ACI Agile Coach Competency Framework

Learning from ACI’s Agile Coach Competency Framework

Agile Coaching. A seemingly simple term that causes so much confusion. Much of the confusion seems to stem from the reasonable question of  “what does an agile coach do?” The Agile Coaching Institute (ACI) defined an Agile Coach Competency Framework a few years back. I’ve used the framework both internally at organizations and in more public venues (conferences, etc.). I’ll be facilitating a learning session on a variation of it at Humanizing Work in a few weeks. I find it valuable to help people to understand the different perspectives they can approach agile coaching from. In addition to using the framework in Advanced Scrum Master Training or Agile Coach Training, I find it offers leaders insights into how they can shift from a leader-follower to a leader-leader approach to leadership. The ACI Whitepaper by Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd outlines the framework. This article includes my summary of it based on multiple sources — as well as my personal experience with it and ways to learn from it.


There are many views on Agile Coaching!

Thoughts on Agile Coaching

There are many ideas and definitions of agile coaching.  I was talking to with some people this week about agile coaching and figured I’d summarize a bit of the discussion here.

Given that each agile coach is helping unique people, who make up unique teams, who make up unique departments, and organizations — we should expect there to be a large degree of variation as to what an agile coach does. People, teams and organizations are at different points in their agile journey. This necessitates that as an agile coach, you meet people where they are. There are so many variations of clients and situations that attempting to propose a prescription is unwise.

Agile coaches work in service to and with clients, helping them achieve the amazing results they are capable of. (more…)

Large group of people with questions

Don’t Let a Few Thought Leaders Make Us Stupid

What is a thought leader? If you Google ‘thought leader definition’, you get something like: one whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. That seems like a good place to start. While this article applies to thought leaders in general, a few of the references I make are about thought leaders in the agile, leadership, and agility domains.

I will consider types of thought leaders, why they make us stupid, and how we can help ourselves as well as thought leaders improve! (more…)

Baseline Agile Retrospective

The Real Baseline Agile Retrospective Format

I always considered this six question format to be the Baseline Agile Retrospective Format.  I say baseline instead of standard because a baseline is something to build on, not an ‘always the way’ standard (I know I’m splitting hairs here).

I believe the six question baseline agile retrospective format is a solid way to teach people how to do an agile retrospective. They can see, relatively clearly, the different parts that should be included. It can be a useful starting point to address additional questions and challenges. (more…)


Bad Standard: Plus-Minus-Delta Agile Retrospectives

Many people dislike the 3 question, plus-minus-delta retrospective. I am one of them. The plus-minus-delta agile retrospective leads to many problems. I say it was never the “standard” in the title, so why are so many people confused? Or…am I the one confused?

While co-coaching recently, the other coach and I had a brief exchange about how the “standard” agile retrospective was not good. I was a little confused, since while I certainly do not always use ‘the standard’ or baseline agile retrospective, there is value to it — at least I thought so? The baseline retrospective I employ is a solid method to teach people how to do an agile retrospective. I asked a few more questions and realized that while we were both using the term “standard retrospective,” we had different definitions of the term. (more…)


Cursing Your Vision Statement

I was coaching someone a while back and asked them to tell me what their vision statement: what motivated him? When I heard the answer, I was not moved. What I heard was boring. I knew this person had passion for what he did. What happened to it?

If I ask you to tell me why you do what you do, and you are not jumping up and down a bit, getting a bit fired up, I don’t buy your passion!  Here are some ideas to find the passion in your vision statement.  They may not be for everyone, but I know they have helped some people already, so I wanted to share. (more…)


Improving Yourself with StrengthsFinder 2.0

I am often asked by folks I’m coaching for ideas of assessments they can take to help them grow.

I’m working on a few articles about different types of assessments and improving yourself (subscribe if you are interested in being notified). I thought I’d take some time to explain some of insights I got from taking the StrengthsFinder® 2.0 assessment a while back, as well as explain what it is and how to take it.  This is the first of three articles on assessments. The other two will cover MBTI® and The Leadership Circle Profile® .  All three are very different in a number of ways, which I will discuss in those articles.

Agile and Agility are about people, learning, and collaborating – a foundational part being able to collaborating and learning with others is personal mastery. (more…)