Just back from the UK Agile Cxoaches Gathering 2011, an Open Space conference, in bletchley park, there were around 30 or 40 passionate men and women who had an interest in discussing coaching teams and organizations, who are working in or towards some form of agile methodology.

Some of us met up on the Friday evening to agree the agenda, hour long slots across 6 or so rooms. The first session I went to was hosted by Pierluigi Pugliese , on how Virginia Satirs –  Family therapist techniques can be used in agile coaching. The method identifies 4 key roles that people default to when under pressure  / stress (read Management encouragement J ) and can be used by a coach as a signal that something has changed for that member of the team. Thkey message is that when were in these modes (yes us coaches fall into them also) we are reducing our options when were in them. For more information on the roles you can find Pierluigi’s presentation on slideshare .

After this session, I applied the rule of two feet a little more, here are some key take aways…

If you do not have a learning culture, your inviting a blaming culture into your company…how true of all relationships we have, both professional and at home..after all while I work in Technology organisations, I do not consider myself to work in the technology business, I work in the people business…

Stuck on prioritizing over 2 stories, flip a coin and pick one, if your happy stay, if your unhappy pick the other one… a nice simple technique.

Benjamin Mitchell  – Using Kanban to aid the facilitation of a meeting…Initial backlog can be pre populated, but then invite the attendees to order the backlog and agree what amount of time they want to give to each topic, and agree what is “done” for that topic.  Really like the collaborative nature of this approach.

Had to run for the 16:30 train back to London, so I missed the retrospective, so looking forward to the outputs from that, I hear were looking to move to the cadence to every 6 months…bring it on!



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One Response to Agile Coaches Gathering 2011 – UK

  1. The most intense part of the unconference was surely the Open Space sessions: everybody posted his/her topics at a common marketplace, and there were a lot of different spaces in the venue where we could start discussing around a flipchart. On the first day, I proposed a talk about organizational impediments, to get stories of what happened and how people actually resolved them. Later, I was in another big agile transition discussion, and there I met a couple of people who also used communities of practice in their companies. So I had my topic for the next day: how to get CoPs going, and how to keep them alive in their original sense, as a means for knowledge acquisition, best practice exchange, and as a catalyst for improvements.

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