Agile coaching isn’t life coaching

Agile coaching wasn’t meant to be life coaching, self-actualisation, or an existential quest towards ‘being agile’.

Agile coaching is there to embed the agile practices of the framework you have chosen to use.

If your team is using Scrum, then fully commit to embedding Scrum. Inspect and adapt according to the framework guidance.

“One common mistake made, when presented with a Scrum practice that is challenging, is to change Scrum.”

“For example, Teams that have trouble delivering on their Sprint commitment might decide to make the Sprint duration extendable, so it never runs out of time – and in the process, ensure it never has to learn how to do a better job of estimating and managing its time.”

Jeff Sutherland, The Scrum Papers, 1993 – 2021

Resist the temptation to modify Scrum into something else; it’s doing its job by showing you what is not working.

Either fix the issues it makes transparent, choose to ignore them, or take the drastic measure to select a different framework; but don’t change Scrum. More than 30 years of empirical experience underpin Scrum’s success, and you want the full weight of that behind you.

I can’t comment on other agile frameworks and their coaching stance as I don’t know them well enough. But I suspect it would be similar.

I also recommend ignoring the idea of ‘being agile’, it’s a sincerely unhelpful distraction.

Frank Ray Consulting. Software requirements for agile development teams, particularly remote, outsourced and offshore development teams working in financial services.

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