28 September 2021
Supporting our teams while they learn and grow into our ways of working is a core to our investment in building and supporting our learning culture. Part of the investment is our Agile Coaches who are embedded in our business and squads. They build people’s skills in our working methods, and guide leads through our leadership approach. Our Agile Coaches are a mix of experts with previous experience working in an Agile environment, and team members who have taken on the challenge of this newly created role in our business.
We spoke to Paul Richardson, Agile Coach and Chapter Lead Ways of Working and Change, about his career path, and what an Agile mindset, practices and tools make possible for organisations and their people.
Paul Richardson Agile Coach / Chapter Lead
Paul joined 7-Eleven as an Agile Coach in February 2021 to help our business prepare to transition to new ways of working. He brought extensive experience in Agile Transformation, frameworks and organisational design to the team.
“I started my professional career in technology as a programmer, but I quickly realised I wasn’t as passionate about coding as some of my colleagues, and project management was a better fit. That’s when I was first introduced to agile frameworks, and this way of working really resonated with me. I discovered I had a passion for the Agile values and principles that brought me to coaching,” Paul said.
According to Paul, the benefits to organisations and individuals who embrace the opportunity to think and work differently are compelling.
“The one constant throughout my professional journey has been change. I have seen countless examples of organisations that are more successful because they empower their teams to deliver and evolve their portfolio, products and services to meet changing customer and market demand.
Agile ways of working enable teams, departments and organisations to be nimble and seize the opportunities presented to them in ways that traditional structures struggle to support.”
When it comes to 7-Eleven Australia’s ways of working, Paul says that having the entire organisation make the switch together, begin to learn the practices, and start to evolve and adapt them is exciting.
“It's thrilling that the whole organisation is in this together. Everyone has flipped to this way of working and more importantly the Agile mindset, meaning we’re learning, adapting and evolving together to achieve the best outcomes.
In our ways of working, people are actively involved in business planning. The Quarterly Business Review and Big Room Planning processes have seen the organisation plan at the right level and collaboratively work through dependencies. It has been amazing to witness.”
For people who are used to traditional organisational structures, Paul says Agile methods aren’t anything to be scared of. For him, being able to be part of people growing and learning while delivering at a new level for organisations is really exciting.
“Agile isn't the goal, delivering on organisational objectives is the goal. The key is to not get intimidated by the ‘Agile’ tag, all you need is a growth mindset and a passion for achieving great results through collaboration and teamwork. If you bring those attitudes along with your skills in your craft, Agile organisations are a great place to develop your career.
I love what I call 'Penny Drop' moments. When you're working with an individual or team, coaching them through new concepts and when they see the benefit of how it will positively impact how they work it is brilliant,” Paul concluded.