Thoughts on Agile Coaching

There are incredible people in the world that have taken up the profession of agile coaching. There are others, like me, who are figuring out what to do with their passion. Others still, are trying to make a buck by riding a wave of the current trend.

I’ve been asked a few times by co-workers how I approach what I do. I thought I’d write a little to try and formalize my thoughts around what I think it means to be an agile coach. Maybe this will provide some good topics for discussion, or maybe it will help people figure out what to look for in a coach themselves. Or what not to look for.

Let me break down the process first:

  1. You First
  2. Seek Permission
  3. Launch
  4. Nudge
  5. Feedback
  6. Farewell

I will go into each of these topics in detail in future posts. It is important though that steps 4 and 5 repeat numerous times. In fact, they are the heartbeat. If you choose only one, then like a heart, you will not survive long.

Now for the skills needed:

  1. Teaching
  2. Mentoring
  3. Facilitation
  4. Coaching
  5. Listening & Observing

Most of these skills I am mentioning are the same as what the Agile Coaching Institute identifies. I happen to agree with them and have been through some of their training. I did add Listening & Observation because I believe they require distinct practice and attention.

Lastly, what knowledge is needed:

  1. Agile
  2. Technical
  3. UX/UI
  4. Product Development
  5. Management & Leadership
  6. Project Management

For these areas of knowledge, you can’t hope to be effective without in-depth agile knowledge. This would cover several frameworks and methods, as well as the techniques used within them. The other knowledges allow you to bring more help to other groups and disciplines within an organization.

I’ve listed a lot of different things here. The skills and knowledge sections are interesting. Each one is a life well spent learning and practicing. For me, I can’t kid myself about what I can do and what I know. I can, however, take in a little more knowledge, and practice my skills when I can. I may never be great, but I can hope to be better than I am today.