Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is a passionate agile practitioner from the Netherlands with years of experience in distributed teamwork. He works as a professional Scrum Master at Hiper, and as an independent workshop facilitator. A former front-end developer and occasional quiz master, Thomas divides his time between Amsterdam and Kaunas. He is the co-founder of Agile Camp NL and his weekly Scrum/facilitation newsletter is called  The Backlog.

15:45 - 16:30

28th of October Day 1 - Main Track

Facilitating intentional agility: the role of the facilitator in distributed agile collaboration

For people who are:
“...taking responsibility for making things happen in a team; they can be Scrum Master, coach, dev team member, PO.”

So that they:

  • have better meetings with intent (on purpose)
  • can more easily focus on meaningful agility
  • may use and stimulate situational leadership
  • ask each other ‘why’ more often

Starting point:
When collaborating remotely, perhaps not by choice, it becomes more important to ask each other and ourselves _why_ we’re doing a particular thing. Why we are we having this meeting or event, again? This (to some) newfound existentialist question within the context of work, is an ideal jumping off point to help teams and companies drive towards greater empiricism and agility. You can make use of the level playing field borne from greater uncertainty to re-examine and reinforce your purpose from both a business point of view, and from process perspective.

My talk will cover:

  • How I made use of the explicitly stated “why”-question to help my colleagues be outspoken, and help both the company and the team take one examined step at a time. I’ll share what went terribly wrong and what was a success, so the audience can learn from both.
  • I’ll use my experience starting a cross-functional, entirely distributed, multi-national product team in Corona times; specifically in the context of choices we’ve made as a team and things I’ve noticed were successful from the facilitation point of view.
  • Setting up a team without seeing each other (and what happened when we actually _did_ see each other IRL).