High performing organizations, high performing teams, and high performing people do not often happen organically. They are a return on investment.
We’ve spent time in the trenches, both giving and receiving coaching, at organisations of all sizes: from small startups to large enterprises. In this article, we will use our hard fought experience to shed light onto Agile Coaching. First, we will take a step back, helping define what being an Agile Coach means and what skills are necessary to be successful in an organization. Then, we’ll examine patterns and anti-patterns for both in-house coaches and coach-consultants. We will shine light on how to enable coaches to be successful in your organization.
What is a coach?
Agile Coach is an overloaded term. It’s applied to advanced scrum masters, trainers, and leaders who aren’t sure where they fit in an agile organization. Agile Coach is not a role mentioned in Scrum, Kanban, XP or any other agile framework or practice. It’s grown organically as larger organizations have realized the benefits of agility and appetite has increased for long-lasting change. Coaching can reap amazing rewards if done skillfully. What does a skillful coach look like?
Companies that rely on external agile consultants want to know if they are acquiring good coaches with a proven track record and broad industry experience. Companies that prefer raising their own coaches want to identify the people with coaching aptitude. Individuals that pursue the career of an agile coach wonder if they have what it takes to become a coach. Individuals that have established themselves in the role of agile coaches wonder where the industry is taking the role; what is the future of agile coaching as it becomes a broader role with a more diverse definition?