“Resistance comes from either love or fear.”
Kimberly Andrikaitis is a self-proclaimed “Agile Dork” with more than 20 years of experience in IT. She began her career in IT as a Graphic Designer and eventually shifted into Testing, Business Analysis, Product Ownership, ScrumMaster and Agile Coach roles.
Kim has worked for large corporations such as IBM, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse and smaller family run businesses as well. Her passion and strength lie in her ability to inject creativity, dissect Agile principles and promote the Scrum values within the organization.
Obsessed with collaboration, continuous improvement, and experimentation; Kimberly is always contemplating lively techniques for improving team dialogue, strengthening dynamics and coaching for high performance.
What is your role? Agile Coach
Why did you become an Agile coach? I have always been fascinated with psychology and analyzing behaviors and motivations. Early in my Agile career, I met an Agile Coach who approached problems from a place of curiosity, not judgment. He truly listened, asked powerful questions and provide thoughtful responses. While observing him, I thought “I want to emulate him. I want to be an Agile Coach too.”
The Agile framework has the ability to transform organizations from barely functional to high performing. I have witnessed the impact of artful Agile coaching and it’s incredible.
Consider the cost of one meeting. If you have five people at $100 per hour sitting in a meeting for two hours, it costs the company $1,000. That’s an expensive meeting. Now, imagine this two-hour meeting without focus, structure or direction. Not only does it waste time, but it also affects employee morale, in addition to the bottom line. An effective coach will provide the necessary tools to energize and strengthen these meetings.
What is significant about what you bring as an Agile coach? I feel compassion for the Scrum Team roles because I have been the Tester… the Product Owner… the Scrum Master. I’ve walked in their shoes and I sympathize with the challenges and frustrations they experience. I also appreciate the depths of Agile processes & principles and can help teams adopt a new mindset.
Although I feel a strong connection with the Scrum Team, it is crucial to focus on middle management and tech leads as well. I want the Organization’s entire culture to absorb the Scrum Guide, Agile Principles and the Scrum Values and to be open, collaborative and respectful of one another. To truly “live” by these principles and embrace them within their DNA. I know what “Agile done well” looks like, and I have the ability and experience to demonstrate this to our clients.
My Dad taught me that resistance comes from either love or fear. I understand the apprehension of each position and can speak directly to them, get under the hood.
I have such a high regard in the positive change this framework can create that I have a devoted website, agile-dork.com. You can use Agile in any area of your life where you seek improvement (ie: weight loss, wedding planning, home renovations). It’s that powerful.
Why did you say yes to coming here? To work alongside Mary, who is one of my first Agile mentors. She has taught me so much and I have tremendous respect for her authenticity, determination and character. In addition, Agile coaches are great believers in continual improvement, and this team will be in a perpetual growth mode, because we each bring unique talents and perspectives. I expect to learn a great deal from Mary, Jim and Bob. Plus, I’m a very creative person, and this position allows me to use that gift. I’m full of ideas, and here, I can implement them.
What are you most excited about? Every day is different. Last week, we were in NYC interviewing C-level Management to understand their current pain points. This week, I facilitated a Kanban simulation with a group of hardware engineers. Each client is unique, with their own set of challenges and situations. I’m looking forward to assessing the teams, communicating my observations and providing realistic and creative recommendations for change.
What do you bring that is different from…Mary? Jim? I bring the “worker bee” perspective since I’ve been with the bees and relate to their day to day lives. I’m always contemplating creative and lively techniques for improving dialogue, strengthening team dynamics and making meetings more effective and energizing. I am the creative of the group, the jokester, and the one who encourages frequent teaming and inspection.
How will you be different in three years as a result of joining this group? I will have continued to refine my craft, based on so many diverse experiences and learning opportunities. I’ve fallen and gotten myself back up a million times over and continue to become stronger. I’m sure I’ll fall some more, and my strengths will continue to propel me forward.
If I retired tomorrow I would….travel internationally, everywhere we possibly can. My husband and I love to experience life in other cultures, rather than visiting museums or tourist attractions. I’ve cuddled sloths in Peru, kayaked with otters in South Africa, and photographed geishas in Japan. Wherever we go, we immerse ourselves in the culture, the food, and the people. Next up: Portugal!
Favorite people or pets to spend time My husband, Eric and our two rescue dogs; Dylan is 15 and Kora is 7.
Favorite book “Leaving Time” by Jody Picoult. Absolutely magical, emotional, heartwarming, surprising.
People don’t know this about me Growing up, I lived in 7 states, attended 12 different schools and graduated high school at the age of 16.