Understanding the Team Culture and Requirements

As a coach, it is very complex sometimes how the team who’s been coached takes into consideration the minute facts of coaching dynamics and delicacy of human emotions. The turf, as I call it becomes very slippery for the coach to walk on if that’s the case. Agility comes from the fact that everyone should be on the same page about changes that are coming, and discipline that is required to execute that change and gain that acceleration which the organization is looking for.

There’s however a reality check that the coach could only take you to a certain point, hand hold you to a point with whatever your needs are for the objectives defined, but for the lifelong learning of the team things need to be placed in an order and in such a way where from the beginning the team is setup for success and not to fail.

And you might ask what is that thing which enables self-propelled interest of everyone as part of the agile team? In a bit. But first let’s look at this. The organizations who want to get to terms with the basic getting and going with agile, they come with a pre-notion to learn something, and learn something valuable, and their teams have mixed feelings. Some are experienced and expecting to new learning, some have been there for a long time and now being pushed into learning something new, some are new and excited to learn and some have higher expectations from the outcome after what they learn and earn in return. It is however not the place and the position of the coach to make those assessments, but those scenarios create a lot of varied team dynamics and sometimes result in a state where agile efforts become ineffective or seem to be halted. Any political maze could be a nightmare for the coach, and being transparent, open and honest sometimes is a big burden which the coach must carry on his or her shoulder. Though you cannot simply be quite about it, but there are few ways you can tackle them.

How to make sure that we have the right skill-set within the identified team?

You cannot. That’s the short answer. Coaching agile teams doesn’t mean eliminating people whom we think are not going to be valuable or show some sort of reluctance in learning something new. Unlike other trades, where the skills are hard learned and hard earned without at the expense of the outcome; things work differently under the agile coaching world and not at the expense of the outcome as well. You learn from failures and mistakes, and continue to improvise till you get it. If they didn’t get the first time around, you need to tell the individual that they should never give up, and yes, the fruits of labor will work out within the release cycle or by the time things look to come together from an integration perspective. And that’s the flexibility and ability we have in the structure for such a learning system.


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Manoj Khanna
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