How to bring agilitiy into a company

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In these days a lot of new terms are heard. Agility, coaching, agile coach and many more. There are also countless discussions about new work or industry 4.0, just to name a few.

For being a certified Professional Scrum Master II and a Professional Scrum Product Owner, I’m very interested about informing myself when it comes to work in teams.

After reading an awful lot, I’ve created an approach how to bring agility into a company. Another source was the CDO course which I attended and was guided by some really awesome tutors.

When a company wants to step on the agile boat, it is my task to “scan” the people who are working there. Starting by the simple question “does everybody know what agile implies?”. I’ve met quite a large number of people, who didn’t even know the word. 

That’s perfectly all right, we’re all learning every single day and it’s my task, to inform and also to enthuse people about the new way of working and being together.

Communication is one perfect tool, to find out about the people’s mindset. Do they like the change (I know… Transformation would be a more modern way of articulation), are they not interested or are they insecure or even intimidated?

We’re all perfectly unique individuals and it’s very important to remove bad emotions, when big things take place and to show these people the advantages and improvements it will bring.

This can be done with a group during workshops. But IMHO it is also very important, to talk face-to-face. A private conversation is more intimate and the conversational partner feels mire secure and relaxed. And therefore he or she will be more open.

I’ve been working with customers most of my life and where there are complaints an/or concerns, it is always very important to listen carefully without interrupting the person who’s talking to you. After the person has said what has been wrong, it is essential to repeat the complaint.

By doing so, one shows that person that his or her complaint was fully understood and that he or she was heard and taken seriously. This approach can also be used, when someone feels insecure about something.

By showing that one has understood the concerns and that they are considered as important, he or she feels valued. This will make the way to new fields more smooth.

 To improve communication, there are wonderful instruments like Clean Language, Liberating Structures. Just to name a few.

Especially when having a private conversation Clean Language is a great way to let the partner find out things by him or herself. By asking “neutral” questions, the respondent will find out why he or she is insecure or even afraid.

I discovered Clean Language at a Meetup in Berlin called All Berlin organized by Agile Learning Lab Berlin (fka ScrumMaster Clinic).

We started of by someone asking us to imagine a tree. Just that. When everyone had this image in his head, a single participant was asked “what does the tree look like?”. No details and no influencing.

After a few more questions, the person who  was asked created a detailled image of the tree which wasclearly visible to all of us. I find this a great way to let people find out things themselves.

And in my opinion this is a good  fashion to get agility started and to win the company and all of the employees to it.

After this is achieved, one can start with the practical part by implementing agility in the working environment and daily tasks by optimizing the workflow.

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