Sunday, February 8, 2015

Are agile trainers agile?

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of people out there who will train you to do Agile (and some will even try to convince you to be Agile). Some of them are certified, some are not. How many of them apply Agile to their own profession? I believe the answer is "not many," and I have realized that I was not one of them. This a-ha moment help me refine the purpose of my CST mentorship program.

When people say "Agile", most people are referring to the four values of the Agile Manifesto. While these are important, I believe the fundamental definition of Agility is contained not the four values, but the first statement: We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. (emphasis added).

I don't develop software, I train people to do Scrum. Actually, I like to believe I enable them to turn their current project into their best project ever, so maybe this "training Scrum" is too limiting. Hmm... let's not go overboard just yet! So what would my manifesto look like? Here is the first draft:
We are uncovering better ways of teaching Scrum, by doing it and helping others to do it! -- Peter Stevens
This has become the overarching goal of my CST Mentorship idea. Not just to get you through the TAC, but to create a community of like minded Agile trainers, who help each other to become better trainers, and help others to do the same.  It is no longer just a CST mentorship program, but a CST Mentoring Network.

P.S. I went looking for trainers who are active and transparent about mentoring. I have only found two (including myself):

Does anyone else belong on this list? Please let me know!


Adrian Christen said...

Dear Peter

Thank you for clarifying "agile" vs. "Agile"! As Jurgen Appelo has written in his splendid book "Management 3.0" [1], there is a difference between "agile" and "Agile" and even further while doing "Agile" (software development) you aren't "Agile" - I think :)!

For me, "Agile" is a lot more (!!!) then "doing" scrum, doing "continuous delivery" or what ever "sh*tt*-cool-newbie-thing" you can read or talk about in the context of "Agile". It's something which goes way deeper into your personal behaviour or personality - I think!
And exactly this makes it so hard to live or to explain. (Too) often you can here people say: "Ou hey, I read this awesome book 'The Scrum Guid' - let's do it!" or "Ou hey, I read this 'Management 3.0' thing: let's be Agile!". And for sure I hear too much "Ou hey, I know how, then finally I succeeded the SM certificate." (sorry for that, Peter).

Because of that I'm really interested in your effort creating a network concerning the "Agile"-thing. Maybe we/you look also over the border of the "scrum"-part and have an eye on the "Agile"-lifestyle (or how ever you want to call this "f*ck*ing-sh*tt*-cool-newbie-thing" - LOL!) like "Agile values" and "Agile principles"? If so: I'm in!


Peter said...

Dear Adrian,

The longer I have done Scrum training, the more I have discovered the essence of both Agile and Scrum.

The CSM certificate (or any other piece of paper from the noble and not-so-noble competition) is but one step in a journey. In each step you realize what you did wrong before. I know that's been my case. Inspect and Adapt. We are uncovering better ways...

The Scrum Breakfast Club is about learning. (Yes, it's also about getting the next piece of paper, but, well, employers value paper. What can you do?) I hope you will join us for a workshop soon. I am still working on the Agile training concept. I'd love to hear from you offline if you'd like to talk further!

Cheers, Peter