Category Archives: Highlights

Save the Date! Agile@Scale Global, December 14 promises ‘sparks of insight’

Eelco Rustenburg and Niels Groen, SAFe Program Consultants and twin driving forces behind Gladwell Academy’s Agile @ Scale Global, explain why you should Save the Date of December 14.    Eelco, chairman of the event: “The Agile ways of working are having a tremendous impact on even the largest organizations of our world. Having left the world of software and product development behind, the new mantra is ‘business agility’ – or agility across the entire organization. Time... Learn more

Nike’s historic cross-continental SAP implementation

Jenny van Rinsum and Larry Anderson are both witty personalities who like to share a joke. They also share the responsibility for a monumental undertaking at Nike: the replacement of its huge legacy ERP platform Island Pacific with SAP CAR and S/4HANA. And that’s no joke, especially because it involves a cross-continental ART that has several complex dependencies with other ARTs.   “Dealing with cultural differences can make or break this effort,” says Jenny. “I look forward... 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

Amy Doerflinger:  Diversity & Inclusion is the HeART of the ART!

RTE Amy Doerflinger of Boeing, a self-described “recovering project manager,” is planning a discussion at this year’s RTE Summit Global. Her activity will be based around how through increased awareness of diversity and inclusion she was able to facilitate improved unity, cohesiveness, and performance throughout her Agile Release Train. Building her knowledge of the RTE role Amy began her Agile journey two years ago when she was asked to take on the RTE role by Boeing during their... 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

Catch up with Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska, ‘RTE of the Year’ 2020!

Each RTE Summit features the election of an ‘RTE of the Year’ in recognition of someone’s contribution to building the Release Train Engineer practice. In preparation for the RTE Summit Global, learn about what this year’s winner Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska has been up to since receiving the award.   A ‘Foundational’ RTE With an extensive background in project management, Weronika made the jump to Agile and SAFe several years ago, becoming an RTE at Nordea in Gdynia... Learn more

Exploiting synergies: Gladwell Academy and wibas jointly offer the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course in German

The “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is part of the Gladwell Academy’s SAFe training portfolio. While all Gladwell Academy training courses were previously conducted in English, prospective SAFe 5.0 Program Consultants in Germany have been able to learn in their native language since September: the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is offered in German on a total of four dates in 2020. These training courses are organised by the Gladwell Academy in cooperation... 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

A tale of Lean Portfolio Management

I have always done it this way and been successful. I know what I’m doing. Trust me!     Chocolate chips, come and get ‘em! We need a company for this turnaround tale. Imagine a manufacturer of… computer motherboards. We’ll call it Choc Chip, because today is a very hot day and we’re craving ice cream. In charge, we’ll imagine a guy called Albert Albertsson. He’s a charismatic creature and everyone likes him, no exception. As... Learn more

RTE Summit Global: An event for RTEs by RTEs

Ali Hajou, co-chairman of the RTE Summit discusses his ambitions for the first ever virtual RTE Summit, set to be online from Gladwell Academy’s professional. Aimed entirely at strengthening the community of practice of Release Train Engineers everywhere, he invites both experienced hands and newcomers to contribute: “If you have a real-life story to share, or a question you need answers to, The RTE Summit Global is the place for you.”   High hopes for the first Virtual RTE... Learn more

My internship with Gladwell Academy

Beginning in Feburary 2020, Andrew Dion started a copy-writing internship with Gladwell Academy. We asked him to reflect on his months with us. “A supportive environment, consistently attentive to my personal and professional development.”   A warm reception and good friends at Gladwell Academy On the first day of my internship at Gladwell Academy I received a warm welcome from my new colleagues. Actually, it would be fair to say that everyone at Gladwell Academy went out of their... 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
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