Want Agile to Fail? Mistrust is the Key

Agile is powerful! Agile is light! Agile is health! Well… maybe. Why Agile Needs Trust to be Present Agile (a set a values and principles) needs a few elements to be successful — a group of individuals, a goal to achieve, and openness to learn. However, without trust all of the previous elements and many others will be destroyed. Think back to a friendship that failed. Why did it fail? It most likely had something …

Agile Transformation: Culture, Strategy, & Tactics

All the large organizations in Canada and the US are either considering or in the midst of an “Agile Transformation” Is this a true transformation, an adoption of practices, or something else? That is another topic. These large-scale initiatives to take on an agile approach is becoming not only sexy but necessary to keep up with this every changing and ever disruptive climate that companies must navigate. But how does a leader (or group of …

From Group to Leadership Team

For an organization to be effective, it is critical for individuals in a senior management group, department, or location to shift their way of being into a collective leadership team. The lack of ability of this group to be unified in action, thought, and vision does negatively affect the health of its organization and staff. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — …

Common Agile Myths

Over the last few years, agile has been gaining more popularity and traction across various industries and domains. This is good. It is allowing for more dialog on difficult topics such as employee empowerment, setting a unified goal, team over individual, and connecting to our customers. However, this quick growth of agile is causing many challenges in what we believe it is and how we come to use it. With all of this in mind, …

The Tale of the Committed Leader | Agile Coach Tales

Working with management, teams, and organizations allows for diversity of situation, experimentation to increase learning, partnerships that support co-creation, and plenty of mistakes. I am fortunate to have worked closely with many individuals in senior management that not only sponsor the initiative, but also support me and the teams by showing up and giving it their all. This is one story about a one such leader that exemplified key leadership qualities that greatly aided all …

The Tale of the Two Scrum Masters | Agile Coach Tales

Since early 2008, I have been fortunate to have worked as an Agile Coach, Transformation Consultant, Leadership Mentor, Organizational Guide and Team Coach. Over those years I have had many ups and downs with plenty of learning throughout my time. This is the first in a series of articles to explore and share my experiences with various individuals, teams, leaders, and companies in the hope that each will hold a kernel (or two) of wisdom …

Agile Coaching is not about Agile

The growth and movement of agile is widespread. It includes plenty of certifications, some big names with strong opinions, multiple paths to be involved, and all kinds of approaches to apply it. Through a recent conversation with my friend and colleague, Shingi Kanhukamwe, about the profession of agile coaches — it spurred the creation of this article. Some questions that came out of that conversation… What is an agile coach? What comes first, the agile part …

5 Powers of a Great Scrum Master

Agile is becoming more prevalent in the world across cultures, industries, and countries. And the Scrum Master role (within Scrum) is becoming more critical than ever to spearhead the innovation and quality needed to adjust and maneuver the constant bombardment of changes that we face each week. Unfortunately, the Scrum Master role has become a commodity with so many training and certifications offered to create these roles. It is time that we go back to …

Agile Fundamentals Outline by SparkActa

3 Steps to Agile Team Agreements

All across the world, we love creating, forming, breaking-apart, re-forming, improving, and supporting teams. Teams is the new structure for businesses everywhere. This is for good reason. Teams have been instrumental in breaking through barriers, identifying and executing on complex work, led changes in culture, and solved difficult problems. All companies should strongly consider using teams. Once a team is formed (be it agile or otherwise), it is important to have a shared goal that …

Paul J. Heidema

CEO & Co-Founder

Leadership coach, consultant, and trainer for large to small companies.