The Agile Coach tool kit: Part 1

The Agile Coach tool kit: Part 1

Rhys Horton 06.10.2017

So what is Agile coaching, and why is there increasing demand to work Agile?

There’s a buzz around Sydney, IT & business transformation, change, growth, cost reductions, efficiencies and let’s work Agile. But what does this really mean, and why is everyone talking about it?
 
I sat down with Obed George, an industry leading Agile Coach, who has worked with some of the largest organisations in Sydney, to get a firsthand perspective of where the industry is heading. 
 
Over this two part blog, we will get to understand Obed’s skill set and how this Methodology is applied within the industry.
 
How did you get into Agile coaching and why?
 
  • I come from a consulting background, upon graduation, my first role was as a junior consultant for a firm set up by three top Ex-IBM Executives who were also very well versed with Agile. I learnt under their tutelage and working in the field. Eventually moving to senior consultant role where I was guiding client teams on their agile journey whilst also designing and building tech solutions. 
  • This experience started me on a long journey of coaching and helping teams understand and wield Agile. With years of experience, comes the ability to scale your knowledge as well as coaching multiple teams and the skill needed to guide senior leadership through tactical and strategic thought leadership. The objective is to bring about real tangible change in the ways of working, across the organization.
  • An Agile Coach is not just someone that coaches and guides multiple teams, but someone that can actively coach and guide all levels of the organization. This challenge, and opportunity, to engage everyone at every level of an organization, is why I enjoy being an Agile Coach. 
 
What’s in an Agile coach’s tool kit?
 
Agile coaches have a myriad of skills, tips and tricks that comes from years of experience. Each coach has their own skillset and their own flair, you would be hard pressed to find two coaches with the same items in their tool kit. 
 
But a basic toolkit would include:
  • Good facilitation skills.
  • The ability to bring people on a journey with you.
  • The ability to reflect the coachee to themselves.
  • Question everything, with the intent to spark creativity.
  • Reframe change to suit the audience.
  • Adapt language to suit the environment.
  • Show courage and be empowered.
 
How does a Scrum work and what does it teach us?
 
  • A Scrum or a stand up, is a sync session for the team where they come together for a time boxed period (usually 15 minutes) to discuss what’s happening with each other and if there are any blockers. This is a great way to share dependencies and to identify where help is needed. 
  • The great thing about scrum/huddle/stand ups, is that you don’t have to be in an agile environment to do this, this session can be done by any team working in any framework.
 
As we can initially see Agile Coaches bring a unique set of skills to a business, developing individual approaches, to help improves the overall performance of a business and individuals within a team. 
 
This is not just a methodology, it’s a mindset, co-operating and learning from others and being passionate about the work you do is one of the key foundations to success in an ever changing industry.

 

Rhys Horton's picture
Senior Consultant | Project and Change Management
rhorton@morganmckinley.com.au