The next time you’re looking to engage an agile coach, there’s an additional set of questions I want you to explore with them—
Do you (they) have a coach?
How often do you (they) meet?
What are you (they) currently working on in your journey?
What was the last crucial conversation you (they) had with your coach like?
Reflecting on your being coached journey, how coachable are you? What are the keys to your being coachable?
What I’m asking you to explore is their personal coaching journey. I feel that most agile coaches are comfortable coaching. But the counterpoint, being coached and being coachable, are often a different question. I guess it’s the age-old challenge of telling being easy and receiving being much harder.
I intentionally went into it without a predetermined talk our slides. I wanted to see what might inspire me before or during the conference. Unfortunately, I waited until the day before the keynote to decide what I would talk about. But I’m sort of glad I did.
Mary Thorn and I shared 3 – ½ day workshops at the conference. And during those sessions, and in the hallways, I noticed a trend.
I was listening carefully to people’s questions, the discussions, the stories, and the challenges. And one pattern emerged that caught my attention. The language was very much around –
There is the current notion in modern organizations of bringing our whole selves to work. That separating our lives from our profession isn’t a good idea, healthy, or even possible.
I applaud Chris for this.
It takes an incredible person to share so much of themselves publicly. But if you knew Chris, you wouldn’t be so surprised.
From my perspective, there are different sorts of agile coaches for example—
I saw this post from Jeff Gothelf.
In which he says that Fixed Time & Scope projects end in one of 3-ways:
We move the deadline
We reduce scope
We implement “crunch mode”, everybody puts in 80-hour weeks till the deadline, burns out, quits and goes to work somewhere else.
I want to respond to Jeff’s thoughts…
First, option #3 is was coined by Ed Yourdon as a Death March. I personally like the imagery that inspires.
Second, I agree 100% with his 3-alternatives. They seem almost as absolute as gravity in software projects.
But he goes on in the article to make the point that Product Management is primarily responsible for these problems.