5 + 1 Questions to... Steve Conard

Steve Conard is an Agile practitioner and founder of Sugar Me, a management consulting firm with a focus on agile coaching and training and project management. Sugar Me adds a pinch of sweetness in your teams and projects. He’s also one of the co-authors of the Agile People Manifesto.

His aim is to improve projects and organizations by bringing people together and giving them the knowledge and skills to collaborate. He worked for companies like Argenta, PWC, SD Worx, Mediahuis,…

With Sugar Me, Steve organizes the courses “Agile at Scale by Spotify” and “Agile HR” in Belgium. Inspiring courses with trainers who walk the talk and provide their experience straight from the practice.

1. What is Agile or the Agile Mindset for you? 

For me, the agile mindset is about connecting with each other, having confidence, allowing change and not sticking stubbornly to a plan. We all know that in this fast-changing world, a plan has a very limited expiration date.

When we connect more, embrace change and allow people to use their creativity in finding solutions to deal with those changing circumstances, the most beautiful solutions can be built.

 2. What’s your favourite tool or method you use during your coaching? 

Listen, listen, listen and listen again. Ask questions in such a way that ultimately the insights are not given by me (the coach) but come from the team. Those insights coming from the team will have a lot more support from the team

 3. What book or website would you recommend? 

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Phoenix Project, the book reads like a train. You can literally put yourself in the IT department that Bill is leading and how he builds step by step an organization that can really create value for the whole company.

 4. What is essential for you during an Agile transformation? 

In my view, it is essential in an agile transformation that people ask themselves why they want the transformation. In addition, the leadership team must give its full 100% support and understand what it is all about.

 5. What is 1 Aspect of coaching Agile teams you like the most?

Watch people and teams grow. When you start working with a new team you often see them struggling with the changed context. When you take them on a journey and try together to become every day more agile, restore that connection, you will see people blossom and work motivated.

+1. What the concept or idea behind Sugar Me? 

Sugar Me originated from the idea to make a positive contribution to the world. We do this by providing agile training and our projects which we tackle following an agile approach. We have the ambition to inject an Agile mindset into all departments within a company in order to build real Agile companies.