ScrumMaster? Coach? Agile Coach? The needs of the team and work define the role.

No matter the name, the  intention of the role is to help teams learn new skills, continuously improve, and make the transition to a new way of working. Some people say it’s a technical role, others claim that the role is primarily facilitation. I say, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring an…

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ScrumMasters and Agile Coaches: More than a Title

As I said in an earlier column, it’s not enough to slap the tile of Scrum Master or Agile Coach on a project manager, manager, or whatever other warm body happens by.  It’s also not enough to look for the keywords “CSM” or “coach” on a resume. If you are serious about helping teams learn…

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Real Coaches or Hierarchical Control in Coaches Clothing

I recently met with a group of managers who work in organizations adopting agile methods. Several of them asked whether functional managers should become ScrumMasters or coaches. That’s a risky road. One manager was adamant. In his view, making managers ScrumMasters was the best course of action. According to this fellow, managers already know people’s…

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Are You Ready to Coach?

Agile coaches are expected to help teams learn agile methods, engineering techniques, and improve the productivity of the teams they work with.  But before they can do they need to be ready to coach.  Being ready to coach means that you have coaching skills, relevant technical and process skills. But the  foundational skill in coaching…

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But /My/ Team Needs a Leader

“….leadership may be defined as: the ability to enhance the environment so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem(s).” Gerald M. Weinberg I talk to many managers (and some coaches) who bemoan that their teams can’t function without a leader (in this case “leader” usually means someone who set standards, assigns…

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The Confusing Field of Coaching

I noticed at the recent agile conference that there were lots of people who billed themselves as agile coaches, and several sessions on coaching. Seemed like more of both than in past years. I consider myself a coach, too, though not with a capital C.  I usually coach managers or teams, and sometimes coaches. Mostly,…

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A Coaching Toolkit

As a coach, your job is not to solve or do—it’s to support other people as they develop skills and capabilities and as they solve problems on their own. When it comes to coaching, one size does not fit all. You need to have a variety of practices in your toolkit in order to approach…

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