agile practices and become effective and more efficient
  • become hyper-effective by overcoming some of your hardest challenges
  • determine which agile practices will help you the most
  • find existing barriers in the current situation, offer solutions for your specific needs
  • examine your teams, your processes and your organization to find opportunities for improvement

This is an interesting approach as it leverages the expertise of external independent agile gurus without the expense of an agile coaching engagement. Companies could schedule periodic clinics and would provide regular “agile checkups” in a cost-effective way.

Of course, the challenge here will be for the clinic coaches to garner sufficient context prior to the clinics to make sure that their diagnoses and remedies are tuned to the situation at hand. The model includes some case analysis prior to the clinic so the success will in part depend on how well the situation is communicated and appreciated by the coaches prior to the clinic.

I am very interested to see if this model works both from a client perspective and from a coaches perspective.

Agile Coaching and Leadership Retreat

The need for a more enlightened leadership style was drilled home to me at one client’s site. I was continually frustrated when brainstorm sessions and meeting that I planned were complete failures. I had a hard time getting the team to come out of their cubicles let alone participate in retrospectives. At the peak of my frustration the team was profiled using Myers-Briggs personality typing. I was typed as an extrovert and every other person on the team was typed as an introvert. Well no wonder I was getting nowhere, I was trying to get the team to work like I did, as an extrovert rather than adapting to how they wanted to work. So, I made a real effort to prepare information ahead of meetings so the team had time to reflect, used more democratic techniques for retrospectives and so on. The result was a much improved team interaction. I realized then that effective agile teams require enlightened coaching and leadership to steer the team through challenges like this.

When I ran into Deb Hartman at AgileCoachCamp it was clear that her focus is very much on coaching and leadership for agile teams. I find this refreshing because there is a lot of focus on the technical aspects of agile such as TDD, refactoring, continuous integration and so on. I sometimes feel this “software” side of agility gets short shrift. She ran some great workshops on effective listening, powerful questions and agile games.

Now Deb has put together an agile coaching and leadership retreat with Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins:

Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals for Agile Leaders is designed to provide Agile Coaches with fundamental professional coaching skills. Based on the “Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals” course of The Coaches Training Institute, it is taught through participation, using practical skills you can apply right away,and offers extensive opportunities to coach and to receive feedback on your own coaching.

In particular, you will learn to:
   •   Use the four cornerstones of Co-Active Coaching
   •   Communicate with clients using the 5 contexts of Co-Active Coaching
   •   Use the Professional Wheel of Life assessment tool with clients
   •   Distinguish and use the three levels of listening
   •   Demonstrate the most often used coaching skills

The retreat is planned for August 1-3, 2008 in Toronto to accommodate agile coaches and leaders planning to attend Agile2008. Learn more at