Being a Scrum Master or Agile Coach is a challenging job! We've created this page to help you to grow so that you can improve the productivity and effectiveness of your team. Whether it is deepening your understanding of the rules of Scrum, improving your ability to lead scrum events skillfully, or simply hearing stories about coaching that didn't work, we hope you will find the resources on this page useful.
Imagine that you have a favorite restaurant and that you go there all the time. The restaurant's specialty is the veal chop. You love the restaurant and the veal and you recommend it to everyone. You have a good friend who visits your restaurant based on your recommendation. But rather than getting the veal, she orders the spaghetti and meatballs. Her husband orders the vegan burger, which BTW is terrible. They wind up very dissatisfied with the restaurant.
Most IT organizations today have adopted some flavor of Agile. Some use it across the board and some use it for just a few projects. The question I frequently get from leaders and managers is why are things getting worse now that we are using Agile?!? If this describes your experience, here are 5 questions you can use to better understand the results you are getting.
#1 - Are You Seeing Problems You Have Always Had or Are They New Problems?
Earlier this year I wrote "What makes an Agile Coach Effective". I talked about how coaches won't succeed if people aren't ready or able to take in the coaching and how coaches fail when they tell people what they should do. I wrote it out of my own shortcomings as an Agile coach, and my recognition that I am still very much a work in progress.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought about what makes a coach effective and how to improve my own effectiveness as an Agile coach. Many or most of us probably are in a position where we have an opportunity to coach others, whether that be our team members, our employees, even our bosses. As parents, we may be coaching our children and spouses. And we probably also have the experience where we are being coached by others.
What do you think are the top traits that an Agile Coach should have?
I don't think that every coaching situation is the same so there isn't one set of "best" or ideal traits. However, what would you say are the most important traits for most engagements? This is my list of 10, in no particular order - what did I miss? What would be on YOUR list of top characteristics?
This question about exit criteria for Agile coaching came up in a recent Agile Meetup. Participants wanted to know how to determine when coaching is no longer needed. I flippantly responded with “when the budget runs out”, because that seems to be when most organizations stopped coaching.
One Meetup participant (who I previously coached) responded that the need for coaches is ongoing. As he put it, professional sports teams don’t outgrow their coaches, in fact, the higher the level the more coaching they get.
How does an organization decide it is time to hire an Agile Coach? What are the indications that coaching is needed?
Last week I wrote about exit criteria for Agile Coaching - how to know when you no longer need a coach. Thanks to those of you who shared your insights! This week I am looking at 'entrance criteria' for coaching. That is, how would an organization know that they needed a coach?
Here are some of the ideas that I came up with.