Thursday, April 23, 2015

Agile Process Coach, Really?

Really?

Agile is not a process... Here's an Agile Process Coach to help you understand that. :-)

It shocked me the first time I heard that title.

Of course, when I am honest with myself, I know that I fallback to being a process consultant instead of a coach when I hit certain impediments.


Tools and Techniques are Process Consulting

I am seeing way to much of agile IS:

Doing 1.5 hour retrospectives using the 5 stages as defined in the book by so and so.

Stories are written in the format in that book by that other Scrum dignitary.

The ideal team size is...

The ideal planning cycle is...

The best tool for this practice is...

blah, blah, blah...

There is nothing wrong with these things. These are tools and techniques, often good ones, and they are not agile.

They do not generically combine, without context, into an agile process.


The Easy Way 

The easy and minimally effective way is to use this tool, technique or process.

Do it this way and it will solve all of your problems.

Standup is asking these 3 questions.

Here is the correct tool, technique and/or process.

You must use Scrum or Kanban or XP or or or

I have the answers for you.

Making people bad and wrong.

If you do not use so and so's 5 steps for retrospective you are doing it wrong.

Defining the right process outside of doing the work as if there is a generic context.

Release planning IS all of the stories organized by team and by sprint for the next n Sprints.

There is nothing wrong with these things, they may be helpful at times. These things are process consulting, not coaching and not agile.


The Hard Way

There is a more powerful way based on being compassionate, inquiring, being curios, discovering and being generous. You might call this leadership.

This is hard and it will require uncertainty and fear to be dealt with.

Getting comfortable with what is happening.

Getting comfortable with entering into an inquiry with curiosity and learning.

Developing our ability to discover and uncover better ways of working by doing and helping other do.

Discovering what people are committed to. What are they out create or do?

Helping them see when their level of performance in achieving the things, they say, they are committed to, versus measuring how agile they are, or how well they follow the defined process.

These things are not more right than the easy way. They are more powerful at allowing people to uncover and discover for themselves who they are and what they are out to create.

These things will enable people to become profoundly aware of what they say and what they actually do.

A coach will do this with compassion remembering what they had to discover.

A coach will be someone who remembers how painful it was for them to admit, to themselves, that they say one thing and do another.

A coach will remember how often they judge people on a standard they do not follow.


Where am I

I know I struggle with going back to the easy way.

To often, I encounter a situation where I sell out.

I turn back to being nice outwardly and thinking inwardly how bad and wrong you are.

When I see that in me, I simply acknowledge and get back up and go again... Often with help of my own coaches.


Where are you?

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