The most experienced Agile coach in Sweden.

(This page is written for recruiters.)

That’s my elevator pitch. Note the punctuation after Sweden. It is not a question mark or a exclamation mark. It is what it is. With a high tail and great safety, I can state this as I not only have been involved from the beginning of the Agile movement as a software developer, but also decades before when we struggled with projects and old-school managers. With only a handful of years left until retirement, I also add perspective from many different and big organisations, and not only start-ups, as icing on my cake. And on top of that, a long leadership training in the army as well as coaching and management assignments at the elite level in team sports. I (big I here and a pause) know what a TEAM is and what they need from the organization. Especially form the management team.

It is difficult to be a die hard team player like me and in parallel have the self-confidence like i have. In sports we call them Divas. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard not to be the diva. As a coach, regardless of sports, business or what, you need to put the team first, always. But my tail wagging was not so high ten years ago when I suffered severely from the Impostor syndrome, a feeling of not being good enough. One day a manager told me to speak up and say what I thought, and not come up with it afterwards. ”-You always have something sensible to say, but often say it too late”. Since then, I am the opposite and maybe sometimes a little too much aka Dunning Kruger?

From mainframe operations to PCs and system development, onward to a life as a consultant on software development and later agile ones, I was among the first on the ball in Sweden when agile was launched in 2001.

Unlike DOACs (Depends-On-Agile-Coaches) who refer to frameworks, I challenge the status quo with the help of my experience, my safety and my perspectives. When others say that it depends (which is often true), I go in a completely different direction where a discussion is born. For example, I can stubbornly claim that the earth is flat (or that you have a dysfunctional organization) until someone convinces me and then i often say ”sorry, my bad” and admit that the earth likely is round, to foster Psychological safety and new insights.

My tactic is to sow a doubt and challenge first. The discussion that follows is what grow a possible belief in this, or vice versa. With the discussion, we have created a hypothesis we can go ahead with and verify with empirical facts or/and happy customers, rather than trusting a commercial product with its certified priests as our handrail.

Doubt is the basis of all knowledge and the engine of all change.

/Tage Danielsson

Being in the industry for 35 years leaves its mark. Working in 70+ organizations can seem fluttery, but through this flutter I have built up a great deal of experience and a network. The experience comes from all the roles I have shouldered and the challenges of the various organizations. I have worked as a tester, CIO, project manager, system developer, technical project manager, procurer, investigator, buyer, coach etc. The only thing I miss is UX, something I’m really weak at.

Psychological safety (PS) is a trending concept. Unfortunately, there is too much talk about it and less walk. Trade unions that should carry this banner high under the Work Environment Act, duck the concept. I stand on the barricades for PS and at the time of writing this I have given about fifty lectures and courses on the topic. With PS in my CV, I create a breeding ground for safety. People come to me instead of the union, or the lack thereof, I have noticed.

Ove Holmberg

What really differentiates me from other experienced Agile coaches is that I have perspective and do not come in a context with a hidden agenda of sales. While most experienced Agile coaches out there operate in a world of startups, where agility comes with breast milk, I can in add a dozen startups and a handful of organizations in the public sector, the sports world and larger scaling on multinational companies where the real challenges lie. I work alone but together with your Agile coaches, at your company, doing short gigs and set clear goals during this period. Then i am gone leaving behind internal new agile coaches for a sustainable work. Read more about my Agile Coach Harakiri philosophy here.

It is frustrating to roam the plains of non Agile organisations with this strategy as i seldom see the outcome of my work, as the real effect with an Agile organization takes more time than my usual six months. So if you have a open permanent position as coach of your Agile coaches or similar i am happy to apply given no probation period or a six month consultancy gig first.

I do not work for companies with doubtful or illegal business or culture like online gaming and countries not sanctioned by EU.

So during 2022 i will find a permanent position where i can work the rest of my life and therefore i write this post for managing expectations.

Link to my CV

/ Ove Holmberg

+70 Companys i have worked for

Ove Holmberg

Doubter, gaffer, author