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Hiring (or Growing) the Right Agile Coach

  • Lyssa Adkins, Michael K. Spayd
  • 00:46:37

There are as many types of agile coaches out there as there are flavors of ice cream. And, their levels of leadership maturity and skill can vary just as widely. It can leave one fretting, “What am I really getting when I bring in an agile coach?” or “How do I develop myself as an agile coach?”. In fact, what are the “must have” skills of an agile coach and how can you tell if someone has them?

The Agile Coach Competency Framework is one big clue to answering these questions. Over the past two years, this framework has guided the development of hundreds of agile coaches. Agile managers and champions also use it to obtain “truth in advertising” to hire the right coach at the right time.

We will explore this framework and provide lightening-talk-style case studies that showcase how it has been used in the real world.

  • Since 2004, I have taught Scrum and Agile Coaching to well over a thousand students, coached many agile teams, and served as master coach to scores of apprentice coaches. In both one-on-one settings and small groups,

    I enjoy a front-row seat as remarkable agile coaches emerge and go on to entice the very best from the teams and organizations they coach. Prior to agile, I had more than fifteen years of expertise leading project teams and groups of project managers (I was even a PMO Director — twice!), yet nothing prepared me for the power of agile done simply and well.

    I believe that agile is more than an alternate project management methodology and I am passionate about deepening the roles in agile – specifically agile coach and agile manager – to help agile move into its fullest expression.

    I hold an alphabet soup of certifications: Certified Scrum Coach (CSC), Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB) and Organization and Relationship Systems Certified Coach (ORSCC). I am also a trained Co-Active Coach and Leader.

    In 2010, I authored Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition.

  • In a word, my professional work is about transformation. I seem to be wired to help people, and systems, change. I am drawn to cutting edge ‘technologies’ for coaching and organization development.

    I have been an organizational change coach and consultant for 20 years, working with Fortune 500, small businesses and non-profits. For 10 years I have specialized in technology-oriented teams and associated enterprise transformation efforts, working with over 50 teams in that time. I was trained as a Team and Organizational Coach and hold a Masters degree in psychology, and I am trained in Co-Active leadership, executive coaching, and organizational behavior. I am also a Certified Organization and Relationship Systems Coach (ORSCC), a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF), and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

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