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Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen
Book Notes from Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

Expect High Performance

  • Teams often get the basics of agile running within the first few sprints.
  • Need to see different signposts and landmarks along the way indicating progress toward something resonant and worthwhile
  • This something is the quest for high performance -its the daily act of, together striving to be the best they can be.


Set the Expectation

  • Expecting high performance does not mean that you demand it.
  • Achieving it is more than possible - it is normal. Expecting high performance means that you believe the team can attain it.
  • As the agile coach - help them start their journey towards high performance by simply setting you expectation that they will achieve it.


High Performance Tree

  • Roots - teach the scrum values
    • Commitment : Be willing to commit to a goal
    • Focus : Do your job, focus all your efforts and skills on doing the work you committed to doing
    • Openness : Scrum keeps everything about the project visible to everyone
    • Respect  : respect the different people that make up the team.
    • Courage : have the courage to commit, to act, to be open, and to expect respect.
  • Other values (Extreme Programming)
    • Communication :
    • Simplicity :
    • Feedback :
    • Courage :
  • The values that you use must be defined so that they are relatable to agile, easily understandable and resonant.
  • The characteristics of high collaboration
    • Self-organizing instead of role and title based.
    • Empowered to make decisions.
    • As a team they feel they can solve any problem.
    • Committed to team success vs success at any cost.
    • The team owns its decisions and commitments
    • Trust vs. fear/anger motivates them
    • They are consensus driven with full divergence and then convergence.
    • Live in a world of constant constructive disagreement.
  • You get the business value faster and then you get the right business value more often.


Building the Foundation

  • Scrum trainer and Mentor : Tobias Mayer, imagery of building a foundation.
  • Five things that make scrum work
    • Empiricism : succeed through a rapid progression of failures.
    • Self-Organization : the people closest to the problem are those that know best how to solve the problem.
    • Collaboration :
    • Prioritization : focus - do the next thing right.
    • Rhythm :
  • Mayer : 'I see these five principles as the foundation of emergence.
  • Everything emerges in scrum - ideas, teams, process, design, architecture, products…'


The Destination Never Comes

  • An agile teams journey toward high performance is just that - a journey
  • Teach the team to honor their ability to fully and quickly recover from setbacks.


A Refresher

  • Make sure the team knows you expect high performance.
  • Ignite their journey with imagery and challenges which allow them to create their own path to high performance.
  • Support the next step they have chosen.


Master Yourself

  • When we get into stressful situations - I start to control what they do and how they do it.
    • Command and control monster.
  • Mastering yourself so that you can be the kind of coach the team needs
  • This requires constant awareness, practice and reinforcement
    • Coaching starts with you - but its not about you.
  • Coaching is about what you bring to the team to help them unlock the potential hidden even from themselves
  • See self-awareness as step number one.
  • Ideas about good agile coaching that allow you to reflect on yourself
  • Ask some pivotal questions.
    • How did this idea fit with my current world view.
    • How would I have to change to make room for this idea.
    • What practices will I adopt to help me become more uncluttered, grounded, open to ideas and ready to coach.


Starts with Self-Awareness

  • Knowing how you react in certain situations and know what pushes your buttons
    • Knowing who you are and what your growing into.
  • Lets call the next step - Growing Edge
    • Challenged to constantly improve for the sake of your teams, identify your growing edge
    • To find your growing edge.
      • How you react to conflict
      • The words you choose in everyday conversation
      • Your position on being a servant leader
      • Your comfort with emotional intelligence


What is your Native Conflict Response Mode?

  • Common conflict response modes:
    • Competing
    • Collaborating
    • Compromising
    • Accommodating
    • Avoiding
  • Recognize your native conflict response mode so that you take notice when it arises.


How Violent is your Communication?

  • Our words can wound people and cause them pain.
  • To have important impact - you must pay attention to your language and take responsibility for your emotional wake.
  • You own your impact whether harm was intended.
    • For a leader there is no such thing as a trivial comment.
  • As an agile coach - team members look to you for guidance and approval - especially in the beginning
  • Increase your ability to influence and reach the people you coach.


Can you be their Servant?

  • A coach serving the team rather than the team serving the coach.
  • If you have a history of telling people what to do - perhaps moving toward this simple definition servers as an appropriate amount of change for you.
  • Subject of developing others.
    • Make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served.
    • Do those served grow as persons
    • Do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous
    • How do you feel about the duty of growing people.
    • How does it fit into your idea of coaching agile teams.
    • Do people leave the teams you coach better than when they arrived.
  • People grow taller when those who lead them empathize and when they are accepted for who they are.
  • Developing strength in others leads to strength in the team.  - which leads to better more innovative ideas.
Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2016 6:09 PM Agile | Back to top

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