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That first introduction…

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

You’re an agile coach and get assigned to a team to help them improve. You know very little about the team or the challenges they’re facing. You’ve never met them before.

You go to your introductory meeting. It turns out that this is the first time they’ve heard that they need help. They’re suspicious and wary, they’re wondering why they need your help and what they’re doing wrong.

Now what? You’ve got 30 minutes to make a good impression.

The first thing I do is to guarantee that this introductory meeting is in confidence. They should feel free to ask frank, open and often blunt questions as they think of them.

I let them know that I’m here to offer a different perspective. I’ve worked with a variety of teams and organisations. I’ve seen many ways of working, not all of which are orthodox. I’m happy to share these with them and I look forward to experimenting and learning with them.

If they’re open to it, I’ll start by observing their meetings and agile ceremonies. I’ll listen to their thoughts and ideas and we can work together to improve. At every stage of the improvement we’ll agree what information stays within the team and what gets shared with stakeholders.

In my experience, this approach helps me and the team set up for success.

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