Deborah Hartmann Preuss
   Helps Individuals & Teams Maximize what Matters

I am passionate about making work valuable and rewarding, and I thrive on helping teams and their customers discover the best ways to do this, starting from wherever they are on the process spectrum: be it high-control, chaotic or in-between.

image (c) Hugh McLeod

With over twenty years' experience in the IT industry, I know that process can help or hurt a team. I've mentored colleagues and improved the processes of numerous software development teams during my career, from helping small teams get started with Agile to assisting with the enterprise-wide rollout of an Agile software development methodology. Helping teams "make sense" of their work is what I do - read further to see how I help teams and individuals.
...more about Deborah Preuss)



Services Overview:

How are you
How can you
get better?
Agile Team

Because even Agile teams get stuck
Effectiveness Coaching:

Asking you the hard questions,

urging you to find a balance
you can do what you love


Support in Times of
Rapid Change

Tools to meet upcoming
challenges head-on
Experiential Training
To really "get" the basics of Agile methods and teamwork.

Process Evaluation
Shortened timelines and rapid market shifts have made organizational agility critical. When your process feels like an anchor, rather than a motor, a few carefully aimed process changes can produce rewarding shifts in quality, productivity and morale. The approach used can be more or less formal, to work with an organization's culture:
  • Facilitated Retrospectives
    given a chance to reflect, your people know what
    needs work. Together we determine where the biggest opportunities for improvement lie.
  • Process Evaluation and Recommendations
    a consultative approach, using interviews and meetings to collect data about current results and practices, resulting in a briefing and/or action plan.
Agile Team Process Improvement
Agile "by the book" simply doesn't exist - it must be adapted for each team and organization. Over time it may become apparent that the "mix' isn't right - even seemingly innocuous compromises may result in longterm under-productivity and/or strife. This remedial service helps existing Agile teams diagnose their own "stuckness" and get passionate again, through use of interviews, retrospectives, coaching, metrics and check-ups.
Support in Times of Rapid Change
Some say "change is good", others "change is hard". The fact is: change is inevitable, and changing the ground rules for a team or an organization inevitably causes stress and uncertainty, and under pressure it's easy to revert to comfortable old patterns that simply don't help. Teams that actively learn new mental models together are better equipped to handle the occasional chaos that change brings.
  • Your Organizational Culture - an exploratory workshop and strategy session
  • Promising What Matters, and Keeping Your Promises - effectiveness coaching for teams, their clients, and/or the larger organization
  • Growing Highly Productive Teams -  a talk for management outlining current thinking on how traditional management approaches stifle teams, and how they can support true self-organization, to gradually grow happy, effective, accountable teams.
  • Facilitated Retrospectives and Action Planning - setting aside time to consider where change could bring more value and satisfaction. Includes concrete action planning.
  • OpenSpace meetings - where groups bring their best ideas and develop creative synergy around the most pressing issues they face. Expect to be surprised by what comes out of these energetic sessions!
Experiential Training in Agile Methods
Interactive training that goes beyond the book-learned basics to help teams, or a whole organization, understand how the Agile Values bring a radical shift, and what may be stirred up as a result. Teaches a "continuous learning" approach to help participants  "surf" the coming waves of change and resistance appropriately in their own context. Appropriate for software developers, their clients, and others who make promises to deliver goods and services in the context of high stakes and tight timelines.
  • Agile Methods for Teams: basic training for one team, or multiple teams working on one product.
  • Care and Feeding of your Agile Team: customized training for Managers and Product Owners 
  • Add-on modules for specialized topics. Ex: Building your team room, Agile engineering practices, Distributed teams, etc.
  • Startup workshops to set you off on the right foot::
    • Refine your requirements
      - a customized user story writing workshop
    • Build your team and environment
      - laying the groundwork, when you're ready to go Agile
Coaching provides a skilled helper when you are ready to examine what's hindering your true satisfaction at work or at home. Together we will set aside  "shoulds" and "oughts" and design new ways to get the results you want - ways that leverage your strengths and take into account your weaknesses. Coaching usually starts in person and can continue on the phone or with visits and retrospectives.
  • Shining as You Re-Learn the Ropesone-on-one coaching to support changing roles at work
  • Scrum Mentoring - "light touch" pairing and coaching to support and train a novice ScrumMaster or product owner
  • Life Coaching - individual, confidential whole-person coaching, where the client sets the agenda and is kept accountable for the "next steps" they decide to pursue. Professional coaching skills keep this moving at a rapid pace - not for slackers! coaching - Deborah Hartmann Preuss
Read more or book a sample session
on Deb's coaching website

Meet Deborah (Hartmann) Preuss!

I live with my husband Ilja in Karlsruhe, southern Germany's Agile IT hub and a great home-base for travel!  Until recently, I lived and worked as an independent Agile trainer and coach in Canada and the US.  I love to help teams and businesses produce real value while enjoying great teamwork, so I am always customizing new offerings to meet specific needs.  I am a Certified Scrum Practitioner and also a formally trained Team Coach and Life Coach.  A former Quebecer, I enjoy working in English and French, and I'm re-learning my mother-tongue of German - it's coming along nicely!

You may know me as a "community creator." In addition to creating and managing the developer news site for 3 years, you may be familiar with some of my events: OpenSpace at XPdays in Toronto, Montreal, Washington and NYC; RoCoCoCamp 2007 (the international version of RecentChangesCamp), QconLondon 2007 Agile Track; OOPSLA OpenSpace 2008; and AgileCoachCamp 2008 in the US. 

I'd be happy to take your call, for quick consultation or further information.  I may be on the road, so please do leave a message.  I look forward to speaking with you!


skype: debhart
+49 (151)