Agile is a Shared Leadership Model.
One of my earliest childhood inspirations came from the Movie “The Magnificent Seven”. I was riveted to the screen watching with admiration how these seven teammates used their unique skills in collaboration with the sole purpose of saving a village. They had each other’s trust (and back!) which allowed them to take the necessary risks to succeed. This was my earliest exposure to Shared Leadership; each member of a team leading themselves regardless of their role. I’ve since become a Shared Leadership expert. Ever since watching that movie back in 1960 I knew Shared Leadership is a faster, smarter and more efficient way to deliver results.
As an Agile Coach and Trainer, one thing I can say for sure is that I’m passionate about Agile! First, as an Agile trainer and authorized independent training partner with Vmedu (a global leader in the professional training and certification industry and has facilitated in training 400,000+ students from 3500+ corporations across 150+ countries with a success rate of 98.7% through its global network of 100+ training providers), my role is to teach, train and certify Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Developers.
My unique training agenda consists of videos, visuals, workbook interaction, exercises and also lessons learned, including, what’s working, what’s not working and what would Charlie do! My classroom is online and live. The Certification tests are online, live, and proctored. My training objective is to ensure my students have answers to every possible agile specific question’
What is Agile? Why was it developed? What are the different Agile methodologies? Why is Scrum the most common? What is the difference between time managed projects (SDLC/Waterfall) and value-based delivery (Agile)? What are the roles of the CORE Agile team? What is meant by continuous delivery? How do we release the plan? How do we integrate with other (Waterfall) projects? How do we plan, estimate and prioritize work (or stories)? How do we get from a theme to a release plan to an epic story and finally to the tasks needed to deliver? What are the appropriate artifacts to maintain? Which CORE team members are responsible for what deliverables? Etc. etc. etc.
An Agile Trainer Teaches Agile Theory, History, Mechanics and Current Best Practices.
As an Agile coach, well, the plot thickens! It’s now about delivering! It’s now about practicing what you preach! It’s now about demonstrating by participating! It’s now about motivating and inspiring the CORE Agile team every day!
As an Agile Coach, I will foster a culture of continuous delivery. My Coaching objectives with every CORE Agile team are always the same; deliver tested software every Sprint, nurture the CORE Agile team maturity1, team morale, and team velocity. I encourage transparency, create simple but effective visuals that provide instant sprint status, utilize all tools available and always demonstrate by participation. In addition, I will decrease overall project costs by eliminating unnecessary work through relentless Product Backlog grooming while working alongside the Product Owner(s).
CORE Agile Team Maturity: The Agile Coach MUST identify, and then nurture the maturity of the CORE Agile team. As an Agile Coach, I work on a short leash and with a sense of urgency while nurturing CORE Agile Team Maturity. I actually maintain a “visual” of this activity by highlighting the current maturity level of the team as a reminder to all of how we’re progressing.
There are four phases of CORE Agile team maturity:
Regardless if I’m training or coaching, I start with the CORE Agile team. The CORE Agile team is a Shared Leadership Model, all team members (Scrum masters, Product Owners, and developers) have EQUAL contribution and therefore EQUAL accountability regardless of their role.
Below are seven documents (my Magnificent seven) that I discuss at length with my students when training and with the CORE Agile team when coaching. Once created these should only require minor tweaks along the way as the CORE Agile team matures. Of course, the Sprint Commitment document (#5 below) is Sprint specific and is created and distributed to all project stakeholders for every Sprint.
Sprint Zero – identifies the rules, guidelines and all definitions specific to THIS CORE Agile team.
Visual Boards – establishes right out of the box the need for various “visual” boards to maintain.
Checklists and Guidelines – Do’s and don’ts for each CORE team job description
Red Flags – What to look out for (together).
Sprint Commitment – a contract to deliver the stories selected in the current Sprint.
Retrospective Guidelines – identify improvement opportunities and how to implement.
Meetings to conduct – CORE team takes ownership for the various recurring meetings.
These seven documents help the CORE Agile team continuously deliver while maturing. They’re designed specifically for the CORE Agile team and only for that reason. Each document should be signed off by the entire CORE Agile team. They should be filed as project artifacts which will also promote transparency, which in turn promotes trust….. and that’s priceless!
For more on the four phases of CORE Agile team maturity or to receive a copy of each of the above (Magnificent Seven) documents: the contents, the details, and the value, simply email me (below).
Shared Leadership is a faster, smarter and more efficient way to deliver efficient and continuous results that will hold up over time. Practicing Agile methodologies promotes Shared Leadership.
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