Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes!

Wolfgang Steffens Agile coaching

How coaching works

Coaching is to us a form of art. Besides having a great selection of tools and methods at our disposal, great coaching requires choosing wisely which approach to use in which situation, considering both the environment and the people.

Coaching works best if the coachee wants to be coached. Half-hearted attempts lead to unsatisfactory results. Most meaningful results are achieved when the coach is invited before major restructuring decisions are made. Often we are called to coach an organization after major decisions have been made without systemic analysis and overall optimization goal determination. This will lead to non-optimal results for your organization. Thus a coach with Systems Thinking background will bring you this advantage.

Typically coaching needs to happen at different levels of the organization: team, senior management, and top management. If coaching happens only at some levels, you can expect mediocre results at best.

Reasons for external coaching

There are a several reasons why you need an external coach in the beginning of your journey. First of all the people in your organization do not have the competence yet to support such an endeavor.  Secondly, often employees listen to the external coach more compared to your internal coaches. However it is important to us that we always pair external and internal coaches.

Before starting a long-term coaching assignment I prefer to have an e.g. 10 days coaching get-to-know period in which all involved parties can be convinced about making a great choice in this longer lasting collaboration.

Wolfgang Steffens Agile coaching


... Wir haben ein doch gut funktionierendes agiles Projekt aufgebaut und Alpha ist nach wie vor ein agiler Leuchtturm innerhalb des Konzerns, bei allen Kompromissen. Ohne die Zusammenarbeit mit dir und das Lernen von dir hätte ich das nie geschafft. Ich profitiere so sehr von der Zeit unserer Zusammenarbeit, und vieles von dem, was du damals gelehrt hast und ich damals noch abgelehnt habe, vertrete ich heute eisern 🙂 ...​

E. J.

Test Manager

Wolfgang served as an agile coach in my company, being the cornerstone of transforming a 200+ people IT development and operations program from waterfall to agile.

The transformation was both common and special in several manners: Common elements include

  • strong hierarchies in the beginning
  • fragmented organizational setup
  • overcomplicated processes
  • lack of ownership on several levels
  • lack of quality and velocity

Special circumstances:

  • No shortage of self-proclaimed agile experts
  • Pressure to keep up ongoing development and operations tasks at high level
  • Embedded into a strictly waterfall aetup
  • Business and IT functions geographically separated - with no hope for short-term improvement.

Wolfgang did an excellent job in turning the rather big ship around and plotting a new course. He tailored organizational setup, processes, tools, reports, trainings as required and did not follow a standard textbook approach. This made the project successful and earned him great respect...​

G. S.

Head of Release Management

Wolfgang (aka Wolfi) helped us a lot during our agile journey to also involve all of our remote sites in order to make the whole organization agile instead of just focusing on the headquater. He created trainings to specifically meet our needs with respect of intercultural differences. We all learned a lot from him!​

J. W.

Scrum Master

... I gained some really helpful insights and practical advice from Wolfgang in a single coaching session related to Scrum, Systems Thinking and personal development...​

A. P.

Scrum Master

Wolfgang took part to Alpha project agile transformation as agile coach. He was a key support to help the project moving from a traditional V-cycle project into a a LeSS framework with regular deliveries and cross functional teams.
His contribution was key to drive the transformation of the project and challenge our existing processes. Wolfgang contribution was especially valuable when it came to identify/express issues, make sure the related stake holders were consulted/informed and define the proper solution owners.
I am particularly thankful for his coaching that helped me grow as a product owner and would happily work again with him.​

D. C.

Product Owner

Wolfgang hat mir den Anstoß gegeben Scrum neu zu lernen, eben wie Scrum richtig geht.


Scrum Master & Agile Coach

Wolfgang accompanied us on the journey of transforming our large, multisite R&D organization from waterfall to agile. He helped especially the Scrum Masters to understand the importance of the role and the responsibilities in the organization. Wolfgang is a master of situative coaching and appling techniques that are fit for purpose. He has deep knowledge of agile and lean principles, techniques and lots of empathy and people skills. For two years Wolfgang has been a great mentor, trainer and coach that helped us Scrum Masters to grow personally and as a community. He showed us what it means to be agile instead of doing agile i.e. how to avoid the dark side of agile.​

A. E.

Scrum Master

Wolfgang made out of a group of junior scrum masters an aligned team of scrum masters. Thanks to him, we gained skills and methods for systems thinking, that helps us to master our journey to guide our large multisite R&D organization to become an agile and learning one. He provided us by situation specific examples a large amount of techniques and methods. He is a role model for deep knowledge on the matter in combination with lots of social skills.​

R. B.

Scrum Master

Wolfgang helped us in different roles as teacher, mentor and coach to get scrum masters. To coach teams, POs and the orginaization by giving us the biggest lever possible: system thinking - forget silos and local “optimizations” and find solutions optimizing the whole system we are working in.
And finally to implement this by benefiting from a big toolbox of methods for different situations.

A. K.

Scrum Master