I was talking to some experienced agile people and we started to discuss “agile coaching.”
We agreed that it was a great idea and that everyone should have an agile coach. But then we realised that we did not mean the same thing when we said “coach.”
We did agree on some things, like being able to identify an evil agile coach. But we were a little misaligned on what a good coach is meant to actually do.
So let’s assume you are a good agile coach, or want to hire one. Do you actually know what you mean by “Agile coach.”
In this article I will go through some of the things that people might see as an “agile coach” that I see as “not actually an agile coach.”
The next article will cover what I think an agile coach actually does and how to ensure that is aligned to the coaching agreement that you would hopefully have in place.
Continue reading “Extending the coaching agreement – when is an agile coach not an agile coach?”
Not everything in coaching is based on complex psychology and systems thinking. Sometimes you just want want a quick way to make a group decision, assess data or gather people’s reactions to an idea.
One of the quickest ways to assess an idea is to ask for a show of hands. I leaned this one in school when the teacher would ask us to put our hands up if we had a question.
Continue reading “Thumb based voting”
I have been working with some good coaches recently, but the were not very comfortable with the agile paperwork and coaching bureaucracy areas of coaching.
Continue reading “Notes from the secret agile playbook, creating a coaching agreement”
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.
Continue reading “Use the river diagram to communicate data”
I wanted to introduce you to the cause and effect clock as a workshop tool for coaches
Continue reading “The cause and effect clock for agile coaches”
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).
Continue reading “Would you prefer coaching or coaching?”
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.
Continue reading “Notes on story walls – longer term planning”
In my last article, I talked about “story walls” but in fact, I focused on task walls. The difference is minor but choosing one over the other can help improve collaboration among the team.
Task walls, predictably, are about tasks – “today I will do task 1” while story walls focus on the thing being built – “today I am working on story 3.”
Continue reading “Notes on story walls – story or task?”
Most agile teams use story walls – either physical walls or online tools to store their stories.
But a lot of those teams see the wall as a burden rather than a tool that makes life easier for them. This is a shame because the only reason you want to have a wall is because it makes it quicker and easier for the team to get their work done.
From the perspective of the TEAM, the story wall makes their work visible so that they can more easily collaborate and get things done
Since different teams work differently, they are likely to want different types of story walls. This is the first in a series of articles that run through different types of walls that might be useful to different teams. There is no best practice – just things that suit different teams.
Continue reading “Notes on story walls – simple task walls”
I often tell Agile coaches to start with a health check on the teams they are about to coach.
People think this a health check is a great idea and they often research complex algorithms and assessment tools.
But that is really hard work for you and the team. So at our coaching clinic we tried a lazier alternative – I put these conversation starter kits up on the wall.
Continue reading “Quick and easy health checks for Agile teams”