2013 Personal Reflections: The Right Decision and a Marathon PB

Entering 2013 the decision to leave my former employer after seven years to join goAgile as a freelance Agile consultant was still very new. Now twelve months later I can say with confidence it was one of the best work-related decision I have ever made. So was joining my old employer eight years ago by the way, but in 2012 it was time to move on.

During 2013 I primarily worked with a single client. The company has 500+ employees and their IT development organization make up just about half of that. The company had a long history of waterfall thinking and was struggling to deliver real customer value and be profitable in the process. They quickly transformed to the new ways of working and everyone from the board of directors and down now embrace Agile. To me personally, it has been an amazing ride and I’m honestly impressed with how quickly and with how little resistance they adopted Agile ways of working. From the first day, not only IT, but also Marketing, HR, Facility Services, Sales, Finance, Customer Care and many other functions got onboard.

During 2013 I also started teaching Professional Scrum Master Certification courses for Firebrand in Holland, Sweden, and the UK. The courses (approx. one per month) served as a nice break from coaching clients and a chance to revisit the fundamentals of Scrum and Agile. During the courses, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of “newborn” Agilists hungry for knowledge about Scrum and Agile. I also got to listen to many of their war stories about their struggles and achievements implementing Agile in their organizations. I think it’s fair to say that Agile is gaining momentum, but experienced Agile coaches will unfortunately not be out of jobs anytime soon.

Finally, we decided to formalize our collaboration by making goAgile a public company in 2013. By Danish law, public companies must have a CEO and to my surprise, my colleagues unanimously pointed at me as the best candidate. I humbly accepted to take the first turn and to strive to be a thought leader, protect our culture of equality and never to give anyone a direct order.

Also from a sporting perspective was 2013 a memorable year. After my Ironman debut in 2012, I promised my family not to do another one in 2013. Instead, I focused on running, which is less time to consume, but still challenging and a good investment in future Triathlon adventures. My efforts resulted in a 10 minutes improvement of my marathon personal best in May at Copenhagen Marathon and I managed to shave another 6 minutes off at the 40th anniversary Berlin Marathon in September.

Looking ahead at 2014 I’m very excited about a few things. Later this January I turn 40 and I have agreed (negotiated might be a better word for it) with my family to celebrate it by training for another Ironman. This time I will race Challenge Roth in Germany, which is one of the oldest, fastest and most prestigious races around. Secondly, I’m excited to find out where we are heading with goAgile. I’m blessed with colleagues who are extremely passionate about what they do and I’m sure they will steer our little ship in a positive direction. Finally, I look forward to helping my current main client take Agile to the next level. Hopefully, they will be able to take complete ownership of the process during 2014 and I can then move on to help other companies improve their processes and practices and ultimately their joy of work. Due to the amount of training required for the Ironman, I will only do a couple of Scrum Master Certification courses during the first half of 2014. I’ll also spend some time during the first half of 2014 evaluating the pros/cons of the training so far.

Before I leave you to explore 2014 I would love for you to use the comments field below to tell me about your 2013 and your goals for 2014. I hope the past year was successful and I wish you and your family all the best in 2014.

The picture above is of me after crossing the finish line at the Berlin Marathon improving my marathon PB to 3:34:01.

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