Bring-Yourself-To-Work Day

Imagine this concept: “Bring-Yourself-To-Work” Day.

What psychological safety would be required in the workplace for you to show up as your authentic self?

What culture would be required in the workplace for us to celebrate each others’ individuality?

What grace would we have to practice giving for us to work with each others’… individuality?

What patterns of communication, both synchronous & asynchronous, would we try, to bring the best of ourselves to work?

I re-derived this phrased the other week, giggled, and figured I’d share for the lulz.

Want more? This has been written about, so google around. But first, giggle.

To-Don’t List

I’ve made to-do lists since I was a kid, currently managing a love/hate relationship with ‘em, which is ironic, since I’m in a profession where I’m all about backlogs and frontlogs. So you’d think I’d be dang good at ‘em. I mean, I am. (I’m real’ humble, too!) And I bet you are, too. And we can get better, with a little help from our friends: Bruce Lee, Greg Marta, and Tim Ferriss.

Oh, and y’saw “To-Don’t List” in the title, and wonder when we’ll get more into that? Yeah, that’s at the end. I can’t stop ya from skipping ahead, but its build-up will make a little more sense if you hang out for the ride…

Continue reading To-Don’t List

Low-bar Agile Coaching is Crafting the Next Frontlog Item

Look at your hat. It says “Agile Coach”. I know, it’s a weird choice of hat, but where you work, everybody’s got a hat, some folks wear more than one, and this is yours.

How do you stand in this hat? Well, depending on how much you’re responsible for the client result (“doing, in the present”) or the client growth (“doing, in the future”), there are 9 ways to stand, per a popular diagram by some Dandy People.

Yet from my experience, there are 2 main flavours of stance, based on what the client is expecting when you roll up to ‘em, wearing that hat:

  • consulting: “I don’t have time. Just fuckin’ tell me what to do.”
  • coaching: “I have some time. Get me to see what to do.”

In both cases, your hat says you’re paid to help them with what to do next. And that thing, that next thing, that next thing you have some input on, is hopefully perceived as worth what they’re paying you to wear that hat. (Heck, instead, they could’ve printed a developer hat!)

So whether you’re peddling yourself as

  • a magician of “aha” moments,
  • an empathetic ear,
  • a resource in their back pocket,
  • a cheerleader in their corner,
  • a trusted advisor,
  • an accountability partner, or
  • a parental force of high expectations & tough love,

your client will walk away with a thing to do next. It may not have been explicitly stated by you… it might be a new approach, an old idea, or a boost of confidence to actually do a thing.

So what’s #TheNextBigThing?

  • It is one actionable item of continuous improvement.
  • It is one experiment that you could do, which you would do.
  • It is ONE low-risk try to have things suck less ‘round here, and maybe even be awesome.

Want a low bar for earning that Agile Coach hat, or Scrum Master hat?

Craft the Next Frontlog Item.

Oh, and it’s totally safe to try this at home, too.

You’re not a real Agile Coach unless You’ve Coached Yourself

Or, to bastardize a quote attributed to Gandhi:

Be the Agile Coach you want to see in the world.

And you can start being that person at home. Right now.

Think about it… If you were hiring a coder, wouldn’t you want someone who codes in their free time, contributing to open source projects, or is otherwise experimenting on their own? If you were hiring a network engineer, wouldn’t you prefer someone who has set up a LAN in their basement, or is otherwise experimenting on their own? Why wouldn’t this apply to hiring a Scrum Master or Agile Coach? If you were hiring one of these kinds of cool cats, wouldn’t you rather have someone who geeks out on this topic at home, or is otherwise experimenting on their own?

Regardless of the skill or domain, finding ways to experiment on your own means:

Continue reading You’re not a real Agile Coach unless You’ve Coached Yourself

Teaming in 2019 vs. 2020 vs. 2021

Get fucking vaccinated.

(I may lose friends.) (I am ready.)

My thesis here adds the notion of how it improves team bonding now that the COVID-19 vaccine is more available, but don’t kid yourself: this is my using whatever platform I think I have to…

I shouldn’t kid myself: I don’t foresee this changing anybody’s mind: you’re either vax’d (“benefits outweigh risks”), medically advised to not do so (“risks outweigh benefits”), or straight up conspiratorial (insert bullshit rationale here). So like the rest of this blog, this is for me, now channeling, hopefully constructively, any rage I have around this issue as I think aloud about how our not-100% vaccination rate is preventing Agile teams from being fully awesome.

You have a responsibility to your fellow citizens, and I now argue also your team at work, to get vaccinated.

Continue reading Teaming in 2019 vs. 2020 vs. 2021