Coaching in Adult Education

In my mental preparation for Agile Coaches Camp in Minnesota, I am excited to talk to coaching practitioners after a couple months of research and study of current coaching practices. My research is about exploring the adult learner’s ability to enact personal change using coaching techniques within formal education that inspires a growth mindset. For the scope of coaching I am inferring, I discard terms of mentorship, training, and consultancy and rely on the definition of Jatkauskiene, Jatkauskas, and Jovarauskaite … [Read More]

Kanban Values for the Workplace

This week I had the honour of speaking with somebody considering the adoption of one of the kanban tools that I use, with a request to share my experiences with it. My participation in this conversation was mostly due to the fact that I use kanban outside of technology development and use it for curriculum design and administrative purposes at a university.

Being a practitioner manager, not an administrator

Despite being in a highly operational role, there has been tremendous value discovered in maintaining a practitioner’s viewpoint as a faculty member as well. I frequently facilitate courses just like any other online adjunct faculty member, and this recently offered me another opportunity to improve administrative processes.

Process Optimization Enables Fixed Price in Curriculum Design

The focus on the agile curriculum design that has been so valuable for lean curriculum design and delivery is mostly to ensure a quality and relevant piece of curriculum or program is created in the shortest period of time in a just-in-time (JIT) environment. However, upon reflection, another huge benefit of this process is the fixed price changes. Previously, a fixed price was set for writing an entire course, but the process optimization has broken down the development across a … [Read More]

Kanban Moves Upward in Academic Administration

This is the story of the Princess and the Pea. Sort of. Actually, this is the story of how administration felt the effects of kanban being used in areas that were not immediately visible. Only in this case, the effect the pea (kanban) had on the princess was so positive that she demanded more peas!

Visualizing Motivation in a Personal Kanban Board

The basic flow of a personal kanban board is pretty straight forward with it’s To Do, Doing, and Done. This alone is an incredible step forward in allowing the individual to visualise the work and limit the work in progress for incredible focus. Combine the tasks with Pomodoro Technique and the essential tools are in place for an incredible mindset adjustment towards productivity, as I’ve discovered with introducing both personal kanban and Pomodoro Technique to college curriculum. Over the last … [Read More]

Acton University Reflections

It always surprises me that, after a week of incredible sharing, thinking, and reflecting, I’m exhausted. That week was also a changing point in my doctorate from despair to inspiration. The week ended with my learning how to use all four positions on the cello and watching an enlightening talk about embracing uncertainty by Dan North. Topping that week’s experience is going to be difficult, but frankly, I’m not sure my brain is up to it anyway at the moment! … [Read More]

Intentional Silo-busting

It’s always a joy to get insights into another industry that has an effect of silo-busting. Any time we experience interdisciplinary research or practice, that is also a great silo-busting experience. A big scale example is how neuroscience has been positively impacted by several disciplines for ground breaking discovery of how our brain develops. A more immediate example for me is how agile methodology and lean systems for software is the inspiration for  the curriculum design model I developed. However, … [Read More]

Agile Experience Reports: Writing vs Reviewing

One year ago I wrote my experience report about applying agile methodologies to the curriculum design process I use in my university. Tim O’Conner was a great shepherd providing insight on what the community needed to hear from me. Something that he recommended to me was to provide a “giving back” section. Granted, there should be strong implication of how the experiences are in the article can apply to other situations. However, this extremely intentional bullet pointed section was extremely … [Read More]

Time Management: Perspective, Balance, and Flow

My career is rather ever-present in my life, and since it’s mixed with family working at home with a husband on the road quite often, time mastery was quickly moved up the list of priorities. Recently, I discovered something that I’ve always known, but at the same time, never completely clicked. My guilt was always pretty high when I would focus 100% of my mind on my job, yet be so mentally exhausted after 4-5 hours. Yes, I did Pomodoro’s … [Read More]

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.