YOU decide! Oh, wait, not THAT decision!
Regional Scrum Gathering ZA – May 2021
Most employees do not take full advantage of their autonomy and most leaders wish employees would be more autonomous. Most employees don’t feel empowered to make decisions and most leaders don’t understand why people don’t step up when they are invited to. What is going on here? How do we create organisations – teams and leaders alike – to create more self-organisation or even more self-management? What does it mean, in fact?
In this session we will unpack self-organisation, how leaders unconsciously hinder self-organisation and share proven ways to create an environment where self-organisation is not only possible, but will be inevitable.
- understand what makes the journey hard and why it often succeeds only partially
- understand what true self-organisation looks like and what the basic conditions are
- understand the responsibilities of leaders in creating self-organisation
- exploring common slipups and what to do about them
- examine the leadership stance required
Inner Agility and Adult Development: The Sobering Truth
Expert Agile Club: Webinar – April 2021 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Xebia – AgileCast: Podcast – June 2021 (Antoinette Coetzee)
The concept of Agile – what it is, how to grow it, where it is useful, what the necessary preconditions are, have expanded rather dramatically over the last 25 years. Late adopter organisations may still be stuck at the “how” of Agile – the process, what the hands of the people on the ground need to do differently. But organisations that have been at it for a longer time, the ones reaping the true benefits of Agile, have realised that the tentacles of agility reach into every part of the organisation, every single person, the entire way of doing business. Their leaders have come to realise that power and control is used and distributed differently, that the organisation needs to function, strategise, plan differently. And these leaders are bringing about the changes.
If you are interested in what enables the bold actions of these rare individuals, why it is possible for some and not for others to make the changes, join me for a light foray into the world of adult development. And be prepared to examine your own beliefs and expectations.
- Understand the difference between Agile and agility
- Learn what the beliefs are that make up the Agile mindset
- Understand the connection between leadership development and organisational development
- Gain more insight into a popular model for leadership development
- Understand the limitations of a certain level of adult/personal/leadership development on inner agility
- Explore a way forward, personally and organisationally
Upside only – Let’s celebrate Agile’s pervasive impact!
A20dmv.org Agile Conference: Celebrating 20 Years of Agility in DMV – Feb 2021
Let‘s celebrate Agile’s pervasive impact! Lyssa Adkins, Sally Elatta, Christopher Richardson, Sharon Guerin and Antoinette Coetzee share insight into their own personal agility experiences. This session was curated and facilitated by Lyssa Adkins – world-renowned coach, facilitator, teacher, and inspirer! She will also share her own story of Agile success.
Video source: A20dmv.org
The best advice I have ever been given
Women in Agile London Anniversary Talks – Dec 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
When Women in Agile London celebrated their first year anniversary they asked 8 guest speakers, “What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?”.
Listen to Antoinette Coetzee sharing her story.
Video source: Women in Agile London
Want to improve your organisation’s performance? Start your relationships with intent.
Agile NCR – 29 Nov 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
One of the gifts the Agile movement brought us is an emphasis on the impact of human relationships in the workplace. Yes, we have always known that they are important, the so-called soft stuff, but let’s face it, in the past when the going got tough we often said “after all we are here to WORK” as a justification for placing our focus on the work itself and letting the relationships slide. What we have come to realise in the last decade or two is that the lack of emphasis on relationships directly impacts the performance of people in an organisation, which has a direct impact on the performance of an organisation. The world is changing – human beings are evolving. Neglect relationships and you will pay the price in cold, hard cash!
In this talk we will explore how to pay attention to relationships from the start – form conscious relationships. We will explore the handful of simple ground rules to pay attention to that will start you up the right way. We will also look at what leaders specifically can go do create conditions for a healthy relationship culture inside the organisation.
- Understand what the power balance in a healthy collaborative relationship looks like
- Understand how to create relationships consciously and learn about a tool or two that can help
- Understand the impact of starting with intent
- Understand the value of knowing yourself when you come into relationship
- Become familiar with the attitude and actions of leaders at all levels that help foster healthy relationships
- Understand how to make the tough discussions easier.
Observation – A Secret Superpower
DC Meetup – 10 Nov 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Business Agility Meetup – 23 October 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile 100 – 25 September 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Cherie Coaching Community – 22 August 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
We are told that it is more effective to coach people rather than direct them. A lot of us are unclear what that means and we often confuse it with mentoring, or let’s face it, sharing our opinion about what people need to do in a really nice way! A big part of what makes coaching useful is the gift of objectivity – seeing that which is invisible to others. And a big part of what makes objectivity so powerful is observation. Here is the problem – we are so used to jumping from observing immediately to interpreting that what we share as observations are seldom “clean”. And when it is not clean, it causes reaction and defensiveness in others.
In this session we will explore
- what true observation is and what it is not,
- why it is so vital,
- how to develop it,
- how to share it in a useful way,
- tips about what to observe in groups
When the Tail doesn’t Wag the Dog – Chasing Outcomes rather than Agile
Business Agility Global Conference – March 2021 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Business Agility Conference NYC – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile Nigeria – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
In 2019 a pharma giant decided to “pilot Agile” in their clinical research division. Eight teams of between 80 and 100 people started, assisted by a group of highly experienced agile coaches. One by one the pilots were cancelled by the leaders. Only two survived and concluded successfully. Did it mean the teams were Agile in the conventional sense? Not by a long shot. Did it mean they were more successful? Absolutely! Rework that was costing the company hundreds of thousands of euros were just one of the many things that changed.
In this session we will explore the tale of the successful pilot, focusing on the role, attitude and learnings of the leaders, how they engaged with the pilot, their teams, and the coach and what they did that lead to the successful outcome.
When the Tail doesn’t Wag the Dog – Chasing Outcomes rather than Agile @ Business Agility Conference NYC 2020
An introduction to Kanban
Kenya Meetup – March 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Kanban has been around for a long time in the world of manufacturing. In the last 20 or so years it has moved into knowledge work and service spaces as well. How does it work? How is it different from Agile frameworks like Scrum? What is it well suited to?
Join this session to learn the basics of Kanban, the underlying principles, find out where it is useful and how to go about setting up your very own Kanban board.
BOO! How Agile brought out my Wicked Witch of the West
Global Scrum Gathering Vienna – October 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)
2015 was my Annus horribilis – my most horrible year. It was the year I wondered whether I had turned into an awful person, or whether I have just always been one. It was also the start of the biggest personal growth spurt in my life to date. And agile was slapbang in the middle of all this – it forced me to confront my own values, behaviour and courage.
If you are keen to find out how agile shines the spotlight on our personal dysfunctions and how that can benefit us both personally and as leaders, come join me and take a look in my magic mirror. Don’t be scared, you may just realise you have so much more in your toolbox than you thought! And it will be worth looking… this I promise.
WE make more sense than me – the art of Collective Sensemaking
Agile2019 – Washington, D.C. (Antoinette Coetzee and Jason Knight)
Making sense is too important to do alone. We each see a part of the puzzle. It’s only when we combine our collective sense of what’s going on that we see more of the reality around us. Too often, it remains hidden. We need this collective wisdom to make sense of volatility, uncertainty, accelerated change, and ambiguity in order to respond.
Did you know there is a framework for having a Collective Sensemaking conversation? And, if done properly, it develops the thinking of everyone involved? In this session, you will observe a live demo with a detailed breakdown of the demo to illustrate the power of this approach. You will then have an opportunity to practice yourself. Come to this interactive workshop and learn how you and your organization can apply this framework to better respond to the challenges you face.
- Describe the Sense-and-Respond pattern
- Recognize the power of Collective Sensemaking in catalyzing deep individual growth and development
- Understand and demonstrate Collective Sensemaking and its value in co-creating solutions
- Explain the link between developing Collective Sensemaking and the impact on our leadership capabilities
- Understand key nuances in the practice and application of Collective Sensemaking
- Apply Collective Sensemaking to your own problem-solving
- Demonstrate the kind of interactions and attitudes needed for Collective Sensemaking
- Explain how the practice of Collective Sensemaking can significantly impact the quality of relationship within groups (e.g. in meetings) and teams
7 Myths of Organisational Agility
Agile Days Istanbul 2019 – Turkey (Antoinette Coetzee)
AWA Meetup NYC – March 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Chicago Meetup – May 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee and William Strydom)
SUGSA Meetup JHB – 8 July 2020 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile at the team level has been around for almost 25 years. Over the last few years it has grown from product development framework to IT department approach, from the software development arena to the larger organisation. We have seen the advent of scaled frameworks like SAFe, we have seen an explosion of tools, we are now onto Business Agility and the application of Agile in non-software companies.
Yet most organisations are still not happy with the improvements brought about by an Agile way of working. Why?
In this talk we will explore the issue of agility from multiple angles. We will look at the impact of Leadership, Organisational Structure, Culture, Products and Technical Practices, to name but a few. Please join us to dismantle some of your own hidden assumptions and find a path into great agility!
Learning Outcome: Understand the difference between Agile and enterprise agility; understand how leaders can help or hinder; understand the main impediments to the growth of agility in organisations; realise that agility is a journey without a road map.
7 Myths of Organisational Agility @ Agile Days Istanbul
7 Myths of Organisational Agility @ AWA NYC Meetup
Change Without Resistance
Romania Meetup – 18 March 2019 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile has brought a radical way of looking at the world of work. In a lot of cases it is counter-intuitive and requires unlearning and stretching into unknown ways of doing, thinking and acting. In short, it requires people to CHANGE. And no matter how much we profess that we are comfortable with change, change is hard. As agilists we come up against this reluctance to change all the time. In fact, we could say that agile coaching was born out of the need to facilitate the change necessary in people and organisations. So it goes without saying that we need to understand change, know how to wield it effectively and more than anything, need to know how to support people when they go through change.
In this session we will explore:
- How to create an environment for change
- How individuals experience change
- How we can work with resistance
- How to bring about successful organisational change
- How neuroscience can help us
As coaches, it is vital for us to have a visceral experience of what we ask our clients to go through when we work with them. In this talk, you will be given a chance to apply the learnings by practicing on one another, either in person or in virtual groups. And if this makes you reluctant to join the session, all the more reason to join us!
Global Scrum Gathering 2018 – London: The Fishbowl
Dive into the #SGLON18 Fishbowl, our semi-structured form of Open Space, where thought leaders are seated in the inner-of-two circles for facilitated conversation around key topics, such as scaling scrum or the future of organisations. As a Gathering attendee, you have three ways to participate:
- Sit in the outer circle and learn from the discussion as it emerges;
- Take one of the vacant seats with the thought leaders to join the discussion; or
- Feed the Fishbowl a question via the facilitator.
Get those managers out of my way! #ManagersAreIndividualsToo
Agile 2018 – San Diego (Antoinette Coetzee and Judith Mills)
How often have you heard agilists say managers “don’t get Agile”? At the same time not a lot of agilists have been in management roles, so could we also say “Agile coaches don’t get management”?
Let’s face it, agilists and traditional management look at the world very differently. Yet if we as coaches want to help create agile enterprises we not only have to understand the world a manager lives in, we need to develop compassion with them as individuals.
If you are keen to develop your ability to support managers on their Agile journey, join Judith and Antoinette, two Agile coaches who have been in management positions themselves. Let’s look at our own biases around power and authority and how that influences our interactions. Expect to walk away with a deeper understanding of the specific challenges managers face when transitioning to an Agile way of working, increased compassion for managers and a coaching approach to truly meet them where they are.
Let’s tell our stories: Agile as a catalyst for personal growth
Agile 2018 – San Diego: Audacious Salon (Antoinette Coetzee)
Worried about the way Agile is introduced to people? Heard about mandated change in organisations, Zombie Scrum, large-scale Agile “roll-outs”, fights about Jira? Concerned that processes and tools are becoming more important than Individuals and Interactions?
What if we drop our negativity bias?
Change happens one individual at a time. And Agile has the potential to change people’s lives in profound ways – new careers, individual empowerment, personal growth, true potential, to name a few. Those of us who have been around for a while can personally attest to this – some of us in our own lives. So why don’t we talk about that for a change? Let’s forget about frameworks, scaling, organizational change and simply share what Agile has done for us personally. As human beings.
And who knows, we may just learn some things we can take back to our transformations…
- Insights you have that others may be overlooking
- Insights others have that you may be overlooking
- Ways in which your insights and others’ can enhance each other
- Things you thought you knew, but there’s more to it than that
- New beginnings to explore this topic more deeply
Individuals, Interactions and Human contracting
Scrum Gathering Dublin 2017 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2016 (Antoinette Coetzee)
“Our product owner never comments on anything till it goes into production!”
“We make our own decisions since we can never get hold of a business person!”
“Things on this project are simply not flowing!”
“We can’t get the business to sign things off!”
Sound familiar? Even more frustrating when as the BA you are doing all the right things from a technical point of view, you are communicating clearly and openly and you really want to make the project a success.
Maybe the answer is that as human beings we need to be engaged with 3 aspects of our being : our heads, our hands and our hearts as well. When we engage with one another we need to agree on more than scope and plans. We need to contract psychologically.
This talk explores how to contract as a whole human being, with a whole human being. We will explore the dimensions of a human or social contract, how to have the discussion, which questions to ask and what to do to make sure everyone sticks to their end of the bargain. Whether you are a consulting BA or a permanent employee, you will learn why conscious contracting is vital for the success of any engagement.
To Estimate AND Not To Estimate – going beyond #NoEstimates
Agile 2017 – Orlando: Audacious Salon (Antoinette Coetzee & Judith Mills)
The #NoEstimates debate has been going on for about 5 years and still agilists seem to be at loggerheads. It is one of the few issues that spawns contemptuous remarks on social media. Some people dismiss the idea and see it as as an ultra agile practice that is impractical in the “real world”, others deem it a vital part of any Agile environment. It has even inspired a book.
To the impartial observer it seems there are many voices, all with some validity and perhaps some shared underlying goals and concerns. Similar to the debates and disagreements in the workplace.
What would a collaborative solution look like? What answers would be available if we put our heads together instead of butting them against one another? What in fact is the problem we are trying to solve?
We would like to invite you to bring your ideas on #NoEstimates to this session, where we will use a Systems Coaching process known as Deep Democracy to hear not only opposing viewpoints, but all voices of the “system” so that participants can garner more systems intelligence and, eventually, move beyond entrenched positions in the current reality. Let’s explore together whether there is a place beyond the seemingly binary decision of “to estimate or not to estimate”.
Agile Open Jam
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2016
During the 2 days of BASSA 2016, 5 facilitators ran the Agile Open Jam sessions, covering 3 themes | 17 topics.
The facilitators were Dananthi Arnott (Royal Bank Canada), Antoinette Coetzee (Just Plain Agile), Biase De Gregorio (agility@IQ Business), Angie Doyle (agility@IQ Business) and Ryan Reddy (Investec Bank).
The themes were:-
- Transition from Waterfall to Agile
- Agile Architecture
- Collaboration between Agile and Waterfall teams
Secrets of Agile Collaboration
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2015 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile development asks for a high degree of collaboration, but whether one forms part of an agile team or not, collaboration is key to building great relationships and great products. Business analysts tend to be collaborative naturally, but do you know how to consciously create a collaborative team? Or even just a collaborative meeting or session? How do you as a facilitator ensure high quality thinking and creative solutions, even when people do not know one another, when they are not really interested, when there are disagreements, or when the topic is tough? Do you know how fear and anxiety impacts the brain and how to stop it from happening?
The workshop will reveal to you where you are naturally good at collaboration. By exploring the ground conditions you will become aware of consciously creating better collaboration in your teams and in work sessions. You will practice new techniques and experience for yourself what works and what doesn’t. You will walk away with a collection of simple tools from the world of Agile, professional coaching and facilitation that will make your meetings, work sessions and teamwork more focused, productive and fun!
Learnings points from this session:-
- The conditions required for successful collaboration
- How to facilitate meetings that are collaborative
- Techniques for when things get tough
- How to harness the power of diversity
- How your personal biases influence collaboration
User Story Primer
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2014 (Antoinette Coetzee)
If you are part of an agile team you need to set up a prioritised product backlog, made up of user stories. As a BA you are in an excellent position to use your analysis expertise and assist the business and the rest of your team in coming up with the stories. You need to understand and master the art of writing good stories. Stories, like use cases, look simple and easy enough to do, yet most teams take at least 6 months before their stories satisfy the so-called INVEST principles. This workshop will introduce you to story writing, setting up acceptance criteria for stories, how to discover stories, organise them, how to manage scope on a project using stories, as well as how stories fit into the agile lifecycle.
- How to write good stories
- Comprehensive and structured story acceptance criteria
- How to keep track of stories and manage scope
- The differences between user stories and use cases
- Techniques for splitting stories
Agile Simulation Workshop
Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa (BASSA) 2013 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Agile development is here to stay. Year after year the number of organisations that adopt an Agile way of working increases. Up to now the approach has been very successful in smaller organisations, but the focus locally and internationally is moving to the larger organisations, the corporates. What does that mean? Agile seems very different from traditional development, so how does it affect you, the Business Analyst? How does it work? How can we start developing if all the analysis has not been done? What about scope creep? And did you hear that there is no documentation?
Join this fun workshop to experience Agile yourself and debunk the myths. We will simulate an Agile mini-project and learn about the philosophy, the process, the roles and the mindshift in a non-threathening way. See how we plan, prioritise, manage scope, estimate, analyse and design, develop and ensure quality, all in an Agile fashion.
We have been using this approach in training and coaching since 2008 and guarantee that at the end of the session you will be able to hold your own in a conversation about Agile. You will really get it!
Learn how to:
- Approach projects in an Agile fashion
- Run an iteration
- Build in continuous improvement
- Manage scope creep
- Work together as a multi-disciplined agile team
Agile at the Corporates
CTSPIN 2013 (Antoinette Coetzee)
Do you work at a corporate organisation and think it is impossible to follow an agile method? Are you an agile vendor that needs to work with corporates and struggle to get your head around it? In the rest of the world for a number of years the challenge has been how to roll out Agile to enterprises. How are we doing here in the fairest Cape?
This talk focuses on the challenges and rewards of implementing agile in the corporate space. Find out what works, what doesn’t, what to consider when choosing a method and how to engage with your corporate clients as a vendor. And learn about the surprising similarity between contract agile and agile in the corporates.