Can you do it on your own?
Let me share a secret with you. Everyone is different, everyone has good days and bad days. But within relatively small variations, people’s performance is limited by the constraints of the system they operate in. Countless researches revealed that motivational speeches and extrinsic rewards have very short-lived (or even negative) impact in people’s performance.
To improve dramatically, you need to actively develop people, leverage everybody’s insights, and work relentlessly on the design of the system for doing the work.
Lean & Agile software development requires new management practices, new approaches to requirements, new ways of getting customers involved in development and new ways for teams to work. Unsurprisingly, many organizations struggle and end up wasting a LOT of money. Practices get poorly implemented, watered down and applied out of context.
The odds are against you.
Why do you need a top coach?
For the same reason any top sports athlete or team wouldn’t even entertain the idea of working without one: to improve your performance fast.
And I really mean get a top coach. Despite what you may have seen around, Agile is not about hugging trees and playing LEGO games all day long. You need somebody who brings models, experience and options, who is able to adapt well to your company culture and co-design the conditions that let people flourish and, ultimately, obliterate the competition.
Should you get certified training?
Plenty of newly trained employees go back to their workplace and are unable to make any difference. Heck, plenty of average coaches can’t make a difference and blame people’s resistance to change, management, or existing culture. If you want to do things “by the book”, read the book. I warn you though: it may be the wrong book or the book may not exist. There is nothing standard about what you do inside your organization. It’s all about context and rapid adaptation. Traditional approaches like Scrum are, sometimes, too narrow or simply the wrong tool for the job.
Certified training works wonderfully towards paying the rents and mortgages of the companies and individuals who provide the training. It brings hardly any value to anybody else. They feed an industry who demands it. If you need to develop skills within your context, however, you are out of luck. All they can provide is some awareness and a very basic foundation to some practices.
No freaking 2-3 days Certified ScrumMaster training will do the job you need to accomplish.
You don’t believe me? Think about it. However good the trainer may be, it’s like if you were watching a couple of matches on TV, play with friends a couple of times, and then believing that you can suddenly play at professional level. Oooookay.
But if you are still keen on getting certified in something that looks like Agile, read a couple of books and just go to scrum.org. Do the test online. It’s much cheaper than other alternatives. I’ll wait.
Are you back yet?
Every day you delay getting a top coach you lose money.
Seriously, get a top coach, not a trainer. He’ll embed as much training as needed to get the job done, within the context of your team and/or organization.
While you still think about it, you lose money.
You lose it on each member of your team, on each team in your organization. All these people who don’t perform to their full potential cost you every single day.
I’m well known for my worldwide experience and focus on transformational leadership, Lean-Agile software development practices (Scrum, XP, Kanban), Lean Startup. I’m a fellow of the Lean Systems Society and an international keynote speaker. I do what I preach every day.
I’m an a pioneer in applying entrepreneurial Lean Startup strategies for organizational change (aka Lean Change). I am the inventor of the Popcorn Flow thinking model of continuous change experimentation and the creative force behind A3 Thinker.
The Lean thinking tools I developed are currently used by hundreds of companies worldwide, including Toyota, Spotify, Honeywell, Carl Zeiss Microscopes, Nissan North America, McKinsey, Skype, BearingPoint, J.P. Morgan, and many others.
My passion is to help teams and individuals develop insanely-good habits of thinking and allow them bring the best of their work to the world.