Reading path for Agile Coach (Basic)
Lean-Agile is driven by “business value.” The goal is to meet the customer’s value and quality objectives and to deliver as much value to the customer as they can consume, as quickly as possible, in the most efficient manner possible, in a sustainable way.
Getting to Lean-Agile involves transitions from what has been done to the new way things will be done. In between is the “neutral zone” in which people must come to embrace the changes: in organizational processes and approaches and how work is done at the team level. It involves embracing new mindsets.
Successful transitions have a team who is planning and attending to and managing the entire transition journey. This includes sponsorship, stakeholder engagement, vision, messaging, status, impediments, and adjustments. The Agile coach is an important part of the transition plan. The coach is the interface between leadership, the transition team, and the people and Agile teams going through the transition. In many ways, the coach is the face of the transition at the ground level: attending to processes, surfacing impediments, communicating the plan, developing and realizing the roadmap. See the article, Where to begin your transition to Lean-Agile.
The Agile coach is always thinking about helping the organization and teams learn to drive their processes and flow from business value and to see ways that effort involved in the value stream can be managed so that the organization is spending just enough effort to discover and deliver value quickly and sustainably.
The practice of coaching
Coaching is the practice of supporting individuals, teams, and an organization through the process of achieving a professional result. It differs from consulting, mentoring, and training. It involves more questioning and facilitating than doing particular tasks for the person or team or group. It is more focused on process, discovery, transition, leadership, and mindset than it is on particular projects. The goal is to help the people to develop a new mindset, to acquire a new set of tools, and to make adjustments to processes and structures. The coach helps them gain confidence and effectiveness so that they can sustain the gains.
Coaches seek to build the capability of management, teams, and individuals so that they can quickly become self-sustaining. This involves ever-increasing competency in specific knowledge and skills. The end result is an organization that is well on its way in the transition to an enterprise with the foundation, direction, and process guidance to get there.
The Agile coach may use any number of approaches depending on particular needs of the client: directive, Socratic, hands-on, and letting the team run. Every approach must be based on the following core principles: