Rising Above in Agile Coaching

Photo by The Wolf Law Library

Photo by The Wolf Law Library

One of the values of Improving Enterprises is excellence, and we describe often it as “rise above.”  It’s going beyond expectations, delivering great work, and doing what’s right even when it’s hard.  Blazing a trail for good in challenging environments. 

I was thinking about what excellence means for agile coaching, and the thought of teaching teams to understand and use Scrum doesn’t seem sufficient. Then I found this definition of an agile coach from Lyssa Adkins:

...someone who takes teams beyond getting agile practices up and running, into their deliberate and joyful pursuit of high performance.

Rising above as an agile coach is going beyond yourself and focusing on your client to help them discover and take action to become more.  It’s the level 2 and level 3 listening and asking powerful questions and using other coaching skills that takes clients out of their comfort zones and shows them the world of possibility. Excellence for an agile coach means being a disruptive force that causes individuals and teams to think about what high performance means in their context and really go for it.

For an agile coach, the root of excellence is curiosity.  We may be agile-lean practitioners and experts, but it is not enough to tell others how to follow agile principles or use agile frameworks.  We are companions for the journey first and guides to the destination second.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.