- Series: Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321637704
- ISBN-13: 978-0321637703
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)) 1st Edition
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“ The subtitle of this book says it is for ‘ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers,’ however, its guidance and advice extend to anyone associated with an agile (Scrum) team. It will also certainly help team members better understand their relationship to the work ScrumMasters, agile coaches, and project managers do for the team. And, beyond this, the book can be valuable to anyone working in a coaching capacity with any group of people, expanding the book’s application beyond agile-based efforts.”
—Scott Duncan, Agile Coach
“ Lyssa explains brilliantly how skills from professional coaching can be applied to coaching agile software development teams. What I love about this book is how Lyssa brings practical advice to life by relating it to everyday experiences we all recognize. An essential guide for every agile manager’s bookshelf.”
—Rachel Davies, author of Agile Coaching
“ As I read this book I could actually hear Lyssa’s voice, guiding me and sparking precious ‘a-ha moments.’ This truly is the next best thing to having an experienced and wise coach sitting by your side, helping you be the best coach you can be for your team.”
—Kris Blake, agile coach
“ Lyssa Adkins presents agile coaching in a gentle style with firm underpinnings. She resolves the paradox of how coaching can help a team to self-organize, and shows how a nurturing environment can push teams to perform better than ever.”
—Bill Wake, Industrial Logic, Inc.
“ I love Lyssa’s three qualities of an agile coach—loving, compassionate, uncompromising—sweet. Every chapter offers a compelling blend of philosophy and action, framework and freedom, approach and avoidance, as any agile book should. Coaching Agile Teams is a good candidate to become dog-eared on my desktop rather than looking good on my bookshelf. The depth and quality of expertise that Lyssa sought, sampled, and sounded out along her own coaching journey have been synthesized in her own voice of experience.”
—Christopher Avery, Responsibility Process mentor, www.LeadershipGift.com
“ In my experience with agile projects, the agile coach is one of the most important roles to get right. Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins gives the details and practical insights for what it takes to be a great agile coach.”
—Dave Hendricksen, software architect, Thomson-Reuters
“ I remember the first time I met Lyssa at a Scrum gathering in Orlando, and realized very quickly how inspirational she would become in the agile community. This book encapsulates her thoughts and ideas into a fantastic literary work that, I believe, fills a void in our community. We knew the role of a coach was needed, but for a long time we were not sure what that role actually was. We struggled as a community to explain what to do, when to do it, and what to do next. Lyssa not only collates all of the things we as coaches aspire to be, but has provided some great advice with realistic direction on how to be the best coach you can be for your team.”
—Martin Kearns, CSC + CST, Principal Consultant, Renewtek ply. Ltd.
From the Back Cover
The Provocative and Practical Guide to Coaching Agile Teams
As an agile coach, you can help project teams become outstanding at agile, creating products that make them proud and helping organizations reap the powerful benefits of teams that deliver both innovation and excellence. More and more frequently, ScrumMasters and project managers are being asked to coach agile teams. But it's a challenging role. It requires new skills-as well as a subtle understanding of when to step in and when to step back. Migrating from "command and control" to agile coaching requires a whole new mind-set. In "Coaching Agile Teams, " Lyssa Adkins gives agile coaches the insights they need to adopt this new mind-set and to guide teams to extraordinary performance in a re-energized work environment. You'll gain a deep view into the role of the agile coach, discover what works and what doesn't, and learn how to adapt powerful skills from many allied disciplines, including the fields of professional coaching and mentoring. Coverage includes Understanding what it takes to be a great agile coachMastering all of the agile coach's roles: teacher, mentor, problem solver, conflict navigator, and performance coachCreating an environment where self-organized, high-performance teams can emergeCoaching teams past cooperation and into full collaboration Evolving your leadership style as your team grows and changesStaying actively engaged without dominating your team and stunting its growthRecognizing failure, recovery, and success modes in your coachingGetting the most out of your own personal agile coaching journey Whether you're an agile coach, leader, trainer, mentor, facilitator, ScrumMaster, project manager, product owner, or team member, this book will help you become skilled at helping others become truly great. What could possibly be more rewarding?
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Update 1/14 - I'm rescinding my original review and making this into a five star review. I should have read the entire thing before reviewing. Although the language is still a bit flowery and long for my taste, the examples, stories, how-to dialogues, and contributions from others is simply stellar. A very valuable book for learning about the essence of agile coaching. It does a great job in peeling away the layers to the onion on this tricky, important concept.
You can read it from front to back or pick any random point in the book and you will be pleased - each page has something of value.
Check out Lyssa Adkins training through the agile coaching institute also - to apply some learning here.
Each chapter in the meat of the book is a different coaching role or perspective: Mentor, Facilitator, Teacher, Problem Solver, Navigator, and Collaboration Conductor. Many of them revolve around the idea that the team is on their own journey towards their own level of performance. Rather than the coach drag the team towards the coach's vision of where the team should be, the coach's job is to help the team move from step to step sometimes leading, more often facilitating.
A specific concept that Lyssa suggested that I had never consciously considered was the types of coaching that should be practiced at different times during the sprint or engagement. For instance, we might want to steer the team or introduce ideas or tactics in the middle of the sprint this is probably not the most productive role at this point. There are times to coach at the team level and times to coach at the individual level.
The book is a little mushy or soft at times, so you might have to trudge through at various points. A lot of it is common sense after the fact, but having it said explicitly keeps it in the back of my head more than in the past.
I recommend this book to all roles on teams, not just Coaches. Many of the ideas and content are the soft skills that make great teams.
"One good model for mastering anything (if that's possible) comes from martial arts. A martial arts student progresses through three stages of proficiency called Shu Ha Ri. Shu: Follow the rule. Ha: Break the rule. Ri: Be the rule. These stages also describe Agile teams as they first practice and then get good at Agile...A team can be in one or all of these stages simultaneously...Each person on the team inhabits one or more of these stages simultaneously, too..."
The most common mistake I see Agile teams making is bending the rules before mastering the rules--what we call ScrumBut. "We do Agile Scrum but..." can get your team and your project in all kinds of trouble. This book will help you get back out.
Good stuff, and recommended for new and experienced Agile coaches.
The value of having a framework like Lyssa's to conceptualize the work of coaching agile teams, cannot be underestimated.
I strongly suggest internalizing the lessons you can vicariously learn from this fantastic treatise on being agile.