Language-specific ACR

We have completed an amazing new experiment with Agile Coaching Retreats! In 2020 we had a giant experiment – a virtual and global retreat for 5 days in 4 time zones. And in 2021 we continue holding retreats virtually, but now we have experimented with a language-specific retreat – Mandarin! Mandarin speakers from around the world united virtually and created amazing connections and outcomes. Check out the Mandarin retreat pages and their website to check out their awesome results. It’s time to practice your Mandarin!

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Rant, Reflect, and What Now at the Agile Coaching Retreat Berkeley

Mike Cohn, Mountain Goat:

Marita Frijhon, CRR Global:

Dr. Dave Cornelius:

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Enterprise Agile Principles


For Agile Coaches to understand the principles that allow for enterprise agility to flourish.


1. Identify Motives

We are clear in our purpose for embracing agility.  Our unique and compelling reason will be clearly articulated and transparent across the whole organisation.

2. Challenge beliefs

We challenge our beliefs that hold us back, enabling positive impact that creates the motivation to achieve anything.

3. Focus on you customer

We believe by engaging our customers we strive for high quality and purposeful creations that lead to a better life for them.

4. Align around value

We believe that value creation is the heart of our existence.  Focussing on meaningful alignment around value flow allows for the emergence of effective systems.

5. Emergence for lasting change

We will create an environment to foster the emergence of meaningful and lasting change.

6. Learning attitude

We are encouraged to connect and grow, to give feedback to create life long learning opportunities.  By learning continuously we will keep improving.

7. Respect the journey

We acknowledge the past and embrace the future of our never ending journey, understanding that as we move forward we will gain knowledge and face obstacles in discovering and achieving our goals.

8. Overcome inertia

Through continuous improvement and transparency we overcome resistance to prosper with no limits.

9. Human behaviours

People are the heart of our inspiration.  We create safe experiences and environments that allows autonomy to support positive desired behaviours.

10. Coaching sustainability.

Organisational development is driven from within.  Capabilities for catching are inherently built and grown independently.



Craig Pearson

Zia Malik

Michelangelo Canonico

Tom Reynolds

Falk Kühnel


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The infinite game ➿

Welcome to the “Infinite Game” team pages.
We take the name of this page from a book by James Carse called Finite and Infinite Games. Of the book, says:

“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.”

Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end.

We also call ourselves the Kirkegaard Group after Danish existentialist Søren Kirkegaard. Kirkegaard is best known for his “leap of faith” philosophy, based on taking a decision to affirm some reality in the absence of evidence for that reality and even in the presence of evidence to the contrary: faith is therefore more than belief, but a choice to act.

The group’s position stands on the foundation that we couldn’t find anyone else at the retreat who has actually ever seen a team that is fully practicing Scrum, without some element of Scrum-butt. We have seen such teams and believe that lack of management constraints is the differentiating factor. Scrum fails to thrive in organizations because some aspect of the environment or of management policy takes away the power of the Product Owner, or the autonomy of the Team, or the authority (ownership of the process) of the ScrumMaster. Coaches who are hired to do transformations do not persevere in removing this interference out of fear of being fired, and they rather help teams “suck a little less.”

Our position is that Scrum isn’t about helping teams suck a little less. Its roots in TPS in Japanese manufacturing are not about helping their products and environments suck a little less. Our perception is that most contemporary coaching dialectic is about helping teams suck a little less. We still need kaizen (incremental, low-risk change at the team level) but also kaikaku (more radical change that often entails management involvement). We have been fired. And we have helped clear the way so teams could do great things.

So we believe great coaches are existensialistic. They acquire learning not to enhance their marketing plan but because it is the right thing to do. They are fearless about being fired. They put flesh in the game. They take only those engagements where it is possible to do great things. They are unafraid to confront managers with the fact that they might misunderstand Scrum.

✥      ✥      ✥


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10 Principles of flourishing enterprise agility












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Challenges for distributed Teams

Playbook for Distributed Agile Teams

Since this is a collaborative community effort, we would like your contribution a s well. Please share your story of working with distributed teams with us. You can contact us, Alex and Reinald, via email:

You can have an eye on the progress in Work here:

Documentation of Work in Progress

Our Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog of Sprint 1:

Just some Pictures



Our Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog of Sprint 2:

Some more Pictures


Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog Sprint #3

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Enterprise Framework myths

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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Scrum Coaching Retreat Kyiv 2017: How it was. from Scrumguides on Vimeo.

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European Coaching Retreats 2017

For the first time there will be 2 Scrum Coaching Retreats in Europe in the same year.  In 2017 we will be going to Kiev in May and Copenhagen in September.

  • Kiev – 26 to 28th of May
  • Copenhagen – 18th to 20th September

Please save the dates in your calendar, the venues and other details will be announced later.


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Dealing with non-Agile mindset (Senior management)

Team ToB

Mobilisation and vison

Mobilisation and vison


Sprint 1 – Lack of trust

Challenges dealing with Senior Management

Challenges dealing with Senior Management

Team TOB - Sprint 1 Retro

Our first Sprint Retro





Source: Dealing with non-Agile mindset (Senior management)

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Impressions from Scrum Coaching Retreats

Since the Scrum Coaching Retreats started in 2011 they have suddenly become widespread, with 6 happening in 2015. The idea was started and driven forward by a group of volunteer Certified Scrum Coaches, working closely with the Scrum Alliance. The event has grown organically and now involves small teams all over the world organizing these events, with support and sponsorship from the Scrum Alliance.

So what is a Scrum Coaching Retreat?

It is not a conference as there are no sessions or speakers, it is Agile Coaches working in Scrum Teams, diving deep into topics that they are interested in.

The collaboration begins before the event itself, as attendees start to discuss potential topics online, that they would like to work on at the event. This sets up the first session, where attendees form teams around topics that they are passionate about. New ideas will emerge, people will change groups, topics will be merged and split differently, but eventually small teams will start to form. The teams will then craft a Vision which focus’ them on the value that they wish to deliver, they select a Product Owner and ScrumMaster, and start to create a Product Backlog. Sounds familiar?

The rest of the retreat is divided into Sprints, each Sprint will start with planning, and then the teams will do some work. Sometimes the value is in the shared learning as they go much deeper into a topic than you would say at a conference workshop or open space session. Sometimes the teams will produce artifacts and material that will have value to them and others long after the retreat has finished. At the end of each Sprint the team will have the opportunity to showcase what they have delivered at a Sprint Review and get feedback. The Sprint then finishes with each team having a retrospective.

The retreats are based around a number of principles:

  • Retreat: Creating time and space for focused learning and growth
  • Scrum: Learning is done using an empirical framework called Scrum
  • Teams: Teams are the heart of Scrum and a key differentiator at Retreats
  • Deep: Teams go deep into single topics, rather than covering many broad areas
  • Long: Learning, collaboration, and relationships continue long after the event
  • Shared Learning: The event is designed for deep collaborative-shared learning
  • Two Sleeps: Connections are made when our brains are quiet, the two nights of sleep allow for creative idea formation

So why should I attend a Scrum Coaching Retreat?

The Retreats are for anybody who uses coaching within an Agile environment, attendees range from new ScrumMasters to experienced Agile Coaches, Product Owners and Managers.

“The best part for retreat for me is to collaborate with experienced coaches intensively, which is a great learning and network opportunity. We seldom have chance to work this way with so many experts.” – Daniel Teng (Certified Scrum Coach and Trainer)

“My biggest takeaway from the Phoenix and Thailand coaching retreats I have been a part of is to be able to connect to fellow coaches, debate and discuss the art of coaching and also listen to their case studies.” – Madhur Kathuria (Certified Scrum Coach and Trainer)

For me the format provides a wonderful opportunity to grow yourself as a coach, by learning from your peers and to be part of growing the wider Agile Coaching community.

As I was looking back at some Retreat photo’s from London 2014, it stuck me how many of the people that I had met at the event with whom I have since worked with or collaborated. They are a great networking opportunity, allowing you to make lasting connections that go beyond just exchanging business cards.

“Sharing ideas with some of the most experienced Scrum coaches in the world gave me fresh insights into my own work. And it was fun!” – Alan O’Callaghan

“It was a fantastic experience. It was the first time since embarking on my agile adventure, that I felt like I wasn’t the only one going through the challenges and difficulties I and my teams were experiencing” – Sam Birkinshaw


The Team Formation

At the start of the retreat teams are formed, we have noticed that many teams struggle at first, especially in the first Sprint. As coaches this is a wonderful reminder of the journey that teams go through as they begin to try and work together for the first time, but have not yet built an environment of trust. We have found that the Retreat format provides a great balance, short Sprints where the teams can really focus and the slack time that is built into the schedule. This balance allows the teams to move very quickly from their initial struggles as they form to a point where they are a real team delivering some valuable outcomes.

“It reminded us that living in and working in a Scrum team delivering results isn’t always smooth and it isn’t always easy. It challenged the coaches to ‘eat our own dog food’ and folks GREW as a result” – Bob Galen (Certified Scrum Coach)

Time to Think

The slack time is very important, this includes the breaks, open space sessions and the opportunity to be at rest or unwind with other coaches in the bar in the evening. This time outside the Sprints is important; it allows time for thinking, and thinking done with other coaches willing to listen in a relaxed and respectful environment can be a very powerful thing.

Impressions from previous Retreats

“The groups I worked with during the retreat came up with so many important issues and ideas that we passionately wanted to address. We came up with some great ideas during the retreat and I thought about these discussions many times afterwards, some even directing my business decisions.” – David Lowe

The outcomes from the retreats can become something that has an impact on the wider community; there are online resources that have come out of teams that have continued to collaborate long after the retreat itself.


“One specific topics that was discussed at the 2013 Chandler SCR was Behavior Change. Individual as well as Organizational (collective of culture, structure, process/policies and people). Since then I’ve explored this topic at depth from different perspectives – still learning. It has helped me personally and professionally.” Kamlesh Craving

Scrum Coaching Retreats and the Future

The Scrum Coaching Retreats have allowed the coaches that have attended time to explore the profession of Agile Coaching at a deeper level, and have shown the collaborative spirit within the coaching community. However I believe we have a long way to grow as a community. We have many opportunities for growth, how do we…

  • grow our skills as coaches?
  • help customers choose the right coach?
  • build coaching capability in the organisations that we work?
  • transform the world of work?
  • build a professional Agile Coaching community?
  • deepen our understanding of the key challenges and opportunities of Agile adoption as it ventures into new frontiers?

So come and be part of taking these opportunities at a future Scrum Coaching Retreat, for a list of upcoming events see the Scrum Alliance website.

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Welcome to our Scrum Coaching Retreat London wordpress site. The event is now in full swing and the teams are currently in their break out groups collaborating and creating useful output for the Scrum community.

The teams will be adding to this over the next few days so apologies if it looks like a building site for a bit. Watch this space though as new content is added and things progress.

Our event hashtag is #SCRLON. You can follow this for an up to date picture of the event as it unfolds. Check this out on Twitter or go to our event Tweetwall.

IMG_20140609_165046 IMG_20140609_181934

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