Create a real agile team with Fogg behavior model

Last updated on: Published by: Asad Safari 0

As an agile coach, I try to help and empower companies to find their own way and move forward in their agile transformation. But there are companies that just hire me to hold a 2–3 days agile/scrum workshops for them.

I want to tell the story of one of these workshops for a company that we call it “Manko”(Not a real name). All team members, Team leads and managers participated in the workshop. There was a different type of people with different ideas and beliefs about agile:

1-Agile is a great thing and we need to follow it 2- Agile is a new fad and this trainer try to sell his gold hammer to us 3- No idea about agile and curious to learn new thing.

In my courses, I always try to reach the following goals and help the teams to stick to the change after my workshop.

1- Awareness(Why we need to change?)

2- Desire(Everyone or part of them has the desire to take part in and support the change.)

3- Knowledge (What is the Agile and different frameworks, and how they work?)

At the end of my workshops, I try to measure my result with these questions(Do they have the motivation and enough knowledge to start the change? ). 

For “Manko” case, at the end of the workshop, everybody was happy and they told me, “We will start to practice from tomorrow and …”. It was so exciting for me. 

After a while, I asked them “What is going on there?”, And in response, “Yeah, we are so busy now but trying to write user stories on Jira but developers didn’t update it … Some days we have daily standups, hmmm, not regular and…”. 

It was so surprising for me, Why such motivated guys could not succeed in their change plan? 

I thought we just need motivated guys to be able to change, and motivation can drive the change. But it was a wrong hypothesis.

The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Based on this model, We have Motivated guys but low Ability and no Prompt or Trigger

Maybe you think that Why they don’t have enough ability? Why your course didn’t make them be able to work agile. 

We need to understand the difference between Knowledge and Ability. In a 2–3 days training course, You can just create knowledge for them and not the ability. Even simulations or any kind of games cannot create Ability. 

Ability comes from daily and real work. Once the knowledge(theory) is in place, then the individual needs to be supported during the actual performance (practice). They need to do it and make mistakes and learn and repeat and practice. 

For example, you are trying to write user stories together with all team members. But you don’t know how to write or breakdown stories for your real project in the banking industry. It will create frustration for team members and as a result, they will put it away 🙂 

Cognitively Demanding (Mental Effort) — People probably already have a lot to think about, so any new behavior that they are trying to take shouldn’t increase their cognitive burden too much.

So based on the Fogg model, We need to make teams be able to change their behavior. 

Hire Scrum Master/Agile Coach For fostering ability:

  • Coaching or role-modeling in the real work environment
  • Access to right tools
  • Give Feedback
  • Co-Working with a team, for example, breaking down stories together

Trigger or Prompt

Ability and Motivation are not enough to change behavior. We need to a trigger too. There are three types of the trigger, each aimed at a slightly different audience.


The spark is a trigger that comes with added motivation. It’s perfect for those who have the ability but lack the motivation. 

Our training course sometimes works as Spark trigger. When it comes to training, a spark should help a learner see the Epic Meaning in the behavior you’re asking of them. They want to know why it’s important, and it’s up to you to make them care.


A trigger that is applied when there is high motivation but low ability. It seeks to simplify the task. As an illustration, suppose that you’re trying to eat healthier but you’re not very organized. You can sign up for a newsletter that is delivered every Sunday morning to your inbox with easy-to-make, delicious recipes for healthy meals. This will prompt you to sit down with the newsletter and plan your meals for the upcoming week, right there and then.

I think in our case Scrum Master or Agile Coach can be a great trigger for the team. She can work with them daily, Send them small pieces of training, Show them how to do a task(Like breakdown story),….

For example, I was an Agile Coach in a big enterprise, We tried to use OKR in company level. We held training courses for teams about OKR. Some of them started to write their Objective and Key results in the company’s confluence. So I started to check their pages, and comment for them. 

  • “Hey, Vahid, How do you want to measure this key result “Improve the speed delivery?, Do think we have any number to measure? like Deployment count per week?” 

Or I shared good OKRs as good internal examples to other teams in our social messaging groups. 

Or One-on-One mentoring with managers to check their OKRs. Giving feedback to them …


They are ready to change. They have the motivation, they have the ability, all they need is the starting gun to fire and they’ll get going. This is just a prompt that serves as a reminder. It can be something as simple as a post-it note.

Scrum masters and Agile coaches can create ceremonies or some reminders for teams to act as a signal. For example, weekly meetings for checking and tracking OKRs. 


I think, for sticking on agility, companies need to hire or develop empowered Scrum masters or Agile coaches or any kind of agile practitioner. 

Agile coaches/Scrum master need to understand, three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Trigger. 

If your team is not motivated about agility, let them know about the meaning and philosophy of Agile, you can ask help from external agile coaches/trainers. 

If your team doesn’t have the ability and it makes them frustrated, act as a facilitator and mentor, Work with them, Create a product backlog together. Create a safe space to learn by doing. (Company and senior leader should support you in this stage). 

Sometimes you need to act a simple reminder. Ask questions “Hey, When do you want to do grooming meeting in this sprint?”

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About the Author:

Asad Safari is an Enterprise Lean/Agile Coach. He has worked as an Agile coach for more than 7 years with several enterprises and startups. He has more than 14 years experience in the IT industry as a Software Developer, Tester, and finally an agile practitioner. You can follow Asad on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jobs To be done in the real world

Last updated on: Published by: Asad Safari 0

If you are trying to understand or learn about Jobs-to-be-Done and you are looking for real-world cases, there are a few real cases like“McDonald’s Milkshake”, and it’s difficult to find other examples.

In my previous article, I introduced a tool for agile coaches “Coaching canvas”. I tried to use the Jobs-to-be-done technique to create and introduce this canvas. In this post, I want to share my story with JBTD.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

This is the essence of the jobs to be done. Your customers are not buying your products, they are hiring them to get a job done. (CLAY CHRISTENSEN)

So it is necessary to understand the job that customer want to get done. most of the time we just think about our product and we fall in love with it but our customer or the user just think about her job.

Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, said:

In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.

In my last experience, I tried to test JBTD with coaching canvas. Coaching canvas is a tool for coaches that they can frame problems and solutions in a good format. But it’s not the main job that agile coaches want to get done. Agile coaches don’t need another tool, they want to help teams to be agile and looks valuable for them and organizations.

They “hire” this tool to make progress.

So based on this idea I started my article with this title “How to avoid imposter syndrome for Agile Coaches”. Why imposter syndrome? You know agile coaches want to help teams to be agile and looks valuable. But sometimes they are are not successful to get this job Done, and in psychological aspect, most of them will feel imposter syndrome (I’m not valuable for organization and kind of frustration).

In the classic definition of JBTD, we have different types of jobs:

Functional Jobs — the core tasks that customers want to get done

Emotional Jobs — how customers want to feel or avoid feeling as a result of executing the core functional job

Social Jobs — how customers want to be perceived by others

Something like this:

An agile coach wants to help teams to be more agile (Functional Job) She wants to look valuable in the organizations (Social Job) and Don’t feel imposter syndrome (Emotional Job).

There are lots of different canvases out there, but they hire a Coaching Canvas to get their job done.

Based on my experience, Emotional and Social jobs are over Functional jobs. But unfortunately most of the time we ignore these aspects. Over 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, Why people would like to share their photos? Instagram clocks up 3.5 billion likes every day.

But in the new definition of JBTD, 3 types of jobs are not a useful idea. Alan Klement, With respect to Jobs, no objective test can be created to say, “This is a social Job. That is not a social Job.” If I buy a Ferrari to impress other people, is it a “social” Job because I reference other people? Or should we rephrase it as insecurity, making it a “personal” or “emotional” Job? Take it from me, don’t waste your time trying to dissect Jobs into different types. It’s about as productive as trying to answer, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

I agree with Alan, categorizing jobs to 3 different categories is not a useful activity.

In another part of Alan’s story, “JTBD is not a framework, method, lens, or methodology. It’s not something you do. It’s something you learn.” Its purpose is to help you describe demand, not to tell you what to do about it. JTBD is about understanding what-is. It is not about creating what-should-be.

In my story, I learned about agile coaches demand and I tried to explain it with JBTD theory.

“An agile coach wants to help teams to be more agile, She wants to look valuable in the organizations and Don’t feel imposter syndrome.”

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About the Author:

Asad Safari is an Enterprise Lean/Agile Coach. He works as an Agile coach for more than 7 years with several enterprises and startups. He has more than 14 years experience in the IT industry as a Software Developer, Tester, and finally an agile practitioner. You can follow Asad on Twitter and LinkedIn.