What's your experience coaching teams toward being Agile?
I’m from Colombia and I lived there until 2011. Around 2004 I heard about some Agile tools and techniques, even though I didn’t hear the word Agile. From 2004 to 2009, I tried to implement in my job as much as I could. I started with small changes such as standup meetings, personal Kanban boards, some kind of retrospectives, and portfolio management based on value –instead of short-term revenue. Since I was the only person bringing “crazy” stuff and topics to my organizations (engineering companies, utilities, retail, and hybrid government-private), I automatically became the facilitator and the informal coach.
In 2011 I moved to the US in order to learn English and work on my MBA. It was by that time when I formally entered the Agile space -I really understood what it was and found literature for the first time. Then, I coached a few teams in the insurance industry to become Agile –as I always say, it’s 80 percent about values and mindset, and 20 percent about frameworks or tools.
During the last three years, I’ve been coaching the transformation of a Financial Institution in Colombia -starting from scratch and without using Agile technical/formal terms (because we only speak Spanish there). We created two Scrum-based innovation labs, three Design Thinking squads, and six new financial products in two years.
What do you plan to learn /explore at this conference?
There are several areas I’d like to hear about -as single topics or as pieces of other talks:
- Tricks/Strategies to reach middle management, especially in government.
- How are people implementing/running Agile PMOs within big organizations? Which approaches look good but are really counter-productive or damage agility? As Agile Coaches, how can we keep this simple? When shouldn't we scale up?
- Experiences/Frameworks/Tools for Internal Coaching programs? Collaborating Coaches? Coach the Coach? Circles of excellence?
- Agile assessments? Pros and cons? Best tools to be implemented? How can we define accuracy and effectiveness for those assessments? How can we measure Agility, values or cultural aspects?
How do you plan to contribute?
Since I’m from Latin America and I’ve worked on some projects there, I’ve realized there are a lot of cultural things and customs that really affect learning and transformation process. Those little things can be translated into tricks that can be valuable in other cultures or environments. I’ll be willing and happy to share those little things we don’t usually think of.
I’d love to come out and test a system to keep a record of the topics covered during the Camp. We should develop a simple tool/method to share the key points and conclusions from the talks we couldn’t attend.
I’ll offer my help to the organizers and participate as much as I can, smile, ask tons of questions, and thank every person for their contributions --this is my favorite event ever and makes me happy to be part of one.
I’ll facilitate and/or help a facilitator whenever is needed.