The Agile Movers & Shakers Interview with Author Mark Kilby
Today’s guest is Mark Kilby. Mark is coaching, teaching and writing books on successful distributed agile teams. (Mark co-authored “From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver” with Johanna Rothman.)
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Agile Movers & Shakers: Mark Kilby’s Interview
- Please describe what you do in 280 characters:
“Organizational coach, author, consultant, community (re)builder, distributed agilist, dad/husband, and habitual collaborator.”
- What brought you to ‘agile?’
“I was noticing how people struggled to collaborate on solutions, and in the early days of agile, I was presented with a new toolbox for collaboration.”
- Why do you believe that being passionate about ‘agile’ is worth your time?
“Collaboration, flexibility, and focus are rare in the early 21st century. Agile helps with all of this.”
- How would you characterize your way of contributing to an organization’s success in becoming agile?
“Help them find and align on their vision and use that as a guide to continually (re)build the organization.”
- What is in your toolbox?
“I’m constantly filling and emptying the toolbox. Some of my latest tools are in my book. The next book will probably focus on facilitation tools in distributed teams.”
- Do you believe in removing yourself from a team or an organization in the long run? If so, why is that and have you done so in the past?
“Yes, though, I often find it challenging. I get connected to the people. In my latest challenge, I was asked to support nine teams but needed to pull myself up a level to do it. That means very little time for the teams.”
- What has been your greatest success so far, and how did you manage to realize it?
“My kids – they all have learned unique ways of inspecting, adapting, and collaborating. They have taught me much about my coaching.”
- What has been your worst failure so far, how did you contribute to it, and what did you learn from it?
“Not finding the right language to use with an executive. I would suggest many solutions to what he would ask for, but I didn’t always seek the question behind the question.”
- Finally, what is your magic tool as a coach/trainer or Scrum Master?
- Which newsletters, blogs, podcasts, or Youtube channels do you follow that deserve more credit than they receive now? Any recommendations?
“Bob Galen’s blogs — Bob shares great pragmatic insights at his rgalen.com blog and the new AgileMoose.com blog where he is more candid. I also recommend the Age of Product newsletter to many as it gives a great summary of the agile community. Just follow John Cutler on Twitter if you want some in-depth insights on product management.”
- If you could recommend only one book on ‘agile,’ which book would that be?
“That’s tough as there is not a good general “intro” book. However, I now have dropped my long list of ScrumMaster book references and just point them to Geoff Watt’s ScrumMaster book. I’ve seen previews of his Team Mastery also, and that will be a gem too.”
- Whom should we interview next?
“Geoff Watts, Judy Rees (and or Olaf Lewitz), Bob Galen.”
- Where can we learn more about Mark Kilby?
Note: If you like to suggest a peer for an interview, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Thank you!
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