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What is Agile Coaching?

what is agile coaching?

What is Agile Coaching?

Vivek Jayaraman
1st Mar, 2019

What is Agile Coaching?


Agile Coaching is a nominalization word that is a combination of different skills and knowledge, which often has a misunderstanding. When Organizations hire Agile Coaches to help them achieve their vision, they hire a change agent to help them change and not just a framework expert who comes and implements one of the Agile frameworks. The majority of the Agile transformations fail because the Coaches fail to understand the actual problem of the organization, which is "What is the need for the change?" 


Understanding and accepting the problem is half of the solution. The focus should be more on unearthing the problem which the organization is facing. The Agile Coach is someone who spends time understanding the organization as a system that involves various components, including people, processes, policies, structures, etc. Individuals will have multiple mental models, teams will have mental models, and collectively an Organization will have mental models that hinder solving the organizational problem and achieving the goals. Agile Coaching is enabling individuals and teams in the organization to achieve their goals and solve their problems. 


What is Agile?


Agile is a philosophy, unlike what many others say about it. Some say its a methodology, its a mindset and many other things. Which brings to the next question, What is Philosophy? Philosophy is the fundamental study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Agile is everywhere, and we all are agile. If you look at the dictionary meaning of Agile, it says able to move easily and quickly.


What is Coaching? 


What is Coaching? Coaching is one of the developmental facilitation technique to enable people to identify problems, solve problems, and makes the decision on their own. On their own? Oh yea, a Coach believes that people are naturally resourceful and creative. The person who does coaching is called as Coach and who receives coaching is called as Coachee. The Coachee could be an individual, a team, or an entire organization. How does Coaching help? Watch the below videos for more details.


 


Coaching is all about working with people to bring out the best in them. The goal of developmental facilitation is to build individuals who can think for themselves instead of relying on others. Coaching is a developmental facilitation wherein the coach empowers and enables people to

  • Identify their problems
  • Solve their problems
  • Make decisions on their own

 


Who is an Agile Coach?


An Agile Coach is divided into two parts for better understanding—one who is an Agile expert and who is a coach. 

An Agile Coach is someone who helps various levels of the organization in bringing up the change. Coach wears the hat of a teacher when he/she starts during the start to teach individuals and teams about the purpose behind the change, and agile principles. Coach then acts as a mentor in hand-holding the team. They work along with the team in executing what they have learned. Once the people in the organization reaches a level of maturity, the Coach becomes the actual Coach in enabling the team and individuals in the organization to become self-organized and self-facilitated.




Agile Coach's responsibility includes helping teams build great products that their customers love. As a change agent, to help people in changing their old ways of working to new and improved ways of working that brings agility. An Agile Coach is a professional coach who is also an expert in helping people embrace agility. In many ways, an Agile Coach is similar to that of a cricket(sports) coach. A cricket coach is not just a cricket player but also a coach who can coach players for performance. The Agile coach leads by example and maintains a sustainable pace for people to give their best without burning themselves out. 


What are the benefits of Agile Coaching? 


Knowing Agile isn’t a big deal; practicing is. It involves loads of challenges. A Coach can help in bringing up the needed Change by offering perspectives and feedback. When Organizations move from where they are towards where they want to go, not everyone is ready, and not everyone wants to. It starts with chaos and proceeds incrementally chaotic without proper help. A Coach can really help in cases where things prevail in this way.


You know the organization comprises of people, and people are unique and functional. But when it comes to change, it is hard for people. Even though people know they need to stop eating sugar when they have diabetes, reduce drinking habits when they have heart diseases, they are unable to do it because change is hard. Even in life-threatening situations, people can’t change. So, Organizational transformations are nothing but moving away from the old way of doing things to a new way of doing things. Same change, same old hard, same old problems. Damn!

An Agile Coach is a powerful combination of someone who is really an expert in Coaching people and someone who is an expert in practices that enables agility. A powerful combo. A person who can bring change using common sense. 


 Why Agile Coaching workshop/training

 

As an Agile Coach, one should have passed through the stages of Teaching, Mentoring, and Coaching before they can start the transformation journey themselves. One should have a thorough understanding and successful experience of Agile Practices and Principles to start the journey. To have good learning, one should learn from a practicing Agile Coach. In this training/workshop, trainer (who is a coach) shares the real-life examples, case studies and learnings to give better knowledge to Who is an Agile Coach and What is Agile Coaching.

One will learn how to lead Organizational change as an Enterprise Agile Coach and gets to practice in real-time. During the workshop, participants practice it with the problem which their organization is facing, or it could be the change that the participant is looking for. Participants get to learn,

 
  • How to unearth the problem to the surface by using various techniques?
  • How to use systems thinking to visualize the big picture?
  • How to make changes by keeping in mind the long term adverse effects?
  • How to identify allies inside the system for a hassle-free change/transformation?
  • How to measure the efficiency of an Agile Coach using KPIs?
 

To coach individual Agile Teams, the participants will learn the objectives to improve their team coaching skills.

 
  • Conflict Management and Resolution techniques
  • Identifying and eliminating dysfunctions within a team
  • Understanding how to build learning teams
  • Various stages of team learning and self-facilitating
 

To hone individual coaching skills, participants need to understand the skillset, traits, and qualities to become a Coach. It includes,

 
  • How to conduct a coaching conversation
  • How to be the facilitator for change
  • Skillset needed for a Coach
  • Character traits and Qualities of a Coach
  • What is accountability?
 

ICAgile Certified Agile Coaching and Scrum Alliance certified CSP-SM workshop by Leanpitch provide not just learning but also opportunities to practice real coaching during the workshop. We also offer opportunities for the aspirants to practice coaching by providing free meetups, webinars, articles, videos, crash courses, etc. For the aspiring coaches, Agile Coaching workshop provides

 
  • Real-time Case studies and working knowledge of Coaching Organizations.
  • Skill sets and qualities needed to coach individuals on their life's purpose.
  • Knowledge and practices needed to build learning teams, which include building platforms for the team to fail and conflict management.

This session provides much-needed knowledge and education for both practicing and aspiring Agile Coaches.

About the author
Vivek Jayaraman

Vivek is a compassionate Coach, Mentalist, and Story Teller. He is an ICAgile Authorized Instructor, NLP Trainer, Agile, leadership & Wellness Coach, and a practicing psychotherapist with more than 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Customer Success Officer for Leanpitch Technologies & LeanGears LLC. Vivek has a knack to work closely with people and help them succeed. He shares that experience of working with people on all his training and uses them in his Coaching, Counselling, and Consulting assignments.

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