Preparing for the Next Phase of My Agile Journey

April 24, 2013

This is my last full week at my current job. In fact, next week’s post will mark my first day as an independent agile trainer and coach. I don’t have any gigs lined up just yet, but I have some feelers out. In the meantime, I’ve been spending all of my spare time preparing. And I’m sure that I will need some additional time to finish some things that I have in progress right now.

As I discussed in a post at the beginning of this month, I’ve named my company and registered with the state. I have a logo. I also have a web site and I’ve added my company on LinkedIN. I worked with a local sponsor to put on our first Maine Agile Gathering. Since that event all of my spare time has been dedicated to putting a couple of training courses together to complement my coaching services.

These courses are proving to be an interesting exercise! Just the other night I changed my original direction (my web site does not yet reflect this thinking, either); given the local market need and thinking about my last post, I’ve determined that it would be a good idea to have a one-day Agile and Scrum team course. Since agile adoptions are just getting under way in my local area, this will serve a broad customer base comprised of companies that need to get teams up and running quickly.

I had already determined that a course for executives and managers would be beneficial, particularly since the Top 3 Barriers to Further Agile Adoption are:
  • Ability to change organizational culture
  • General resistance to change
  • Trying to fit elements into a non-agile framework
(From VersionOne’s State of Agile Development Survey for 2012)

My intent all along was to develop a course for executives and managers. Now that I’m adding an “Agile and Scrum in One Day” course, I’ve determined that I can cover similar topics in each course, providing internal consistency between the two.

What will change is the depth of coverage in certain topics. I’ll obviously spend much more time on the Scrum framework in the Agile and Scrum course, with less time devoted to organizational change. I’ll reverse the focus in the Foundations for Leading Agile Change course, providing much more coverage on organizational change as it relates to agile, with only a minimal amount of coverage on Scrum.

The courses aren’t complete yet, but they are beginning to take shape. I have a clear goal in my head as to how these will work together and what the content for each should contain. I have to say that adding this one-day course actually sharpened my focus, and I’m thinking that result will be a couple of great, complimentary courses on agile. I’m satisfied that these two courses – plus a half-day personal productivity course – will be enough to start with!

I’m grateful that I’ve spent the last 3+ years blogging and writing on agile topics. This has been a big contributor to my preparation in going independent. I began blogging because I like to write, but I also wanted to develop my understanding and thinking on agile leadership – above and beyond what I was doing in my regular job. The process of writing a weekly blog post (bi-weekly for a while, just to prove to myself that I could do it), plus guest posts on other blogs and an occasional magazine article incented me to read, experiment, observe more than I would have otherwise.

When I step back and think about it, I really started preparing for this moment three and a half years ago. All of those notes and research that I used in my writing are paying dividends as I prepare my courses. Now I’m just pulling everything together as I move into another phase of my agile journey. Like everyone says, agile is a journey, not a destination!

As I look forward, I’m confident that I can provide real value to other organizations adopting agile, and I’m looking forward to that first engagement!

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