Category Archives: Highlights

Agile Transformation

How do you measure progress in your Agile transformation?

As lead developer he asked me: “and, what are you going to say we need to do to be Agile? How do we know it’s not complete and utter bulls**t?” A very legitimate question to ask of an Agile coach that is paid to supposedly make things more Agile.   What would you have answered? Well, we feel it’s time to introduce metrics to prove to anyone to see that money is well-spend, or not. And before we can conclude the Agile initiative, the transformation of the organization is indeed... Learn more
Agile Coaching course

The Importance of a good Agile Coaching course

No-one is born as an Agile Coach. There is so much to this role. An Agile Coach lives and breathes flexibility and versatility. An Agile Coach has a knowledge of psychology, group dynamics, organization science, change management and innovation. An Agile Coach has a strong approach, good communication skills and dares to take risks. He or she is decisive but is also patient and always stays positive. All in all a whole catalogue of requirements. But you don’t need to be a superhero to be a... Learn more
Agile Coach or Scrum Master

Agile Coach or Scrum Master: What’s the difference?

There is currently a big demand for Agile Coaches. But what is the difference between an Agile Coach or Scrum Master? People often ask us what such a coach can add to a modern, self-managing organization. Aren’t the teams already coached by the Scrum Master? Yes they are! There are many similarities between the two roles. Both the Scrum Master and Agile Coach help organizations to develop an Agile mindset. They both use similar techniques to support and facilitate teams in this... Learn more

What is SAFe? The Scaled Agile Framework – part 2

In the previous blog about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), I explained the motivations  for organizations to use this well-known Agile scaling model. In this blog I will discuss the available content and the use of the framework itself.   Training is needed Nevertheless, it is very necessary to garner information from data, in order to experience practicality in theory. Getting yourself trained is the most common way. You can attend various training courses, depending on your role... Learn more

Book review: Visual Thinking, Empowering people & organizations through visual collaboration

In training, coaching and consulting, the effectiveness of our efforts are dependent on the quality of our work x the acceptance. As a trainer and consultant, therefore, I am always looking for new ways to improve my quality, but also the acceptance.  As I am a firm believer in visual thinking, either for decluttering my own thoughts & argumentation structure or to support collaboration, I recently bought the book "Visual Thinking, Empowering people & organizations through visual... Learn more

Prototyping @local government

During an introductory Agile training at a local government we discovered a desire to start Agile ways of working. I was amazed at first by the current cautious approach of decision making and value delivery at the government: i.e. writing a vision document, then a planning documentation, etc. before talking with customers or creating anything real. We turned amazement to mutual opportunity.   Together with the participants we formulated three problem areas and started working on... Learn more

”How do you do Scrum with 200+ teams? You do it SAFe. Pure pragmatism.”

In the Scaled Agile framework (SAFe), the highest rank is reserved for the SAFe Program Consultant Trainer. There are only about 50 such SPCT-certified SAFe gurus in the world today. Two of these work at Gladwell Academy: the recently certified trainer-consultants Eelco Rustenburg and Anand Murthy Raj. We looked the two of them up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to discuss how they see the future of Agile project management in the corporate world.   Good day, gentlemen. Let’s get... Learn more

Increase Results of Social Capital with Synthetron

A large international insurance company works hard to transform its operations with Agile ways of working. Blinkane Consulting and Gladwell Academy help drive this transformation.     Derived from the SAFe framework, the company deployed several Agile Release Trains (ARTs): a team of teams mounting to over one hundred people collaborating to deliver value to their customers. On 12 September 2017, an experienced ART held its 3-month Inspect and Adapt meeting. The energy from... Learn more
Product Owner

Product Owner course review

Are you a Product Owner or do you want to learn more about this role? The Product Owner training of Gladwell Academy gives you great insights into the tasks and responsibilities of product owners, and it addresses common issues which you as a product owner have to deal with in practice.     As a product owner you fulfill a specific and important role in the organization. You are the value optimizer, the product backlog owner and responsible for prioritizing all needs. You are... Learn more

Co-create to motivate

Some time ago, when I did mostly freelance training and consulting work, I wished to be proud of a visible product, something to touch. With some other city-folk we started to grow a community around healthy food, directly from the biological farmers surrounding our city. Each with our own motivation for joining we connected city-people throughout class and culture. Our first successes made us proud, they triggered more action. Yet, when we grew in people and turnover, there were different... Learn more
SAFe for Teams training

Team Coaching #3: Agile self-organization needs a plan

So here they are, the so-called ‘self-managing’ teams, steered by their Scrum Master (SM) and/or Product Owner (PO). ‘A pity’, some team members call it; ‘too much for my taste’, says an extremely competent freelancer before he decides to leave the team. You can almost see the other members think: ‘this so-called self-management is a nuisance, probably adhering to the new Agile way of working’. And the Scrum Master and Product Owner? They too do not feel comfortable with their... Learn more

Team Coaching #2: Doing it the right way

With a series of articles I’m offering practical guidance to unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers. According to motivational theory, carrot and stick won’t bring more success. Yes, we need enough payment to get money off the table but more than that, knowledge workers need some space to decide for themselves -autonomy, a path of professional growth – mastery, and clarity about their added value to the whole –purpose. Let’s continue. #1: Move authority to where the... Learn more

Team Coaching #1: Taking one for the Team

With a series of articles I’m offering practical guidance to unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers. According to motivational theory, carrot and stick won’t bring more success. Yes, we need enough payment to get money off the table but furthermore, knowledge workers need some space to decide for themselves -autonomy, a path of professional growth –mastery, and clarity about their added value to the whole –purpose. Let’s start at the... Learn more
Introduction Scaling Agile

SAFe Leadership Day

Increasingly, large corporations enjoy the benefits of start-ups while not being hampered by their impediments. Agile ways of working foster a ‘can do’ mentality of self-organizing co-located teams. Yet, as Agile teams turn projects into success, corporations like to scale the benefits, which in turn leads to a new set of challenges and constraints. Only leaders can change the system, and in scaling Agile the system in place needs transformation. Specifically, changes are required in the... Learn more

Agile Consortium conference

This conference took place at KBC Bank in Brussels on Thursday, February 23d. The speakers invariably addressed the social cooperative aspect of Enterprise Agility elaborating on practical usage of Sociocracy and multiple ways of looking at organizing and the organization. We focussed attention on three talks, namely: Organisational development by Jaap Peters, Sociocracy 3.0 by James Priest, and Complexitools by Niels Pflaeging. Together they form a train of thought on what the... Learn more
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