David Hussman gave a great session on coaching called “Coaching and Producing Value” at Agile 2009.
The first part of the workshop was an exercise for us to describe how we see ourselves as coaches. My vision (top left in black below) at the time was “Change Agent … by the numbers”. I know flexibility and adapting is good … and my favourite place to go in an Agile transition is Scrum. Scrum is pretty structured. For those new to Agile, this is a good thing. On the other hand it can make adoption more difficult and increase resistance. But it puts in the basic engine of change that can go a long way. The advantage of clear rules and names is that it makes it difficult for organizations to water down Agile so that it becomes the same old process with a different name.
I loved this session since it comes at adoption in a totally different direction… using the metaphor of producing music.
Most of the session was about Pre-Production. Check out the photo below. David stresses the importance of understanding out clients’s world so that you understand how to lead them to a better place. One key element of this is not being prescriptive – tell them about something that worked in another context and see if it resonates with them.
The second phase is Finding a Groove. This is about helping the team find out what works and what doesn’t. Again David, talked about story telling as an indirect way of sharing knowledge and suggesting ideas.
The final phase is Keeping the Band Together. This is all about keeping things fresh through questioning.
All in all, this was a great session for me.