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Agile Transition: Internal Coaching PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan LeFebvre   
Friday, 08 April 2011 21:35

Last time, I talked about the first mechanism for sustaining an agile transition, impediments escalation and removal mechanism. This time, let’s look at internal coaching.

Anytime you learn a new skill, there are times it feels awkward. You are not quite sure you are doing it right or improving. Feedback and coaching is the key here. It is great to start with an external coach to get the ball rolling, but to truly create an agile workplace, a capacity for internal coaching must be developed.

There are two primary ways for developing coaching I’ve seen work. First, create a position of internal agile coach and assign someone fulltime. Second, create communities of practice where those in similar roles get together to help each other out, create standards of better practices (notice not “best” practices since that implies you cannot improve), and observe each other to provide feedback. This often starts with ScrumMasters and soon expands to Product Owners, Testers, and even Developers who want to improve their craft.

These moves demonstrate management’s commitment to the transition. It sends a clear message that the organization is serious about making a change and is willing to invest time and money to make it happen. When people see this kind of commitment, they become more willing to try new things, ask for help, and grow. The support system that is created by this mechanism keeps things moving forward. It creates more internal experts and champions. These in turn teach, mentor, and develop others. A new group of leadership emerges which injects new energy into an organization.

Next time, we’ll look at the third important mechanism, portfolio management.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 23:55

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