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We are back with new content this week! The bears did not eat us as we trekked in three national parks. We did see bears but kept a respectable distance from them. Today the SPaMCAST 722 features an interview with Scott Showalter, Agile Career Accelerator. We discussed the definition of an agile coach. Building on that definition we wrestled with how to scale the business of agile coaching. 

Note – I mispronounced Scott’s name at the beginning of the interview, rather than re-record the faux pax, it triggered a great story so I left it in.

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Chapter 9 of Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins (SPaMCAST Amazon affiliate link: https://amzn.to/38G0ZD3) explores the role of the coach in navigation conflict.  Some conflict is always present when humans are involved. Well-managed conflict feeds creativity and is an important component of high-performance teams. Teams without conflict rarely change course or challenge the status quo. A coach can help manage the resolution of conflict. Conflict without a path to resolution will end badly, every time – this might be one of the few things that are absolute in the world (death being another). 

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Register Now! https://bit.ly/3Uqk7rL

On October 11, 2022, 12:00 PM Central Daylight Saving Time (US and Canada) I will be facilitating a panel discussion for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Greater Illinois Chapter. The panel includes:

  • Grace Shroba, Manager IT Portfolios, Northwestern Medicine
  • Margaret Kinsella, Program Manager, Northwestern Medicine
  • Keis Kostaqi, Program Manager, Northwestern Medicine
  • Susan Parente, Principle Consultant, S3 Technologies

A compelling group with enormous experience in lean and agile. Join us for this webinar on Agile transformations where we will focus on what metrics to look for in measuring success, suggesting improvement, and increasing customer satisfaction in an Agile environment
As the facilitator, I would like your input to help guide the discussion. If you have questions for the panel email them to me at Tom Cagley or tcagley@vitalitychicago.com.

Remember to register at https://bit.ly/3Uqk7rL

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The SPaMCAST is on a three-week hiatus. We will be back with new programming on September 25. In the interim, I asked the SPaMCAST columnists (Jeremy, Jon, Susan, and Tony) for a couple of favorite columns they delivered.  Today we have:

Jeremy Berriault from SPaMCAST 571 Jiu-Jitsu and Teams, Want to listen to the full podcast? http://bit.ly/2pCtlHI

Susan Parente from SPaMCAST 556 Agile In Name Only, Want to listen to the full podcast? http://bit.ly/2JRGTFk 

Tony TImbol from SPaMCAST 692  Agile Requirements, Want to listen to the full podcast?  https://bit.ly/3hng3WY

Enjoy!

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The SPaMCAST is on a three-week hiatus. We will be back with new programming on September 25. In the interim, I asked the SPaMCAST columnists (Jeremy, Jon, Susan, and Tony) for a couple of favorite columns they delivered.  Today we have:

Jon M Quigley – SPaMCAST 397 – Project Strategy – Want to listen to the full podcast? https://bit.ly/3pLztbU (Note: this was Jon’s debut column and he doesn’t know I am slipping this in.)

Susan Parente and Jon M Quigley- SPaMCAST 585 – Most Agile Transformations Ignore Technical Skills – Want to listen to the full podcast?  http://bit.ly/2Haa4CE

Enjoy!

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The SPaMCAST is on a three-week hiatus. We will be back with new programming on September 25. In the interim, I asked the SPaMCAST columnists (Jeremy, Jon, Susan, and Tony) for a couple of favorite columns they delivered.  Today we have:

Jeremy Berriault – Your Scrum Master Is Not Yout Team Admin from SPaMCAST 705 Want to listen to the full podcast?   https://bit.ly/3wXIguD

Tony Timbol – Agile Requirement Lifecycle from SPaMCAST 709 – Want to listen to the full podcast?  https://bit.ly/3OnjHyJ

Susan Parente – Virtual Agile from SPaMCAST 589 – Want to listen to the full podcast?  http://bit.ly/2PVUP59

Enjoy!

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Chapter 8 of Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins is “Coach as Problem Solver”. After reading this chapter for the third or fourth time, I think the title should have been “repressing your inner action hero.” That of course would not fit the sequence of chapter titles and would have been too many characters. Kidding aside, many coaches struggle with falling into the trap of solving problems. During my first read of this chapter, my main takeaway was the admonition, “take it to the team.” Teams understand the context they live in better than any coach. They are the ones that are going to have to embrace the solution. Solving any problem for someone makes the solution yours, not theirs which reduces motivation to embrace the solution. Bringing problems to the team and then facilitating is a great prescription but that means learning not to shift into action hero mode.

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Earlier this year I attended Agile 2022; It was a fantastic conference. One of the undercurrent themes was the use of OKRs (objectives and key results for the uninitiated) to enable agility, align organizations, and cure Covid. There is no such thing as a silver bullet, especially with the wide range of interpretations of what an OKR is and how to apply them. Luis Gonçalves retunes to the podcast to set us straight.  

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This week, Chapter 7 of Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins. While observing and facilitating might be the most prolific coach activities, at times teaching takes front and center. As an experienced coach, I find myself slipping between different roles based on context. Teaching encompasses a wide range of behaviors, but the goal is always the same – to elevate the person or team you are teaching. Teachers are there to help PEOPLE to become better at something. My piano teacher in Waterloo, Iowa existed in my life to make me a better piano player, not a better dog walker or Agile Coach. In my role as coach-teacher, I have had to learn to focus on the immediate goal rather than possible knock-on effects. I recently sat in on conversations between two coaches that had been hired to a team test-driven development (TDD). Their sponsor wanted them to teach the team to have a more agile mindset under the guise of TDD. The goals are conflicting. To paraphrase a quote from Harry Potter, “they need to sort out their priorities.” In all teaching scenarios, clear and transparent priorities are critical to both building trust and success.

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Flow load has a special place in flow metrics; it is a leading indicator of value delivery as exhibited in flow velocity (throughput) and flow time. We review one experiment and propose another. In the end, you either control work entry or it controls you.

A quick advertisement:

Controlling work entry requires preparation and knowledge building to establish a path to control work entry (magic wands are normally not available), which is why Jeremy Willets and I have developed a work entry workshop. We recently delivered the workshop at the 2022 Path to Agility in Columbus, OH to rave reviews. Interested? Email us at tcagley@tomcagley.com or willetsjm@gmail.com

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