How do I know that is true?

I help teams be “more agile.”

My favourite approach is to help them build a culture of self improvement. I figure that if we get that right, then the team will invent all the agile things that they need.

An extremely basic approach to getting better

This should work in theory, but it means the team will be limited to learning based on their own experience. So how will they know if they are learning the right skills?

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What does an agile coach actually do – is it really that simple?

In my last article, I explained what I think agile coaches do in practice. But I did not reveal some of the complications and messy bits that get in the way of adopting the model in any sensible way.

So in this article I will explore some of the complexities and messy bits.

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Extending the coaching agreement – what do agile coaches actually do?

In my last article, I discussed what I think is NOT actually agile coaching.

This time I will tackle the tougher challenge – what does a good agile coach actually do?

A quick word of warning though – this simple question seems to have resulted in a long article. I apologise for not making this as short and to the point as it should be, but at least I have warned you.

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Extending the coaching agreement – when is an agile coach not an agile coach?

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.

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Its a catastrophe – the kindergarten approach

I have been discussing some approaches to help teams deal with both “catastrophes” and “impediments.”

This time I am looking at an approach that really is about catastrophes, by which I mean things that are really overwhelming a person or team.

In this situation people feel out of control and potentially panicked. So we want to find an effective way to deal with overwhelming, major challenges.

You might be surprised though where I found this approach.  It was in kindergarten.

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Its a catastrophe – the doctor’s office

I have been publishing a couple of suggestions for dealing with “catastrophes” and also “minor impediments” with agile teams.  In each case I either shared some questions or put some boxes on a wall.

In the last two articles, I stole someone else’s simple approach and re-framed it as a problem solving or “catastrophe” re-framing approach.  But this time I thought I would share an approach I came up with myself – I call it “The doctor is in.”

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Jason’s coaching journey. The mysterious cheat sheet

The mysterious cheat sheet

In this long read, we continue to learn about Jason and his experience as an agile coach.

In this episode Jason and Sonja stumble on some useful tips for coaches when they stumble on a coaching cheat sheet left behind by one of the ancient coaches and they learn some great tips to use when coaching.

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Jason’s coaching journey – the struggling coaches

Some context before we start

This is the second in a series of long articles about Jason, who is an agile coach.

In the last episode, Jason was coaching away happily when suddenly it all came crashing down.

In this episode we look at how he reacts and how his friend Sonja tries to help him through some agile coaching.  Then we look at some tips on how Sonja could have more effectively coached Jason.

coach focus when slapped

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Coaching when they will do the wrong thing

My last couple of articles have been about presenting ideas so that people listen to what you are saying.

But what happens if you explain something to people and then they decide to do the wrong thing anyway?

Of course it is possible that you were wrong and that they are right.

But what if you are sure that they are about to do the wrong thing and that it will hurt them when they do?

The care factor

When people are about to make a mistake, I often stop to ask myself how much I care.

If I don’t care much what they do then I can just keep my mouth shut

Sometimes I have found myself arguing with people when I really should just let them make their own call and move on. So one of the things that I am still working on is to avoid expressing an opinion where there is no need to.  Instead, a good coach is one who let’s people form their own opinions.

But what if I do care that the person I am coaching is going to make a mistake and I think I should tell them?

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