The cause and effect clock for agile coaches

I wanted to introduce you to the cause and effect clock as a workshop tool for coaches

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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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Is there a template for a BA role description?

Is there a generic job title or description?

A lot of people ask me for a good template for a BA role – but I tell them there is no such thing.

A BA “helps people understand things”, but different business analysts help different people understand different things in different contexts.  Some may not even have the job title of BA.

Fortunately though, it is possible to agree on what a BA is doing on a specific project, or for a specific client.  Doing this can help with setting and managing expectations.

How can I explain my BA role to someone else?

I always start with a sentence about why the BA is there in the first place.  This is a much better starting point than trying to list all the things a BA might do without providing the reason.

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I thought training was easy – what is going on here?

I spend a lot of my time training people in areas such as agile project delivery, business and product innovation and business analysis. Allegedly I spend around 50% of my time running training sessions, while I also spend time consulting or providing “transition management” to help an organisation through change.But against all expectation I have been seeing an increase in demand for training over the last year and seem to be spending 90% of my time running training or facilitating workshops. This is great because I am getting a steady and interesting supply of work.  But it also led me to start wondering how the training landscape is shifting.

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The humble trade-off matrix

I have been doing some business analyst training recently and I spoke about a “trade-off matrix” a couple of times. A couple of people have asked for a good link to explain what one is and why they are so cool. So I looked on the web and couldn’t find anything decent enough to send through.

So I thought I would describe what a trade-off matrix is here. I will also briefly mention why they are useful and then mention a couple of variations that people might not have heard of.

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