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Letting Go of Agile

May 13, 2019


What does this image have to do with Agile? 


For some, maybe nothing. For me, it has meaning and I'll come back to this.


I've let my CSM lapse - I'm not renewing my CSM $100 Scrum Alliance membership. I've been a CSM since 2011, completing my Certified Scrum Master training with Gabrielle Benefield and Jeff Sutherland. It was a great and insightful two days and certainly helped me with the project I was involved at the time; a Project Manager working for a data analytics company. It helped enormously that we had a fantastic team - they did all the hard work. They produced 'Value'.


I've something else to own to up to; I've let lapse my SAFe SPC. I'm struggling to pay $995 for renewal: SPC at $895 and Leading SA $100.


What do I mean by struggling, well - do I think it's worth it?


Okay, the fee (membership) allowed me to train people in a variety of SAFe course: SM, Advanced SM, Leading SAFe, SAFe for Teams - so I got paid for delivering these courses. It also allowed me to act as a SPC Coach or / and Consultant on a couple of ART's.


On both my CSM and SPC profiles, my status is now 'Expired'. Does this mean that I no longer have the knowledge, my memory being erased of all things SAFe / CSM, akin to MIB?



In all my coaching experience and training, I am always brought back to my professional and academic training in Coaching and Development (Post-graduate Cert / Dip). This has been the foundation of my coaching knowledge, as it has all the ingredients to engage, support and benefit teams / people in their work. 


This foundation of knowledge continues to grow with my, self-funded, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) with experiential courses such as 

I am also an Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) / Kanban Management Professional (KMP-II). Using Kanban to understand and improve a teams delivery is an excellent way but widely misunderstood by many.


Engaging with people and teams should be the relationship and focus that's needed to help deliver an increase in performance, and by which will lead to an increase in value delivery or, and just as important, courage to challenge what is defined as 'value'.


I've always been a fan of Peter Hawkins 5c's of Performance, amongst many other coaching approaches - here's an image of the 5c's:

 When I get the chance to work with a new team, project or coaching engagement, this helps me ask very simple questions:

  • How many teams have you worked with where lack of clarity or purpose is amongst the performance issues of the teams?

  • Do your teams have a clear way of working?

  • How are you, Mr Leader, connected with stakeholders?

  • etc etc

Here's another coaching approach that's simple to use, again, just by asking questions:

  • What is causing you disruption?

  • What do you need to let go of?

  • What beliefs are you holding on to? 

  • etc etc

And here is the 'real stuff' that I like to work with - Barriers to Behaviour Change:

  • motivation, confidence, importance, timing, understanding, support, planning, negative thinking, competing beliefs, strength of habits, willpower, energy levels, fears, burnout

Being a Coach that works at a people level, not a process or technical level -


“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance.” ― Sir John Whitmore


I am glad that I have let go of 'Agile Coaching' (however this is defined) and that my focus is purely on individual and / or team coaching. 


Reflecting on the image at the top of this blog; what does it mean for me?


This is how a I see the Agile onslaught of LinkedIn head-banging guru's that have left a detritus heap of tangled language that hinders, rather than helps organisations.


Bringing Coaching back to people and teams performance with a focus on future possibilities, not past mistakes.


Thanks for reading.

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