Category Archives: Agile

Combine Agile@Scale and Implementing SAFe with ‘SPC in a week’

Aspiring SPCs that want to improve their game should seriously consider the triple-deal ‘SPC in a week.’ The subtle work of the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) requires a lot of what the Germans call ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’: in other words, experience is key. So, what better way to boost your beginnings as an SPC than with our ‘SPC in a week’ offer? Immerse yourself in a full week of mentorship, knowledge exchange and training by one the world’s most experienced SAFe trainers, SPCT... Learn more

“Combining Product Ownership with line management? Hold my beer.”

Agilists focus on program performance; line management focuses on functional excellence and control. Agilists preach a focus on product outcome, while line management tends to maximize output. Just two obvious stereotypes between the two groups. Sander Nienkemper looks forward to visiting Agile@Scale, because he combines both roles (as well as a third!) at insurance company Vivat. Sander Nienkemper has come to fill three roles simultaneously at Vivat. Firstly, he’s the IT manager for... Learn more

“The outcome is key, not the method.”

The first speaker to present a case on January 25t, 2021 at our upcoming event Agile@Scale is Rick van Benten, of telecoms conglomerate VodafoneZiggo. Offering a peek into his planned narrative, he says: “I wanted the desired outcome to lead us, rather than just unbox a method.”   “Agility is a good thing for big business to pursue; there’s no doubt in my mind there. But if the framework that’s supposed to get you there becomes the goal rather than a means, you could... Learn more

Transformations are stories we need to keep telling ourselves (1)

These past weeks have seen four instances for me to host a little workshop on Storytelling that I’ve been brewing up. Twice at the Agile Coach Conference, and twice more at the RTE Summit. Both largely successful events, they’ve been perfect opportunities to MVP my new idea, with every group delighted and asking me to continue towards a full-blown training. Here’s why it’s worth your time. The Agile ways of working challenge more people to become involved in sharing a common vision.... Learn more

Over 100 Agile Coaches welcomed in virtual Agile Coach Conference

It's a wrap! On October 28th we received over 100 Agile coaches on our virtual online platform for the first edition of the agile coach conference. Over the course of an entire day, these enthusiastic professionals followed more than 8 presenting speakers, 3 keynote speakers, and 2 rounds of 6 workshops each, and many exciting ideas exchanged.   In post-covid times professionals all over the world have become a lot more familiar with working remotely than they like to be, perhaps.... Learn more

The Skeptics are your friend

They are a recurring voice in most Agile trainings, as they are in the workplace: the skeptical onlooker. I’m referring here to the voices that, while agreeing with the benefits promised by the transformation, they expect it will fail. I welcome such voices because their words hold a sad truth that is often left unsaid: many transformations do fail. And when they do, it’s usually because of precisely what the skeptics warned against. Right now I’m rereading John Kotter’s Leading... Learn more
Agile in Control

What I learned teaching Agile ideas to Financial Controllers

Let’s look at the following scenario. You are a business or financial controller, in an organization that has adopted Agile principles and practices. Let’s assume there are obvious positive effects on product development and customer satisfaction. One thing bothers you, though… What happens to management and control? Recent research in the Netherlands and Belgium shows that around 50 percent of managers feel like they are no longer, or less, ‘in control’ due to the organization’s... Learn more

Geertje de Jong: “A network of Agile knowledge”

Look into the ‘behind the scenes’ of the work that keeps the trainings running at Gladwell Academy, with Global Business Developer manager Geertje de Jong. Geertje talks about how she tries to offer her clients more than just a training: she offers them knowledge and peace of mind.   Not just a business development manager “I always try to do more for the people who come to me looking for trainings than just offering them advice, you have to, or everyone ends up unhappy. It’s... Learn more

Agile at UWV: From ‘walls of confusion’ to flow!

Seasoned Scrum Master Afra Shamshiri and Agile Coach Mark Heistek will present at the Agile Coach Conference about their work to transform business departments at the Dutch Employee insurance Agency (UWV) into more Agile Value Stream oriented lines. Here’s a peek at their plans for the conference.   Afra has a broad experience with working in Scrum teams at UWV, working as a Product Owner for website development among others. Currently she involved in the Agile transition of the... Learn more
Design thinking

“To think like a designer, learn to feel like your customer.”

Design thinking isn’t rocket science, says Riekes Beelen. “To get good at it does take some experience. What we teach in the new course, Design Thinking and Customer Journey Mapping is a great start, but you’ll get better over time – it’s a hands-on sport!”   Riekes Beelen is an educated service designer with ample experience at established brands, as well as a long history of training teams to think like he does. “I’m a designer by nature, but I know what it’s... Learn more
Team Facilitator

The three roles of an Agile Coach, pt. 3: Team Facilitator

In this final episode of our study into Lyssa Adkins’ three roles of the Agile Coach, Agile Coach and trainer Renate Cremer discusses how, at the most personal level, the Team Coach brings out existing solutions within a team. The Team Coach “Team facilitation means to coach a specific team, as well as the individuals that make up that team. You learn how each person might grow and develop; how they might best deliver value. You also learn how they feel about their team and within the... Learn more

“An experienced trainer; lively sessions; learnings that matter.”

Paul van Sonsbeek, Agile Coach at the Volksbank reflects on the recent PO/PM training with trainer Andries Hettema. “Most of us were well-experienced POs, so we were looking for a kind of masterclass. So, Andries cut the entry-level theory and doubled down on storytelling and practical experiences.” Paul has been an Agile Coach at commercial banking corporation De Volksbank for two years now, he says. “When I joined the Volksbank two years ago, we already had a transformation towards... Learn more

David Binnerts: “The next level for an Agile Coach: coaching others”

Gladwell Academy has invited David Binnerts, an expert Agile Coach at Shell to speak at the upcoming virtual Agile Coach Conference. He shares his experiences with encouraging Agile Coaches to build an Agile community of practice through a fun, interactive, workshop. Years of experience “I began working as a Lean consultant back in 2000, then in 2005 I started being contacted by software customers looking for help applying Lean principles before Agile was widespread. The improvements, it... Learn more
Program Coach

The three roles of an Agile Coach, part 2: The Program Coach

Continuing Gladwell Academy’s deep dive into Lyssa Adkins’ model for the three roles of an Agile Coach, Renate Cremer defines how Program Coaching involves facilitating and integrating diverse teams within an organization to work together towards a common goal. The Program Coach “While the Enterprise Agile Coach focuses on the entire organization and the Team Facilitator works with a single team or even an individual, Program Coaching is meant to bring these two levels together. Program... Learn more

The three roles of an Agile Coach, pt. 1: The Enterprise Agile Coach

Foundational Agile thinker and author Lyssa Adkins breaks down Agile Coaching into three roles: Team Facilitator, Agile Coaching, and Enterprise Agile Coaching. Agile Coach Trainer Renate Cremer offers a deep-dive into the unique intricacies of each role beginning with the Enterprise Agile Coach.   What is an Enterprise Agile Coach? “To summarize what Enterprise Agile Coaching, I’d say what they really do is ‘connect the dots’ between the different parts of an organizations.... Learn more

Capacity planning: where Scrum both hurts and heals

There are the ‘usual suspects’ in Scrum that every team quickly picks up on. The four ceremonies, of course. Artifacts, too: a Product Backlog, a Sprint Backlog. So, now are we Scrumming? Sure, a little. It’s okay as a start. But without capacity planning… you’re seriously missing a point.   Capacity planning, to be clear, is where each team member looks ahead into the coming Sprint and indicates how much space they’ll actually have to work on stuff for this team.... Learn more

Becoming an Agile Coach in a week

Have you been interested in entering the challenging but rewarding career of Agile Coaching, but are you unsure where to begin? Search no more with Gladwell Academy’s ‘Agile Coach Bootcamp’ taught by Renate Cremer, an expert trainer of Agile coaches. Follow this course and earn your ICP-ACC, acquire foundational skills necessary for an Agile Coach, and cap your week off with the first ever virtual Agile Coach Conference on October 28th. A week of continuous training Pre-course work For... Learn more
Jobbeke de Jong

Jobbeke de Jong: “A team is not the sum of its members”

Jobbeke de Jong is founder and director of Tachles: a company that helps organizations optimize team performance through interventions based on systems thinking. At this year’s virtual Agile Coach Conference on October 28th, she aims to facilitate Agile Coaches in experiencing teams as a ‘whole’. This is the basis for intervening in the ‘undercurrents’ of team dynamics.   The ‘undercurrents’ of a group “In my career, I have specialized in group dynamics from a systems... Learn more

Agile Coach Bootcamp: what they think

Gladwell Academy recently held one of its Agile Coach Bootcamps: a three-day course meant to give you the knowledge you need to get started as an Agile Coach. We sat down with two participants, Geert-Jan van Vliet of Dutch Railways (NS) and Robert Agterberg from Vivat, to get their thoughts on the course. Why did you attend this course? Robert: Well, I’m already coaching teams, and it’s always good to gain more knowledge about coaching. I’m also playing a part in making the company more... Learn more
agile covid

Post-Covid Agile Hardware Development (2/2)

Dirk Meißner, owner and founder of CO-Improve Consulting continues his discussion with Gladwell Academy on the “Corona emergency program for development projects” and how it can help Hardware organizations bounce back following Covid-19 social distancing measures. This article continues from part 1.   Step 3: Product Development Process Essentials “Once we’ve taught the teams how to work Agile, to work efficiently, that’s when we shift our focus to the macro level. We... Learn more
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