Assessing Your Agile Coaching Skills

How do you assess your skills as an Agile coach? An Agile coach herself, Karen Greaves proposes to define the coaching activity using 5 areas and 15 different items, a perspective that could naturally be adapted to your own context. This simple tool allows the coaches to reflect about their work and plan improvements.

Author: Karen Greaves Growing Agile, http://growingagile.co.za/

This assessment is for you to take to see where you are on your journey to becoming an agile coach. Everyone is in a different place. We believe you are the best person to judge where you are right now, and where you want to be in a certain amount of time.

About The Assessment

We have broken the large topic of being an Agile Coach into 5 main areas. Each of these areas are split into 3 sub-areas which can contain a number of related topics. Below are the 5 main areas, and their sub-areas, as well as example topics in each area.

The topics below are just examples and by no means a definitive list, since the world of agile coaching is large. However, we expect that most topics should fit into one of the 5 areas we have chosen.

Coaching
* Theory – coaching contracts, the 9 modes
* Skills – listening, detachment, feedback
* Tools – Motivation Game, Listening Game, Feedback Models

Facilitation
* Facilitating – planning, distributed sessions, large scale
* Formats – open space, lean coffee, ideation
* Techniques – dot voting, brain writing, timelines

Knowledge
* Agile Frameworks – Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean, Scaling
* Practices – technical practices, Product Owner techniques, Scrum Master practices
* Tools – online tools, physical tools

Self
* Work/Life Balance – time management, personal Kanban, productivity
* Satisfaction – autonomy, mastery, purpose
* Growth – networking, learning, community

Training
* Activities – posters, ball toss, feedback wall
* Delivery – room setup, planning, size
* Methods – Training from the back of the room, mentoring, lecture based

Skill Levels

To assess your own level for each sub area we will be using Shu, Ha Ri in this assessment.

At the Shu level: you are learning the basics and just starting out. You might be going to training, reading or trying out some tools and techniques for the first time.
At the Ha level: you have actively practiced and used tools and techniques and are starting to discover how to use things together and blend ideas from various places.
At the Ri level: you are able to create new techniques and tools, and are largely led by your mind and heart. You are able to move beyond rules, but still align with the intended principles and values.

Complete Assessment

Step 1: Download the assessment sheet and print it out.

Download https://www.growingagile.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/AgileCoachAssessment.pdf

Step 2: For each sub area on the assessment sheet, draw a dot for where you feel you currently are. Once you are done, connect all the dots with a line in one color. Also fill in today’s date at the top of the sheet.

Step 3: Now think about when you want to revisit this assessment. It could be in 2 weeks, 3 months or even 1 year from now. Fill in this date in the “Date to review”. Think about where you would like your skills to be on that review date, and draw new dots on the assessment sheet. Connect these dots with a different colored pen.

Agile Coaching Assessment

Step 4: Take a look at the areas with the biggest gap between where you currently are and where you would like to be. Pick between 1 and 3 items as your top priorities and label them in the Top 3 row. For a short duration (< 1 month), we recommend only selecting 1 area to focus on.

Step 5: For each of your priorities fill in an action plan for yourself in the blocks at the bottom. State what you want to achieve, how you plan to do it, and when you are going to do it. The more specific you are the more likely it will actually happen. Try not to plan on starting 3 things at the same time, rather spread them out.

Agile Coaching Assessment Improvement Planning

Step 6: Now put this somewhere visible so that you will be reminded of your plan regularly.

About the Author

Karen Greaves is an Agile coach. She is a recovered project manager who loves the simplicity and fun that agile brings to work. She is usually the loudest person in the room, and loves anything to do with numbers or excel. This article was originally published on https://www.growingagile.co.za/2017/06/agile-coach-assessment/ and is reproduced with permission from Growing Agile.

1 Comment on Assessing Your Agile Coaching Skills

  1. This looks like a really, really good technique at Self-Assessment. I cannot wait to try it on myself. ( I think this could help me, because sometimes it feels like I don’t know where I begin the Lines of Attack toward Self-Improvement. Do others feel this way ?

Comments are closed.