Hello, dear agile reader! This time, we would like to tell you three stories in one. Each story has a beginning, but the story of our eduNav team has three beginnings merged into one. The year 2020 was not all bad, right? For Robby, Sarah, and Živa, it was far from bad. We all decided to work on our agile knowledge and start a new path with eduScrum®, and this is how we met. With our newly formed eduNav team we started working on building the AgileNav Academy. It felt like playing table tennis. We were flexible and reacted to peoples ideas. From that point on, things just went up, and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you. Let us present our story to you through short interviews. We assume you will find a bit of yourself in each one of us.
How did you come up with the idea to start the project of building an academy?
“This started over three years ago for me and has been quite the Agile journey with some dips and turns on our path to where we are today. Fellow AgileNav founder Rene and I started building an app for Agilists; we call it the “continuous learning toolbox.” Last year, we decided that Agile training was going to be our primary product and the app would be an instrument to make our training stand out to younger people.
In the beginning of 2020, we met Willy Wijnands, the founder of eduScrum®. We loved the concept of learning education upside down, where the student is in the driver’s seat. We started working together to extend the AgileNav app to eduScrum®. I got very excited about being able to be a part of the eduScrum® journey as well, and so, I signed up for training toward becoming an eduScrum® trainer. This all happened while we were just rebranding to AgileNav Academy. Our goal was to build an academy, and when we were asked to come up with an eduScrum® project, I didn’t have to think twice. “
“Throughout my career in leadership in education, I have been called upon to mentor and support educators, parents, and children. I have always wanted to formally create a program where I can share what I have come to learn with anyone who wanted to learn. When I embarked upon eduScrum® training, I did so as part of my journey to become immersed in Agile modes of thinking and practices in order to share this knowledge with fellow educators.
I met Robby during the training. As part of our training, we, the educators, were asked to work with others in our group on an educational project. Robby said he wanted to move into phase two of his AgileNav project, where the plan was to formally build an academy which was beginning to form around the app he created with his business partner Rene a few years prior. I was excited to join the team along with Živa, who was also part of our training.”
“I have never seen myself as a leader, but I did envision myself as a part of an efficient team. I always wanted to be a part of a team where every person and opinion counts.
I first thought about Agile Academy in the spring of 2020 after I met Scrum for the first time. It was love at first sight. Scrum and Agile became somewhat of a new obsession for me. So, Agile Academy was in my mind for some time, but in a different way than it is now. At the time, I was thinking to only work in the educational world and with families with difficulties. However, today’s world is crazy, fast, and overwhelming; therefore, people do need a different approach to get by.”
What was your approach for the project and why?
“I was very lucky to get two brave, enthusiastic, and smart ladies aboard. Živa, Sarah, and I formed a very good team right away. We called it “eduNav” and came to a running start. Our approach was to use the framework of eduScrum® along with Business Canvas modelling in Trello and Miro. Together with our web designer, we used a proof of concept iterative approach so we could get results very fast and adjust accordingly. We did a bi-daily stand-up to align our effort.”
“I became an educator to help make the world a kinder, brighter place. I loved being a classroom teacher and working with children. As my career progressed and moved from a classroom teacher into more senior and leadership roles, I saw that I could have the most impact by training and mentoring teachers and supporting their work with children. After all, if I supported one classroom of children and their families, I might affect 25 families. On the other hand, if I invested in 50 or 100 teachers who each supported 25 children and their families, the impact is exponential.
I approached this project with the guiding principle that the world is only as good as the people in it. I wanted to work with great people, and I knew that Robby and Živa had a great mindset and that together we would do great work in building an academy!”
“At the time, when Robby mentioned he would like to build an academy as an eduScrum project, I immediately knew this was it. I knew he was the right person to cooperate with and learn from. I am sure Sarah felt the same, and we immediately became the perfect team with the same goal and vision. Participating in every brainstorming and online meeting as well as helping create our project and being a part of the story was easy.”
What was special for you about this project?
“I am proud of how well we worked together, especially given our vast and different backgrounds and being in different time zones. Of course, creating a face for our academy was also special for me because this has felt like my baby for three years and it is now moving to the next phase of adolescence.”
“It’s been extremely rewarding to work with and get to know the AgileNav Team. I have found kindred spirits from around the world who are brought together by a vision of what’s possible when mindsets shift and people commit to basic core values of respect, courage, and openness. What makes this experience extra special is that we are working together to really help people by training them with the skills they need to work more effectively with others and providing them the support they need to be successful.”
“The eduNav team is a team of people who met for the first time at an eduScrum® international online training. Each person of this team is from a different country and different time zone. This all means that we come from different backgrounds and cultures. Though, we do share one thing: True passion for Agile, Scrum, eduScrum®, and education was a true bond. For the first time, I experienced how a new team of different people can share an idea and make it happen in a short time and from a distance.”