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Agile Sustainability
Last Post 14 Feb 2014 04:55 AM by Ludwig. 7 Replies.
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P.Ross
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P.Ross

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14 Sep 2013 05:09 AM
    I’m just wondering how you guys see the sustainability of Agile consulting.

    These days I see a lot of large, small consulting organisations and one-man businesses offering Agile consultancy which I’m sure they’ll do an excellent job.
    An Agile coaches mission (or whatever equivalent titles you know) is to strive for maximizing IT investment of their client by introducing, assist in implementing and coaching organisations in how to be responsive to change.
    One of their many tasks of an Agile coach can be for example train scrum masters, product owners, IT managers etc. Next to that a coach also coach a Scrum teams to be SELF-ORGANISED!
    As an entrepreneur 2 things bothers:

    To be self-organised:
    The feeling that I have is that we’re kind of “digging our own graves”. Once an organisation gets hold of this self-organising factor, they will eventually self-organised their future projects leaving consultants, like Agile coaches, out of business. Sure the whole Agility will evolve, but what I see happening a lot is that companies are slowly investing in their own internal Agile coaches who are continuously up-to-date with the latest improvements.
    Low threshold Scrum master:
    What I notice is that the threshold of being a Scrum master is so extremely low. In other words, everyone can become a Scrum master. I totally disagree though. Finding a good Scrum master is extremely difficult and it kind of frustrates me that after the PSM training everybody think they can be one. I see a lot of projects where they think Scrum master is just an extra role within a project. (for example Scrum master with lead developer) As a result teams doesn’t fully utilize their Agility.

    Joris De Winne
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    Joris De Winne

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    14 Sep 2013 09:06 AM
    Isn't it the main purpose of a coach or consultant to make sure he/she is not needed anymore, and the company can continue without them?

    Regards,
    Joris
    P.Ross
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    P.Ross

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    14 Sep 2013 09:57 AM

    Posted By Joris De Winne on 14 Sep 2013 10:06 AM
    Isn't it the main purpose of a coach or consultant to make sure he/she is not needed anymore, and the company can continue without them?

    Regards,
    Joris


    Coach: no, take a soccer team for example.
    Consultant: yes but there is a slight difference because if you are let’s say an IT consultant (e.g. software developer) your main mission is to make complete the progress which was assigned to you. Hopefully you’ve done your work brilliantly so that when there is another project, the client might consider you again.

    As an Agile Coach that wouldn’t be the case right? If you’ve done your job successfully the client won’t be needing you at all. Sounds like a poor business model to me…

    An Agile Coach isn’t even a formal role within Scrum. In terms of sustainability (and sales), I think we would be better off having Scrum Masters instead of Agile coaches that is focussed on the projects instead of trying to make it self-organised… The only reason why we have Agile coaches is because we got greedy. Instead of doing 1 project from begin till end we create the Agile coach position so that multiple clients can be served at the same time.
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    15 Sep 2013 12:39 AM
    > If you’ve done your job successfully the client
    > won’t be needing you at all. Sounds like a
    > poor business model to me… 

    I suppose you could say the same about the medical profession.

    Personally, whether I'm working as a coach or a Scrum Master, I make it clear from the beginning that my goal is to make myself redundant. Then I can help the next client.

    The industry is many, many years away from no longer needing such assistance. The public sector alone has enough issues to keep us in employment well past retirement.. The question is how many of us can demonstrate the saint-like patience that is so often required.
    P.Ross
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    P.Ross

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    15 Sep 2013 07:06 PM

    Posted By Ian Mitchell on 15 Sep 2013 01:39 AM
    > If you’ve done your job successfully the client
    > won’t be needing you at all. Sounds like a
    > poor business model to me… 

    I suppose you could say the same about the medical profession.


    I don't believe the threshold of becoming a medical profession is that low as the one for an Agile coach. Also in this example there is a subtle difference. Yes a medical profession will need (and should) strive for maximum result. But it would be a bit awkward if the doctor starts telling patients how to be "self-organised so that the patient can start helping other clients as well...

    I'm not sure about the whole "there's enough work". And even if there's enough work now it will get slimmer and slimmer due to the whole self-organised aspect and other Agile consulting organisations.
    Philipp Eisbacher
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    Philipp Eisbacher

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    18 Sep 2013 05:04 AM
    It would be great if doctors would do this: Cook fresh and healthy, do sports with friends and so on. That is self organization to have "no" need for a doctor, and something to share with other clients.

    And there always will be a need for a doctor/coach but it can be used pro-active and not as a fireguard.
    Gabriel_W
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    Gabriel_W

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    13 Feb 2014 08:29 AM
    That is not true. Collaboration is the key to sucess. If you get the right partner, there is no problem
    Ludwig
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    Ludwig

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    14 Feb 2014 04:55 AM
    I'm not sure about the whole "there's enough work". And even if there's enough work now it will get slimmer and slimmer due to the whole self-organised aspect and other Agile consulting organisations.


    I understand your fear, and maybe now you can understand the fear of your client's employees when you introduce change. For instance the guys from the Project Management Office, when you say: There is no such thing as a Project Manager in SCRUM.
    The only thing that helps these guys and you is the following:
    1 Do an excellent job (even if this means making yourself redundant)
    2 Stay one step ahead in knowledge and skills
    3 Communicate about 1 and 2, so people know who you are and what you are capable of
    If you follow this, there will always be more than enough jobs for you.
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