Here’s the last article in a three-part series from Susan Evans. As we ring in the New Year, this post describes a day in Susan’s life as a product and agile consultant for VersionOne with various client engagements, travel, and a family at home.
[Back to Part 1: “99 Problems But Coach Ain’t One”]
[Back to Part 2: “My Time to Evolve as an Agile Coach”]
Working for VersionOne as a Product and Agile Consultant has been a dream come true. All of my Job Satisfaction Acceptance Criteria have been met, and I couldn’t be happier.
Being an agile consultant and traveling for my job were new concepts to me, so thankfully I had the opportunity to shadow some talented individuals to help get my feet wet, show me the ropes, and build my confidence. I’ve experienced agile failing fast, but I’ve also experienced lots of inspecting and adapting that lead to success.
As an agile consultant, I have the chance to share my knowledge and experience with the goal of steering clients away from failure and closer to success. What I love is that I get to help clients in a variety of ways so I’ll never get bored. No two engagements are the same with different clients and their unique cultures, different cities in different seasons, and all of the lively individuals I meet. I’ve been fortunate to work with clients by learning their process and helping to configure and implement the VersionOne agile lifecycle management (ALM) software platform to enhance their agile practices. It’s a great coaching opportunity and a chance to gain insight into how different companies operate.
I also have engagements where I train people who are new to VersionOne, or want advanced training. Both are very satisfying because I get to help people be more proficient with VersionOne, making their agile process that much smoother. I’ve also had the privilege to guide clients through their agile transformation. It’s so rewarding to have people repeat your words back to you and truly be excited to try something new.
All of those different clients in different cities means that I’ve slowly become a frequent ‘traveler snob’ and can relate to George Clooney’s character in the movie ‘Up in the Air.’ Being that I live in Atlanta and have Delta as a hub at Hartsfield International Airport, the nonstop flights have been great. All other airports and hotels look the same and I complain when I have to take a shuttle to the rental car, or if my room doesn’t have a mini fridge. When I get settled, I take full advantage of being in a new city. I’m an adventurous person and have really enjoyed the travel. I like to explore the touristy areas and have dinner with the locals. I was afraid that I would be lonely, but surprisingly am enjoying my alone time and it’s easy to make friends when I want some company. And my family is just a Facetime away so I can share my adventures with them, too.
I have two children in elementary school, so I was skeptical about traveling and missing out. However, my engagements are typically two to three days during the week with the occasional Monday through Friday. I’m able to block out important dates such as birthdays and recitals to ensure that I’m home. Thanks to modern technology, I’m able to easily stay in touch with my family. My daughter likes to see my hotel rooms and my son likes to make silly faces at me. I’m still able to talk with them about schoolwork, their friends, and extracurricular activities.
I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this career if it weren’t for my very supportive husband, who also works and does a great job of holding down the fort while I’m on the road. I’m thankful beyond measure. I’ve gained so much experience and knowledge but I still have so much more to learn. Thankfully, I have an amazing network of agile coaches from which to learn and an active community to speak with and listen to. The fun is just beginning and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!