The more popular this blog gets, the more calls I get from Agile consulting companies wanting to “help”. That’s sweet and all, but we already work with an Agile coach here in Tampa Bay. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with AgileThought. They have “Agile” in their name so they must know what they’re doing! But seriously, we’ve got their CTO, Ryan Dorrell, as our Agile coach. He has the best bedside manner we could have hoped for and is always the voice of reason on all things Agile. And, Ryan will forever be my Agile phone-a-friend. Our arrangement consisted of customized training, coaching, and strategic guidance, among other things. In fact, our relationship has been so successful that we are submitting for a local collaboration award as we speak. Wish us luck!
Now that that is cleared up, I do want to take a moment to express the importance of having an external / independent Agile Coach to assist and guide your transformation. Attempting to DIY (Do It Yourself) Agile can sometimes backfire. In my experience, money spent on an Agile coach is definitely money well spent! You need to spend the money to bring on an Agile coach for at least 6-months to train the teams and support the process. As human beings, we can laugh about the notion that we are more willing to take advice from a stranger than from a family member. This is true in the business world as well (and that’s why consulting is big business). Companies often tend to appreciate the advice of an independent expert more than a trusted member of the company’s own staff. Also, an Agile coach can really have your back when it comes to resistance at any level.
Now, where I could use some help is if you are an Agile speaker and plan to be in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Agile Meetup group is always in need of speakers. It might just be your way of reaching other companies that do indeed help with their Agile transformation. Leave a comment if that opportunity interests you.