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Need Your Opinion: Coaching Agile Teams Video Lessons

by Lyssa on June 27, 2012

In August, I (Lyssa) “go into the studio” to film a series of short video lessons taken from the Coaching Agile Teams book.  I have always wanted to do this, primarily because I much prefer higher-bandwidth ways to access knowledge — maybe you do, too.  These videos will provide just that.  And here’s where you come in.  I need to know which topics to create lessons on.  So, please tell me:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Greaves July 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I am not surprised the results are different to what you expected. The more I am teaching other coaches the more I realize they don’t know what will help them until they discover it by accident. I think your topics are the ones that make you a powerful coach, but most people don’t realize the answer lies there until they discover it for themselves. I love the idea of teaching what people have asked for but weaving threads of what you know is important through it all. Can’t wait to see the videos. I’m sure they will be inspiring!

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Lyssa July 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Karen!

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Lyssa Adkins July 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

The results are in! You diligently prioritized 14 possible topics (you probably felt a little of the pain product owners go through) and you offered up other topics for consideration. Here are the top five:

- Measuring an agile coach’s value and success
- Getting healthy roles: special considerations for teaching and coaching the agile roles
- Facilitating the standard agile meetings: purpose of each, facilitation tips, how to successfully plan and conduct them
- Solving problems: diagnosing problems, process of solving them, keeping the commitment with the team
- Navigating conflict: coach’s role in conflict, how to diagnose, response options, working with complaints and unsolvable conflict

This is not what I expected and not completely what I had in mind as the most important. And, it is absolutely what I will create because your voice telling me what you want is more important that my voice telling you what I’d like you to hear.

Just goes to show that when you ask your customers, you need to be open to what they tell you and you need to be ready to change. For sure, this has changed my “plan.” I’m sure glad I haven’t spend time working on lessons you cared less about!

I am reminded of this quote:

“If we’re busy building something nobody wants, why are we so proud of doing it on time and on budget?” ~Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

Sure glad I’m not doing that!

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Todd Cantalupo July 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Hi Lyssa -
Thank you for putting this together. I’m sorry I missed the window for voting. I’m curious as to what *you* had in mind as the most important. Care to share?
-Todd

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Lyssa July 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Sure! The topics I think are important for the sustained growth and health of agile (through the skills and mindsets of agile coaches) are:

- Mastering your thoughts, behavior and choices to serve *them* best; recovering from command-and-controlism
- The coaching ways to listen, speak and cultivate a coaching presence

Both of which ended up in the bottom 5 of the survey.
I see now that this is my bias and belief that the agile coach needs to cultivate a professional coaching stance in everything they do. So, am I giving that up? Hell, no! But I am also not making those topics “front and center” as I might have done before the survey. Instead, they will be woven in. I believe in a balance of creating what your customers tell you they want and providing what they don’t yet know they want (or need). There is a place for a visionary — for someone who sees what is trying to happen and provides what’s needed to allow it to happen. One of my jobs has always been to be a little “out front” of the crowd as that visionary. I know what a great agile coach looks like and I will continue to hold the torch.

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Lyssa Adkins July 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the responses so far. About 70 of you have answered and it’s very helpful. Keep it coming! In a couple of weeks, I will let you know the results of the survey and what I intend to do about your ideas. In the meantime, give me more food for thought!!

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