What is an Agile Coach?


is consistent with goals and strategies of the organization is the key to improving motivation for individuals and groups of employees.

Attentive and Attuned
An agile coach does more listening and less talking.

An agile coach is attuned and keenly aware norms and guidelines should not be rigid or prescriptive and evolve through collaboration between self-organizing and self-directing cross-functional teams based on reality.

An agile coach knows intuitively norm setting can only work if the team is truly able to arrive at consensus. Norms won’t stick if members have reservations about them. However, once consensus is reached, the team is equipped with a guide that can serve to strengthen positive practices. A set of norms can serve as a common reference if contrary behaviors arise. Finally, written norms are handy for potential members and newcomers who want to quickly get a sense of the team’s adoption of being agile. Norms in hand, a team can move forward inspired and motivated to uphold the team’s approach and confident in the security such guidelines provide.

Respectful and Resilient
An agile coach knows the what, why, and how of agile and lean product (system-software) development and delivery is not one persons vision alone; to become reality it needs to be a "shared" vision through negotiation and compromise between individuals, the team and the organization.

The collaborative nature of being agile and leanagile presents an interesting paradigm shift where roles and responsibilities somewhat blur and teams ideally self-organize and self-direct. The agile coach respectfully knows the importance of not offending or alienate folks in existing organizational roles such as Quality Analyst, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Testers, etc.; roles not specifically defined in Scrum. As time goes on, the agile coach helps team members reflect on and refine their roles to meet the goal and needs of the team and organization.

“Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out”   – Coach John Wooden  

All our nerve endings are right under the surface of our skin. If we cut ourselves deep enough to reach the nerve endings we know it because it hurts. You would have to make a pretty deep figurative "cut" to hurt or discourage someone who has "thick skin". An agile coach is resilient because they have “thick skin”. Thick skinned people are not easily offended or discouraged.

An agile coach needs to accept you cannot control everything. I think we all know this at some level, but the way we think and act and feel many times contradicts this basic truth. We don’t control what the entire organization does, and yet we seem to wish we could. Most of the time we can’t even control everything within your own little sphere of influence — you can influence things, but many things are simply out of your control. So as you are faced with the many things that we cannot control we need to accept that, or we will constantly be frustrated and stopped in our tracks.

An agile coach is about being honest, telling the truth, keeping promises, and being loyal so people can trust you. Trustworthy people have integrity and the moral courage to do the right thing and to stand up for their beliefs even when it is difficult to do so.

Trustworthiness is a moral value considered to be a virtue. An agile coach is someone in whom you can place your trust and rest assured that the trust will not be betrayed. An agile coach proves their trustworthiness by fulfilling their responsibilities and not letting

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