Agile Coaching

Getting better results fast

Entrepreneurial thinking, initiative, accountability and self-responsibility are required to be successful in an agile environment.

Agile means an entrepreneurial attitude that puts customers and their needs first. By doing so, many organisational structures are broken up, creating an innovative and more productive environment. Communication at eye level instead of a rigid hierarchy and an open feedback culture, with efficient dialogues, are the first step for a functioning organisation that can respond dynamically and successfully in turbulent and uncertain situations.

Self-organising and cross-functional teams are in a position to make their own decisions and to optimise their work, resulting in the best solutions for the customer faster. The purpose behind this is to keep communication channels and processes as streamlined as possible, and to give teams the opportunity to receive direct feedback on their work. Agility for teams means to have more responsibility and make decisions on their own, also because the teams are in close contact with the customer. This leads to shorter communication paths, easier organisational processes, faster production and deliveries.

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Agile project management aims at high efficiency, full control and transparency

In an agile environment, the credo is: Empower your people! At times, when customer needs, requirements and the general market are rapidly changing, companies have to be flexible.

With agile methodologies, you can organise your work into smaller projects, give your team members space and self-control over their way of working, and by this managing becomes enabling. It doesn't matter if you are using Agile Scrum, Kanban, Lean, or Design Thinking, the most important step is to develop an agile mindset to create fantastic products with a great team that values learning, exploring and common growth. Once you have chosen your agile methodology, an experienced Agile Coach is there to support you to make the most of the process.

Be clear about agile roles and responsibilities

Whether you want to transform your business to become agile or build a new agile team, in addition to competence and professional qualifications, the mindset and the individual personality are especially decisive whether agility works in your team or not. You want to build an agile team to implement your product vision flexibly, quickly and efficiently. You are probably familiar with the necessary roles for a Scrum framework:

The Product Owner has the greatest knowledge about the product and the needs of the customer, and executes this vision through the team. He is responsible for product management and the overall result. Characteristics for this role include but are not limited to great entrepreneurial understanding, persuasion and assertiveness.

The Scrum Master ensures a genuine Scrum process. He is hard on the issue and soft on the person. The ideal Scrum Master has excellent interpersonal communication skills, works with team members individually and is conflict-tolerant, stress-resistant and resilient. He is a moderator, mediator and responsible for ensuring that the team runs smoothly. This ensures that the exchange between the Product Owner and the development team works flawlessly.

The Scrum Team implements the requirements in close collaboration with the Product Owner and the Scrum Master. A Scrum Developer's profile includes a high level of technology and product knowledge, enthusiasm and team spirit, as well as flexibility and an agile mindset.

If you want to make an existing project team agile, you have to be aware that not every developer or project manager wants to work with Scrum or Lean. To be successful in an agile environment requires entrepreneurial thinking, initiative and self-responsibility. These skills give you the freedom to be organised and enjoy the benefits of flat hierarchies.

Agile Leading

Executives who proactively place their trust in their employees, who can also be reached on a personal level and who, at the same time radiate security and competence, have very good prerequisites for respect and appreciation from their teammates. Nothing is more demotivating than an authoritarian boss who leads his team with unpredictable outbursts of anger, intimidation and little presence.

A good supervisor sees himself as a role model for his team, both professionally and personally. He makes it to the finish line in sunny as well as stormy days, tackles when needed and is aware of the responsibility he has over his team.

A great supervisor becomes the coach for his team and does everything in his power to provide colleagues with optimal working conditions and protect them from disruptions.

In an agile environment, the credo is: Empower your people! In times when customer needs, requirements and the general market are rapidly changing, we have to be flexible. An agile boss relies on the strengths and qualifications of his team in order to react quickly to changes in a clever manner, and respond in a successful way.

For this, he must grant his team the freedom to make both professional and personal decisions on their own. The supervisor is to guide his team if needed.

Promote intrinsic motivation and the right mindset

Those in charge, who understand and promote intrinsic motivation as a core aspect of a functioning team and satisfied colleagues, are clearly at an advantage. Unlike extrinsic motivation, which is triggered by financial incentives, pressure, fear of dismissal, or the occupational prestige, intrinsic motivation is sustainably more efficient.

It comes from satisfying the need to exercise expertise, appreciation, recognition and self-responsibility, and to be involved in a positive social network at the workplace.

Employees who are motivated by intrinsic motivation are proven to be more satisfied, more capable, more engaged, and feel more connected to the employer than those who are motivated by extrinsic motivation.

Lifelong learning is the key

In times of the VUCA world, the motto "change or die" shapes the business world. Who does not join in with the rapid changes in the (IT) world and does not adapt, is left behind. Smart learning is essential to the survival of the entire organisation and key for continuous improvement. It can combine the technical know-how with innovative and interactive methods, and stimulate efficient knowledge exchange within the teams.

IT experts are known to have a very deep and extensive knowledge of specific areas. In order for your company to experience little dependency and isolation from individual specialists, knowledge transfer measures are necessary. This can happen within a team as well as the whole organisation.

The requirements for these are openness, the willingness to share knowledge, learning and curiosity as well as commitment - from your employees as well as yourself.

If you are responsible for bringing the latest technologies and developments to your team and providing state-of-the-art know-how, you are probably going to be challenged by how best to tackle lifelong learning. E-learning training and conferences are great ways to educate and network, but there are also interactive methods that can share your employees' knowledge efficiently and cost-effectively in the company. Best practice sessions, retrospectives for the whole department or similar, innovation labs, 360° feedbacks, fail smartly sessions are just a few examples.

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