About Mike Cottmeyer
Agile thinker, writer, project manager, consultant, coach…
Choosing an agile coach in an important decision. You should look for a coach that is experienced with more than one agile approach… maybe even some non-Agile ones too. You should look for someone that is pragmatic and willing to adapt to your specific environment… but at the same time, passionate about championing core agile values and principles. You should look for someone with a track record of delivery; a leader with a diverse set of experiences working with both large and small companies. Your coach should have a history of thought leadership, community involvement… someone who is comfortable putting their ideas in public for review and comment.
I want you to have the opportunity to get to know me. I want you to know how I think about agile, and what it means for small teams, and particularly, larger more complex enterprises. I’m confident that my brand of agile thinking is well suited for most organizations… but if not… we need to know that now. To that end, this document contains some information that will help you decide if I am a good fit for your organization. If you have any questions, or just want to discuss my background or experiences further, please contact me… I’d love to talk. Hopefully someday we’ll have the chance to work together, but for now… I want you to understand a little bit more about me, what I am all about, and how I might be able to help.
Mike’s Coaching & Consulting Resume
In an age of social media, where most of what we do lives somewhere on the web… I tend to look at my body of work as my resume. I encourage you to Google me, I’m pretty easy to find. That said, sometimes a formal resume is important. For those times, here’s where you can find it:
or again… just Google me:
Whitepapers & Reports
Writing has become a part of my DNA… it’s a way to process my thoughts, and really, really think through an important idea. Whenever I am looking to bring something new into my coaching or consulting practice… writing out my thoughts has become an essential first step. Until I get an idea out on paper… it’s not really in me. It’s my process of visualization… a way to make an idea really real… to see where it fits in the larger context.
Here are a few examples that I think you’ll like:
Rethinking the Agile Enterprise – I did this paper with Dennis Stevens from Synaptus (www.synaptus.com). This is our five phase approach to incremental and safe agile adoption. It’s the longest of the papers I’ve included here, but the most relevant to an enterprise coaching engagement.
The Agile Business Analyst - This is a lightweight overview of how a Business Analyst can transform into an Agile Business Analyst
The Agile Project Manager – A similar treatment of the role of the Project Manager making the switch to Agile.
The Good and Bad of Agile Offshore Development – This is an experience report based on my time at CheckFree, where I managed a team of developers in Pune, India.
Kanban for Agile Teams – This is a paper that talks about what Scrum teams need to know about an emerging agile process called Kanban. It’s another one that I did with Dennis, and I’d like to think we understand this methodology better than just about any other pair of coaches out there.
You can find all of these papers at:
Many of these thoughts will be incorporated into the book Dennis and I are writing for Addison-Wesley Professional Publications on Scaling Agile in the Enterprise. We have been approached by the publisher about putting the book under the Highsmith-Cockburn editorial series… I hope we can make the book that good!
Social Media & Blogging
As you can see, I’m very transparent with my thoughts on agile and the state of the agile industry. The bad thing about publishing, is that if you are continuously learning, your ideas risk being obsolete as soon as you hit send. Here are a few places you can get access to my latest thinking on a variety of topics related to agile software development, agile project management, and sometimes even just general project management:
Interviews & Talks
The following are links to several interviews and presentations I have done on adopting agile… most of these focus on agile in larger more traditional organizations. These clips will also give you a good idea of my speaking and presentation style, and how well I can communicate complex ideas in a way that is pretty easy to understand.
Conferences & Speaking Engagements
Getting out and speaking, especially in front of a big, live audience, really helps refine how you think about, and how you talk about these ideas with your clients. I’ve found that presenting at conferences has been extremely valuable, and an effective tool for refining how I understand and communicate my message.
You’ll find me on the speaker pages of the following conferences and user groups:
Agile Development Practices East 2010
Agile Development Practices West 2010
Better Software conference 2009
Agile Development Practices 2009
PMI North American Global Congress 2011
PMI North American Global Congress 2009
Atlanta PMI Chapter, Agile Atlanta, and the Scrum Atlanta MeetUp.
Community Service & Leadership
Being involved with your peers, and other community thought leaders, is an essential component of continuous learning and continuous improvement. I’ve spent a significant amount of time learning from others and helping to move the Agile community forward:
I’ve served on the board of the Agile Project Leadership Network:
I’ve served on the board of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium:
I’m actively working on the board of the PMI Agile Community of Practice:
In addition, I’m currently leading the Atlanta Scrum Meetup and active with Agile Atlanta and the Atlanta chapter of PMI
Certification can be a hot button issue in the agile community. I have mixed feelings about the value of certification. It’s my opinion, that as long as you are really clear about what you are expecting certification to say about a person, I think they can be a valuable differentiator in the marketplace.
Personally, I am a Project Management Professional (PMP), a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), and a DSDM Certified Agile Project Leader (DSDM APL). I actually helped create the DSDM certification while I served on the board of APLN. I was on the Steering Committee for the PMI-ACP certification.
If it’s not already apparent. I’ve got a ton of experience with this agile stuff. I’ve worked with somewhere around 40-50 companies adopting agile, and gained a ton of perspective around what works… and more importantly, what doesn’t.
Here are just a few of companies that I have worked with and trained over the past several years: IHG, Southern Company, Landis+Gyr, Ericsson, Axioma, Federal Home Loan Bank, EMC, Taleo, Fiserv, nCircle, Ventyx, Chamberlin Edmonds, Discovery Channel, McAfee, Mobile Labs, Rock-Tenn, TechSmith, Sage Software, Automated Logic Corporation, Equifax, and Alcatel-Lucent. I bet your company is comparable to one or more of these companies I’ve worked with.
I find most people have some unique expression of VERY similar core challengess. I’m pretty sure I’ve helped a company or two with challenges very similar to what you are experiencing.
Adopting agile is about adopting a value system. It’s about adopting a set of principles and practices. It’s about developing a set of organizational capabilities that will help your teams become more effective at delivering business value to your customers. Adopting agile is about making the necessary organizational changes to ensure these values, principles, and practices become a sustainable part of your corporate DNA. Agile isn’t as much what you do… it’s about who you are.
I hope these resources show you how committed I am to agile, to the agile community, to helping our industry… and to helping your company get better at software delivery. I’d love to have the opportunity to help you and your teams safely and pragmatically adopt agile. I’m looking forward to talking with you, please give me a call and let’s talk about how I can help.