Please step through my door and walk in my shoes

I have been part of building, designing, planning systems for eons. I always loved the creative aspect of doing development and getting my application working perfectly so that I could show off my creation to my customers.  Just like a painting or some crockery pot I made at school that I took home to my mom.  She loved my creations and so did my customers.

Over the years, I created different apps for different parts of the companies I worked for.  Promoted again and again.  The more I was promoted the less I was involved in developing the code, and my creativity was more about how I can get a group of people working together to develop an amazing app that delights our customers.

Around 2012 I felt my ability to be creative was limited to creative budgeting or creative scope management and my customers were not as delighted as they were before.  As an IT group we were trapped by the processes, the heirachy, the command and control nature of the company.  Even though we aimed to make our customers first, we had created processes to ensure we “effectively” and “efficiently”  could deliver the project.  Shareholders were first and customers felt like they were second.

Around 2012, I felt trapped myself, always helping my organization do what it needed to do with little thought of what I really wanted to do.  I didn’t realize how much I pushed myself aside to help others and their goals. 2012 brought me hope. Frustrated at how long it took to deliver our projects, how much less we delivered, how much it costed our clients and how we were losing trust with our internal clients something had to change.  Either I had to leave or I had to make a change within my organization.  I love challenges and I was darned if I was going to walk away from this one.  I decided to change.  Not just the organization, me as well.

In 2012, I found Scrum, an answer to my prayers, but I was stumped with a question.  How could I scale it beyond a single team?  To my surprise, due to a snow storm that kept me from flying back to Toronto from Kansas, I  found a very lovely person from Kansas City, a fellow named Nathan who told me how he helped his large finance company train over 10,000 people in Agile in less than 6 months. He was more than willing to talk to me over and over again to help me figure out how I could help my company.  He even volunteered to talk to some of our executives to share his lessons learned.  It was so amazing to find someone so helpful and with experience on how you could take agile beyond a single team.

Supported by some amazing VPs (one from our Digital team and one within the IT Enablement team) we devised a plan to start with 10 teams accross the country.  We went from 10 to 90 teams in 18 months.  Agile adoption went like wildfire.  It was awesome.  To help with supporting the “Agile Transformation Team” we utilized the help of a group of amazingly smart guys from Leanintuit. I am firm believer of this group of Leanintuit folks, a small company of passionate people with Lean and Agile background, helping the community and companies within the GTA. They are authentic and down to earth as I am.   This group is now grown into internationally known coaches, speakers, trainers and authors.

Through our adoption of agile, I became a scrum master, change agent and a agile evangelist.  I loved what I was doing, change was such a challenge for me but it was awesome.  What I also found was something else that I never thought I would.  A great tribe, an amazing community of like minded folks who care about helping people and who also knew that in order to help others you need to help yourself first.  Helping myself first is the biggest challenge and yet most rewarding.  Without the help of my personal coaches, tons of reading, and training I would not have determined what my real true passion and calling was.

I love to help people grow to the fullest potential they can, I love to help teams become high performing “passionate” teams, I love to help the community group and I love to inspire others to change and help others change.  I am an agile coach, I am an agile leader, I am a proud mother of 4 lovely girls, I am a woman with a little girls heart and laughter and I am proud of who I have become.  My journey of personal growth has just begun and I know I have a higher purpose and that is to help and inspire others.