Tag Archive for: facilitation

42 Expert Tips for Hybrid and Remote Work

What is hybrid work?

Hybrid work, in essence, refers to a flexible model of working that allows employees to work from various locations. At its best, it is a supportive model that empowers teams to choose the working arrangement that is most suitable to them. At its worst, it’s a rigid form of pseudo-flexibility that’s more hassle than it’s worth. 

The definition of hybrid work, ultimately, is going to depend on the individual organization. For many companies, it means working from home some days in the week, and working in the office the other days. For us, at agile42, it means working remotely most of the time with occasional onsite days, which are carefully planned and facilitated. On our onsite days, we do not simply proceed with our day-to-day work. We use these opportunities to workshop problems, share knowledge, plan and execute new innovations, or test hypotheses. Importantly, we also use this time to connect socially.  

Need help adjusting to a hybrid setup? Contact us for coaching, mentoring, facilitation, and consulting services. 

It’s about people, not place

In our line of work, we have helped hundreds of companies to create meaningful change, including configuring their remote work arrangements. We have noticed that many people are starting by asking the question, “Where should people work?” This seems like an obvious question to ask, when dealing with hybrid working scenarios, but we would argue that a better question is “How can we humanize our workplaces to better unleash our people’s potential?” 

It is helpful to shift your focus to the people that work for and with you, and to be curious and open-minded about how best you can support them. This is a far more beneficial approach than trying to work out a rigid schedule dictating where and when people must work. 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Is hybrid work really new? 

While some companies, agile42 included, have been offering hybrid or remote working arrangements for as long as they’ve been around, for the vast majority of businesses this is unchartered territory. If this is all relatively new to you and you’re feeling unsure, you’re not alone! agile42 has coached and trained hundreds of businesses through this transition. It comes with a unique set of challenges, but once companies get themselves properly set up for hybrid work, the response – from managers, HR, employees, their families, and even their pets – has been overwhelmingly positive. Reach out to our team if you want to chat about how we can help you. 

Hybrid work vs remote work

Many people use the terms remote and hybrid interchangeably, but they are in fact quite different. Remote work takes place in a location other than a centralized office, such as home, coffee shops, casual workspaces or hubs, or wherever the person happens to be. On the other hand, hybrid work refers to any of a broad range of configurations, in which remote work takes place some of the time but onsite work is also included. 

Benefits of hybrid work

83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model, according to the Accenture Future of Work Study 2021. The same report found that hybrid workforce models are embraced by 63% of high-revenue growth companies.

Hybrid working arrangements have a huge range of benefits. These include: 

  • Cost saving, both for the company and individuals 
  • An increase in efficiency 
  • Higher levels of productivity 
  • A better work-life balance 
  • Improved physical and mental health 
  • A reduced carbon footprint
  • A wider talent pool 

42 tips for hybrid work from personal experience

1. Choose the right reasons to meet in person 

One of the complaints we hear most about hybrid work arrangements is that people feel their time is being wasted. “Hybrid workers complain that they go to the office only to log on to Zoom or Teams only to spend the rest of the day with their headphones on,” explains Regina Martins, director of agile42 South Africa. There is very little benefit to this sort of arrangement, and it’s usually a sign of a leadership team that values control over effectiveness and output. 

A great alternative is to plan onsite days in which all hands are on deck, and the team has a clear goal to achieve. “Sprint change days are perfect days to be in the office”, suggests agile42 coach Birge Kahraman. If you use Scrum, hosting your big Scrum Events such as Retrospectives and Sprint Planning events in-person is a great use of time together. 

Photo by RF._.studio on pexels

2. Agree on the rules of engagement  

“Hybrid introduces the challenges of meeting with people physically and remotely at the same time”, according to Agile coach Giuseppe De Simone. “This may confuse the rules of engagement and make some not feel included. This is why it is extremely important to make rules of engagement explicit and agreed upon by everyone”, he says. In particular, it’s important to focus on rules that ensure everyone has the space and time to share their perspectives equally. This means that we need to have good facilitators that can communicate these rules and make sure that feels safe and included.

“It is also very important to implement a safety protocol that can be ritualized with some gestures so that everyone feels safe to interrupt the conversation and express their need for better rules or more respect for those already in place”, explains De Simone.

Recommended for you: Watch our Humanizing Hybrid Work Webinar

3. Have cameras on 

“Open cameras are good for non-verbal communication”, shares coach Birge Kahraman. It’s a great idea to agree to have cameras-on meetings regularly. But make sure you’re cognisant of how this can affect people too. “It may drain your energy pretty quickly”, continues Kahraman. “Don’t forget to take regular breaks between meetings in order to prevent Zoom Fatigue”.

4. Take regular breaks and make them meaningful 

The importance of breaks is not new: even in traditional office settings it’s crucial to enjoy frequent breaks. For many people, though, it’s much easier to neglect breaks when working remotely. In an office setting, the cadence of the day makes for a natural rhythm, with periods of focus intermingled with breaks. Walking between meetings, stepping out for coffee, or even making small-talk as you pass a colleague’s desk provide your brain with pauses that are extremely beneficial. 

In a home office or remote setup, you have to be much more deliberate about it. Even when people do take breaks, sometimes this means switching to different tabs or rushing around to attend to a family responsibility or housework. While these sorts of disruptions and distractions are inevitable, try to avoid thinking of them as breaks. 

Director of agile42 South Africa, Regina Martins, shared her style of taking breaks, which we think is a great way to ensure you actually allow your mind some downtime. “I’ve created a ritual for taking regular breaks around coffee”, she explains. “ it is a whole-body experience with specific anchors: visual (I’ve set up a coffee station with colorful cups, a milk frother and different types of coffees); auditory (the sound of coffee dripping into the cup); olfactory (the smell of the coffee makes me happy) and gustatory. I love coffee!” 

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

5. Have daily standups or Scrums 

“I find our 15 minute daily calls invaluable”, shares Amy Bridge, agile42 operations manager. “It’s great to connect as a team as well as iron out any issues or questions”. 

Our social media marketer, Emily Stapylton-Smith, agrees: “I regularly check in with my colleague that I work closely with. These catch-ups can help us to understand each other’s priorities and how we can best support each other. They don’t have to last long, but they are a great way to keep us aligned to our goals and working together.” 

It’s a sentiment also shared by Sofia Svanbäck, agile42 Business Relationship Manager, who says “I have found the daily syncs with my team very helpful, and very needed so that you do not feel as alone while in the home office”.

6. Remember that we’re all human 

“What always delights me are team members’ pets or children crashing meetings and giving us an unpredictable, fun, off-topic moment”, shares Agile and Design Thinking coach Dennis Büscher. “Have coffee talks, make jokes and smile when having online meetings and video calls”, he continues, “and create space and time to also talk about the best series you recently watched on Netflix or the hangover you had after the wedding on Saturday”. It’s more important than ever to humanize the workplace, and to find joy in seeing one another as people with rich and interesting personal lives. 

7. Create an environment for asynchronous communication 

“Not everything is urgent”, explains Ebru Yalçınkaya, coach for agile42 Turkey.  “Try to create an environment for asynchronous communication, especially for things that don’t need an immediate reply”. If you can replace a meeting with an email, do so. This is especially important when you’re working across multiple time zones.  

8. Prioritize connections with colleagues  

“When working remotely, we miss out on those quick catch-ups over coffee and other lighthearted conversations that happen when we are in the office together”, explains agile42 social media marketer Emily Stapylton-Smith. “Setting aside some time on a Friday to discuss our weekend plans is a great way to ensure we don’t lose this, or it could be posting a picture of your pet on your Slack channel. These moments matter and can help us feel more connected with one another”. 

9. Solve complex problems onsite 

There are many advantages to working remotely, and many people find it much easier to focus in that environment. However, there are times when onsite collaboration can be an advantage. Coach Lothar Fischmann explains, “I’ve experienced that people talk more to each other when everybody is in the same room, both when coaching clients and internally at agile42. For me this means that meeting onsite is pretty important in all areas where we rely on collaboration, especially when it’s about solving complex problems or interpersonal relations”. This is something we’ve observed many times. As Fischmann notes, “the feedback is always more or less the same: we wouldn’t be able to create so much progress in such a short time as a team, if we were working remotely!” 

Of course, collaboration is entirely possible when working remotely, but if you’re looking for a good time to schedule onsite days, look for opportunities to solve problems as a team. Don’t use onsite days to carry on with day-to-day work. 

10. Set up the best possible workspace 

“Home offices are not real offices and for many people that is a challenge,” explains agile42 CEO Marion Eickmann. But the solution to this is not always to force people into an office. It takes a measured, thoughtful approach from leadership, in which you listen to your teams and come up with solutions that will empower them to do their best work. For some, that may mean having a workspace such as an office available. For others, it could mean flexible working hours to accommodate childcare and other personal responsibilities. 

Leadership should provide as much support and infrastructure as possible. Supply teams with the tools they need for productivity, as well as the equipment they need to do their jobs. If the company is saving costs on office space, consider investing some of that in good quality chairs, headphones, desks, screens, or any other equipment that can make home offices more accommodating. 

11. Unplug after hours 

Another challenge we hear about a lot is that remote workers have difficulty putting boundaries between work and their personal lives. This can have serious consequences, like burnout. “If I leave my PC switched on and logged in, it makes me think that I need to continue working”, shares Ebru Yalçınkaya. “After the office hours and weekends, I sometimes simply turn everything off, pack my laptop away and close it totally, so I understand it is my time to relax”.

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels

12. Move often

“Move!” suggests coach Martin von Weissenberg, “Get out of your chair as often as possible”.  

Developer Santiago Gomez agrees: “For me it is very important to get up from my seat and stretch and walk or look through the window to rest my eyes. Going to the kitchen and drinking a glass of water also helps; if I have the bottle on my desk I tend not to stand up too often”. 

13. Structure your day and create rituals

Suzanne Daly, Team Assistant at agile42, believes that structure is key.  “While working from home, structure your day like you would in the office”, she suggests. “Start at the same time, take frequent breaks (including a lunch break) and finish at the usual time. Personally I find the Pomodoro method works well, particularly while working from home”. 

Coach Ninja Granzow agrees: “build habits to structure the day”, she says, “go for a walk in the morning, have lunch, and find an activity to close the workday”. 

14. Think about how collocation will improve productivity 

“The winners in hybrid working will be those who really think about how – and when –  collocation will improve productivity”, muses Peter Hundermark, mentor at agile42, “Just saying ‘you need to be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays because that’s our new rule’ is not going to cut it.” 

“The main purposes of collocation”, he explains, “are (1) to build and maintain human connection and (2) synchronous collaboration where having the whole human system in the room is important. When planning the collocated part of hybrid working, you should be working to achieve these purposes in each aspect, including who is there, when they are there, and how you use the space”.

Photo by Fox on Pexels

15. Use your calendar to block out time 

When you’re working with colleagues who are scattered, having some transparency and visibility around your calendars is important. But this doesn’t mean that any gap in your schedule is up for grabs. A simple trick to avoid finding yourself overbooked in back-to-back meetings, without any real productivity time, is to use your calendars to reserve time for yourself. This could be as simple as setting your working hours, or you could book an entire day every week as a day for focus without disruption. Regina Martins, director of agile42 South Africa, says, “I find it useful to create space in my calendar for lunch. I book it out as a daily recurring appointment called Sit in the sun and smell the roses.  This makes sure people don’t book meetings during that time. And I actually try to sit in the sun. I don’t have any roses at the moment because it’s winter in South Africa, but the sentiment applies. It’s also a bit of an inside joke with my fellow coaches”. 

16. Do something innovative when you have all hands on deck

At agile42, we host monthly Coach Camps. These began as a knowledge exchange specifically for our coaches, but have transformed into all-hands days of innovation, workshopping, knowledge sharing, and getting to know one another. We do this every month virtually, and once a year we come together in person from all over the world. “Our Coach Camps are completely enlivening”, shares digital marketer Lauren Edwards, “It’s a huge injection of passion and energy: we drop our day-to-day tasks for a day or two and just dedicate ourselves completely to collaboration and innovation. I only see most of my colleagues about once a year in person, and I am so grateful that this is how we use that time together”. 

Sofia Svanbäck, agile42 Business Relationship Manager, agrees: “I have also appreciated that we meet with the whole company at our internal Coach Camps – they bring us together as a group”. 

Need help planning or facilitating collaboration days? Get in touch, we can help! 

17. Make sure everyone is remote (or onsite) but not a mix 

“Having some people together in a room and others joining remotely creates a big disconnect”, shares Berlin-based coach Simon Sablowski. Sablowski has years of experience with facilitation, and some of the key principles behind facilitation shed light on why this is the case: 

  • Help people move through a process together
  • Include all participants and ensure equal participation
  • Never take sides and always maintain neutrality

These simply don’t work in a hybrid setup, says Sablowski: “Usually one of two things happens: Either the discussion takes place in the room and individuals joining remotely are disengaged and at best listening to the conversation, or the people joining remotely compensate for not being present in the room by trying to dominate the conversation. A hybrid setup hinders people from moving through a process or reaching their goal together. Equal participation is almost impossible. It takes a lot of willingness, discipline and practice to make it work. Facilitators struggle with maintaining neutrality because it’s more natural to take sides with those that are not included in the conversations as much as others. Therefore, we should stick to the principle: If one participant joins remotely, all join remotely”. 

18. Accept that people’s home lives might mingle with work more 

It can be frustrating when distractions from people’s daily lives creep into work. In an office setting, everyone is dealing with the same circumstances. But in remote or hybrid setups, there may be someone with a screaming child, another person with a cat in front of the camera, someone dealing with a neighbor’s drilling, and yet another person with connectivity issues. “Keep calm if there is some family noise or background noise in Zoom meetings”, suggests Sofia Svanbäck, agile42 Business Relationship Manager, “because they are a part of our new normal when it comes to remote work”. 

19. Assign clear ownership of tasks 

“One tip I would give is clear ownership of tasks”, advises Team Assistant Suzanne Daly, “Our team regularly reviews our workflow and decides who will take care of what tasks. This ensures each member of the team knows their role and responsibilities. It also ensures that I know that the tasks assigned to other team members are taken care of and I don’t have to worry about them. For vacation, we then decide who will take care of tasks for those who are away so they can relax while they are out of office and know the tasks are taken care of during that time”.

20. Build relationships 

“No real teamwork is possible without building true human relationships”, cautions coach Giuseppe De Simone, “Having a group of people truly working elbow to elbow requires meeting in person from time to time, just to build those connections”. And while the occasional offsite holiday-style meetup is great, it’s not enough. This form of in-person meetup creates an artificial environment, says De Simone, “Working on real stuff, collaborating and maybe even fighting… This will help create the relationships that will allow every individual to recognize that face behind the camera not as a stranger, but someone they had a shared experience with”.

21. Ensure trust exists among your team 

Trust occurs when team members are able to be vulnerable with one another and are willing to admit their mistakes, weaknesses or needs for help.  Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is impossible. This is even more important when working remotely. It’s very easy for people to become isolated, to avoid asking for help, and to let problems build up until they become unmanageable. 

Need help building trust and fostering a safe-to-fail culture? Our OrgScan tool is the perfect starting point to help you understand the status quo, and then make meaningful changes. 

22. Focus on outcomes not hours 

If you’ve installed time-tracking software on your team’s PCs, you’re definitely doing it wrong. Time and again, we see managers and leadership teams counting the hours worked, as if this means anything. It simply doesn’t, in the modern workplace. Focusing on the number of hours spent at a desk has proven negative effects, like presenteeism (working while sick or otherwise impaired) or the so-called “quiet quitting” (employees doing the bare minimum to meet the requirements of their roles). In our years of consulting, training, and coaching, we have seen immense improvements in productivity, work-life balance, and job satisfaction when the focus is on outcomes instead. 

Some industries have billable hours, like legal firms and consultancies, and in this instance time-tracking is necessary. However, outside of this, there is no good reason to focus on how many hours your employees are putting in.  

23. Lean on your company culture

Hybrid and remote working arrangements are a sure-fire way to expose problems with your organizational culture. The problems created by a bad company culture are exacerbated when you’re not all in the same room. 

This is a great time to adapt, and to introduce Agile frameworks that can carry you through with great success. For instance, leaders who are adaptable and have experience with various leadership styles will notice that they don’t really need to make drastic changes when switching to remote. Leaders who previously got by on control, on the other hand, will notice things falling apart fairly quickly. 

In a culture of trust, autonomy, and respect, where teams feel safe and confident to make decisions, remote workers can truy thrive. If the culture is such that the team is afraid to make decisions and take initiative, on the other hand, there is likely to be a lot of confusion and delays.

Want to measure and improve your organizational culture? That’s what our Organizational Scan™ is for. 

24. Have frequent retrospectives 

“Frequent retrospectives (especially initially) can help to ensure everyone in the team agrees with the workflow, and more importantly their personal workload”, says agile42 Team Assistant Suzanne Daly. Retros are always important to make sure everyone’s on track, but in a remote or hybrid setup, they are more important than ever. They give everyone a chance to share the issues they are struggling with. 

25. Reduce waste 

Hybrid and remote work offers many opportunities to reduce waste, and you should take advantage of these. If you’re part of leadership, consider whether you can save costs on office rental, perhaps by renting a room once a week or once a month instead of every day. 

Consider the way you schedule meetings, too. It might be tempting to meet more often when colleagues are not in the same room, especially if there is a lack of trust or structure in the team. But this shouldn’t be necessary and can cause a lot of wasted time. 

Commuting can also be attached to waste. If you’re commuting less often, you are saving plenty of time and money.

26. Adapt your leadership style

Agile leadership is the ability to be flexible, use different approaches, and adapt to the context and the people involved. Because of this dependence on context, expectations and relationships, there are no leadership behaviors that are inherently positive or negative in and of themselves. Rather, there are leadership behaviors which are more or less appropriate within the context. 

As an example, some leaders might try to make sudden changes to their leadership style when teams aren’t onsite. They may begin to be more directive, hoping to hang onto a sense of control. For teams who are used to having more autonomy, this can be highly frustrating. On the other hand, leaders may suddenly be less involved, and let teams get on with their work without interference.  For teams who are accustomed to being told what to do, and when, this can be a very stressful change. 

When leaders understand their teams and use leadership behaviors that align with the needs of their teams, this is known as coherent leadership. 

27. Support one another 

A Stanford study showed that workers are 13% more productive, on average, when working from home. This is attributed to a lack of commute and distractions. However, it comes at a cost, and loneliness is a very real challenge for many people. It’s much harder to recognize when people are struggling when they’re not in the same room, so it helps to make a point of checking in with one another regularly.


28. Invest in tools and support structures

In a hybrid work environment, there are different priorities and your budget should shift accordingly. Invest in making it easy for your teams. Listen to your team’s needs, and then invest in the tools, infrastructure, and resources that will meet those needs. The tools should work for you; you shouldn’t work for the tools. 

29. Reap the benefits 

There are many benefits to hybrid working, so remember to take advantage of them. “I am grateful every day for how much time I get to spend with my elderly dog, and how I can use the time I used to spend commuting for exercise instead”, shares Digital Marketer Lauren Edwards. “It’s been important to make sure I log off at the end of the day and enjoy the improved work-life balance hybrid work offers me”. 

30. Let go of control 

Many leaders have struggled to adjust to hybrid working arrangements. In most cases, this is a result of leaders being accustomed to control over their teams. Hybrid is a great chance to work on letting go of control, managing flow rather than people, and encouraging teams to self-organize. If you need help with this process, agile42’s coaches have decades of experience and can coach, mentor, or train your leaders and teams. Contact us to find out what we can do for your teams. 

31. Bring new people on board onsite 

“Onboarding is easier face-to-face”, explains CEO Marion Eickmann. When you bring on new team members, try to do so in-person. It helps new team members to settle in and meet their colleagues, in a low-pressure way. If this isn’t possible, try to set up “coffee chats” to meet new colleagues, or arrange an in-person day for the near future. 

32. Nurture talent 

The popularity of hybrid and remote setups has put us in a unique position. Many barriers have fallen away, giving companies access to top talent like never before. Location is no longer as much of a barrier, so the pool of candidates has expanded. More accessible workplaces also reduce barriers for those with health issues and disabilities, resulting in more diverse and more inclusive workplaces. This makes it possible to find and accommodate the best possible talent for the role. 

33. Limit context switching 

Context switching, very simply put, is switching between tasks. This is something that is required in most jobs: you have to be able to change between meetings and different kinds of tasks. But many of us have felt the negative effect of too much context switching: when you’re flicking between tabs so much it feels like you’re getting nothing done, or when you’ve jumped from meetings to tasks and back so many times you’re completely exhausted. Our brains simply aren’t capable of this degree of context switching, and this can lead to burnout. “Have regular short breaks”, advised coach Ninja Granzow, “and make sure you balance appointments, interactions, and things to do alone”.

34. Invest in training and development

If you’re finding that the budget stretches a little further without paying for daily office space, consider investing this in the people that make up your company. An Organizational Learning Program is a great way to help your teams learn new skills that they can bring to the table. 

35. Make use of freed up time 

Many people have found that spending less time in an office has brought them greater work-life balance, and opened up a great deal of free time. Our advice is to use this time doing things you love, or spending time with the people that matter to you. Don’t be tempted to work longer hours or get stuck in front of your screen, Log off on time, and do things that bring you joy outside of work. 

36. Give feedback 

In person, it’s fairly common to walk over to someone to handover a project or submit a piece of work. This means we’re more likely to get regular, consistent feedback. When communication switches to virtual platforms, it can be easy to lose this. If using platforms like Trello, handovers and submissions can begin to happen almost wordlessly, with only automated notifications. Try to schedule regular feedback sessions and make time to give and receive feedback. Sprint Reviews fill this role well if using Scrum.

37. Communicate well 

“Clear and consistent communication with team members is so important”, says Team Assistant Suzanne Daly. “Having multiple ways to communicate is useful so your Team always feels accessible. But make sure you have working agreements on how to use certain forms of communication, so that information is not lost”.  

38. Work on a synchronous schedule 

These days, it isn’t uncommon for teams to be working from various countries. If your business has a global footprint it’s a huge advantage to have a presence across time zones. However, it can make collaboration difficult. Try to ensure that team members overlap, at least by a few hours, where possible. In most cases, even an hour or two is enough to make sure there is frequent communication.  

39. Meet in person occasionally even if your work is fully remote 

“Over the pandemic this was not possible”, says Office Manager Suzanne Daly, “but meeting in person even infrequently is good for team members. It’s a chance to socialise and talk about non-work things”

40. Make mentorship accessible 

One thing that comes more naturally in an office setting is mentorship. It can be much more challenging for younger, less experienced team members to reach out for help if they have to do so through digital communication. Acknowledge this, and try to set something up that works for your teams. Perhaps you could do monthly or weekly workshops or knowledge sharing sessions, or you could set up a formal mentorship programme. 

Photo by nappy on Pexels

41. Make your workspace work for you 

“Music!” says  Regina Martins, director of agile42 South Africa. “I work well with music… so I do!” 

And it’s not just about music. Choose to make your workspace work for you! On your remote days you have the chance to make your workspace whatever you want it to be. Maybe you like the temperature set low, or loud music, or maybe you prefer absolute silence. It’s a unique chance to set up the space that works for you, without having to consider colleagues. 

Photo by seyfi durmaz on Pexels

42. Don’t replicate existing bad practices 

If you’re just adjusting to a hybrid setup, or even fully remote, it’s a good time to take stock and improve. Ask yourself if there are redundancies, waste, too many meetings, or other factors curbing productivity and causing fatigue. And if there are, take the chance to do something about it.  

Webinar on the Sprint Retrospective

Webinar | The Sprint Retrospective

In the final webinar of our webinar series on the Scrum Events, we discuss the Retrospective. The Scrum Guide defines the purpose of the Sprint Retrospective as “to plan ways to increase quality and effectiveness”. That sounds simple, but it’s actually one of the more complex Scrum Events. Watch as our coaches, Pascal Papathemelis and Ebru Yalcinkaya, take a closer look at Retros. They start by walking through the basics, like the basic structure of this event and what the Scrum Guide says about it. Then, while interacting with the audience and drawing on their experiences and challenges, they dive deeper, covering useful formats, common pitfalls, and some tips for making this event truly enlightening and productive for your teams.

Read and Watch

How to Facilitate a Sprint Review

The Sprint Review is an opportunity for the whole Scrum Team to stand in front of their users, stakeholders and customers and inspect and adapt the Product. It takes place at the end of the Sprint. The meeting should include an overview of the state of the product in terms of progress, budget and next steps. Usually, there is also a hands-on demonstration of the actual product. The users and stakeholders provide feedback, and then the developers incorporate relevant feedback into the Product Backlog.

What is a Sprint Review?

The Sprint Review is the third one of the Scrum Events that takes place within a Sprint. The purpose of a Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. It takes place on the last day of a Sprint, and is timeboxed to a maximum of four hours for a one-month Sprint.

Online Course Facilitating Scrum

What does the Scrum Guide say about the Sprint Review?

The Scrum Guide defines the purpose of the Sprint Review as a chance to “inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations”. 

The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.

During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted to meet new opportunities. The Sprint Review is a working session and the Scrum Team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.

 – The Scrum Guide, 2020

Who should attend the Sprint Review?

The Sprint Review should be attended by the whole Scrum Team (Product Owner, Developers, and Scrum Master) as well as the customers, stakeholders and users. 

What is the purpose of sprint review?

According to the Scrum Guide, “the purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations”. This is the key purpose of the event, and should be the focus. There are, however, a few other purposes and benefits to the event. Firstly, it enables you to improve your responsiveness to customers or users. Secondly, it helps with quality assurance, since your whole team and various other stakeholders will be present to inspect the product. Finally, it can help with team cohesion, as it’s a chance to get together and run through the various successes and challenges of the Sprint. 

Sprint Review vs Retrospective

Since both events involve inspecting the completed Sprint and adapting for the future, some people get the two events confused. However, there are some key differences: 

  • The Review is attended by the Scrum Team, stakeholders, and users, while the Retrospective is exclusively attended by the Scrum Team; 
  • The purpose of the Review is to improve the product, while the Retro is more focused on improving effectiveness;
  • The Sprint Review is timeboxed to a maximum of four hours for a one-month Sprint; while the Retro is expected to take less than three hours; 
  • The Sprint Review takes place on the last day of the Sprint, while the Retrospective takes place thereafter. 

Tips to improve your Sprint Review

  • Consider it a chance to collaborate with stakeholders (not just a demo)
  • Get real users to give real feedback
  • Collect the feedback (but don’t act on it yet)
  • Create the right scenarios and focus on storytelling
  • Have a vision (the “big picture”)
  • Manage the backlogs
  • Don’t throw your PO under the bus: nothing should be a surprise for them
  • Let the team take charge

Sprint Review agenda

Below is a sample agenda or structure, which we use at agile42. 


The SM, who acts as a facilitator, introduces the event by welcoming the participants. They explain the purpose of the meeting to the participants which can include users, stakeholders and customers. Then they show the agenda for the meeting. (5-10 min)

Inspection phase

The PO takes the lead and provides an overview of the state of the product in terms of progress, budget and next steps. They remind everyone of the Product Goal and describe the Sprint Goal the Developers were trying to achieve. (10 min)

The PO leaves the stage to the Developers to demonstrate the Increment. This is not a PowerPoint presentation of what the team has done, but a hands-on demonstration of the actual product. Usually Developers will go through the scenarios described in the acceptance criteria of each PBI. Some teams even let users or customers try the product themselves, while the Developers and the Product Owner observe how they interact with the Increment. (30 min)

The Scrum Team collects feedback on the Increment from all invited participants. (15-30 min)

Adaptation phase

Users, stakeholders and customers might leave the meeting at this point, while the Scrum Team continues with a working session to incorporate relevant feedback into the Product Backlog. Should the feedback be related to something which does not impact the upcoming Sprint, they can simply take notes to address the feedback in one of the upcoming Product Backlog Refinement sessions. However, if the feedback potentially affects the next Sprint Goal, the Scrum Team will perform a quick Product Backlog Refinement session during the Sprint Review to get ready for the upcoming Sprint Planning. (30 min)


The Scrum Master thanks the participants for their contribution and officially closes the event. (5 min)

Webinar: The Sprint Review

Webinar | The Sprint Review

In this webinar, we discuss the Sprint Review which is the most challenging Scrum Event according to our community. The symptoms are subtle and the causes deep: teams often fail to invite real customers, or they don’t know how to solicit and manage feedback. Our hosts, Dennis Büscher and Martin von Weissenberg, have facilitated, hosted and coached hundreds of Sprint Reviews, and in this webinar they share their insights, tips, and tricks with you. They begin with the basics and go over what the Scrum Guide says about the Sprint Review. Then they go a step further and share some of the most common pitfalls they’ve seen, as well as discuss best practices for getting the most out of this event. The webinar ends with a Q&A with our live audience.

Watch Now | Sprint Review Webinar

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Meet your webinar hosts

Martin von Weissenberg is an experienced enterprise-level agile coach who believes that with the right leadership approach and change management tools, organisations can learn to change themselves in a structured and sustainable way. He has worked across the software industry for over 20 years, in startups as well as multinationals. Since joining agile42 in 2012, he has helped a large and diverse number of clients. These include organizations such as Siemens, ABB, Swedbank, Helsinki University, as well as countless shorter training and coaching engagements with companies in the banking, media, educational, telecom and marketing industries.

Martin is always interested in learning new things. So much so that he is currently completing his PhD on how to organize and lead for agility. This coupled with his empathetic and engaging nature, makes him well suited to drive transformations for both teams and larger organizations.

Dennis Büscher comes from a legal, agile project management, and human-centred design background. For more than three years, he has been coaching various companies and institutions in the fields of design thinking and legal design. Dennis worked at the HPI Academy as a project manager and coach for digital transformation and innovation training. Since 2021, Dennis has been a coach at agile42, supporting companies and organisations in the field of agility. He aims to drive innovation and empower teams through his user-centric approach and with the meaningful application of technology.

Browse the agile42 Agile Certifications

Facilitating Scrum online courses

agile42 offers Scrum courses, as well as:

Webinar | Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning sets the tone for the entire Sprint. It is absolutely crucial to ensure that this is done properly, because any issues you run into at this stage will have a knock-on effect throughout the entire Sprint. Birge Kahraman and Paul Bultmann have helped many organizations and teams establish Scrum Events and run them with great success. During the webinar, they outline what an effective Sprint Planning Event should entail, and guide you through the practical steps involved in facilitating one. They also share what works well in Sprint Planning, as well as a few traps to avoid, before opening the floor to some listener questions.

Watch now | Sprint Planning Webinar

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Meet your webinar hosts

Birge Elif Kahraman started her career in 2009 and worked as a project manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach. Before joining agile42, she coached various teams and companies in Telecommunication, Finance, Ecommerce, and Service domains. Birge supports teams in analyzing their impediments and reflecting on the next steps, creating a trustful environment where they can communicate and collaborate. She has a data-driven and pragmatic approach, which helps her tailor her coaching unique to the company culture and the reality of the teams.

As an Agile coach, Paul Bultmann wants to make the world a better place to work. He believes collaboration should be easy, fun and structured to be successful. For the past 10 years he has worked as Leader, Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Trainer and Project Manger. His passions and skills include Organisational Change, Agile Transformation and Team building.

Browse the agile42Agile Certifications

Graphic: Sign up for our facilitating Scrum Course now

agile42 offers Scrum courses, as well as:

Daily Standup

How to Revive Your Daily Standup

The daily standup is a fundamental part of Scrum rituals, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. At agile42, we’ve been coaching organizations to facilitate these Scrum events for 15 years. We’ve guided hundreds of teams towards making these 15-minute sessions stand out as a useful, valuable, and enjoyable event. Here’s our guide to what a daily standup actually is, along with some of our tried-and-tested methods to bring life back into the daily standup. 

Recommended online course: Facilitating Scrum

What is a daily standup?

The daily standup is a 15-minute meeting that takes place every day. Although the meeting is not exclusive to Agile methods, it’s an integral part of many Agile frameworks and methods including Scrum, Kanban and XP. 

Daily standup vs Daily Scrum

While the terms “daily standup” and “Daily Scrum” are used interchangeably, there is technically a difference. The Daily Scrum is how it is referred to in the Official Scrum Guide and makes up one of the five Scrum events. The daily standup is a more general term for a quick 15-minute catchup, used in Kanban and other settings outside of a Sprint.

Why is a daily standup meeting important?

It is important to understand the purpose of the daily standup, so that you can make sure this Scrum event is a good use of everyone’s time. The two key purposes of a Daily Standup are: 

  • to agree as a team on how to deliver the most value in the next working day; and
  • to inspect and adapt the sprint plan if necessary, in order to deliver the most value in the sprint.

If you’re having trouble keeping your daily standups, it also helps to remember the Lean and Agile principles that guide these events: 

  • Focus on outcomes over output (or results over activity)
  • Focus on priorities
  • Emphasize team ownership of results over individual assignments

Daily Standup Meeting

Photo by Parabol

How to run a daily standup

The standard format for a daily standup consists of each team member answering three questions: 

  • What did you achieve yesterday? 
  • What will you achieve today?
  • What impediments are in your way?

This format is used widely with varying degrees of success. While it is the original, traditional format, you don’t have to use it if it doesn’t work for your team. Each team has its own needs and preferences, and as long as you’re focusing on what’s important – like communicating, prioritizing, and managing the flow (not the people) – you can change the format to better suit your needs. The traditional three-question format can also really easily devolve into a mere status update meeting, failing to achieve the purpose of the daily standup and failing to embody its principles. If that’s happened to your dailies, you may need to find a way to revive your standup. 

How to revive your daily standup

If your daily standups have turned into status updates, your team is disengaged, and you’ve lost touch with the principles of Scrum that guide the concept of these meetings, you’re not alone. Many organizations have difficulty running effective standups, and their teams feel like they’re not an effective use of their valuable time. If the team is not finding the meeting useful, you need to find the root cause and fix it. Here are 10 ways you can bring life back into your daily standups, and reap the benefit of this crucial Scum event. 

Think of it like a sports huddle 

Jeff Sutherland, one of the creators of Scrum, says “The idea is for the team to quickly confer on how to move toward victory—i.e., complete the Sprint.” It may help to think of it like a huddle before a sports game: the team comes together to re-energise, encourage, and strategies for the day. It’s not a chance to chat about training schedules, travel expenses, discuss goals for the year, introduce new players, or any of the other concerns a team might have. It’s a quick, razor-focused strategy session for the match they are currently playing. 

Ask the right questions

If your daily standups are not working well for your team, and don’t feel like a good use of their time, it’s important to discover the root cause of this. Get someone from the team to observe the meeting and think about the following questions, to guide them to the cause of the concern: 

  • Situation: Does the team report to itself or the ScrumMaster? Is the situation presented honestly? Do they have facts and information in front of their noses? Is the granularity right?
  • Focus: Is the goal clear? Is the team focusing on getting the next backlog item done, rather than ensuring everyone has work for the day? Is there a lot of bureaucratic overhead?
  • Speaking: Does everyone get the opportunity to speak? Who speaks most, who is most silent? Do people listen intently or are they just waiting for their own turn? Are people supporting each other?
  • Decision-making: Who makes decisions? Is it one person or the whole team? Do they evaluate multiple options? Are decisions based on facts? If they make guesses, do they go on to validate the decisions before investing time?
  • Language: Does the team have their own “slang”? Does the body language support the verbal message? If you’re running virtual standups, are cameras on or off?
  • Trust: Are they showing respect for each other and for other teams? Are they having fun together? Can they bring up difficult topics? Are they showing courage?

Focus on the work, not the individuals 

The focus of a daily standup should be on stories and priorities, not on any individual’s to-do list or performance. Since you’re talking about the work and flow itself, and not about individuals, it is possible that one team member may speak a few times while others may speak less (or not at all) some days. This is okay: it is not a status report or a chance to check up on productivity; it is a chance for the team to make sure they have everything they need to achieve the outcomes they have in mind for that day. 

Brush up on your Scrum foundational knowledge

You simply can’t facilitate a standup well if you aren’t well-versed in the principles of Scrum. Consider taking an online Scrum course, to make sure you are being guided by the right principles and practices. 

Online Scrum Courses

Keep it to 15 minutes

The 15-minute time limit of a daily standup is there for a reason. Set a timer, and make sure you stick to it. This keeps the meetings productive, focused, and to-the-point. If other distracting conversations come up during this meeting, you can make a note of them, but do not discuss them now. Which brings us to our next point… 

Use a parking lot to stay focused

Use a “parking lot” for discussions that are too long or do not concern the whole team. You can have a literal whiteboard in the office, or a virtual space like Miro or Trello. When the standup veers off course, and other topics emerge, simply note them down for later and move on. Remember that anyone has the right to call “timeout” on distracting conversations; this is not the job of a leader or Scrum Master. 

Make sure these conversations and concerns don’t get forgotten forever. You can stick around after the standup to continue talking about them, or perhaps set aside a few minutes in your Retrospective at the end of the Sprint or project to do so. You can use a voting system to determine which parking lot conversations to prioritize and analyze. Keep the stand-up focused, finish it on time, and then anyone who needs to continue the parked discussions can do so after the meeting is over. 

Agree on the Scrum Master’s role

It is not essential that the Scrum Master attends this meeting, but it is also allowed, if that works for the team. However, it is crucial that the daily scrum is for team members to connect, prioritize, and plan for the day. The team should be speaking and making eye contact with each other, rather than the Scrum Master (or any single individual). This is a good way to tell if there’s a problem in the way the standups are running.

Agree on the Scrum Master’s role, and what works for your team. Should they attend? If so, should their key focus be to ensure that everyone remains focused and no external people are disrupting the purpose of the meeting? Or perhaps they should simply observe, or be available in case they are needed to help with any particular impediments.  

Change up the format

The traditional three-question format might work nicely for you, and that’s fine. But there are a number of other tried-and-tested formats that we’ve used at agile42 that can boost the effectiveness of the standup, depending on the team. Here are a few examples, suggested by some prominent thought leaders in the Agile community. 

Walk The Board

Jason Yip, Senior Agile Coach for Spotify, uses the “Walk The Board” format for standups. It is a great way to keep the focus on the board. Here’s how the format works: 

  • Gather around your team’s board. 
  • Start with the highest priority story/feature in progress.
  • Ask what we, as a team, can do to get that story done (per our Definition of Done).
  • Ask what is blocking us, as a team, from getting the story done.
  • Repeat steps 3-4 for the next few priority items, up to your team’s WIP limit. 
  • To finish, validate that everyone on the team has been heard and all are focused on the top priority stories.

Kanban Board Daily Standup

Photo by Parabol on Unsplash

The Sprint Goal

Olaf Lewitz, veteran and leader in the Agile community, suggests using a slightly different set of three questions: one that shifts the focus to the team and the sprint goal, rather than each individual’s list. He suggests asking:

  • What did we (as a team) achieve to get closer to the sprint goal?
  • What’s blocking us from focusing on the sprint goal?
  • What do we agree on doing today to make sure we reach the sprint goal?
The Two Plus One Questions

Founder of agile42, Andrea Tomasini, starts his standups by asking each person the first two questions:

  • What have I achieved since last time?
  • What impediments are still in my way?

Based on these answers the team as a whole can devise the best plan for the day. Finally, each individual can clarify her/his commitment to the team’s plan for the day by answering the third question: What do I commit to achieving today?

The Story of the Day

Dave Sharrock proposes a single question, to ensure the team remains razor-focused on the sprint itself. The question is, simply, “Which story will we finish today?”

Use a ball to add dynamism 

If you’re finding your main concern with standups to be that there is low energy and engagement, and you’re sure that you’re using the right format and sticking to the time limit, you can try adding a ball to the mix. Use a stress ball, tennis ball, or really anything you can throw around your workspace (without breaking things).

Once each person finishes speaking, they can throw the ball to the next person to indicate that it is their turn. This can make things a little more lively and fun, and it has the added benefit of keeping people listening and paying attention, since the structure is a little more unpredictable than going in a circle. If your team works remotely, you can use a version of this technique relatively easily. Simply say who you are passing the ball to, and that person can use your video conferencing tool’s “Raise Hand” feature to indicate that you’ve “caught the ball”. As an added bonus, nobody needs to know how good (or bad) your real-life catching and throwing skills are. 

Check the granularity of your tasks 

If you’re finding that your daily standup often runs over the time limit, and they’re defined by impediments, high levels of stress, or not meeting daily goals, there might be a problem with the granularity of your tasks in the first place. The tasks set each day should be achievable in a single day, to match the frequency of the meeting and foster collaboration rather than any kind of competition.

agile42 offers remote Scrum training

We offer Certified Scrum Master (CSM)Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM)Certified Scrum Professional-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO), and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) training, in live remote sessions with our experienced certified coaches. If you need help, coaching, mentoring, or training, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee: What is it and how does it work?

Lean Coffee is a meeting facilitation technique with a simple but effective format. It is structured, with a democratically selected agenda, and the discussion is led by the attendees of the meeting. 

What is Lean Coffee? 

In a Lean Coffee there are generally one or more facilitators, but it differs from a classic meeting format in that it does not have a predetermined agenda or a meeting leader. Instead, attendees suggest topics they would like to discuss, and then vote on these to create an agenda that is completely tailored to the needs and interests  of the attendees. For this reason, Lean Coffee is a great way to make better use of the time available in meetings, and make sure everyone is heard – even the introverts. 

Where did Lean Coffee Start?

Lean Coffee was started by two Lean coaches in Seattle in 2009. According to the official Lean Coffee website, Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith were looking for a way to discuss Lean techniques without traditional, limiting structures. They “didn’t want to start a whole new cumbersome organization with steering committees, speakers, and such. They wanted a group that did not rely on anything other than people showing up and wanting to learn or create.”

These days, there are Lean Coffees all over the world, both in person and online.

When should you use the Lean Coffee format?

Lean Coffee is a great structure for almost any meeting type, but the structure is commonly used for sprint retrospectives, conferences, open days, Scrum events, or even to replace traditional corporate meetings. They are a good choice if you feel your meetings waste time, attendees are disengaged, and the same topics are discussed over and over again with no real progress towards your goal. They also make for great structured networking events, to bounce ideas off other professionals in your industry.

However, there are some situations when using the Lean Coffee format is not appropriate. An example is when setting a meeting about an important topic that needs to be discussed with your team, or when there are crucial updates that require someone to take the lead and share information.  

Lean Coffee Format

The Lean Coffee process is very simple, although it may vary depending on the size, location, and mature of the meeting. However, the basic structure remains roughly the same. 

Lean Coffee Kanban

Image by Parabol on Unsplash

Step one: Participants propose topics 

During the first phase of the meeting, all attendees are asked to suggest topics for conversation. In some situations, this is a complete free flow of ideas, while other Lean Coffees may have an umbrella theme to discuss, such as an upcoming product or a new goal. These topics can be written on sticky notes and placed on a whiteboard, typed on a virtual Kanban board, or put into a virtual list of any kind. This is a time-boxed activity, where everyone is encouraged to contribute. 

Step two: Vote on topics

Once topics, questions, and concerns are collected, attendees have the chance to vote for the topics they feel are most important to discuss. This can be done via virtual polling tools, or simply by drawing a dot on the sticky note in question. The topics with the most votes are gathered and this becomes the meeting agenda. The clear advantage here is that the meeting – by its nature – is structured around topics that attendees are motivated, invested, and interested in. 

Step three: Break into groups and discuss

Once the topics of discussion have been confirmed, each topic is assigned a time limit, and the group is split into smaller groups to discuss them in the time provided. Usually these discussions happen in smaller groups of three to 10 people. In a virtual setting, this would be done using a feature such as Zoom’s breakout rooms, while in person, groups would simply form in small clusters around the space. Smaller groups have been shown to facilitate discussion that has more depth and richness, and they encourage contribution even from the quieter members of the group. This process can be repeated for each topic.

Step four: Discuss key themes and takeaways

Following the breakaway discussions, the group gets back together to share their insights and discoveries. At this stage, the goal is to decide on the key takeaways of the meeting, and (depending on the context) next steps to take. 

Join our exclusive group to learn more 

If you are interested in connecting with like-minded professionals, and picking the brains of some of agile42’s coaches, you can join our LinkedIn group, The Coffee Club by agile42. If you join the Community, you’ll also have access to an exclusive forum with thousands of other agile and leadership experts, special offers and discounts on training, exclusive content, and events.

50 Ways to Wreck Collaboration and What to do About it

What do chickens, defensiveness and collaboration have in common? I think that was a question which certainly peaked our audiences interest. Our latest webinar on “50 Ways to Wreck Collaboration and What to do About it” was a great success. Regina Martins, Mariet Visser and myself, were so pleased to see so many join the session!

As you heard in the last webinar of this series, collaboration is not a team sport - initially! Effective collaboration is key to building strong relationships & navigating the working landscape. Let’s recap what collaboration is. Regina referenced researchers' Vreede, Briggs & Kolfschoten (2008) definition of collaboration as “collaboration is making joint effort towards a goal”. It sounds simple but it is deceptively so. In reality it is not so easy to get right.

Regina explains in her blogpost why she believes collaboration isn't just a learned skill, instead it requires an intimate knowledge of our own defensive behaviours. By being self-aware we can recognise when our behaviour is creating blockers to forming collaborative relationships. During her presentation, she tapped into 50 of these defensive behaviours. Regina ran a poll with the audience on some of these behaviours and it was interesting to learn which of these behaviours were the most common:

  • withdraw into deathly silence
  • sarcasm
  • high charge of energy in the body
  • fast breathing/heatbeat
  • wanting the last word

I think many of us can certainly relate to these.

As a guest in this webinar, Mariet delved into techniques & tips to improve collaboration. She mentions that collaboration is a skill we constantly need to work at and is something which evolves over time. As our context and the people with whom we work shifts, so does how we collaborate.

Our way of working together is not constant and is heavily influenced by our surroundings. For many of us over the past year, our surroundings have shifted from mostly in-person collaboration settings, to having to collaborate virtually. This has subsequently changed how many of our teams operate. - Mariet Visser

It is important to have a good collaborative environment, but how do we create one? Now more than ever before, Mariet thinks it comes down to being really explicit about how important collaboration is to the organization and to the team. These suggestions could act as a good starting point in creating a sound collaborative environment:

  • By creating transparency around what we do and what we want to achieve.
  • Having a shared vision, a shared goal, and collectively planning and executing the work that needs to happen in line with that goal.
  • Co-creating a working agreement with the team.
  • Frequently reflecting with the team on how we're working together to allow for continuous improvement.
  • Pairing on work where possible - this adds perspective & diversity.

You can read more tips and tricks from the blogpost & video of Mariet published prior to the webinar.

We shared some useful links with you during the live session, and I would like to share them again with you here in this post. Let’s start with our upcoming and past webinars, which you can find here on our website. Feel free to share around the recordings with friends/colleagues who missed the live sessions with us. 

We also mentioned our ICAgile Team Facilitation Certification (ICP-ATF) training designed to equip you with the necessary skills to create environments of high collaboration, passionate engagement, and where self-organization thrives. Mariet will be running the next remote training in May - we hope to see you there!

ICAgile Team Facilitation Certification


Stay up to date with all things Agile by following us on LinkedIn and subscribing to our monthly newsletter (scroll to bottom of page to sign up). As mentioned during the webinar, we’re launching our free agile42 Community! Join over a thousand agilists from around the world with a huge diversity of experiences, backgrounds and culture. Expand your toolbox within this unique, remote learning community.

If you missed the live session, don't panic! The recording is available online.
Feel free to watch it again and share with your network.
It is also available on YouTube.


Below you will find the slides. Please also feel free to share around.

We hope you enjoyed the session and that we see you in our upcoming webinars. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us at any time!

How you could accelerate your facilitator journey

Years back when I sought out to work with teams, it was because I was convinced there must be a better way. A better way for us to approach doing the work. A better way that enabled us to openly share our thinking and ideas with one another. And ultimately a better way for us to navigate our way through problems and opportunities together.

I finally had proof of this being a valid conviction when attending CSM (Certified Scrum Master) training. It wasn’t just the concept and the framework that landed for me, it was that I was being taught in an entirely different way to what I’d experienced before – in school, in college, and in the workplace. It was so unlike what I’d grown accustomed to over the years. It was experiential and practical, with a touch of self-exploration.

The environment was somehow designed not only for you to explore the topics that framed the training, you were also exploring your own experiences, thoughts, and beliefs in relation to those topics. I found myself in a constant sea of self-exploration all while engaging and collaborating with strangers whom I’d only just met. Speedily together working at solving for problems and scenarios posed to us. How is it this easy in a room full of strangers? When with my own colleagues, collaboration and taking decisive action remains as cumbersome as herding cats.

What made it so different? How was it enabling such an engaged and collaborative space? What led to a bunch of strangers being able to problem solve together in such a short amount of time? It was the trainers, yes, and more than that it was their facilitation skills! They made it feel so simple and natural, it just worked, and yet it was designed to feel and work that way.

Today I feel honoured to know that I’ve grown capable of designing spaces where learning can thrive. Being able to set the tone for natural engagement and collaboration, even amongst strangers meeting for the first time feels incredible. Knowing that I have the ability to design for how people feel and engage in a space I hold, is both powerful and at the same time scary. Just as I have the ability to influence a space positively, I too have the ability to influence it negatively.

It has taken years for me to cultivate this capability within myself and I wish when I started out on my own journey that there was a course I could have attended to accelerate the rate at which I learnt these skills. So when I was given the opportunity to become an ICAgile Authorised Instructor and teach their ICP-ATF (ICAgile-Certified Professional Agile Team Facilitator) course I went for it.

And yes, while there are some skills that you need as a facilitator which can’t be taught overnight. Skills such as self-awareness and self-management. We’ll teach you how to evolve those skills more explicitly and effectively in the future, all while equipping you with skills which you can directly start to apply on your own.

You will learn about:

  • The mindset and role of a facilitator
  • How to define the purpose and outcomes for facilitation
  • How to design the flow of the process and structure for facilitation
  • How to maintain neutrality and create a collaborative space
  • How to facilitate for full participation
  • How to facilitate collaborative conversations
  • How to facilitate better decision-making
  • How to facilitate Scrum Events
  • Understanding how physical space influences facilitation

My aim in writing this is two-part:

To ignite in you the same need and urge that I had in wanting to enable healthier, engaging, and more creative thinking spaces for people. Beyond that of our every day underwhelming group or team experiences, which I sincerely hope you will oppose and seek to improve from here on out.

And to inspire you to take a small yet powerful step in accelerating your own facilitator journey, by joining us on our upcoming ICP-ATF course, where we’ll help you to grow and develop your facilitation skills and empower you to bring about the same inspiration in others to want their engagements to go from run-of-the-mill to remarkable!

Participants are guaranteed to stay engaged throughout the course, learn by doing, and have fun along the way. Our next course is scheduled for 6 – 9 Jul 2020, from 09:00-13:00 CEST each day.

Click here for more information and to book online.