Rachael Gibb

Rachael Gibb

Senior Agile Coach, Remote Agile Coach, Facilitator, Trainer and Mentor

I’m passionate about the customer and Agile product development. My unorthodox entry into IT gives me a diverse edge with technical teams. I’m especially creative, analytical, inquisitive, and able to distill complex issues into simpler, clear steps for action. I take principles from Agile and Lean; practices from Scrum, XP, Agile and Lean UX, and Kanban; and draw on wider research and disciplines to flexibly coach teams toward excellence. 

My mission is to encourage learning, test assumptions, and build trust amongst humans who create products to improve their customers’ lives. I welcome input from my colleagues around what Agile means to them, what challenges we need to work through, and what makes the most sense to get the best outcome for teams, their customers, and the company.  

I believe my job as a Coach or Product Owner is to create great conditions for product teams to deliver together, to help them see the bigger picture, and deliver the right thing at the right time by meeting with real customers, testing and getting feedback as often as possible.

My experience as an Agile Coach in various product organisations helps me as a Product Owner to also drive needed change within the organisation to maximise the value from the team(s). I understand the common challenges Product Owners face and how to navigate them with calm effectiveness.

Some of my Clients

  • Mentimeter
  • Tele2
  • Xero
  • Trade Me

Educations and Certifications

Formal Agile Training

  • CSPO Certification – 2019
    Jeff Patton’s Passionate Product Ownership workshop.
    Product Owner certification via Scrum Alliance.
  • ICAgile Certified Professional – 2017
    Lynne Cazaly’s Visual Facilitation & Leader as Facilitator workshop
  • ICAgile Fundamentals Course – 2017

Broader Education

  • Enrolled barrister/solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • PEACE Ethical Investigative Interviewing (NZ Police)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Victoria University of Wellington
  • B.Sc. Political Science (Honors) Arizona State University
  • Spanish Minor, International Studies Certificate
  • Successfully defended honors thesis via the Community Action Research Experience

Skills and Experience

Building great teams

  • Thriving with new team cultures
  • Teaching and coaching
  • Offering frameworks for experimentation and teamwork
  • Role modeling compassionate curiosity; direct but kind communication
  • Coaching Product Owners (POs) on story writing, leadership and stakeholder collaboration
  • Introducing trust-building exercises, team agreements, mediating disputes, clarifying objectives
  • Facilitating team-work and shared vision across roles (dev, UX, content, customer service, product, and more)

Facilitating problem-solving

  • Uncovering reality with data, visualising the impact
  • Highlighting systemic blockers, gatekeepers and bottlenecks: e.g. helping POs take ownership over connecting with customers
  • Designing and facilitating team kickoffs and inceptions
  • Creating original retrospectives
  • Dispute resolution, interest-based negotiation, courageous conversations
  • Coaching managers to bring their teams together to solve shared, department level problems

Fostering growth mindset & culture

  • Advocating agile and lean mindset daily while embedded in multiple product teams
  • Forming relationships with managers; providing feedback on culture and self organisation
  • Coaching collaboration
  • Creating blogs, company talks, agile graduate training, agile learning mini-sessions on deeper questions (e.g. dual track, WIP limits, batch size)
  • Pursuing my own development so I am a thoughtful and available leader

Delivering Value

  • Mapping assumptions and impacts
  • User story mapping, prioritising technical debt
  • Pulling engineers closer to customers, discovery, and aligning their success with business strategy
  • Coaching a team to reduce its average cycle time to 1/6th in three months by helping them define problems, call out complexity and scope, and minimise waste
  • Doubling a team’s release cadence after experimenting with visual data to validate different WIP limits

Community presentations and write-ups

  • Presented Agile 101 for Master of Business Analysis students at Victoria University (Nov 2018)
  • Create Camp mentoring 2018, and coaching mentors 2019. I facilitated story mapping, mini-Scrum ceremonies, and helped prioritise teamwork, intro to Agile.
  • Connect to peers at Meetups for agile, product, coaching, and leadership
  • Medium: “If you can clean, you can Lean” https://devblog.xero.com/if-you-can-clean-you-can-lean-f0f398d41b45
  • Medium: “Coaching with Consent” https://medium.com/@rachael.e.gibb/coaching-with-consent-collaborating-with-your-new-team-to-build-transparent-influence-84a8f007167c

Some of my Clients

Agile Coach – Mentimeter, Apr 21 – Oct 21
I built Agile capabilities with Product Managers and teams to enable value driven deliveries and grow high performing teams. My impact spanned across different value streams in product, across design and engineering, identified alignment opportunities and boosted strategy. I coached teams through discovery and experimentation processes, and aligned role responsibilities, delivery frameworks, cross-team expectations and the balance of collaborative autonomy. I shifted mindsets and capabilities from unclear, chaotic work habits to clear roles, processes, and expectations; from fixed, large scope plans to an ability to slice, deliver, test and learn faster. I engaged teams in co-creating solid, fit-for-purpose OKRs and habits to support their success. Mentimeter is a Swedish startup that is rapidly scaling and expanding internationally.

Agile Coach – Tele2, Dec-19 – Mar 21
Tele 2 is a Swedish telecommunications company in Stockholm. I coached multiple departments; created and facilitated workshops on OKRs and product vision across departments and roles; prepared and facilitated Big Room Planning and spoke in front of hundreds of participants; started and grew the Product Owner Chapter, revamped the Agile Chapter; aligned POs, coaches and managers across a department; helped onboard a department into the biggest IT program’s process, adding improvements; created and delivered trainings on better online meetings, BRP roles, and feedback.

Agile Team Coach – Xero, Mar-18 – Sep-19
Xero is an international cloud-based accounting software. I was working with teams and leaders across many product areas, engaged new teams quickly, assisted with process, coached POs, facilitated discovery workshops, ran interactive education sessions, wrote blogs, collaborated and illustrated guidance on product discovery in practice, lead teams through trust-building workshops, guided improvement beyond the sprint cycle, helped uncover issues, guided clarity, referred to as a rock for teams through uncertainty and stress.

Scrum Master & Business Analyst – Trade Me, Feb -17 – Mar-18
Trade Me is New Zealand’s largest e-commerce site. I facilitated ceremonies and workshops such as a new squad charter, grooming, retrospectives (per sprint and higher level), kick-off sessions for new projects involving several squads, writing user stories, breaking work into slices, a lot of learning.

Investigator, Trust and Safety; previously TAS Officer – Trade Me, Dec 14-March 18

Records Officer – New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sept 11-Dec 14

Languages

English – Native
Swedish – Beginner