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As a recovering manager

I want to stop solving problems for teams

So that I can enable self-organization…

One of the biggest reasons I failed my first attempt at the PSM-1 assessment was that I had a habit of solving problems I had no business solving. Ken Schwaber taught me three magic words to disrupt the tendency and temptation to solve team problems – “Ask the team!”

Attending Co-Active coaching training with Lyssa Adkins, David Darst, Lottie Martinez and Cynthia Loy Darst taught me 10 coaching questions that I could “Ask The Team”. Here they are…

  1. What do you see happening?
  2. Who is getting impacted? Consider these groups of stakeholders…
    • Customers
    • Users
    • Investors
    • Employees
    • Partners
    • Communities
    • Who else matters…?
  3. How is it impacting our stakeholders…? Consider the dimensions that are applicable to each group of stakeholders…
    • Ethics
    • Quality and technical excellence
    • Value
    • Forecast reliability
    • Responsiveness and time to market
    • Waste
    • Risk exposure
    • Working agreements, principles and values
    • Culture
    • What else matters…?
  4. What would you like to see happen instead? What do you wish for your stakeholders?
  5. What have you tried so far to make your wish come true? How did it turn out?
  6. What’s getting in the way from making your wish come true?
  7. What else might be possible? What else could you try?
  8. What evidence will convince you that what you are trying is working? That it is creating the desired benefits to stakeholders? How would you validate that it is helping your stakeholders? Consider the dimensions that are applicable to each group of stakeholders…
    • Increasing ethical behavior
    • Improving quality and technical excellence
    • Increasing value
    • Improving forecast reliability
    • Increasing responsiveness and reducing time to market
    • Decreasing waste
    • Managing Risk exposure
    • Staying true to our working agreements, our principles and values
    • Improving culture
    • What else matters…?
  9. What are you promising to try next to make your wish come true? By when will you finish?
  10. How will I know you kept your promise? How can I help you keep your promise to yourself? What would you like me to do if you break your promise?

If you are a glutton for punishment 😉 read a longer version – 10 Questions, 1 Belief and 1 Goal: Navigating The Choppy Waters of Self-Organization

Here are some other resources that might also help you…

If you want help, contact us to learn how we might be able to help you put these ideas into practice – Contact us!

Scrum On!

Ravi Verma
Post by Ravi Verma
October 18, 2019
Ravi Verma is a Public Speaker, Agile Coach, Professional Scrum Trainer, Evidence-Based Management Consultant, and Blogger passionate about helping teams recapture the magic of making IT. As the Founder and CEO at Org Whisperer, Ravi blends ideas from the world of Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Organizational Development to develop strong teams and inspiring leaders at all levels of an organization. He recently co-founded his second startup - Al Dente, a platform that helps Agile coaches and organizations empirically improve business outcomes with Agile delivery frameworks like Scrum. 

Ravi has around 25 years of Software Delivery and Consulting Experience, including Agile Enablement for companies ranging from 10 people to 10,000 people. He is able to earn the trust and respect of C-Level executives and help them understand how the application of Agile Principles, Values, and Practices can become a powerful means to achieving sustainable competitive advantage.

Ravi has a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering from R.V.C.E., Bangalore, and a Masters in Entrepreneurship from SMU, Dallas. Ravi received a Certificate in Organizational Development from DePaul University and Linkage Inc. and is an MBTI Certified Practitioner, with a Certificate in Advanced Conflict Resolution from Kilmann Diagnostics. He has also been trained in facilitating workshops for leading organizational change based on the book “Leading Bold Change” by Dr. John Kotter workshops.