What does a great Agile coaching outcome look like?

07 Jul 2023

Building and customising feedback loops

A key characteristic of a successfully coached organisation is the establishment of personalised feedback loops. This allows the client to discern their optimal sequence and cadence of work, evolving their practices to better suit their specific needs. These feedback loops facilitate more effective decision-making and foster continual growth, keeping the company on track towards achieving their goals.

Value focus and compassion

The essence of successful Agile coaching is twofold:

  • A ruthless focus on value: This emphasises the importance of delivering tangible results regularly, epitomised by the consistent delivery of done product. In an Agile environment, creating real value for the customers should be at the forefront of every activity.
  • Compassion for people: A compassionate Agile coach recognises the worth of every team member and works to foster an environment of respect and collaboration.

Leaving on good terms

Another marker of a successful Agile coaching endeavour is when you leave on good terms, where the doors of that organisation remain open to you for future engagements and discussions.

Identifying unsuccessful Agile coaching outcomes

In contrast, an unsuccessful Agile coaching outcome is when you or the client prematurely terminates services. I’ve had to do this on a couple of occasions. The red flag usually pops up when the client views Agile as mere window dressing, and they’re wasting my time and their resources having me there. This is when it’s ethical and professional to step back, recognising that the client is deriving little to no value from the partnership.

Sensitivity to organisational context

Being asked to leave as an Agile coach might also be a sign you are not sensitivite to the organisational context. This brings to mind the rubber band metaphor. As an Agile coach, you’re attempting to stretch the rubber band around the organisation, guiding them towards improvement. However, if you push too hard, the rubber band will snap, leaving you on your own and not taking anyone with you. And when it snaps back, it’s going to hurt the people inside the rubber band.

The challenge for an Agile coach is to gently move the organisation towards a better place, in a deliberate and compassionate manner, to help them maximise their value delivery.

About Advanced Product Delivery (APS)

APD offer private, tailored training courses as well as business agility and coaching. Our public training courses are delivered by practicing Agilists: Product Owners, Scrum Masters and coaches who are expert trainers and facilitators.

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