Bringing Calm to the Busy

Photo by Kristina D. C. Hoeppner

Photo by Kristina D. C. Hoeppner

In coaching 20+ agile teams, I've found myself struggling to keep a sustainable pace, but I had an "a-ha" moment a month ago--coaches need to build slack time into their calendars.  Each morning I looked at my calendar and saw my time double- and triple-booked; I tried to visit 6-8 teams each week and found myself nearly running from one conference room to another.  Sitting in a sprint planning meeting for Team A but still thinking about the grooming session I just saw with Team B--yikes!  My brain was becoming a blur as thoughts of dysfunctions I noticed swirled around, and I wasn't giving myself time to really think about what I was observing and discuss my observations with the teams.  It was tiring.  Exhaustion is not a status symbol.

The goal is not for me to stay busy--quite the opposite, in fact.  The goal is for the agile teams and organization to become mature enough to sustain themselves without me, and the way I can help that happen is by being fully present with the team when I am with them.  I allot myself time between meetings so I can gather my thoughts and even have conversations with team members that aren't rushed.

I no longer want to belong to the cult of the busy.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.