“What why how” coaching for skills

I recently wrote an article on coaching where I suggested building a toolkit of different approaches to use when coaching people and teams in different things.

This is my (very basic) tool for teaching a skill – it is called “what why how”.

I use it when I want to help someone develop a specific skill that I am confident I can teach and give feedback on.  For example, running agile meetings or business scoping workshops.

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Quick view: Is 2 speed IT a good thing?

I was talking to someone today about “2-speed IT” and whether it is:

  • An excuse to avoid going agile, while still hoping to be invited to all the cool “go digital” fun projects; or
  • A recognition that different types of technology require different approaches, requiring IT teams to adopt a strategic view.

I started to explore my thinking on this when I found that the argument had already been succinctly captured elsewhere. So here is a quick summary of other people’s thinking about what “2-speed IT” means and why it is good or bad.

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Use the river diagram to communicate data

I run a lot of workshops, including planning workshops and retrospectives.  Sometimes the crew votes on things like “what is the best feature, or how did we go this time.”

But sometimes we collect data and then want to discuss it as a team.  And this presents a challenge – I like data in a spreadsheet and I like pictures on the wall but sometimes it seems hard to capture numbers in a useful way in the workshop.

But do not fear – the River Diagram is here and this is exactly what it is for.

river1

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Somehow I missed agile going mainstream

I recently stumbled on this article again – Original article talking scrum.

Actually someone posted it in LinkedIn .

The ideas seemed so clear and so right when I read the article. In fact it seemed like something “the old guard” had ignored in their ignorance.

This was fresh, free thinking that the old guard would ignore now to their peril, while we who understood it would usher in a new world.

But then I realised that it was written in the 1980’s and was already quite old when I read it the first time.

I had an epiphany.

I used to laugh at old guys who said things like “Cool Daddy o” and “Rock on.” They seemed to think that they were radical and a bit out of control, but to me their music was “what my parents used to listen to.”

It hit me that not long ago, “agile” was something we talked about in cafes as part of the anti-establishment fight against pointless bureaucracy.

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Would you prefer coaching or coaching?

I ran an agile coaching course recently and, naturally, we spoke a lot about coaching.

We ran through a lot of different techniques and approaches to coaching people in agile teams, but we discovered that both “coaching” and “agile” might mean different things to different people in different teams.

Then someone asked how they would know when to apply different approaches to coaching. The answer we came up with was:

“It depends who you are coaching and what they are hoping to achieve.”

That left people a little confused about how and when to apply different techniques. So we came up with the following diagram that might help (although I have added a couple of bits based on previous conversations with people).

coaching types

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Notes on story walls – longer term planning

I have been writing about story walls and how agile teams might use them to manage their work.  But some agile teams feel rushed because, although they can see what needs doing today, they don’t know what is coming next.

So in this article, I will extend the idea of using a story wall to look into the future.

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