The Crisis in Agile Coaching

I keep reading click bait articles about how agile is dead, and I think it’s crap. But it does point to a crisis in the agile coaching community. I think there’s a few things we need to deal with, and until we do, the crisis will remain:

  1. We picked a side. Some sided with the teams and vilified management. Others sided with management and imposed their will on the team jamming through changes that didn’t (and never would) stick. We abandoned our neutrality instead of speaking truth to those who most needed to hear it.
  2. We aren’t aligned. Who cares which framework is better. Great ideas can come from anywhere. Terrible ideas too for that matter. Let’s learn from each other to help our teams rather than these silly theological debates. It’s unprofessional and pointless.
  3. We aren’t testing our changes. We either talked about changes ad nauseam but did nothing, and the team lost interest. Or we tried to change the world and attempted to change too much or too quickly. This isn’t how we’d coach product to build their next increment so why aren’t we taking our own advice? Do something small, decide if it worked, learn, and use that learning to decide what to do next. It’s that simple.
  4. We lack an objective standard. All of us are a bell curve of talent. The top 5% are rock stars, the bottom 5% are struggling, and the rest of us are somewhere in between. However, no one really knows where on that bell curve they are, and I fear those with the least skill feel they’re the most talented. They talk a big game but lack true ability, and this damages the reputation of our entire community.

So what do we do about? I’m not yet sure. How are you helping our agile community through this crisis? How can I support you? I’m seriously looking for ideas. If I’m going to rant like I am here, then I better be willing to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Right?

I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

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