Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn) series) . Editorial Reviews. Review. “ The subtitle of this book says it is for 'ScrumMasters, Agile eBook features: Highlight, take notes, and search in the book; In this edition, page numbers are just like the physical edition; Length: pages; Enhanced. "This book is a must read for any agile coach and part of the collection of books that I personally consider to be the "Agile Cannon." I recommend taking notes as .
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The Provocative and Practical Guide to Coaching Agile Teams As an agile coach , you can help project teams become outstanding at agile. Anonymous. Similar Free eBooks Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers. Pages·· MB· Downloads·New! Coaching, Mentoring and Managing: A Coach Guidebook. Coaching Agile Teams book. Read 71 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The Provocative and Practical Guide to Coaching Agile Teams As.
Setting high performance as your baseline expectation and giving teams a way to achieve it play directly into these powerful motivators. Thus invigorated, everyone wins. The company gets better results. The company gets teams that can do anything. The teams, and the individuals who comprise them, achieve more autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their lives. Everyone tastes the sweet fruits of high performance. Set the Expectation Expecting high performance does not mean that you demand it.
Expecting high performance means that you simply know achieving it is more than possible;it is normal. Expecting high performance means that you believe the team can attain it, so you hold them, compassionately and firmly, to that expectation. By believing, you urge them to strive for a vision of what they can become together. They get called forth to be more than they are now. This propels them forward sprint after sprint and release after release. All along the way, they touch moments of greatness together, fueling their desire to continue the journey.
They also experience disillusionment and heartache, causing them to fall back. Through it all, you remain steadfast in your belief in high performance—and in them.
You believe in high performance, but what is it? You will not find that kind of definition of high performance in this book, either. I seek not to pin it down but to free it by acknowledging that high performance is not as much about achieving a certain state as it is a journey toward something better. So, too, may teams that get fractionally better all the time. As their agile coach, help them start their journey toward high performance by simply setting your expectation that they will achieve it.
Then, give them the raw materials they will use to create their own resonant definition of high performance—a vision that lets them imagine it and reach for it.
Coach them to choose the next step on their path and the next and the next , all the while staying aimed toward their inspirational vision of high performance.
Create a sense of anticipation, expectancy, and excitement for this journey—first in yourself and then let it flow to them. Lead by believing. Introduce a Metaphor for High Performance Metaphor is a powerful thing. Professional coaches have known this for a long time. Clients use the metaphor to guide them through the events unfolding in their lives. Perhaps the client has a calling, something important to share with the world.
Teams use metaphors the same way. Through your coaching, a team may create their own metaphor to help guide them through turbulent or exciting times. To get them started and to help them create a vision for high performance, offer images that spark metaphor.
One such image features a tree: the High Performance Tree. The high Performance Tree The High Performance Tree came into existence when I was coaching several teams that had been together for some time. They were doing fairly well with the basic practices of agile standard meetings and accomplishing sprint goals , and they were consistently delivering results that mattered, yet their managers knew there was more to get.
I had to come up with something evocative that would kindle their desire to pursue high performance on their own terms, something each team could use to come up with their own highway or pathway. Fresh from my own learning about the power of metaphor, I created the High Performance Tree see Figure 2. Introduce the tree to the team any time.
Doing so at the beginning, perhaps in the team start-up, sets them up well, but it also works to introduce the tree as a way to look at a problem or deficiency when one crops up. Once introduced, refer to it as situations arise in the team and use it as material for retrospectives.
To introduce the tree to the team, just draw the tree from the roots up as you teach the meaning of the Scrum values and as you list the characteristics of high performance.
You can see from the illustration that you need not be a good artist to do this. As you write the words for the roots of the tree, teach the Scrum values. Simply stated, they are as follows: Commitment: Be willing to commit to a goal. Scrum provides people all the authority they need to meet their commitments.
Focus: Do your job. Openness: Scrum keeps everything about a project visible to everyone. Respect: Individuals are shaped by their background and their experiences. It is important to respect the different people who comprise a team. Courage: Have the courage to commit, to act, to be open, and to expect respect Schwaber and Beedle You can also use Extreme Programming values in place of,or in addition to, the Scrum values if your team develops software.
Problems with projects can invariably be traced back to somebody not talking to somebody else about something important. Simplicity: What is the simplest thing that could possibly work? Make a bet that it is better to do a simple thing today and pay a little more tomorrow to change it if necessary than to do a more complicated thing today that may never be used anyway.
Feedback: Concrete feedback about the current state of the system is absolutely priceless. Optimism is an occupational hazard of programming. Feedback is the treatment. Courage: Have the courage it takes to develop good software, which may mean throwing away code and changing direction, even late in development.
Courage Beck and Andres If neither of these sets of values fits and your company has established values that will work well, then use those instead.
Use only those values that evoke a sense of desire in the team members. I want us to be more like that. I want our company to be more like that. If the roots are strong, they nourish the tree, and the tree grows up to the sky—straighter and taller. It sprouts leaves that gather in more and more sunlight. As the leaves gather light,they,in turn,nourish the tree. Everything grows stronger,taller,and greener. The tree has become an inviting place, and the team notices they have sprouted some things themselves—the characteristics of high collaboration and, thus, high performance adapted from Tabaka : They are self-organizing rather than role- or title-based.
They are empowered to make decisions. They truly believe that as a team they can solve any problem. Thinking of an agile team as a system, perhaps as an ecosystem more than a machine, reveal the system to itself through observation that invites exploration. As the coach, you simply state what you observe and then allow silence Once you detect problems, design a retrospective that will likely raise them.
They live in a world of constructive disagreement As their coach, you help teams navigate conflict. You show them a method To determine the level of conflict in a team, an agile coach must spend solid time with the team members. This means direct observation over a period of days or weeks to see the conflict in its natural environment While observing, pay attention to these three things that help assess the level of conflict: Hear complaints, feel the energy, and focus on language Listen compassionately, take in what the complainer is saying, and make it clear you care so much that you are spending the time needed to see the full scope of the conflict.
Notice how the team room feels when you first walk in. Is there a hum of earnest and coordinated effort? Are people in motion together, in conversation, at the whiteboard, or at their computers? Agile teams—even new ones and even broken ones—can often navigate conflict by themselves. Instead, you bring the conflict up and then address it in the context of teaching or reaffirming agile—a practice, a value, a mind-set, a vision—with the team the best time for teaching the team a new framework comes exactly when they need it most—in the middle of the problem itself Unsolvable Conflict Dr.
They do not go away.
There is no way to solve them. In the extreme, you can divorce and remarry with the likely result that you will have traded one set of perpetual issues for another. Relationships on agile teams are intimate. The reality of unsolvable conflict is as valid in this context as in a marriage Take the first step by teaching the team that unsolvable conflict exists and is expected and normal.
Tell them that the way to live successfully with unsolvable conflict is to increase the number of positive interactions between them to help navigate the conflict when it arises.
Injustice can be eliminated, but human conflicts and natural limitations cannot be removed. The conflicts of social life and the limitations of nature cannot be controlled or transcended. They can, however, be endured and survived. It is possible for there to be a dance with life, a creative response to its intrinsic limits and challenges. When a property of a system cannot be traced back to any of the individual parts in the system, it is called an emergent property.
Your personality is an emergent property of your brain. It cannot be traced back to individual neurons. Coming up with ideas and dreams that lead to collaboration and innovation requires that team members assert their individuality Artful making [collaboration] requires building up individual ego in group members, while tearing down vanity.
Strive to bring out different angles so that people can excavate their assumptions. With the assumptions laid bare, it becomes possible to see new ways of working, maybe even breakthrough ideas for creating products that make a difference. To create a strong muscle, they need exercise. Think of the product as the results of their conversation and the process as what they do in conversation with one another to yield the product. They can circumvent many of the problems with product requirements, including collecting sufficient information across customers, partners, and internal stakeholders to make product decisions.
Not only are the games relatively lightweight exercises, but they also use a lighter touch to resolve many debates over product decisions Keitt and Grant COACHING Getting good at agile coaching means practicing. And failing.
And getting up again to practice some more One-on-one interactions and team retrospectives are the times when an agile coach sows the seeds of change You need to value the individual as the person that they are, respect their opinion, and learn more about their individual beliefs and personal goals. Concentrate on creating the type of relationship you need to have with people in order to initiate change and have the influence you want.
The art of listening becomes particularly important You get to help establish an environment where every team member is allowed to work to the best of their abilities and produce remarkable solutions that really answer business needs. I helped teams understand the dynamics that made them successful or caused them problems , and creating that awareness helped them to figure out how to celebrate their differences and create the unique Team Entity identity that makes them high-performing.
Apr 17, Kiryl Baranoshnik rated it liked it Shelves: I acknowledge the significance of the book for the time of its publishing, but I find it largely lacking substance.
There's very little practical information. It's mostly just expression of common sense backed up with the Agile paradigm. I also have a strong feeling the book was bloated by the publisher to be more voluminous because "pages sell".
Many chapters could've been easily boiled down to a bulleted list without losing much meaning. It is probably a good entry level booked, but for an ex I acknowledge the significance of the book for the time of its publishing, but I find it largely lacking substance.
It is probably a good entry level booked, but for an experienced professional, you probably won't find a lot of new knowledge here. Jun 19, Wes Baker rated it liked it Shelves: This book was worth reading, but I'm not sure the whole thing was worth reading. At times, it seemed that the author had a quota to fill and at other times that she truly cared about a subject and just let the ideas flow. It's this strange mix of loquaciousness and clarity that makes this book both hard to finish and hard to recommend.
If you have the time and truly care about the subject, it's worth a read. If you're just starting, it might be worth holding off for a while. Jul 20, Roel Trienekens rated it it was amazing. Decided to revisit this one as a refresher. Even after having read it years ago, it still reminded me with plenty of hooks to be more conscious of my coaching, my stances and approach.
Must read if you want to become an agile coach and help agile teams improve. Jul 30, Sicofonia rated it it was amazing. The book covers a wide variety of topics, from how to develop individually as coach to coaching teams in Agile principles and practices.
It also talks about the different "modes" for an Agile coach, that is teacher, mentor and coach. And how to apply those depending on which stage of Agile understanding a team has reached.
There is plenty of good references in this book as well, source material that I guess served as inspiration to Lyssa Adkins. Maybe the book doesn't go too deep in terms of exp The book covers a wide variety of topics, from how to develop individually as coach to coaching teams in Agile principles and practices.
Maybe the book doesn't go too deep in terms of explaining why the techniques that are presented could be useful, in that sense it is not a comprehensive book. But by covering a wide array of topics it can be your starting point as an Agile coach.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can see how I will be coming back to it in the years to come to search for inspiration.
Oct 24, Evgen Schekotihin rated it really liked it. The main question is: What you where expected from this book? If you want to find answers to question "Why And should i go there?
You need to believe in Agile. If you decided to go and searching information about "Where and How Maybe a little about coaching, something about conflicts, a drop of powerful question The main question is: Maybe a little about coaching, something about conflicts, a drop of powerful questions but nothing about active listening and EI.
Will I use knowledge from this book? Will I read it again to get more to become Agile coach faster? Definitely Yes. Mar 27, Krzysztof rated it it was amazing. It's that book that tells you what an agile coach does.
I honestly recommend it to everyone who is interested in becoming an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, or who want to include a people oriented management style in their projects or teams. The book helps to get started with your self development path, giving some good practices and ideas for start and an helping you plan your journey further. It's written in a reader friendly style, offers a lot of examples and cases that help you reflect on the p It's that book that tells you what an agile coach does.
It's written in a reader friendly style, offers a lot of examples and cases that help you reflect on the presented topics. Mar 13, Katarzyna Sikora-Smets rated it it was amazing Shelves: I wish I had read it earlier!
This book gives a lot of practical advice and a lot of ideas. It is based on Scrum, which the author states in the beginning, but most of the content is universally applicable. There are certain aspects I do not identify with, however, the book does not condemn you for having different ideas, you are often reminded that it is a description of the author's experience, not an instruction to be followed to the letter.
Take it as such, and use it to grow yourself. Nov 23, Bryan Jacobson rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was recommended by my outstanding Agile Coach, Chester Jackson. I totally love it. The book captures the heart and sole of Scrum Master, Agile Coach and servant leadership - and is packed with practical examples and tools to get you there.
If you are a Scrum Master or Agile Coach, get this book and read it. You'll love it enough to re-read it. I read at least a couple pages every day! Great book with a new perspective on teams and coaching This is an amazing book on agile coaching. I still need to come to terms with the fact to let the team be. It really advocates a decontrolled team environment.
There are tools and several guidance given. The idea of creating a void so that the team can fill it is amazing. Nov 03, Jefim Piekarz rated it it was amazing. Lyssa does a wonderful job walking you through the role of an Agile Coach - the key skills, concepts, ideas, and finishes it off with some very relevant journeys. Oct 16, Jordan Munn rated it really liked it.
Despite not having a formal coach in my office, I found this book to serve as a bit of one anyway. I really enjoyed its perspectives on different Agile processes and participants, and reference it regularly as I encounter different situations at work. Sep 03, Nikolay rated it really liked it Shelves: Good book with a lot of practical advises and references to other sources.
Book is well organized and consistent in terms of provided information and ideas. I'd recommend it to Scrum Masters, Project Managers and any leader working in agile environment. May 31, Andrey rated it really liked it. Mar 31, Fran Cormack rated it really liked it Shelves: This is one I think I will be dipping in and out of a lot. A great reference for all Agile coaches.
Mar 18, Tiago Palhoto rated it really liked it. A lot of material and sometimes a bit more though to digest, but a great reading! Nov 27, Kenneth Roberts rated it it was amazing Shelves: Love this book. Just what I needed on my journey! As a new agile coach out in the world, this is like having a mentor with you on your journey!!
Sep 16, Yann Che rated it it was amazing. Great book for project managers who would like to embrace a coaching approach to their work using agile practices. A lot of tips, experience and insights shared. Jul 31, Ken rated it it was amazing. Great examples in this book! Sep 07, Stacie rated it it was amazing. This book has become my go-to for direction and guidance on agile coaching.
Oct 18, Gerard rated it did not like it. Too much fluffy new age self help snake oil and not enough about how to get work done. If you are already getting "extraordinary" results from agile and want to "love" your team more then this book might be for you but otherwise stay away.
Feb 25, Jbancroftconnors rated it it was amazing. This book had been recommended to me many times, by many people. It forms one of the core study books for PMI's new agile certification and you'd be hard pressed to find a conversation on agile coaching that doesn't reference this book or the author. Like me, Lyssa Adkins is a recovering command and control project manager and this is one of the things that makes this book resonate for me.
Whether you are an eccentric software coder, turned agile visionary, or a former art major, turned project manager, turned aspiring agile coach, this book will speak to you. Very importantly, it speaks right to project managers "in transition.
With practical pages of content, there is a lot to absorb. It is not an evening's light reading. Some of the concepts and mental challenges they raised had me setting the book down so I could process.
All in all, it took me several weeks to read the book as there was so much to absorb and my mind wasn't ready for it all at once.
But there was no way I was not going to finish this book. The book is broadly laid out into three sections and the first hint you have on what it takes to be a good coach is that two of the three sections have to do with you.
Starting with the obvious "will I be a good coach? Along the way it teaches you a lot about yourself. This section covers six aspects of being an agile coach, from the high level mentor concepts to the details of how a coach can help resolve conflict in a team. One of the things I truly appreciate about agile, is its stance on failure. Lyssa's book is no different and this section tackles head on the mistakes you will make and that it is okay to make them as long as you learn from them. It touches on the journey and knowing when you finally get there Hint- you never do.