My McKinsey journey as an agile coach

I’m an agile coach in McKinsey’s Gurugram office. I joined McKinsey in 2012 as an operations engineer, providing support for Oracle, MySQL and other relational database management system (RDBMS) technologies. From there I expanded to the reliability engineering group, where I was responsible for product management, change management, problem management and onboarding new applications.

Gurbrinder hosting Agile workshop
Agile coaching session (before COVID-19)
Gurbrinder hosting Agile workshop

McKinsey has given me great access to tech learnings both internally and externally. In my operations engineering technology role, I learned additional RDBMS technologies, including MySQL and DB2 and NoSQL systems like Apache Cassandra and the Neo4j graph platform. I also worked on automation projects using Ansible, Python & Shell Scripting.

In 2017, with the support of my managers, I decided to try my hand at becoming an agile coach and scrum master.  I’m now a certified scrum professional, scrum master and product owner, certified agile leader and Kanban system designer. I’ve led more than 10 agile squads in development operations, product and client services as a scrum master. Now, I’m a leader in McKinsey’s agile group.

Gubrinder facilitating agile meeting
Gubrinder facilitating agile meeting

We have a saying here, which I find rings true: Make your own McKinsey. It means that within the firm you can explore opportunities and build your own path based on the work that excites you. We have the opportunity here to learn and experiment with disruptive tech languages, platforms and methodologies.

Making my own McKinsey

In my current role, I serve as an agile coach to squads around the world, leading them to follow data-driven visualization approaches to problems, past patterns and new opportunities. I also mentor and coach scrum masters through designing and executing virtual and in-person workshops and training programs.

I don’t limit my methods to scrum. I am inspired by Liberating Structures techniques, lean processes and design thinking. I also love using Kanban’s practices like visualizing and managing workflow to establish predictability.

A strong community

The leadership at McKinsey has been very supportive. I have had mentors who helped me in my journey, and I’ve mentored others in turn. I enjoy the people at McKinsey, the culture and the inclusive environment that the company fosters. Every day, I work with colleagues at all levels within McKinsey, with different technologies and in many geographies and time zones.

Bhangra dance performance with McKinsey colleagues
Bhangra performance (before COVID-19), a Punjabi folk dance form with my McKinsey group “Bhangra Jammers” 
Bhangra dance performance with McKinsey colleagues

I am happy to have found groups of like-minded people within McKinsey. I perform Bhangra, a Punjabi folk dance form with my McKinsey group “Bhangra Jammers” at McKinsey events like Values Day. I’m involved in the corporate social responsibility team, I serve as the Go Green Team board member and I’m part of McKinsey Toastmaster’s club, which promotes communication, public speaking and leadership.

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About Gurbrinder

Based in Gurugram, India, Gurbrinder is an agile coach with our internal Technology & Digital team. Prior to joining McKinsey, he was a Java developer focused on insurance and telecom projects. Gurbrinder earned his bachelor’s in technology from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in New Delhi. Outside of work, he volunteers with charity groups for causes including women’s issues, children with special needs, pollution and blood donation.

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Gubrinder protesting against pollution
Marching against pollution (before COVID-19)
Gubrinder protesting against pollution

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