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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Dec 25, 2020

Joining the podcast today is Abiodun Osoba, the CEO and founder of The Agile Advisor Africa! Abiodun has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications, banking, retail, wholesale, technology, startups, and software industries, and over 16 years of experience working in Agile environments. She has provided executive Agile coaching in 10 countries; trained over 200 staff in Agile fundamentals, Scrum, and Kanban; and successfully led digital programs in six countries. Additionally, she is also on the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Agile Practitioners Association of Nigeria, a founder of Globally Igniting Africa, a founder and speaker at the Agile Nigeria Meetup, founder of AGILE PLUS, Founder and CEO of The Agile Advisor Nigeria Limited, and Founder and coach at Agile for MEA.


Today, Abiodun and Dan are going to be exploring the role of the agile coach, specifically as it relates to the challenges of agile adoption and getting individuals in the community to really embrace agility in the agile framework. Abiodun shares about the challenges she has personally seen as an agile coach with organizations embracing the agile framework, her strategies and suggestions and mitigate said challenges, what she has done to help bring agility into organizations in Nigeria, and her advice in implementing agility in traditional organizations.


Key Takeaways

Challenges that Abiodun is seeing as an agile coach with organizations embracing the agile framework

Embracing agile values and principles can be difficult in places where the traditional culture is very strong

One of the biggest challenges for an organization in driving its team towards embracing an agile culture lies with leadership

If leadership is not able to make a decision quickly with regards to change (and instead, focusing on what they’re going to lose due to change rather than focusing on what they’re going to gain)

Leadership may struggle with the dynamic shifting from “managing” to “collaboration,” and losing their positional authority

Competitive storytelling

Abiodun’s strategies and suggestion to mitigate these challenges:

Openly talking about the everyday challenges you are facing (not as a professional, but as a person) into your network

It is important that people know that you have empathy and that you are wearing similar shoes to their own

If you communicate well, they will be more open to your advice and suggestions

When the organization or teams trust you can cite similar challenges you have faced and they will be more open to trying the solutions you used in those

Use stories and experiences to build empathy and connection

What Abiodun has done to help bring agility into organizations in Nigeria:

The Agile Nigeria Conference (hosted by the Agile Practitioners Association of Nigeria) has been a way for them to reach out to a lot of organizations and thought leaders to share about the agile framework

Partnerships through this have helped people become certified, access to certain resources, membership discounts, etc. Through this, there has been an influx of involvement in the Nigerian agile community

It has helped create a platform where lots of people can contribute to it which helps move the needle

How do organizations respond to implementing an agile framework? And what are some of the tactics that Abiodun suggests for getting more traction with implementing changes in an organization?

They generally respond in a very open way and know that change is important

They also generally respond in an open-minded way to these changes

What they’re doing as a community is having local people (project owners, scrum masters, etc.) to have open conversations about agility early next year

With Abiodun’s company, they are compiling their own thoughts and reflections on the new Scrum Guide, packaging that info, and sharing it with their clients

Spreading awareness and providing free education and resources can be helpful in gaining traction 

Abiodun’s suggestions in implementing agility in a traditional organization:

The approach should look more evolutionary rather than prescriptive

Take advantage of what you already have and make some strides and efforts before you start implementing changes especially in traditional organizations

Providing a roadmap without it being step-by-step satisfies clients/organizations in letting them not feel left in the dark without being overly prescriptive


Mentioned in this Episode:

Abiodun Osoba

The Agile Advisor Africa

Agile Practitioners Association of Nigeria

AgileThought’s “Virtual Community: Agile Heard Around the World” (with Quincy Jordan, Abiodun Osoba, and other featured guests)

Agile Nigeria Conference

The Scrum Guide


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