5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Consultant

The world is changing, shifting, and getting more intense and small all the time. With these and many other changes, there is an increased need to hire contractors and consultants that have deep and diverse experience within a given field. Over the past 10 years of being a consultant and coach, I have learned through my own experience and through many others a few tricks to be effective at each engagement. More importantly, I have …

Top 4 Reasons to Hire an Agile Coach

Plenty of companies around the world are embracing and adopting an agile approach to their work and their culture. This is amazing! With all of this growth comes plenty of challenges and hurdles to overcome. As an agile coach and consultant with more than 10 years of experience (training and coaching teams, mentoring leaders, developing structures and processes, consulting management, and coaching new coaches), I have seen successful implementations of agile thinking and doing as …

The Power of a Great Manager

Over my career I have had various types of managers. Those that see themselves as bosses. Others that see themselves as supporters. Still others as colleagues. It is amazing how much has been written about the impact of managers who behave terribly, how they can strip employees of their self-worth, courage, and even hope. Many people state that those managers can be the breaking point for an employee leaving a company. In my experience, this …

3 Tips to Win at Your New Job

Starting a new job can be challenging, stressful, difficult, and confusing. I know since I just started as the Vice President of Operations at GroupBy Inc. It is a role that is both challenging and quite rewarding. Over my career I have had many new jobs at new companies doing new and varied roles. Each time the new job presents itself with a set of challenges that were absent from my previous role. This can become …

3 Powers of a Leader or Agile Coach

Over the past decade, I have been asked about what does it mean to be an agile coach? Why would someone want to do this role? What abilities does an effective agile coach possess? And can you learn those abilities? You may have figured it out in the first line that I have been in the agile coaching and consulting expertise since early 2008. I was lucky enough to fall into this work through a …

5 Things You Need To Know About True Leadership

Leadership is needed. Leadership is helpful. Leadership is popular. Over the past 10 years, I have had the honor to work as a leader in various organizations both as a consultant and member of leadership teams. At each of these companies, I have learned that leadership is often confused with others concepts and terms. Sometimes we assume that leadership is the same as management. Or we associate leadership with someone that has more experience. And …

Leadership Books You Need to Read

Over the years, I have been fortunate to have colleagues and leaders that have supported my desire to learn and grow. This need of mine to excel, learn, and improve is most often satisfied by a physical copy of a book. It helps to open possibilities, expand my mind, and challenges my assumptions as well as my prejudices. Here is a short list of leadership books that have made an impact on my life and …

21 Scrum Master Challenges

Over the past few months, I have asked dozens of Scrum Masters for their inputs on the top challenges that they face as a Scrum Master within or without an Agile organization. What keeps them up at night? What is one problem if solved would make their jobs much easier? The list below is compiled from their answers, with commentary and advice from me. #1: Scrum Master as Extra Role Instead a Contributing Member This …

Enhance Your Agile Practice with Time-boxing

Agile is learning. Agile is both about being and doing. Agile is hard. How do we become more Agile? Scrum is a powerful framework for enabling Agile. What is a simple element that can help move a team into a rhythm of continuous learning? Don’t Worry, This Element Can Help There are many practices and techniques in Agile frameworks. The most common element of Scrum (the most well-known Agile framework) is its ceremonies. These ceremonies are meant to …

Scrum Master: Much More Than an Agile Project Manager

What is a Scrum Master? Is he or she the master of Scrum? Is he the boss? Who is the boss of the Scrum Master? What does the Scrum Master do? How does this role differ from a typical project manager? Let’s clear a few things up. The Scrum Master is not the master of Scrum, he or she is trying to “Create the conditions for the team to succeed” – doing whatever is necessary to …

Paul J. Heidema

CEO & Co-Founder

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