The Agile Coach's Guide To The Galaxy

  • Case Studies,  Coaching Teams,  Feedback

    Case Study – Enhancing Team Collaboration Through a Peer Feedback Process

    The Challenge: Addressing Shallow Communication in a Newly Re-Missioned Team In 2019, I worked with a feature team that was about to re-mission, and that would receive expanded responsibilities. The re-missioning necessitated a wider range of skills which resulted in the addition of three new team members. Initial Team Structure and Challenges Prior to the re-missioning, the team consisted of seven members, an Engineering Manager (EM), and a Product Manager (PM). Despite having worked together for over a year, communication within the team remained somewhat superficial and some critical conversations were not taking place. During one-on-one meetings between the EM and team members, topics surfaced that would have been more…

  • Feedback

    The EPIQ Feedback Model

    Feedback is a hot topic, but not everyone agrees about its usefulness. Some praise feedback as something fundamentally important, while others claim that, even with a well-intentioned feedback model, it’s directly harmful to relationships and self-esteem. I’ve spent many years learning about and observing feedback. I’ve seen how feedback can both unify us and divide us. I’ve also come to learn what distinguishes great feedback from mediocre or even harmful feedback. Over the years, I’ve distilled my observations and research into a feedback model, and in this post, I share that model. I call it “The EPIQ Feedback Model”. So join me and explore how Empathy, Position, Intention, and Quality…

  • Coaching Organizations,  Feedback

    The Importance of Peer Feedback in Self-Managing Organizations

    I’ve written about how to give effective feedback using the EPIQ Feedback Model. That’s an important part of building a strong feedback culture, but there’s more to it than that. In any organization, but especially in a self-managing organization, we must have strong peer feedback loops in place in order for the organization to build a feedback culture. Why exactly is a strong feedback culture so important in self-managing organizations? Well, self-managing organizations distribute leadership and decision-making. Doing so comes with a lot of benefits. But if people are unable to effectively manage themselves and make decisions, a self-managing organization will inevitably fail. Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters can certainly…

  • Feedback

    The Four Intentions Feedback Model

    Two years ago I worked with a team that struggled with delivering feedback to each other. Team members would try to express something to either raise each others performance levels or to improve working relationships, but somehow something would always seem to go wrong and they ended up triggering each other. This damaged their productivity and morale to an extent that several people left the team. The remaining team members went through feedback training and coaching, and we looked at how the intentions behind feedback are the foundation for constructing constructive feedback. For example, feedback about performance and feedback about working relationships sound very different but the members of this…

  • Feedback

    Feedback workshop facilitation guide

    For the past two years I’ve been facilitating and evolving a hands-on feedback workshop for existing teams that I have run with support teams, dev teams, and lead teams with positive results. I’m now sharing it in the hopes that it helps bring people and teams closer together, and improves the collaboration, all across the world*. Feel free to use it as it is, or change it as you see fit. Also please share your experiences with it! :) * With that said, I don’t think it’s wise to run this workshop if you do not have adequate/significant experience from feedback, self-awareness increasing activities such as Johari Window, and facilitation.

  • Feedback

    7 Things To Think About When It Comes To Feedback

    When I worked as an Agile Coach at Spotify, people were surprised to learn that, contrary to popular belief, Spotify was in fact very hierarchical (6 layers from CEO to developer). It was also true that we valued peer feedback and self-management within each of these layers. Effective feedback and feedback training were crucial factors in making sure we stayed lean despite the hierarchy that had accumulated over the years. In one of the feedback workshops I facilitate, participants are asked to discuss “things to think about when considering giving feedback to someone”. The following 7 points are the ones that come up most frequently in these discussions. I’ve long…