A new profession was born recently with the advent of Agile coaching: the agile coach. Previously reserved for athletes and certain executives, this new type of coaching is now increasingly appreciated by companies. Driven by the desire to adopt a new, more pragmatic and more efficient way of working, companies are choosing this discipline to evolve and become complex organizations and agents of change.
Studies shed light on the matter…
According to a Yahoo! study, coaches who implement agile coaching can significantly contribute to improving human organizations. In this study, Scrum teams that do not benefit from the support of a coach would increase their productivity by only 35%. While, for those who do benefit from it, productivity would increase by 300% or more. Undoubtedly, the numbers do not lie and clarify the fact that by applying this tool and way of coaching, the results are better.
This form of coaching empowers, stimulates and supports individuals and teams towards an agile operation to improve collaboration, responsiveness and the quality of the work performed.
So… What is agile coaching?
Simply put, it helps to scale agile project management processes across multiple teams or an entire organization.
Agile coaching involves a project management professional helping to scale agile practices in a team or organization. By aligning teams or organizations with agile values and concepts, processes end up being more flexible, transparent and efficient. How is this possible? Simply by introducing agile methods and fostering a change of culture and mindset in the workplace.
The definition of coaching in all its specialties, including agile coaching, is a “non-directive, creative and reflective relationship-based process”. What does this mean?
- Non-directive: It means that the coach refrains from prescribing solutions.
- Creative: Because the coach encourages innovative and imaginative thinking.
- Reflective: For, the coach asks powerful questions that help the coachee to think for him/herself.
The most important aspects of Agile Coaching are reflected in these three adjectives around the coaching process:
A team is not told what to do or how to do it; instead, the team is encouraged to determine for themselves what the best course of action is and how best to complete it to achieve their goals and objectives. In this way, the Agile Coach is a servant leader who leads to remove impediments, manage conflict, promote communication and support teams.
Agile Coaching is part of coaching as defined above. However, it also involves mentoring, teaching and facilitation.
When is agile coaching a coach?
He/she assumes the role of coach when: The team knows what to do and how to do it, but some impediment is holding them back. This may be due to their own resistance or some external influence that is hindering them. The coach should then help the team to get out of the impediment.
When is agile coaching a mentor?
He/she assumes the role of mentor when: The people being coached need context or stories to help them better apply agile methods and practices that match their situation. Mentoring is intertwined with coaching, but focuses more on telling stories based on experiences that create context. Mentoring further enriches the coaching position because coachees hear successes and failures that can provide guidance.
When does agile coaching teach?
It teaches when: The team or someone on the team is struggling with a concept within the process they are using. It could be how to best complete the requirements for a user story or how to “bring to life” one of the agile activities, such as the retrospective.
When does agile coaching facilitate?
It facilitates the right mechanisms when: The team needs a mediator or guide to help them solve problems, stay on track, and reach consensus. The Agile Coach has the facilitation skill set to help teams achieve their goals efficiently.
Nothing better to illustrate the above than the words of Jose L. Melendez CEO and Co – Founder of ChVmpion Mind:
“If coaching is the water for someone to become a champion, ChVmpion Mind is the structure for the champion to drink that water in the right way”.
ChVmpion Mind is Agile Coaching and much more…
In response to the needs of companies and individuals, both at a professional and personal level, ChVmpion Mind is born. A blend of science, technology and Agile business coaching that ensures the well-being of organizations and promotes changes that promote high performance and return on investment by up to 1250%. Unbelievable, right? However, it is a demonstrable reality that is reflected in the well-being and labor productivity.
What does ChVmpion Mind and agile coaching do compared to other types of coaches?
When we associate the term “coach” with the adjective “agile”, the role of the coach is enriched with agile culture, values, principles, practices and tools. In fact, agile coaching is an agent of organizational change and this is precisely what ChVmpion Mind is all about. And it is in this organizational environment where companies are in demand, although ChVmpion Mind, using agile coaching, can also provide additional useful and appreciated skills such as: psychology, team management, facilitation, technical or functional. Let’s remember that agility alone is meaningless. Agility is a means, not an end.
The agile coaching approach must serve a meaningful activity, otherwise it doesn’t work. Meaning is nourished by the desire for fulfillment, the feeling of participating in a stimulating adventure and an activity in harmony with personal and professional moral values. This agent of change is committed to respect for people, to a secure framework and to the agile transformation that induces the arrival of a new culture and new practices.
The issues addressed by agile coaching are of several types:
- Systemic, coming from the pressure exerted by the company (the system).
- Psychological, linked to the constitution of the psychic material. The brain has particularities of cognitive functioning creating emotional disturbances, which are exacerbated in situations where creativity and humanity are requested.
- Technical, linked to the lack of skills and technological tools.
Agile coaching has no operational involvement. It is intended to disappear from the organization more or less quickly depending on the context. Agile coaching is ultimately a catalyst for agile transition to guide teams and the organization in their empowerment, responsibility and self-organization.