Implementing an Agile Mentoring Program (AMP)

Agile Mentoring Program Word Cloud

In Comes the Swarm

How many times have you come in as part of a "swarm of Agile Coaches" to transform an organization and, before you can make a significant impact, funding gets pulled or somebody in the leadership chain decides "Agile doesn't work for us?"

Stop the Insanity

This is often because we're brought in to help a company "do Agile" and not "be Agile." Implementing the mechanics of Agility is easy; changing people's mindsets is where the heavy lifting happens. I've run into this more times than I want to consider, but I'm happy to report that our Agile Transformation Office at Symantec has decided to stop this insanity by implementing an Agile Mentoring Program (AMP). In the first course of this program entitled "AMP Foundations," we use Dr. John Kotter's Accelerate book that features his 8-Step Change Model to focus on the mindset change required to create an environment for Agile to flourish. This program includes a five-part certification process to ensure graduates have the quantitative and qualitative attributes to sustain an Agile Transformation after the "swarm" is gone.

Our Agile Mentoring Program is the professional 'shot in the arm' that I've needed for years in my career.
-- John Gonzales, ScrumMaster

We're Getting AMP'd!

"Mentees" in our AMP are very excited about the program and consider it a terrific professional development opportunity. There are six "tracks" ranging from Agile Team Facilitator (e.g., ScrumMasters) to Leadership roles. For the first course in the first track, we use concepts from Dan Pink's Drive book and video, Lyssa Adkins' Coaching Agile Teams book and, again, Kotter's Accelerate book and go through the material in weekly one-hour sessions. Each of the sessions consists of four parts:

  1. Talking Points to emphasize key ideas from the chapter readings and industry
  2. Quiz over the weekly reading
  3. Lean Coffee Topics to focus on real-world situations our Mentees are facing
  4. Next Steps to note when we'll meet again and what chapter to read for the following week

How about You?

Have you implemented something like AMP at your company, too? Or, maybe you would like to implement AMP at your company, but don't know how to start? Either way, I'd love to collaborate with you to show you what we've found that works well and was has not. You can hear about this in person at one of our upcoming conferences or meetups and can see our schedule of those speaking engagements by checking out this article, "Ready to Have your Agile Transformation Rocked?" You can also schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with us using our AI Assistant by clicking here.

Paying It Forward,



Are you tired of just checking off the box for "doing Agile" and not "being Agile?" Talk to us.

Brian Wills is a creative and insightful leader, focused on helping others build their careers. He is the President of MaxAgility Corporation which has this mission: "We are uncovering better ways of producing valuable, working Agile Transformations by doing it and helping others do it through the Agile Mentoring Program (AMP), a self-organizing, cell-division framework."

His experience has spanned from the High-Tech industry in Silicon Valley to Global Finance in NYC. He does interviews and enjoys speaking on the topics of Agile Transformation as well as Culture Change ranging from an industry conference format to one-on-one mentoring sessions.

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