Lost in an Agile World - by Francesca Gorman

My day with Lyssa was definitely an experience I am going to remember for a long time, and throughout the years I’ve worked at Innodev, it has marked a big milestone in my learning journey in the consulting world, particularly in Agile.  

The start of the day was personally the toughest part for me as I had no idea what to expect going into the room, and suddenly I was bombarded with a wave of information and jargon that left me feeling quite lost and very emotional. During the first few exercises and intense discussions between Lyssa and the team, my ability to concentrate and process all of this information that was way beyond my comprehension was pushed to the limit. In fact, it was pushed so much that I started to tear up at one stage, but what stopped me from pouring out and ultimately embarrassing myself was keeping composed and putting my visual facilitation skills to use by jotting down those frustrations on post-it notes. It was my way of just letting it out – and it worked!  

Fran Sketches

The knowledge Lyssa has and how she guided us in the direction we needed to go in, and to help us improve our own personal development was incredibly inspiring. When it came to having some personal time with her to discuss the questions I had for her, she opened up a new world for me, the world of what it means to be Agile and how as someone in a different role to my colleagues can adapt to it.  

One of those questions that she helped me with was when it comes to sharing input with the group and how I often have this filter in my head that stops me from what I want to say. Even during the exercises we did, there were a few other ideas I wanted to share as we went round in a circle, but what was stopping me? My own beliefs. My belief that if I say something, that from another person’s perspective, it would be wrong or somewhat silly and I would be secretly judged. This of course is nothing against the others, this is just how my way of thinking has worked over many years and for me this has been quite an unhealthy communication habit. Ever since the workshop with Lyssa, I’ve been continuing to rid this habit and improve the way I communicate with others. The results have definitely shown especially now that I’m consistently using the app Marco Polo as a communication tool.  

One of the highlights of the day for me was actually watching the (somewhat) heated debate between Alan and Matt which we nicknamed “fight club”. An issue between the two had been ongoing for quite some time and both of them knew that the only way to resolve this issue was to do it face-face under the guidance of Lyssa. I got into the moment so much that I just had to draw out the perspectives from both Alan and Matt and what they thought of each other prior to resolving this conflict. What I learned from watching these two openly discuss their frustrations, is that it’s crucial to engage in conflict in order to resolve an issue that could potentially damage their ability to work cooperatively together in the future. Conflict resolution is also something I want to train myself into and be comfortable with.  

As much as the day was an emotional roller-coaster for myself and my team, I definitely learnt that I am capable of pushing the boundaries when it comes to thinking outside the box and how to adapt in an agile environment more effectively. What I found as well was that as oppose to the morning, it was the end of the day that was the part where I really started getting into the groove of things, and I found myself actively participating in the discussions and sharing ideas, even if they weren’t as sophisticated as the others. I felt a lot more comfortable and in a way safe to be open and honest. 

On top of that, I was able to openly offer my help to the team as their creative design thinker which I’m very proud to be.   

Thank you for reading

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Renae Craven

Renae Craven Prof Pic

Renae has over nine years of experience leading and coaching organisations through their transformation to an Agile mindset, including the establishment of roles, development of cross functional teams and improvement of supporting practices and principles. Renae has also affected organisational cultural change by coaching individuals to adapt to an agile mindset from an individual or fixed mindset.

Renae is a strong facilitator and is passionate about building Scrum delivery teams that can self-organise to achieve commitments and hold themselves accountable for all outcomes.