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Planting Seeds...

Last post 02:22 pm September 4, 2015 by Nitin Khanna
8 replies
11:26 am August 12, 2015

Imagine you're wrapping up a 3-month assignment as a Scrum Coach. The focus has been on training and building a great Team, after which the Organization will determine a path forward. The adoption has gone well and the product receiving a lot of visibility.

What would be 1 or 2 things you would do before leaving...?
(Yes its a broad question -- don't overthink it.)

01:53 pm August 12, 2015

1) Train in-house coaches to take over in a tactical coaching role (I'd have started this at the beginning). I generally expect there to be a guild of Scrum Masters at the core.
2) Train an agile governance or PMO function to provide organizational assurance of the Scrum process, both at team levels and at scale. The remit would include Scrum compliance (eliminating Scrum-but), and may include strategic coaching either directly or as an allied function. Again, this is best started at the beginning.

08:58 pm August 12, 2015

As the adoption has gone well and the product receiving a lot of visibility, this is indeed their own experience of success.

Take a photo with the Teams and share the photo to the team. That’s all.

Maybe you can give them your phone number. :)

11:34 pm August 12, 2015

Also try and get a case study out of this, preferably one which allows the client to be named. Ask for permission to do so now while there's a warm glow.

02:42 am August 13, 2015

Hey Nitin,

Well done!

I agree with Ian.
Planting the seed is more than a good experience with one isolated team, it is leaving behind someone (a Scrum Master Guild) to continue the good flow and spread the (correct) agile way.
And the seed needs to be watered to grow. So make sure, the top management understands why the project was successful.

Also you can sell them a follow up project for scaling to the full.
(Or multiple projects, depends on the size of the company...)


05:28 am August 13, 2015

I surely agree with Ian and Sebastian.

But I have a different point of view.

If the timing is before leaving, it is better to emphasize and recall the Team’s experiences of success.
There might be few chance to say training or coaching, especially when the Team just finished a big job.

I think the most valuable gift is your phone number for a new Scrum Team you coached.

If the timing is after leaving, write a letter of thanks to the MO.
Let the MO understand why the project was successful "AGAIN", and don’t forget to mention the outstanding Scrum Team you coached.

06:33 am August 13, 2015

> write a letter of thanks to the MO. Let the MO
> understand why the project was successful
> "AGAIN", and don’t forget to mention the
> outstanding Scrum Team you coached.

That's a good idea. Such a letter of appreciation to one or more key stakeholders, especially if hand-written, is quite likely to be remembered and could help influence future outcomes.

06:48 am August 13, 2015

Well done Nitin! Some great ideas here for you to take away.

I would also help the team create their own metaphor to help guide the team through into the future of turbulent or exciting times - a vision of high performance. The journey never ends ...

02:22 pm September 4, 2015

Thanks for the great feedback, folks!

My apologies for not writing sooner, but here are a few things I did --

+ Was in ample pictures with the Team (there was a paparazzi enthusiast!)
+ Offered my contact information
+ Encouraged and offered a path for formal training
+ Offered availability to HR on anything I could help with
+ Wrote and personally thanked some people who were "Managers" of Dev Members
+ Sporadically checked in a little after I left
+ Left some lightweight material to read
+ Offered my insights to various levels of the organization, including the CTO
+ ...and some other trinklets along the way

I do like the idea of getting permission for a case study. However, a more opportune time may be as the initiative is wrapping up completely.

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