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Agile Coaching [Paperback]

by Rachel Davies, Liz Sedley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 4, 2009 1934356433 978-1934356432 1

Discover how to coach your team to become more Agile. Agile Coaching de-mystifies agile practices--it's a practical guide to creating strong agile teams. Packed with useful tips from practicing agile coaches Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, this book gives you coaching tools that you can apply whether you are a project manager, a technical lead, or working in a software team.

To lead change, you need to expand your toolkit, and this book gives you the tools you need to make the transition from agile practitioner to agile coach.

Agile Coaching is all about working with people to create great agile teams. You'll learn how to build a team that produces great software and has fun doing it. In the process, you'll grow a team that's self-sufficient and skillful.

This book provides you with deeper knowledge of how agile practices work and how to inspire your team to improve. Discover how to coach your team through the agile lifecycle, from planning to writing software. Learn the secrets of running effective agile meetings and how to get your team following a consistent approach to creating software. You'll find chapters dedicated to introducing Test-Driven Development, designing Retrospectives, and making progress visible.

Find out what works and what to avoid when introducing agile practices to your team. Throughout the book the authors share their personal coaching stories from experience with real teams, giving you insights into what works and what to avoid. Each chapter also covers hurdles that you and your team may face and what to do to clear them.


Frequently Bought Together

Agile Coaching + Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great + Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))
Price for all three: $72.34

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Davies provides expert coaching to teams in Agile software development techniques, such as Test-Driven Development and planning with User Stories. She has been working with Agile teams using XP and Scrum since 2000. Rachel is internationally recognized in the agile community, a frequent presenter at industry conferences worldwide, and a director of Agile Alliance.

Liz Sedley is an Agile Coach and .Net Developer working in London, UK. She has fifteen years industry experience, mostly as a C++ / C# developer. Liz has spent the last four years enabling companies to be more Agile.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (September 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356432
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 3.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am co-author of a book on "Agile Coaching" with Liz Sedley. I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as we enjoyed creating it!

I live in the UK, where I coach teams in agile software development techniques, such as planning with user stories and test-driven development. I've been using these techniques for 12 years now.

I love going to agile conferences and running interactive workshops. In my spare time I like organizing agile conferences large and small. I got a great buzz putting together the biggest event agile conference, Agile2008, with 1500 attendees and 400 speakers! But my favorite events are much smaller open space events where you can take a deeper dive into interesting topics like Agile Coaches Gathering.

I also served the agile community on the board of directors of not-for-profit Agile Alliance for 7 years and I'm still involved in the conference sponsorship and speaker programs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for Every Software Manager Developer September 1, 2009
Format:Paperback
There was a time when software developers worked with consultants that will do things for their company or teach some technical knowledge. Agile approaches have brought forward another type of people: coaches. According to Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, a coach doesn't tell you what to do, rather she shows you how she thinks you might do things and hope that it will help you to improve your situation. She leads by example. It is not easy to write a book on this type of topic. The authors recognize this situation and manage to achieve a good balance between general advice and practical usage reports.

The first part of the book is concentrated on the basics of coaching and communicating in software project. The software development curricula are often weak on "people" skills and you are not always lucky to find the right person as a supervisor when you get out of school. The second part goes through the different activities of a typical Agile project (daily meeting, user stories definition, planning, etc.) and discuss how coach can help a project team to achieve its goals. Each chapter has a final checklist and the book is also full of "personal stories" from the authors that enhance the theoretical advice, applying it on real situations.

Although the title of the book and some of its content might make you think that its value is limited to an agile context, I will recommend this book to every person that has some supervision function in software development organizations and to every developer who believe than acquiring additional "people" skill might improve its work environment. Just changing the way you talk with colleagues could lead to having more sunnier days at the office.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, thorough reference for aspiring coaches October 6, 2009
Format:Paperback
I echo Yves' statement in that I wish I had this book when I started out coaching teams. The book covers all the bases to get started as a coach.

For coaches like me who have a few years' experience, some sections might seem dry, but overall you will gain insights in many areas. The PrOpER (Problem, Options, Evaluate, Review) model for deciding what to do in a situation is an example of something I learned. Overall, I feel that Agile Coaching helps me go to a deeper level on the practices I am already using, as well as teaching me about technical practices less familiar.

The book is an easy read, organized so you can dive into the topics that matter most to you now and can be used as a quick reference later.

My road to learning how to be a more effective coach involved scouring posts and articles online, discussing in mailing lists and talking to other coaches. Agile Coaching is a one-stop shop, packed with practical advice, examples to work from and stories from the trenches.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agile Coaching February 22, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a non programmer I was not looking forward to wading through another Agile book, but was pleasantly surprised to find it full of sensible advice for "normal" people. I've found a lot of great ideas, many common sense ones, which I can use to help institute our fledgling Agile practices. Many of the techniques suggested fit with educational practices, and which, from long experience as a teacher have proved to have worked. I'm recommending it to the Agile "drivers" in our business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a rather thin book that is a quick read. I like the cover art that was chosen for this book. Rachel and Liz did a great job of sprinkling little stories throughout the book to provide relevant examples that provided good context for the current topic.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book that focused on working with people, leading change, and building teams. The middle part of the book was a bit basic, but I won't judge harshly because the organization I work at has a fairly mature (6 years, 4 teams) adoption of Extreme Programming, so this part of the book was good review. It would be more valuable for someone who is trying to introduce teams to agile software development for the first time. The last part of the book was very good, it covers topics such as listening to feedback, helping teams reflect, and growing yourself.
I wish this book would have dealt more with 1-on-1 coaching and provided some insights/stories for "player coaches." I'd like to see a more advanced edition of this book for organizations who have a mature agile adoption and are looking to grow their own coaches.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grow Yourself with Agile Coaching January 2, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Agile Coaching, in my opinion, isn't only for people who coach agile teams. If you're in the software business, you'll learn something valuable from this book. Start with the last chapter - "Growing You". The only way to succeed in our industry is to continually learn and improve, and this chapter gives great suggestions how to do that.

This book is a model of concise, clear writing. It's packed with information in the form of narrative, bullet points, graphics, photos, stories of real teams and projects, exercises, tips and examples. The authors have been walking their talk for a long time, so you can feel confident about following their advice. Their flair for language makes the book fun to read. It could be a quick read, except you'll find yourself stopping to reflect on your own experiences, and thinking about how you could apply the technique you just read about on your own team. Each chapter includes hurdles you may face, and a checklist summarizing action items for you, the reader.

I particularly enjoyed the little vignettes with dialog from a typical team illustrating topics such as "Not Quite Done Yet" and "Getting Ready to Demo". The authors have insight into all aspects of coding, testing, and managing software teams. You'll find advice you might not expect in a software-related book, such as "Be kind to yourself". The focus on people and teams will make you a better person and team member.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised I enjoyed this so much.
When I initially got this book I thought I had wasted my money and put it on my bookshelf. Then after a few weeks I decided to give it a read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast excellent service
This was fast, excellent service. Received the item a lot quicker than I expected and it was in perfect shape.
Published 6 months ago by Warren Iwamoto
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Sound advice written in a personable, authentic style. Good ideas from the front lines. But nothing really earth shattering. Basic stuff.
Published 8 months ago by Julian Cooperman
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good practical read
When I initially got this book I thought I had wasted my money and put it on my bookshelf. I was hoping for something that would run through scrum, kanban, etc. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mark Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Devs Looking to Go Agile
Disclaimer: This review contains lots of joy.

Agile Coaching is an absolutely __amazing__ book. Read more
Published on August 23, 2011 by Randall Degges
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for coaches, leads, or just plain team members
I'm amazed that this book covers so may critical topics so well and in such a short length! It's a terrific book that can help guide you to building highly effective teams... Read more
Published on February 1, 2011 by James Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars A good statring point for an aspiring Agile coach
The book statrs with what Agile coaches do and how they do it and describes a set of guiding principles for an aspiring Agile Coach to live by:

1. Read more
Published on November 13, 2010 by Narayanan
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant reading, but fully understandable by native english only
It is a very enjoyable read, full of anecdotes and insights for our life of programmers. Since the authors use a colloquial English, I think this book it is fully understandable... Read more
Published on July 21, 2010 by Luigi Zambetti
5.0 out of 5 stars Computer and business collections alike will relish this
AGILE COACHING tells how to work with people to create Agile teams to build software, showing how to grow a team that is self-sufficient and skillful. Read more
Published on February 11, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information for anyone thinking about taking on role as...
My manager let me borrow his copy of Pragmatic Programmer's Agile Coaching. I've read a good number of Agile process and management books. Read more
Published on January 5, 2010 by Jason D. Meridth
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