A little story I wanted to share, about making a difference without realising it.

Today, around lunchtime, as I was heading to the coffee area to get a cup of joe, I noticed a team (one I had met briefly) in a presentation. The title had caught my eye through the glass fronted room.

A ‘User Story Mapping’ presentation, led by one of their business analysts. This chap had been in a 3-hr workshop I had run as ‘Agile for System Analysts”. We had done some very basic story mapping in that workshop but hadn’t completed it, however I told them to connect with the BA on the team I was on to learn from him if they were interested and thought no more about it.

Anyway, I walk pass, stop to read the title and consume the slide – my gawking caused a fair amount of laughter in the room and I was invited in. The team was really pleased to have me sit with them and help their BA talk through  the topic. I soon established that they were thinking of using the technique on some new work and this was their self learning series on it (the first of its kind – something again learned from the team I coach!).

Learning Comes Full Circle

After some really abstract slides the guy showed, I suggested the most useful way to connect this might be to see concrete examples. I ran back to the BA on my team to print out one of his story maps. To my sheer delight, he told me he had already shared this with the BA on the other team (totally different part of the organisation) during an hour long session they had to talk through the technique!!

To see various aspects of this strangely unconnected organisation start to make these connections and little burning embers of passion radiate their knowledge so generously to others and get them fired up was tremendously heartwarming.

As coaches, we often don’t build software, often the rewards of our efforts elude us or are reaped long after we have left, but if we are lucky, we glimpse the difference we make and for that we must be thankful.

Have you had a similar experience?  I’d love to hear about it.

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