What is the role of a Via Agile Coach?
When an organisation performs an agile assessment, there will be a number of areas identified that they will want to improve. The first step is to build the necessary new agile skills through training. However acquiring new skills is only part of the solution. Generating the necessary motivation individually, at team level and organisation level to make change happen and sustain that change is where the power of coaching comes in.
The role of an Agile Coach is to support a group and/or squads to become high performing. This includes:
- Supporting a new Agile team in onboarding into Agile ways of working.
- Supporting and coaching key roles to effectively facilitate key Agile ceremoniessuch as Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-ups, Retrospectives, Showcases, 1:1 and teamcoaching sessions.
- Leading and coaching around Agile principles, ways of working, mindset and behaviours –‘Doing’ Agile and ‘Being’ Agile.
- Increasing Agile capability and confidence within squads. Applying Agile learning to satisfy specific training needs for Agile squads and notably for key Agile roles of Product Owner and Scrum Master.
Agile Coach and Team Engagement
- Initial Engagement & Contracting: Agile Coaches foster ing relationships with Product Owners, ScrumMasters and the Team. The Coach takes the lead on contracting with teams on how they will work together and when and where the Coach will be available to each squad.
- Agile Planning: The Coach supports the Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Team through the planning process from initial idea creation via Story Mapping all the way to Sprint Planning and delivery of working software for review.
- Assessment & Coaching Plans: Working directly with teams and the wider leadership group, the Coach creates tailored coaching plans for the Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Team to evolve their agile understanding.
- Engagement with Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Teams: The Coach will organise weekly 1:1s with Product Owner and ScrumMaster coach and mentor them through the challenges of agile adoption. Additional support also available to team members where required.
- Agile Events: The Coach provides support for the agile events like Daily Stand Up, Demos, Sprint Planning, Sprint Retrospectives and Backlog Refinement.
- Agile Training: The Coach will provide training on all aspects of agility and based on the needs identified during the agile assessment. The Coach will also provide ad-hoc bitesize training in the form of Lunch & Learns on key agile topics to the teams and wider organisation.
- Sharing Success Stories: Success breeds success. By collaborating to share adoption success stories, the Coach will help build a culture of agile evangelism which is vital to achieving long term and sustainable change.
What Can Be Expected?
- CONTRACTING: A coach is normally assigned to 3 or 4 team. They will work with each of their squads in the early days to agree how and when they spend their time. This ‘contracting’ exercise is essential for both parties. The Agile Coach will take a lead on contracting with their squads.
- SUPPORT: Coaching is a particular type of support that doesn’t seek to give answers but to guide and support individuals to find the answers for themselves, thus making them self sufficient and able to operate autonomously. Coaching from squad to squad will look different depending on a number of factors including individual preferences, learning styles and existing Agile knowledge.
- FACE TO FACE: If working remotely this can mean that those casual interactions that help build working relationships do not occur. As such the Agile Coach will seek to spend time with you as much as possible to get up to speed with the squad and see where they can be of most value. Nothing beats face to face time – ideally squads will spend face to face time with their Agile Coach at least once a week.
- QUESTIONS! Our transition to Agile throws up many questions on how our day to day should work. Your Coach will work with you to build your own Agile Handbook that gives a good overview of the Agile model you are looking to implement in your organisation. Where you have questions on how certain things should work, you can work directly with your Agile Coach and colleagues to find a pragmatic way forward.
A data driven and competency-based approach to measuring maturity of agile teams and informing coaching plans.
Once we have identified the agile goals, its time to develop the skills and knowledge to support the teams.
The role of an Agile Coach is to support a group and/or squads to become high performing.