Padma Putrevu has worked as a project manager, Scrum master and agile coach for more than 20 years in a wide variety of industries. To complement her depth of experience, she chose to embark on a journey that would lead her to successfully becoming an ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC). Earning this credential supported her career and helped her grow from being a team coach to a senior leader. After working as a Scrum Master at Fannie Mae for nearly eight years, Padma recently joined Freddie Mac as a Senior Leader.
Applying Agile Learning to Daily Work
In Padma’s role as a Senior Leader with Freddie Mac, she has taken her learnings and applied them daily.
“My learnings reinforced for me that change happens best in a team when team members feel heard, feel psychologically safe, and have shared values. Organic or bottom-driven change is a result of ideas, retrospective actions, and small changes that are self-organized by the teams.”
Along with gaining new credentials, she has also gained a wealth of knowledge about herself that she brings to every team she joins. “My learnings with ICAgile helped me identify my coaching stance which is to co-create the future with my team with the conviction that teams are naturally creative, intelligent, generative, and resourceful. I observe, identify small opportunities for dialogue and explore avenues for continued team growth. I study the reaction that ensues and work with what shows up. I have grown from being a team coach to a Senior Leader.”
Starting the Agile Coaching Journey
In 2018, Padma was introduced to ICAgile’s Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF) certification. “It was a game changer for me.”
Padma was able to identify and spotlight her facilitation stances and understand how to maintain neutrality within a group. Through several deep dives into the facilitation process, learning techniques based on level of collaboration, and deepening her learning through relevant group activities, she was equipped with the knowledge to succeed as a team coach.
After earning ICAgile’s Agile Team Facilitation certification, Padma wanted to continue her learning journey. She was seeking something that would strengthen her abilities to navigate team conflict, help her teams attain higher levels of agility, and deal with resistance within her teams and the environment she operated in. ICAgile’s Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) certification became the logical next step.
“Going through this program, you will emerge stronger as a trainer, facilitator, mentor, and coach. You will walk away with greater self-awareness of your communication style, identify your coaching stance and more importantly, be able to work with what shows up.”
Continuing the Journey with an ICAgile-Accredited Expert Program
After completing both courses, Padma decided to continue deepening her competency in the coaching space. Padma joined an ICAgile Accredited Expert Program with Team Catapult to become an ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC).
Padma shares, “The small size of the cohort, the weekly group calls, the residential, the individual coaching and supervision support were extremely helpful. The program design was very intentional about practicing the skills of coaching, mentoring, training, and facilitation.”
It really took things to the next level for Padma. “For several years I was a project manager, and my mindset was all about driving the projects to completion.” All the fine nuances of one-on-one coaching and team coaching became apparent during the cohort program.
“At the end of the day, it's the people who choose and create the processes. It's the people who choose the tools. How do you make teams work well together? How do you work with what shows up and create space for dialog? I think that became very ingrained after this nine-month cohort.”
Padma’s strong coaching skills help her team improve their performance and their ability to deliver value in a world of rapid change.
Through this cohort experience, she gained many insights. “My learnings reinforced my conviction that agility and agile coaching is taking what I know from books, experts, and frameworks and adapting to the people who will be working with me. Ultimately, good agile is about ensuring that people feel heard and feel that it is working for them.”
“Among the many takeaways and learnings that have stuck with me throughout the programs, what stands out is self-mastery starts with self-awareness.”
Padma continues to help agile communities attain their vision and value while continuing her own learning journey.