Between 2010 and the beginning of 2013, I had been playing the role of the agile facilitator as Scrum Master of the software development teams that I had the chance to work with. That means in general terms:
- Full time dedication with one team at a time.
- Those teams were only using Scrum as their development methodology.
- The company that I work with had only one department working with Agile methodologies.
- My role was a half time developer and half time Scrum Master.
- Just one certified Scrum Master from three(3).
- Almost zero(0) knowledge sharing, regarding Agile best practices between Scrum Masters.
- Process changes weren’t not allowed to be drove by the Scrum Master or the team, without upper management consent.
That being said, since February 2013 I was hired to work in a full agile young company (Seedbox Technologies) with more than eleven (11) teams using Agile methodologies/techniques, at least four (4) experienced Scrum Masters/Agile Coaches already in place and a community of best practices to help the Scrum Master team to improve over the time. Overwhelming, is the word that did come to me, that could fits better my feelings, once I faced my new reality. It was eight (8) month ago, when I learned that I needed more than Scrum Master skills to be the best in my new role, something related to become an Agile Coach. Probably at this point, you would be asking yourself:
- an Agile Coach?,
- what’s that?.
- Do I need to become Agile Coach if I’m dealing with more than one team at a time?
- What does it means to be a Coach?
- What do I need to be coaching teams/ sponsors/ product owners/ managers?.
- How should I do it?
- How do I learn how to do it better?
- Panic panic panic, etc !!!!
Well, I created a list of resources, that from my experience could help you, in your journey of becoming an Agile Coach:
- Read about Agile Coaching. I strongly recommend you the book Coaching Agile Teams, from Lyssa Adkins.
- Start joining some groups of interest which talks about Agile Coaching.
- Try small experiments with controlled damage, to make you get better on coaching practices and techniques.
- Be humble and allow you to try and learn from fail.
- Be patient, because it’s going to hurt and it’s going to take time.
- Allow you to listen and be silent when others talk to you.
- Learn about asking powerful questions.
- Be yourself and try to find your way to do things.
- Find a way to explain to the teams that you are working with, what coaching means and why is part of your job.
- Remember that coaching other means a take and give relationship, so it implies at least a engagement from both parts to work together to improve on something.
And really important, don’t panic when things are not working, hear your internal voice at let you go.
Finally, Agile Open space forums about coaching or event agile, are amazing places to learn and get better at your coaching techniques.
Thank you for reading and sharing what is your opinion about this complex matter.
See you soon.