There are different kind of Agile Coaches. But what exactly makes a good Agile coach? It’s not easy to give a simple answer, but with Agile Coaching it all begins with the following qualities and skills.
1. Knowledge of Agile Ideas
Agile isn’t a standard recipe, but a comprehensive philosophy. It’s a mindset in which change isn’t the goal, but rather the starting point. Agile uses methods and frameworks such as Lean, Scrum, DevOps, Continuous Delivery and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). As an Agile Coach, you need to be aware of all these different methods, and know how and when to use them.
2. Agile Coaching with an open mindset
Agile Coaching will place great demands on your personal versatility. Agile working is relatively new and is still in the development phase. So as a coach you need to be constantly open to new techniques, tools and insights.
3. Qualities of an Agile Coach
Agile Coaches don’t have an executive role, but work bottom-up. He or she doesn’t say what should happen or what went wrong, but helps the team to get more insight into their performance themselves, and take responsibility for it.
This will only work if you’re able to gain the trust of teams. In order to do this you need a good capacity for sympathy and empathy.
4. Dealing with conflicts
In an Agile environment, self-managing teams have the space to do their work as they see fit. This also means that they must be able to solve tensions and differences in opinion within the group themselves. There is no manager to intervene and appease the situation.
Conflicts in the workplace aren’t a disaster in themselves, as long as they don’t get out of hand. As an Agile Coach you have an important role in pointing out and making it possible to discuss open or underlying tensions. It can already help to ask someone how they feel and/or to break the ice with a comment that provides perspective.
‘AGILE COACHING ISN’T AN EXECUTIVE ROLE, THE AGILE COACH WORKS BOTTOM-UP’
5. Patience and perseverance
Developing an Agile mindset is usually a difficult process. Don’t expect everyone to be positive about the new way of working right away. Some people need more time than others. Focus on the things that are going well and above all, keep looking forward. Changes always take more time than you think!
Agile Coaching course? Agile Coach course
Gladwell offers an Agile Coach course. This course goes deeper into the how and why of Agile and teaches you how to support Agile transformations. If you are interested, let us know.