Agile Coach Performance Management: Measure Yourself as a Coach, Not as a Manager


work for a company with a deep-rooted performance management process, expect that receiving formal recognition for good agile coaching might take some time. During the wait, however, measure yourself, and be content with your teams’ real accomplishments (and your very real contributions to them). When confronted with “You weren’t lt;insert your favorite controlling adjectivegt; enough,” simply restate the results the team produced, and know that they would not have achieved them were it not for your work.

It will change, but only if you don’t give up.

Deliver Your Own Performance Review
A surefire way to know whether you have “arrived” as an agile coach requires you to do one simple thing: Notice your impact. When you interact with the team and offer an insight or a powerful question, notice what happens next. Do they come up with better or simpler ideas? Do they move into action with clarity? Do they ask for what they need and require the “powers that be” to provide it?

When you coach people one on one, notice the impact of your conversation on the person you are coaching. Notice both the impact in the moment and the effect days or weeks later. Also, work up the courage to ask people about the impact of your coaching on them. Ask the following: What has changed in the way you view the work? What new ideas have emerged? How has your ability to stay in action changed?

Deliver your own performance review by considering your impact as an agile coach, reveling in the things you do well, and squarely facing the places where you disappoint yourself or others. No one else will judge you more harshly or fairly. Only you know when you have “arrived.”

[1] Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))

About the author

Lyssa Adkins's picture Lyssa Adkins

Since 2004 Lyssa Adkins has taught Scrum to hundreds of students, coached many agile teams, and served as master coach to many apprentice coaches. In both one-on-one settings and small groups, she enjoys a front-row seat as remarkable agile coaches emerge and go on to entice the very best from the teams they help. Prior to agile, Lyssa had more than fifteen years of expertise leading project teams and groups of project managers, yet nothing prepared her for the power of agile done simply and well. Lyssa authored Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition.

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