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Coaching Agile Teams


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Mike Cohn xiii Foreword by Jim Highsmith xv Acknowledgments xvii Introduction xix About the Author xxv Part I: It Starts with You 1 Chapter 1: Will I Be a Good Coach? 3 Why Agile Coaching Matters 4 The Agile Coaching Context 5 Let's Get Our Language Straight 8 Move Toward Agile Coaching 9 An Agile Coach Emerges 15 Native Wiring 16 Make Agile Coaching Your Personal Expression 18 A Refresher 18 Additional Resources 19 Chapter 2: Expect High Performance 21 Set the Expectation 22 Introduce a Metaphor for High Performance 23 The Destination Never Comes 29 A Refresher 30 Additional Resources 30 References 31 Chapter 3: Master Yourself 33 Start with Self-Awareness 35 Recover from Command-and-Control-ism 40 Prepare for the Day Ahead 43 Practice in the Moment 46 Be a Model for Them 53 Support Yourself 53 Always Work on Yourself 54 A Refresher 55 Additional Resources 55 References 56 Chapter 4: Let Your Style Change 59 Agile Team Stages 60 Agile Coach Styles 64 Feel Free to Let Your Style Change 67 A Refresher 70 Additional Resources 70 References 70 Part II: Helping the Team Get More for Themselves 73 Chapter 5: Coach as Coach-Mentor 75 What Is Agile Coaching? 76 What Are We Coaching For? 77 Coaching at Two Levels 78 Coaching People One-on-One 83 Coaching Product Owners 97 Coaching Agile Coaches 107 Coaching Agile Managers 109 A Refresher 114 Additional Resources 114 References 115 Chapter 6: Coach as Facilitator 117 Wield a Light Touch 119 Facilitate the Stand-Up 119 Facilitate Sprint Planning 123 Facilitate the Sprint Review 128 Facilitate the Retrospective 132 Facilitate During Team Conversations 136 Professional Facilitator and Agile Coach 142 A Refresher 143 Additional Resources 143 References 144 Chapter 7: Coach as Teacher 145 Teach During the Team Start-Up 146 Teach New Team Members 169 Use Teachable Moments 170 Teach Agile Roles All the Time 170 A Refresher 180 Additional Resources 181 References 181 Chapter 8: Coach as Problem Solver 183 An Agile Problem Solving Rubric 185 Problems Arise and Are Sought 186 See Problems Clearly 192 Resolve Problems 196 A Refresher 200 Additional Resources 201 References 201 Chapter 9: Coach as Conflict Navigator 203 The Agile Coach's Role in Conflict 204 Five Levels of Conflict 204 What Level of Conflict Is Present? 207 What Should You Do About It? 211 Carrying Complaints 217 Unsolvable Conflict 221 A Last Word on Conflict 225 A Refresher 226 Additional Resources 226 References 226 Chapter 10: Coach as Collaboration Conductor 229 Collaboration or Cooperation? 231 From Cooperation to Collaboration 232 Build Individual Collaborators 233 Surplus Ideas Required 238 Build the Team's Collaboration Muscle 239 Reveal the Heart of Collaboration 251 A Refresher 253 Additional Resources 253 References 254 Part III: Getting More for Yourself 257 Chapter 11: Agile Coach Failure, Recovery, and Success Modes 259 Agile Coach Failure Modes 260 Where Do Failure Modes Come From? 261 Recover from Failure Modes 263 Agile Coach Success Modes 266 Practice, Practice 268 A Refresher 269 Additional Resources 269 References 270 Chapter 12: When Will I Get There? 271 Agile Coach Skills 272 Beyond a List of Skills 279 A Refresher 285 Additional Resources 286 References 286 Chapter 13: It's Your Journey 287 Agile Coach Journeys 288 A Refresher 305 Additional Resources 305 References 305 Index 307

About the Author

Lyssa Adkins has taught Scrum to hundreds of students, coached many agile teams, and served as master coach to many apprentice coaches since 2004. Coaching coaches one-on-one and in small groups, she enjoys a front-row seat as remarkable agile coaches emerge and go on to entice the very best from the teams they coach. Prior to agile, Adkins had more than fifteen years of expertise leading project teams and groups of project managers in large and small consulting firms, commercial software companies, and the Fortune 500, yet nothing prepared her for the power of agile done simply and well. She teaches the "Coaching Agile Teams" training course, which allows agile coaches to learn, practice, and deepen the skills and mind-sets offered in the book.


" The subtitle of this book says it is for `ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers,' however, its guidance and advice extend to anyone associated with an agile (Scrum) team. It will also certainly help team members better understand their relationship to the work ScrumMasters, agile coaches, and project managers do for the team. And, beyond this, the book can be valuable to anyone working in a coaching capacity with any group of people, expanding the book's application beyond agile-based efforts." -Scott Duncan, Agile Coach " Lyssa explains brilliantly how skills from professional coaching can be applied to coaching agile software development teams. What I love about this book is how Lyssa brings practical advice to life by relating it to everyday experiences we all recognize. An essential guide for every agile manager's bookshelf."-Rachel Davies, author of Agile Coaching " As I read this book I could actually hear Lyssa's voice, guiding me and sparking precious `a-ha moments.' This truly is the next best thing to having an experienced and wise coach sitting by your side, helping you be the best coach you can be for your team."-Kris Blake, agile coach " Lyssa Adkins presents agile coaching in a gentle style with firm underpinnings. She resolves the paradox of how coaching can help a team to self-organize, and shows how a nurturing environment can push teams to perform better than ever."-Bill Wake, Industrial Logic, Inc. " I love Lyssa's three qualities of an agile coach-loving, compassionate, uncompromising-sweet. Every chapter offers a compelling blend of philosophy and action, framework and freedom, approach and avoidance, as any agile book should. Coaching Agile Teams is a good candidate to become dog-eared on my desktop rather than looking good on my bookshelf. The depth and quality of expertise that Lyssa sought, sampled, and sounded out along her own coaching journey have been synthesized in her own voice of experience."-Christopher Avery, Responsibility Process mentor, " In my experience with agile projects, the agile coach is one of the most important roles to get right. Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins gives the details and practical insights for what it takes to be a great agile coach."-Dave Hendricksen, software architect, Thomson-Reuters " I remember the first time I met Lyssa at a Scrum gathering in Orlando, and realized very quickly how inspirational she would become in the agile community. This book encapsulates her thoughts and ideas into a fantastic literary work that, I believe, fills a void in our community. We knew the role of a coach was needed, but for a long time we were not sure what that role actually was. We struggled as a community to explain what to do, when to do it, and what to do next. Lyssa not only collates all of the things we as coaches aspire to be, but has provided some great advice with realistic direction on how to be the best coach you can be for your team."-Martin Kearns, CSC + CST, Principal Consultant, Renewtek ply. Ltd.

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