25. Apr 2024

In focus: the movers and shakers behind agility

From intern to leading figure: Lena’s path to becoming a team coach

Sabine Goetz Agile Project Manager

Surname:

Lena Böing

Position:

Team Coach

Age:

35

Training:

B. Sc. Print and media technology

“I see myself as a guidance counselor at school”

Lena, tell us about your career: How did your journey from intern to team coach at SHOPMACHER take shape?

I studied printing technology in Wuppertal, which also included an e-commerce course. Then I had to apply for an internship and was looking for something close to home – and that’s how I came to SHOPMACHER. I didn’t have a permanent position during my internship, but at the same time I was involved in the company’s initial change process. After I took over, I started in support and then switched to project management – that suited the skills I brought with me.

What motivates you to continuously develop yourself further and what role did SHOPMACHER play in this?

At the beginning, during my internship and later when I was taken on, everything was new to me and I had to find my way around. I tried out a lot and found many things exciting. But it was never THE thing that I was really passionate about. When the Scrum framework was introduced as part of the company-wide change process, I was really curious and wanted to find out more about it. There was suddenly something about the role of Scrum Master that really interested me and I thought: “That could be something for me!

How did you decide to define the role as a team coach rather than a Scrum Master?

When we started looking into agile software development in 2016, we quickly decided that we wanted to use the very well-described Scrum framework. Scrum has helped us to integrate agile principles into our workflow and has made our work more structured and value-centered. At the same time, we always had to make a few modifications so that we could use the framework in the service and multi-project context at all.

Today, we often only use the artifacts that are relevant to us, such as backlog definition, daily stand-ups and retrospectives, and partially move away from the classic Scrum structure. We see this as part of our agile evolution: we want to continuously adapt our way of working here too and utilize the best of various agile approaches.

How would you describe the work of a team coach at SHOPMACHER? What do you find particularly exciting about it and why are meetings such an important part of your work?

I see myself a bit like a guidance counselor at school. My job is to get problems out of the way so that our specialists can work undisturbed. In addition to many 1:1 meetings, I organize team meetings, help shape internal team processes and support the further development of my colleagues. That’s a lot of meetings, but my role also involves a lot of communication. There is an exchange at all levels and these interactions are, I am sure, essential to ensure effective cross-team communication.
In the end, SHOPMACHER made a kind of bet by creating this role. But the higher employee satisfaction, better working atmosphere and more efficient work in the teams prove us right.

As someone who has been through different roles in the company, how has your view of SHOPMACHER and its culture changed?

From my initial perspective in the team, an overall view of our company, our “ecosystem”, has developed. For me, it is important to keep all perspectives in mind, from the individual to the team to the overall view of SHOPMACHER.

What are the challenges in your current role and how do you deal with them?

I offer ideas, but I don’t have to have THE one solution. With team member A, I have to approach things in a certain way, with person B perhaps in a completely different way. In addition to being the organizer, I can also be a coach, guide and facilitator. I wouldn’t have been able to go my own way like this if I hadn’t had the different roles here. Doing all this makes me feel effective – and that gives me a lot!

How does SHOPMACHER support you in your personal and professional development?

Above all through targeted development discussions. I have concrete goals and agreements against which I can measure myself. I also had the opportunity to take part in a coaching session for managers with Thankscoach. And If I want to learn something extra, network in meet-ups or take part in a particular specialist conference, I have a good chance of being able to do so.

Are there any current trends or technologies in project management or Scrum that you are particularly interested in?

I find the question “What comes after Scrum?” and “What if Scrum isn’t the right thing?” very exciting at the moment and I’m reading a lot about it. In addition, the topics from the agile environment also revolve around the topic of “New Work”, which is always present with all its facets.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar career path to yours?

It takes a little experience. Either by having already worked in a similar role in another company (e.g. Scrum Master, Agile Coach) or, as in my case, by having performed a different role in the same company. A complete “cold start” is rather difficult.

Lena, you have had an impressive career at SHOPMACHER. Is there a personal philosophy or motto that guides you in your career and life?

No, I don’t have a real, overarching motto. IHowever, I really like the idea that ‘no matter how big the challenge is, I’m not alone’. Both privately and professionally.

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