Agile Coach (Basic): Competencies

The competent Agile coach must have a set of knowledge, skills, and basic traits. The table below lists some of the most common competencies. When hiring coaches, look for people who have these traits and can learn or develop the skills and knowledge to do the coaching.

Area Coaching competencies include…
  • Consistently honest
  • Inspirational
  • Motivational
  • A people person
  • Realistic and positive
  • Willing to share power
  • Focused
  • Fair and impartial
  • Confident
  • Cool under pressure
Agile Principles and Practices    
  • Understanding the Inflection Point System so as to suggest invent innovative, hybrid approaches when existing practices won’t work
  • A commitment to incremental realization of value
  • Able to identify and define business value
  • Definitions of roles and their standard work
  • Value stream mapping and value stream management
  • Understanding Agile principles sufficiently to be able to interact with teams at least at the process level to facilitate problem-solving at the process level
  • Kanban, Scrum and Agile practices sufficiently to be able to help set up and establish the practices at the team level
Knowledge Transfer Methods
  • Coaching skills and approaches
  • Pragmatic facilitation skills and Trim Tabs
  • Adult learning and training techniques
  • Agile training curriculum and how to modify courses based on needs
Transition Management
  • Metrics: Calculating and interpreting them
  • Proficiency Assessments: Leading assessments, interpreting them, and setting goals
  • Models of transition and change management
  • Organizational dynamics and how to identify them
  • Risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies for Agile environments
Business Discovery
Iteration 0
  • Kanban: Board setup and management, analysis, SLAs, etc.
  • Managing WIP
  • Technical practices (general understanding and applicability)
  • Virtual team collaboration
  • Writing correct and complete features, chunks, and stories
  • How to set up projects
  • Selecting techniques (Kanban, Scrum, etc.) based on the needs of the team and the Inflection Point System
  • Feedback and Continuous Improvement
  • Daily Retrospectives (often referred to as “stand-ups”)
  • Handling “failure”
  • Kaizen
  • Messaging
  • Project board management
  • Properly addressing impediments
  • Iteration Retrospective and After Action Review
  • Visual controls and reporting