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 ====== What Are The Characteristics of a Great Agile Coach? ====== ====== What Are The Characteristics of a Great Agile Coach? ======
  
-There are three basic ideas that should be considered when thinking about the characteristics that makes a great agile coach:+There are three basic ideas that should be considered when thinking about the characteristics that makes a great Agile Coach:
  
   - They are the embodiment of [[agile_values_and_principles|Agile Values and Principles]]. The Agile Coach has to be seen to living the [[agile_values_and_principles|values and principles]],​ not just professionally but personally as well.   - They are the embodiment of [[agile_values_and_principles|Agile Values and Principles]]. The Agile Coach has to be seen to living the [[agile_values_and_principles|values and principles]],​ not just professionally but personally as well.
-  - They are coaches, and so reflect general notions and professional values that all coaches have. This means that, for example, the Agile Coach takes an interest in developing their professional skills through organizations such as [[http://​www.agilecoachinginstitute.com/​wp-content/​uploads/​2011/​08/​Agile-Coaching-Competencies-whitepaper-part-one.pdf|Agile Coaches Competencies via the Agile Coaching Institute]]. +  - They are coaches, and so reflect general notions and professional values that all coaches have. This means that, for example, the Agile Coach takes an interest in developing their professional skills through organizations such as [[http://​www.agilecoachinginstitute.com/​wp-content/​uploads/​2011/​08/​Agile-Coaching-Competencies-whitepaper-part-one.pdf|Agile Coaching Institute]]. 
-  - They are able to work with Teams themselves, and so often start out as a Scrum Master. This is not a surprise as the Scrum Master is considered a Coach of the Team. And Agile Coach will act as a coach of coaches, initially taking on, say, two Teams, which both have Scrum Masters. In fact, this could be considered a pre-requisite for a coach as, if you cannot lead a Team, you probably should not be a coach.+  - They are able to work with Teams themselves, and so often start out as a Scrum Master. This is not a surprise as the Scrum Master is considered a Coach of the Team. An Agile Coach will act as a coach of coaches, initially taking on, say, two Teams, which both have Scrum Masters. In fact, this could be considered a pre-requisite for a coach as, if you cannot lead a Team, you probably should not be a coach.
  
-The last point tells us that many of the characteristics of a great Scrum Master will be needed if you wish to be a great Agile Coach. Referencing [[what_are_the_characteristics_of_a_great_scrum_master|What Are The Characteristics of a Great Scrum Master?]]:+The last point tells us that many of the characteristics of a great Scrum Master will be needed if you wish to be a great Agile Coach. Referencing [[what_are_the_characteristics_of_a_great_scrum_master|What Are The Characteristics of a Great Scrum Master?​]] ​characteristics include:
  
   * Intimately familiar with Agile   * Intimately familiar with Agile
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   * Influential   * Influential
   * Highly available to the team   * Highly available to the team
-  * Understand ​when and how to intervene+  * Know when to stop talking
   * All about the Team   * All about the Team
   * Sensitive “BS” detector   * Sensitive “BS” detector
  
-In the move to being an Agile Coach, some these characteristics become more important. ​Whereas ​the Scrum Masters are expected to be an excellent facilitator ​and coach, Agile Coaches are expected to be more competent. In addition Agile Coaches ​need to be:+In the move to being an Agile Coach, some these characteristics become more important. ​For example, whereas ​the Scrum Master is expected to be an excellent facilitator,​ Agile Coaches are expected to be more competent. In addition ​characteristics of great Agile Coaches ​include:
  
   * Systems thinking: The Agile Coach needs to see more of the system of delivery and the product / solution system both locally and in the enterprise. The awareness allows the Agile Coach to step back from the current burning issues and bring important awareness to the Team.   * Systems thinking: The Agile Coach needs to see more of the system of delivery and the product / solution system both locally and in the enterprise. The awareness allows the Agile Coach to step back from the current burning issues and bring important awareness to the Team.
-  * Understand when to intervene, when notbased on the long term impact rather than short term solution.+  * Understand when to intervene, when not: This is based on the long term impact rather than short term solution.
   * Be properly blunt: Part of the role of the Agile Coach is to help make the people / organization aware of issues so they will be dealt with. This means the Agile Coach must be comfortable raising uncomfortable (for the organization) issues. Change of an organization is hard, and the role of the Agile Coach is to keep the pressure on.   * Be properly blunt: Part of the role of the Agile Coach is to help make the people / organization aware of issues so they will be dealt with. This means the Agile Coach must be comfortable raising uncomfortable (for the organization) issues. Change of an organization is hard, and the role of the Agile Coach is to keep the pressure on.
-  * Provide impactful, and therefore fast, feedback: Again the Agile Coach must be comfortable in confronting issues and providing feedback to named roles (eg Product Owner, Scrum Master). To be impactful feedback must be fast. To be impactful an Agile Coach must craft the message so that it will be absorbed by the people it is directed to. +  * Provide impactful feedback: Again the Agile Coach must be comfortable in confronting issues and providing feedback to named roles (eg Product Owner, Scrum Master). To be impactfulfeedback must be fast. To be impactful an Agile Coach must craft the message so that it will be absorbed by the people it is directed to. 
-  * Politic. From the above point this means that in many situations, the Agile Coach must be politic both at the individual and more organization level, so people are willing to work feedback address the problems raised.+  * Politic. From the above point this means that in many situations, the Agile Coach must be politic both at the individual and more organization level, so people are willing to work feedback ​and address the problems raised.
   * Focus on the relationships:​ There is a tendency to focus on individual people when coaching. But the reality is that it is more important to focus on the interactions between people and to intentionally work the interactions to optimize the flow of value. Part of the role of the Agile Coach is to understand these interactions.   * Focus on the relationships:​ There is a tendency to focus on individual people when coaching. But the reality is that it is more important to focus on the interactions between people and to intentionally work the interactions to optimize the flow of value. Part of the role of the Agile Coach is to understand these interactions.
   * Willingness to pair with other Agile Coaches: Agile suggests that knowledge work is better when you have two minds working something than one. Agile Coaches must be willing (seek out) pairing opportunities. This typically helps the Agile Coach in that there is an opportunity to learn, but also helps with standardizing the overall approach to coaching.   * Willingness to pair with other Agile Coaches: Agile suggests that knowledge work is better when you have two minds working something than one. Agile Coaches must be willing (seek out) pairing opportunities. This typically helps the Agile Coach in that there is an opportunity to learn, but also helps with standardizing the overall approach to coaching.
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