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Agile Coaching

August 7, 2013

Live from Agile 2013

I participated in a session by Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd of the Agile Coaching Institute yesterday. It was a good reminder, and provided some insightful new thoughts.

Lyssa and Michael put together the Agile Coaching Competency Framework and they are also working on the Agile Coaching Learning Objectives.

Agile Coaching Competency Framework

This is great! I know where I stand on each of these, and I know what to be looking for when hiring Agile Coaches in the future to ensure that we’ve got a balanced team.

Agile Coaching Competency Framework


We can’t expect everyone to be strong in every area, so how can we complement the skills of the existing team? Well, Lyssa and Michael suggest you explore your current coaching team and also what you need when you next hire. Gold.

Agile Coaching Learning Objectives

The ACLO covers the key roles: Agile Team Facilitator, Agile Coach, and Enterprise Agile Coach. When the Scrum Alliance is certifying Certified Scrum Coaches they are looking for Enterprise Agile Coaches – good to know. Find the most recent draft here.

My key takeaway from this session though was to take a facilitator class, Lyssa and Michael emphasised that this was such an important piece.

One final thought, for more on this take a look at Craig Smith’s Agile Coaching Workshop presentation.

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This was a presentation given by Samantha Thebridge at UX Australia in 2012 – Developers will design: Let’s make them amazing at it. She touches on a number of the tactics the design team at Atlassian used to get the developers to think like designers as they build new features. Definitely worth a watch.

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This is like a hackers guide to levelling up in the software development world. If you don’t know a lot about Agile, software development practices or customer development read through the following books and you’ll be conversational.

User Story Mapping – Jeff Patton

Brilliant approach to collaborating to gain a shared understanding of what a team is trying to achieve – solving customer problems in the most effective manner. Definitely read this.

Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder

The product management team at Atlassian picked this up back in 2010. It won’t take you long to read through this book – the exercises are the key takeaway and you will need to set aside time for those.

Ash Maurya riffed on this and came up with the Lean Canvas which is aimed at entrepreneurs. You can use Confluence to build lean canvas’ too.

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

I was fortunate enough to interview Eric at Summit 2012. Fascinating stuff to be found in The Lean Startup.

All of Eric’s writing evolved from Steve Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany, now superseded by The Startup Owner’s Manual. I am yet to read The Startup Owner’s Manual, but I did catch Steve’s keynote at SF Agile – gold!

Switch – Chip & Dan Heath

Get it, read it. One of the earlier books in my Product Management career that helped me understand how to change behaviour. Looking back, reminds me of work by Nir Eyal and Seth Godin.