I’m originally from central Pennsylvania, having grown up on a farm in Lancaster County. We were about an hour and a half from Philadelphia. And you couldn’t help but connect to the local Philly teams.
The Eagles are one of those teams that always seemed to struggle, yet the local fan base is incredibly loyal to them. Disgruntled, complaining, obnoxious, whiney, but still loyal. And I am one of those diehard Eagles fans.
Now I moved away from Pennsylvania in the 1980’s. But my heart is still with those sports teams. So, you can imagine how I felt when the Eagles won the 2017 Super Bowl.
Elated, surprised, justified, humbled, fulfilled are some of the feelings that came to me.
I was chatting with some colleagues the other day and the topic of agile maturity came up. Particularly for Technology Leaders who are inquiring about agile approaches.
These could be leaders who are new to agile and want to start the transformation OR leaders who are currently engaged in a transformation and looking for assistance.
The questions were around, how to tell IF:
- Do they truly “get” or understand agility?
- Are they really “ready” for it?
- Are they serious about it?
- Are they a good candidate for a coaching engagement?
- And, are they properly aligned with the principles of the coaching/consulting firm?
Some of the questions focused towards money. In fact, quite a few of them. Questions here were around budgets, the contractual/approval process, and payment terms.
I was almost embarrassed to admit that these are not forefront in my mind when I’m engaging clients. My feeling is that they sort of take care of themselves. What I care more about is how I perceive the Inspection Report - February 2017 client’s answers to the first set of questions AND how do they align with my own principles.
One of the new capabilities of my agile coaching practice is the ability to deliver the Scrum Alliance, Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) class. It’s a relatively new certification for the Scrum Alliance and it targets the management and leadership levels within organizations who are planning to or who have already adopted agile approaches to software development.
I’ve been coaching agile transformations (organizations, groups, teams) for over 15 years. During that time, I’ve noticed that there are literally 3-tiers to any transformation:
- Sr. Leadership Tier
- Organizational Leadership & Management Tier
- Team Tier
Most organizations only focus the transformation or adoption towards the team level. But in my experience, success is in effectively guiding all three tiers towards agile principles, tactics, and leaner agile mindset.
In fact, I think the critical tier is in the middle.
I’ve sometimes heard it called the “frozen middle” because it’s where true agile transformation lies, but it’s the tier that often gets the least attention.
Enter – Certified Agile Leadership
The CAL is solely focused towards the middle-tier. And finally, we’re engaging leadership folks with training and coaching of their agile transformational skills.