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…

  • 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

    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…