Paul Henman, Agile Coach


Paul Henman has been an agile coach for over fifteen years, working with small (single team) organisations through to multinational corporations. He has coached teams, managers, directors and VPs in engineering and product groups, as well as non-technical stakeholders.

Recently Paul has aided engineering leadership with the evolution of software development processes; facilitated lean coffee sessions, workshops, and team coaching sessions; fostered the use of spikes to reduce risk; introduced a range of retrospective techniques, and recommended tools for more structured approaches to discussing user stories and epics.

He also coached delivery teams, managers, product owners, and stakeholders; helped them create roadmaps and growth plans; designed and delivered workshops to support that growth; facilitated additional learning opportunities (e.g. lean coffee sessions, book clubs, communities of practice); facilitated Agility Health (maturity) assessment for the program management team.

As a member of Agile coaching teams: facilitated regular community meetups for Agile practitioners across the company to share their challenges and discoveries; pair-coached geographically distributed teams; mentored new scrum masters and coaches.

Before coaching, he was a software developer, team lead, project manager, and QA manager. When he joined Systematic Software Engineering he had the opportunity to recruit a team and co-create many practices that were subsequently discovered to be very similar to Scrum. The team naturally coordinated via daily stand-ups and weekly retrospectives; they worked in short iterations, providing monthly deliveries to get end-user feedback.

Recent Roles

  • Senior Agile Coach, Index Exchange (3½ years)
    • observed teams’ meetings and provided feedback either immediately to the team or afterwards to the manager depending on the situation; this could be in the form of questions, recounting related experience, refresher training, as well as positive feedback
    • created dashboards to support decision-making by teams and management, including DORA and agile-related metrics (e.g. cycle time); mentoring topics included the selection of complementary metrics, avoiding vanity metrics, and finding suitable indicators for experiments
    • coached Product Owners to move towards a single prioritised backlog rather than detailed “resource allocation plans”; supported their use of Story Mapping, forecasting (rather than estimation), and structured experimentation
    • facilitated weekly Coaching Circles and Lean Coffee sessions for Engineering managers; these forums enabled the sharing of discoveries, learnings, and challenges, leading to shared growth and collaborative problem solving
    • facilitated Lift Off sessions for newly reorganised Product Delivery Units (development teams); outputs included team working agreements, definitions of ready & done, and creation of scrum boards; the key outcome was that teams moved smoothly from forming to performing
    • encouraged teams to grow beyond Scrum “by the book”; co-created and facilitated kanban training with subsequent coaching for a delivery unit
  • Agile Coach, EventMobi (1½ years)
    As the sole coach at EventMobi, I worked with the development teams and manager to improve the effectiveness of their retrospectives. Coaching the product team and other stakeholders, we focused on product roadmap techniques and backlog management (prioritisation and pruning). With the POs and dev teams, we addressed backlog refinement, story mapping, and experiments & spikes. I also introduced some key metrics and the use of visualisation/information radiators to increase transparency.
  • Senior Agile Coach, EPAM Systems (3½ years)
  • Agile Coach, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) (3 years)
  • Previously
    • in Ontario: Agile Coach; Scrum Master; Project Manager.
    • in England: Scrum Master; Project Manager; QA Manager; Team Leader; Software Engineer.

Education / Professional Membership

Other Interests

  • Photography: founder & organiser of Toronto Photo Walks for amateur & established photographers
  • Badminton: player, executive committee member and webmaster for local badminton club
  • Toronto Agile Community: volunteer, photographer

Contacting Paul

email paul.henman@TorontoAgileCoach.ca
phone 647-388-5356
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulhenman/ linkedin


Download my résumé.