Self Mastery: At the heart of great agile coaching is the need to invest in yourself through learning and reflection and take care of your wellbeing. Self-mastery starts with a focus on yourself, having the emotional, social, and relationship intelligence to choose how you show up in any given context.
Agile/Lean Practitioner: an Agile/Lean practitioner has a deep and tacit understanding of the principles behind Agile and Lean and has experience in working with frameworks and practices of Agile and Lean.
Serving: serving is about being concerned with the needs of the team or business over your own agenda. They do this from the stance of Servant Leadership which focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of the team or business and the communities to which they belong.
Coaching: coaching is partnering with a person, team, or organization (client) in a creative process to help the client to reach their goals by unlocking their own potential and understanding. A coach is able to accept the client as a whole and capable, and serve their agenda ethically.
Facilitating: facilitating increases the effectiveness of a group of people to align in a collaborative way, to interpret their context, and mutually identify the most valuable outcomes desired. A facilitator has the skills to create a neutral environment of openness, safety, and innovation in a group setting.
Guide Learning: guide learning is about effectively growing an individual, a group, or a team’s skills and enabling them to be competent and resourceful. With this competency, you choose the most effective learning method to help the learner achieve their learning objectives and inspire future learning.
Advising: advising is the ability to bring your experience, insights, and observations to guide the client towards a shared understanding of the value that can help them to achieve sustainable success, even after you have moved on. As a trusted adviser, you are invested in the success of the client, creating a long-term and sustaining relationship with the client.
Leading: leading is about being the change you want to see to make the world a better place. As a leader, you are capable of catalyzing growth and inspiring others to realize the shared vision.
Transforming: transforming is guiding sustainable change that will allow the individual teams and the organization to be more effective and learn how to change for themselves through leading, facilitation, coaching, facilitating learning, and advising.
The Competency Areas
As Agile Coaching professionals we start with a core of self-mastery and then draw on each of the eight competency areas to enhance our practices. It should be noted that none of these competency areas exist in a vacuum and they are expected to all work in conjunction. It is also expected that learning is continuous and ongoing. While there are only five levels of competency progression, there is no upper boundary to the learning possible.
“I only know that I know nothing. Every time you think you have learned something, you can let go of it to continue learning.” Socrates
Measuring Your Competency
Skill in a competency area is not a simple binary. Skill mastery is a progression from no knowledge to unconscious mastery. The Agile Coaching Growth Wheel has five growth levels based on the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition.
2 Advanced Beginner
A beginner in the use of Agile Coaching practices has only textbook knowledge with no practical experience. The beginner will typically adhere closely to defined rules or plans and work closely with a more experienced individual. An individual who focuses on learning and is given a chance to practice will generally advance to higher levels of competency in a short period of time.
A beginner typically begins to develop the competency by working with a single team and with the support of a more experienced coach or mentor (especially if the single team is part of a larger whole). A beginner with Agile Coaching practices moves to the Advanced Beginner level by showing comprehension of the competencies in the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel, trying to work on their own, taking on a larger task, repeating results, and showing the desire to learn more context.
An advanced beginner, in Agile Coaching practices, has practical experience in the application of the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel competencies. At this level, an individual will be able to interpret and apply straightforward techniques with minimal support from a more experienced coach or mentor and be able to pair to undertake more complex tasks.
While an advanced beginner will be capable of identifying complex issues, they will generally only have a limited ability to resolve them. At this level, someone using Agile Coaching practice will typically have difficulty determining which aspects are of greatest importance in a particular situation.
A practitioner can demonstrate working knowledge of all aspects of the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel. An Agile Coaching practitioner will be able to analyze and differentiate various solutions to apply in their work without close supervision and possess the planning skills required to enable them to deal with complex issues or resolve conflicting priorities. At this level, the practitioner should be capable of using repeatable procedures to produce acceptable results and be able to plan towards longer-term goals.
At the guide level, the individual has in-depth knowledge of the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel competencies. They will be able to synthesize coaching solutions from the existing bodies of knowledge within Agile/Lean and beyond, and tailor them to specific instances in all save the most complex or exceptional of situations and can effectively guide the work of others.
An Agile Coaching Guide will usually be able to intuitively assess the best course of action to take in a given situation and understand how and when to apply guidelines.
A Catalyst has a deep tacit understanding of the Agile Growth Wheel competencies. This individual will be able to modify or alter standards and develop new and innovative approaches to deal with unusual situations. A Catalyst will be able to easily produce high-quality results and be able to develop a vision of what is possible.