Name: Ilektra Kanaki
Job Title: Agile Coach
1. Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Athens, Greece, and moved to the UK 11 years ago after completing my Mechanical Engineering degree to continue my studies in Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield University. My passion for the aerospace industry is still there, I love travelling which I usually combine with a bit of adventure. My hobbies include running, swimming and loads of walking – I prefer hills and mountains!
2. What did you do before joining Agility in Mind?
I started my career implementing analytics for an aerospace engineering data processing platform. This role got me very close to the in-house software development team, which was going through an agile transformation at the time. Helping the team improve the product gave me the opportunity to join them as a Product Owner for the platform, where I got trained in new ways of working using agile methodologies including Scrum and Kanban. I soon found my passion in enabling teams and changed my direction to become a Scrum Master for a variety of products. I have since worked for different industries, finance in particular, as a Delivery Manager and Agile Coach for software development teams. My most recent role involved taking newly formed scrum teams through an agile journey, training them, and ensuring the successful delivery of their roadmap.
3. What attracted you to join Agility in Mind?
The teams vision and approach were what attracted me to join Agility in Mind. The coaching and consulting approach and strategy take businesses and teams through an impactful journey and ensure long-term benefits, which I love being a part of.
4. A popular question when people joining Agility in Mind; Coffee or tea? (How do you have it?)
Coffee of course, black, no sugar! If it’s hot weather I like my coffee iced, like a true Greek.
5. You have been working at Agility in Mind for nearly one month now, how have you found it?
I can’t believe how time flies. So far, I have been involved with various clients, and it has been a great experience to see our coaching approach in practise. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to Agility in Mind, every team is different and has different success criteria, and meeting those is our priority.
I have also shadowed training courses and hopefully will start delivering courses myself soon.
6. What led you to this career?
What I enjoy most in my career is observing the change in the teams and businesses I’ve worked with. I am a people person and I like to understand what drives peoples’ behaviours, what helps them achieve their goals on their agile journey. Agile coaching is a driver to that, and I find that I learn more on every engagement I support, whether it’s a team kick off, facilitating a meeting, or training a team.
7. What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
In my previous role as an Agile Coach I joined a newly formed tribe which had a few challenges ahead and a strong roadmap to deliver. At the same time they were having to agree their ways of working so they would work well together within their squads. I started with agile training and we agreed on their preferred methodology of Scrum. The squads were very receptive of the new framework and worked hard to achieve both their delivery targets as well as their continuous improvement of practices. It was very fulfilling for me to see how much they had improved and achieved in only 15 months.
8. What are your goals for 2021?
I have already started achieving my professional goals, joining the team, and learning new skills around agile coaching. I will also be looking to start delivering training courses as part of my role, which will allow me to learn more methodologies and frameworks. On a personal level, I have signed up for my first ever marathon this year, we’ll see how that goes!