Agile Coaches, Agile Project Management, Agile Sales, Team Building for Agile Teams
What we offer on the theme of agility
The desire for Agile organizations and methods is becoming more prominent across all sectors.
Do you want to be able to react faster and more flexibly to dynamic markets and fast-changing customer requirements, but don't know exactly how to achieve this?
We offer a variety of answers and services to assist you.
Build internal competencies:
- Train your employees to become Agile coaches and enable them to support your shift towards agile methods internally. An Agile Coach can support the organization, teams, individual stakeholders and other stakeholders as a moderator, coach, consultant and change agent.
- Train your employees to become Agile project managers with one of our Scrum training courses.
Both services can be found on our Academy page.
Consulting for your Personal Agile Development
Agile Organization Development
Agile methods and principles have much in common with Lean principles. The will to change continuously and to test in iterations, verify and adapt are firmly anchored in both philosophies.
The Agile movement around Scrum was developed out of the need of many companies to transfer the product-heavy tools to administration one by one. But that was just not possible.
Lean Admin and Scrum were developed simultaneously.
We have a lot of experience in implementing Lean production as well as Lean administration.
The introduction of Agile organizational structures requires know-how in Lean methods and Agile frameworks, as well as a sound knowledge of change management.
We supply everything to support your Agile change as Agile coaches and process consultants.
Call us for a free exploration workshop to learn more about out how mature your organization is and to develop an initial hypotheses about appropriate measures.
Team Development for your Agile/Scrum Team
The challenge of self-organized work
In our experience, all members of an Agile team, whether it be the production, Scrum Master or other team members, face great personal challenges that are generally underestimated when implementing agile project management and development methods.
- Decision formats must be identified.
- Leadership is not clearly defined - it exists, but who leads when is unclear?
- The roles are not sufficiently defined and clarified.
- The team is in the storming phase and does not have a Scrum Master who has experience in group dynamic processes,
- Or the Scrum Master may even be part of the problem.
- The method has been introduced but the principles of trust, communication and transparency are not being put into practice.
- The old paradigms still control the behavior of team members, despite their enthusiasm for agile organizational forms. People don´t suddenly change at the touch of a button.
We offer the external mirror, are multi-partial and will lead your team into their interpersonal depths. Once the relationship level has been clarified, agreeing on the matter is a piece of cake.
When a sale turns into an encounter between customer and seller, both of them are satisfied.
© Alfred Rademacher
How agile is your sales organization?
Your sales organization will certainly assert with great enthusiasm that it is customer-oriented, transparent and success-oriented to the greatest extent possible.
But which success are you focused on? Are your distributors still individually motivated? Is there a common goal for the team? Do you really know what your colleagues or employees are doing?
Normally, there are regular meetings during which everything that has been achieved is presented and portrayed as possible. Successes are more likely to be shared than failures, but colleagues could learn a lot from the challenges as well.
Agile principles such as transparency, cross-departmental collaboration, customer focus and an iterative approach often give way to tactical behavior and historically successful methods.
But will this be enough for the future?
We can accompany your sales organization into a more flexible future.
Christian Herlan, our sales professional, and Katja von Bergen, our agile professional, will analyze your organization, develop interventions, as well as training sessions, that ensure a sustainable change mindset.
There is not only ONE agility - only different agile dimensions
When it comes to agility, no one - not even a management consultant - can claim to have a blueprint that outlines exactly how to execute all the time and everywhere. That would not be reputable and a paradox in itself. If you take the concept of agility seriously, then you understand that there can only be various agile dimensions that correlate with each other. The focal points that develop in this network of dependencies vary from company to company.
Agile Way of Thinking
The Agile Manifesto
Agility is based on a specific way of thinking and a certain kind of attitude. The most important key points were set out in the 2001 Agile Manifesto:
Individuals and Interaction before Processes and Methods
A functioning product before comprehensive documentation
Collaboration with the customer prior to contract negotiations
Responding to change before following the plan
It is important to us to prioritize. The elements on the right, such as processes and methods continue to be important, but are subordinate to the individual and the interaction.
What takes center stage in agile companies
♦ Customer satisfaction
♦ The willingness to change
♦ Iterative development
♦ Intensive cooperation
♦ A positive and motivating environment
♦ Face-to-face communication
♦ A functioning product as a benchmark
♦ A steady pace
♦ Technical excellence and a great design
Companies that are able to quickly adapt their strategy and, if necessary, even completely renew their product range when they see a new opportunity are extremely competitive. The best example is William Wrigley Jr. In 1890, he added small samples of baking powder to his first product, which was soap. He quickly realized that the baking powder samples were more popular than the soap and made the switch to baking powder, but added small samples of chewing gum to the packs. Once again, it was obvious that this trial product could become a bestseller and Wrigley's Spearmint was born. Agility is nothing new, but is often lost in corporate structures.
If a strategy is to be successful in a volatile environment, it must be highly adaptive in order to allow room for favorable opportunities. These opportunities must not only be recognized, but the company must also be able to activate them at lightning speed. This is only possible if you create opportunities in which you experiment pragmatically and keep an eye on the entire environment so to not miss a chance. Success has always been accompanied by a generous helping of luck and the right timing. With Light Footprint strategies and resource-orientated actions such as effectuating, you can be ready and willing to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.
As experienced change consultants, we support you in bringing agile hygiene to your strategic map and disseminate the values behind it inside of your company.
Focus on the customer
Principles of an agile, client-oriented organization
♦ Decentralized power in the periphery
♦ Interlinked and connected
♦ Small, independent units
♦ Close to the customer
♦ A central service platform
♦ A learning organization
Powerful and effective
The characteristics of a successful Agile team
♦ A maximum of 6 people
♦ If possible, all in one location
♦ Decentralized power in the periphery
♦ Interlinked and connected
♦ Small, independent units, close to the customer
♦ A central service platform
♦ A learning organization
From our experience, you should establish these prerequisites in accompanying change processes, especially when introducing Agile forms of work, so that the advantages can be identified and success can be achieved.
The essence of high performance teams
Teams that can reach peak performance will enter the storming crisis much faster than others - the phase in which teams negotiate their internal hierarchy and role distribution in conflict - but then also take the time to make it out of the valley together. In this phase, the management of such a team must be able to sit back and wait, as well as have confidence in the team to deal with the crisis independently. This leads the team to share a common vision and to be "inspired" by the outcome. They work together proactively and can quickly build on the spirit of "Yes we can!" when a challenge is brought to them.
High-performance teams need:
- A clear mission, goals, priorities
- The "right" people on the team / maximum diversity / voluntary action, etc.
- Clear roles and responsibilities
- A commitment to the interest of the team before their own interests
- Accepted ways of decision-making
- A common understanding of how leadership works in a team
- Shared feeling of responsibility for team results and team process
- A view that conflicts are opportunities and can be handled constructively
- Contributions to regular meta-communication, reflection and team development
- Team members are:
- ready and capable to have a dialogue
- mindful of themselves and others
What makes agile employees tick
An employee within an Agile team tends to be more willing and adaptable to change. Big egos are more likely to be rejected by an Agile system. Through a high degree of mindfulness, self-efficacy and self-reflection, the team members manage to resolve conflicts and then deal with the matter successfully.
An Agile team has more satisfied and highly motivated employees than other teams.
In agile teams, the retrospective is an integral part of the project landscape. Employees in Agile teams are much more reflective and consider their own added value. Give it a try and ask yourself questions that are relevant to your work:
- What am I currently satisfied with?
- What am I proud of?
- What has worked well recently?
- What have I achieved?
- What were special highlights?
- What did not go so well?
- What didn´t I achieve?
- What is frustrating me?
- What are the main reasons for my success - What do I contribute to it?
- What strengths and abilities do I bring to the job?
- What competencies can I rely on?
- What are the main reasons for my failures? What part of it did I contribute to?
- What weaknesses and blind spots do I struggle with?
- Why is it that I can't accomplish certain things?
- Where do I need to start to improve myself further?
- What can I derive from my experiences and realizations?
- What do I need to pay particular attention to?
- What do I need to keep up with?
- What are my goals?
- What next steps do I want to take?
- How can I tell that these steps are leading me in the right direction?
Write the answers on individual post-its and then cluster and consolidate the notes. Subsequently, pick a maximum of three measures that you want to implement in each improvement area until you complete the next personal retrospective, and then check off what you have implemented.
Leadership in an Agile environment
The role of a leader in an Agile environment is increasingly a more moderate coaching task. Interdisciplinary leadership and shared management responsibility only works if the team members are "the right people", meaning they possess a high degree of social and self-confidence. The biggest and most common misunderstanding is probably that there is no leadership in agile teams.
In most cases, there is still a disciplinary manager who, however, also has other skills that contribute to the Agile team. Even if it's a completely self-organized team, someone always takes the lead.
The person advancing the group is currently conducting leadership due to one of the following:
- contribution of a good idea
- assumption of the moderation
- asking the right questions
- making their presence known
- dominating ...
There is no situation without leadership. Even in anarchy there is leadership. This can change, it can be situational, but there's always someone in the lead. Without it, nothing happens, at least nothing that serves the purpose of the group.
"Impossible to see in advance, the future is." (Yoda)
A small insight into the toolbox
There are over a hundred tools for agility. The most common and well-known are Scrum and Kanban.
Additionally, there are countless books on creative methods in an agile environment. Some are tried and true things rediscovered, some of them are truly new approaches. From communication formats and team-building measures to organizational tools, the market is full of useful tips and tricks.
Below you will find some of our favorite suggestions.