Monday, March 28, 2011

Selecting the perfect Agile/Scrum/Lean/x.... Coach?

You need a Agile or Scrum or Lean or ... Coach to help you in your trip to Agiland? How can you select the perfect or more suitable candidate?

On my way, I had trained my advisors and consultants with the guidelines of J. Salacuse's Book "The Wise Advisor" and made it mine since several years.
On my point of view, these guidelines are still a must-have for xCoaches.

Here the abstract:


1. Accentuate the positive
2. Don’t emphasize the negative
3. Always offer actionable, helpful options.


1. How well does my advisor know me?
2. To what extent is my advisor committed to helping me and protecting me from harm?
3. Have I agreed to the role my advisor will play in helping me?
4. Is my advisor giving a solo performance?
5. Has my advisor made the advising process clear to me, and is my advisor dealing with my problem in a constructive way?
6. Is my advisor’s advice free of impurities of disloyalty and carelessness?
7. Has my advisor given me an idea of how the advising relationship will end?


1. Keep it as short as possible
2. State the purpose of your memo or report up front
3. Get to the point quickly. Don’t philosophize.
4. Use heading and sub-headings to structure the document
5. Always use the active voice.
6. Don’t repeat at length information that your client already knows

Coaching and Advising are Services that you deliver for a defined customer. Coaching and Advising can be managed like an agile Project with:
- a clear and sharable Vision
- a Release Plan
- a Backlog of Actions
- a Customer, Users, a Coach (eg Mentor), a Coordinator, a Development Team

As conclusion, do not select a brand, a guru, a Rock-star, but a person who understands you.

Take care about (Real experience):
- Coaches coming to help you with engineering Techniques when you have a Delivery/Release Problem
- Coaches with no Consulting/Advising Experience

At last, starting an agile Project is not simple because you will impact the whole organization. Make it step by step.

In a post, a fellow agile coach wrote that Scrum is helping people to walk, then to jog and then to run.
This guideline is also true in your Transition to Agility.

No comments:

Post a Comment