Agile Transformation Coaching

Contents


Two Cheap Ways to Move Faster

You want to move faster without adding a lot of people. Agile can do that. Maybe you’ve been told you have to hire long-term Agile coaches or full-time Scrum Masters, plus take your team offline for days of training. Full Stack Scrum gives you two cheaper options:

  • Do it Yourself for Free—All of the materials used in our coaching practice are available at no charge here on the open-source Full Stack Scrum™ (FuSS™) site, perfect for inspired do-it-yourselfers. Unlike every popular book and Web site on Agile, this one includes not only a book-length explanatory text, but complete, detailed step-by-step instructions and all of the downloads required.
  • Lower-Cost Coaching—Research Triangle-area (North Carolina) and virtual organizations that want to gain the benefits of Agile more quickly and smoothly can hire the creator of FuSS to transform their teams in a few months. No long-term hires are required, and the total cost is significantly lower than that charged by staffing agencies and “big name” consulting firms (see “Why it’s Cheap” below).

How the Transformation Works

Pay as You Go for Entrepreneurs

Intended for startups, our coaching approach gives you complete control over your rate of change and therefore your costs, for fees tied to your stage of growth. Single-team startups (up to 12 people) pay an hourly rate half or less of what most Agile training or consulting firms charge. Your initial investment is only three hours’ fees: two for introductory training, and one for an interview beforehand so Jim can get details on your company needed to customize his delivery.

That is the only classroom training. If your team decides to go forward, it learns through Jim facilitating work-planning meetings using the appropriate FuSS techniques, paid only for the hours he is directly working with members. Whether your members do additional tasks needed to adopt Agile, or you pay Jim to do them, is up to you on a task-by-task basis. Once the team has the process down, Jim trains members to facilitate and moves on, remaining available for touch-up consulting as needed.

Incremental Change for Multi-Team Organizations

Direct Coaching

Depending on your needs and preferences, Jim can bring change to larger organizations using either of two ways that reduce concerns and encourage a willingness to try. One is through direct coaching:

  1. Coach Jim interviews everyone from executives to employees to learn what issues your teams are facing, determine your organization’s readiness for change, and customize Full Stack Scrum for your needs.
  2. He provides brief introductory trainings to everyone, only two hours per person.
  3. He works with up to four small teams at once to install FuSS within six months, by:
    1. Preparing and implementing an organizational change plan.
    2. Turning the set of teams into Scrum teams, serving as the initial Scrum Master for each.
    3. Training team volunteers, preferably every member, to become part-time Scrum Masters.
    4. Coaching external customers or product managers; functional managers; executives; and other stakeholders to shift their relationships with the teams.
    5. If applicable, serving as the initial Agile Release Manager and then training a current employee into the role.
  4. If you have more teams, we repeat Step 2 for up to four at a time.
  5. When all teams are done, the coach provides unlimited phone, chat, and e-mail support for one year at no additional cost.

Coach the Coaches

The other method uses the long-proven “train the trainer” approach, with which Jim converts people who might otherwise lose their jobs (and thus resist the change) into your team of coaches. FuSS then is implemented change by change, cascaded through those people as part of their on-the-job training.

Consulting/staffing firms want you to hire “team coaches” and then full-time Scrum Masters because they make money off each person placed. In the FuSS approach, people like project managers are trained to be Agile Release Managers (ARMs), and the decades-old “self-directed work team” approach is leveraged to create truly self-organizing teams using members as facilitators (the SMs). After the first two steps in the section above, each incremental evolutionary change is given to the ARMs, who in turn pass them to the SMs. Jim spot-checks progress while the Agile tracking tool(s) give measurable evidence of problem areas he can address directly. When the system is in place and all teams are meeting the Agile Performance Standards, Jim moves on while providing the free support in Step 5 above.

Why it Works

The founders of various better-known Agile methods are very smart, but they all came from technical domains. They were not experts in organizational change, training/coaching, and team psychology, so they got a few things wrong based on scientific evidence. Even professional groups like the Project Management Institute and Scrum Alliance, though offering significant improvements, have missed some key points from those other fields. Full Stack Scrum is a unique combination of standard Agile Scrum/Kanban techniques with decades of lessons from the org change, adult learning, and social psychology fields. For details, see “Why FuSS?

Why it’s Cheap

As a solo practitioner, Coach Jim does not have the extra costs of staffing agencies and larger firms. Thus you only pay what a contractor or big-firm consultant would get—not the overhead fees you pay their employers—for 15–40 hours a week, depending on the number of teams. The coach has no incentive to “upsell” you on additional classes, certifications, or personnel, because he offers none of those services (and you don’t need them with FuSS). Bigger firms also try to drive engagements longer to make more money. But Jim needs to end the commitment to your satisfaction in six months (or less) per set of 1–4 teams… because other clients are waiting, and there’s no one else to help them!

Also, FuSS as a system is cheaper than most. Your people do not waste labor time (and thus your salary money) in week-long trainings, big-room plannings, attempts to predict the far future, and Scrum of Scrum meetings. And you don’t need to hire anyone besides Jim. He trains internal resources to serve as Scrum Masters—a very part-time role when done properly—and as Agile Team Coaches in the role of Agile Release Manager.

How to Get Started

Just fill out this site’s contact form. You will hear back within two business days to set up a phone meeting. (And your information will never be added to an e-mail list or shared with other companies without your permission.)

Availability may be limited by prior commitments.