Agile Coaching Services in Baltimore, Washington And Northern VA

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Boost Your Knowledge with Agile Coaching

Even after Agile training and certification, it is very easy to fall back into old habits. A strong coach can help guide an individual or team through the challenges of continuing the Agile journey. The coach teaches individuals to pursue agility through everyday decisions, establishing replicable and sustainable habits, resulting in long-term change.

In our experience, transformation is most successful when coaching is applied to executive leadership, the development teams, and supporting functions. Each function plays an important role in executing the transformation.

Executive Leadership

Executive buy-in and commitment is key. Without it, the transformation becomes subdued and stale. Employees need to know that their leadership is committed to this change. It is the cornerstone of the organization believing in and committing to the cause.

Although each organization is different, with its own culture, Snowbird Agility recommends a template for success : train executives on Agile workflows; discuss the challenges that the organization faces; collaborate with the leadership to determine how to apply Agile workflows; create a plan that provides the maximum value with the minimal effort.

Coaching is critical to pushing the plan forward. Oftentimes, leaders like the concept of Agile, but are not aware of the adjustments that must be made. Among the foundational principles are limiting work in progress and decentralizing control. In practice, this is difficult for many executives to master. Leaders are forced to narrow the company’s objectives by focusing on maximizing value while minimizing investment. Leaders also must be able to delegate some decision making, then honor that by taking “no” for an answer when the request is not aligned with the newly focused long-term strategy. Executives may harbor reservations, but it is essential they remain open-minded and willing to allow empirical evidence to win them over. Ongoing coaching will help expedite this change in behavior and mindset.

For executive leadership, Snowbird recommends initial facilitated workshops, then periodic long-term coaching to ensure that the plan is on track and Agile principles are applied.

Development Teams

Development teams are the bedrock to an Agile transformation. Teams need to be equipped with the appropriate tools and environment to be successful. This is when training and coaching is essential.

Snowbird teaches Scrum and Kanban to teams to help them deliver high-quality products. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities, managing team size, and emphasizing community ownership are among the keys to a successful team.

Knowledge workers are motivated by more than financial compensation, they’re driven by purpose, mastery, and comradery. Great teams find satisfaction in seeing their contributions make an impact.

Snowbird Agility works with teams to understand what motivates them as a group, and how to foster and hone that motivation into something productive. We work to identify and help resolve bottlenecks and inefficiencies, team anti-patterns, and other dynamics that may inhibit a healthy team culture. This results in a high-performing team that executes consistently and predictably.

For development teams, Snowbird recommends training, then intense coaching, followed by training scrum masters to sustain the new framework and process.

Supporting Functions
Coaching supporting functions is often overlooked, but there is a shift in this direction as Business Agility is becoming more popular. With business agility, some organizations choose to have their supporting functions operate in a scrum or kanban manner. Although this sometimes may be helpful, true business agility lies with ensuring how supporting functions fall in the value stream (concept to cash). Understanding how the work flows through these functions is key to implementing a successful value stream.

Snowbird Agility helps define the role of these functions within the value stream and works with leadership to identify a pragmatic approach to plugging in the right functions at the right time, to maximize value and minimize delay. Coaching these supporting functions is helpful to a successful transformation. Without it, bottlenecks and other undesirable outcomes can arise.

For supporting functions, Snowbird recommends initial facilitated workshops, then coaching to stand-up a long-term solution to sustain the new framework and process.