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Agile Coaching

Do you need an Army of Agile Coaches?

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Do you need an Army of Agile Coaches?

Let me start by saying that all organizations aspiring to be agile need an agile coaching presence. But the question is how many, for how long, and how much?  

I’ve seen many organizations that invest too heavily in coaching and keep the coaches around for far too long. This often creates a dependency on the coaches and really doesn’t help the organization’s growth.

I came upon this article around 2016 that explained how one group at Walmart approached creating an internal agile coaching capacity. What strikes me about it is how lean it is. And how it leverages the entire organization for what is essentially self-coaching.

Anyway, I thought I’d share it. I don’t think many are aware of this approach and it’s a thought-provoking alternative to many of today’s strategies.

Wrapping Up

One of the things I appreciate about this article is the author’s willingness to share—what works for them. It may not work for every organization, but it’s a real-world approach that produced results.

And on a personal note, is that this strategy aligns with my own. Instead of embedding oodles of coaches for long periods of time, it confirms that you can make great progress with a more situational approach. Not only that, the results may be even greater than applying an entire army of coaches to the effort.

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

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Agile Coaching Hypothetical

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Agile Coaching Hypothetical

My colleague and friend, Daniel Mezick, posed the following hypothetical on LinkedIn in September 2019 –  

You are an independent Agile coach, visiting a potential client with 1500 employees. It's obvious that the intelligent, well-meaning executive that is interviewing you does not really understand that employee engagement is essential to success in transformation. His org wants to "roll out" imposed Agile practices. They plan to use this big, huge framework. They already decided.

With all the training and everything else, it's looking like about 200K coming your way over the next 8 months if you get this account. But you are 100% sure it's the wrong approach. And if you say so, you figure there is a 60% chance your concerns will be lost in translation. And you know you have no more than 45 minutes with this executive. So, you sit there, intently listening to his story, and pondering what it means to "do the right thing." There are 25 minutes left at this meeting. And you know some other consulting firms who are good at marketing will also be interviewed as service providers for this engagement. You realize it's now or never. And you are not too happy about this... 

Link to the post - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/danielmezick_you-are-an-independent-agile-coach-visiting-activity-6577891855055241216-oU7Y

As of September 16th, the post had received +20k views, 158 reactions, and 116 comments. Which is astounding to me.

Clearly, it’s created a buzz and generated reactions, which is probably why Dan posed it in the first place. I’m thinking he wanted to post a hypothetical that was open to interpretation and representative of a common agile coaching dilemma.

I wanted to weigh-in. Not as a way of directly responding to the scenario. And not, to the more than 100 comments. But more so, just from my heart. You see, I think the answer is quite simple.

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A New Path...

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A New Path...

I formed RGalen Consulting Group in 2001. It was an independent software development and testing consulting firm that provided training and consulting services focused on sharing my experience for client improvement. Even though I had many permanent leadership roles, I maintained and grew the practice with the intent to eventually focus 100% on my coaching and consulting.

The focus of our client improvements were around:

  • Organizational Leadership

  • Software Development & Delivery

  • Software Quality

  • Software Requirements, Planning & Execution

In the early days of the practice, I became “Agile” and that has permeated all of the above ever since. And not just agile in word or because it’s a “hot topic”. No! I’ve got agile in my bones, in my DNA, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of several companies where we changed the entire culture, not just technology.

Over the years, I’ve partnered with several firms to increase my bandwidth and ability to serve my clients AND have a broader influence than a sole proprietorship. They were:

  • Velocity Partners

  • and most recently, Zenergy Technologies

Now, I’ve decided to move on from Zenergy and begin a new chapter in my agile and client journey…

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