Kasia Sikora-Smets

Kasia has been helping people see other perspectives, understand things and feel supported ever since she was a little girl. She has always been incredibly curious about how people think and why they do what they do, passionate about learning, improving and spreading knowledge and good vibes. Her professional path started 19 years ago with teaching IT subjects at university, lit up a few years later after discovering Lean Six Sigma, added Agile to the mix around 8 years ago, and is now slowly expanding into professional coaching. She worked as a Lean-Agile Coach and a Scrum Master in areas like infrastructure, business operations, process design, web development, logistics, CRM, where she helped teams improve, passionate agilists grow in their roles, and managers and directors discover other ways to lead their organisations. If you cannot find her, look for the nearest area with books, instruments or beautiful kimono.

Session: The Failed Agile Coach

For several years I felt like I was failing at making a (significant) difference for teams and people. Am I even doing this Agile thing right? I mean, I can't blame it on circumstances every time... I didn't want to believe that it's really me, but at the same time, I was the one common ingredient! And then something changed. And I changed. And the world around me changed. This is my story, for your inspiration.

Full Description

For the first few years of my Agile career I kept ending up in those non-standard situations: a "Scrum" team of similar-skill specialists, an already overloaded operational team, a product team with no delivery capability, a great team with no mandate to coach their aggressive PO, and some others. I tried going "by the book", experimenting outside, meeting them where they are, teaching, coaching, but I barely saw a dent on the way things were or a spark of interest for more. Each time I would eventually succumb to the feeling of uselessness and become passive, until finally leaving. Even when people would be appreciative of me! I wanted to blame my circumstances, but at the same time I couldn't shake the feeling that I am doing it all wrong. Yet I just couldn't make myself do it differently. I could see all my colleagues making progress, developing, having impact, and I felt stuck... Until I ended up in an environment where my opinion really seemed to matter. Does that mean that it didn't matter before? Or did I simply believe it didn't? That is a very good question. Probably a bit of both. Let me tell you what actually changed, what impact it made on me, and how differently I feel and act now when facing similar struggles again.