Duration: 1 day increments
Prerequisites: None
Outcome: Improved application of Agile practices in your organization

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Expert Scrum and Agile Coaching — Overview

Coaching ConceptAre you applying Scrum or other Agile practices at your organization, but it’s not going quite as expected? Need advice on how to keep your Scrum ceremonies timeboxed? Need help writing more effective user stories or acceptance criteria? Having trouble sticking to your WIP limits?

You’re not alone! Even advanced Scrum and Agile Teams struggle with specific activities. Expert Coaching is designed to help you address your struggles while paying particular attention to your organization’s culture. Coaching provides an unbiased observation of your Agile implementation during which your Coach will identify and address impediments, provide expert advice and recommend adaptations for your unique environment.

The overall goal of Coaching is to provide clarification and understanding of the ‘whys’ behind Agile practices so you can make well-informed decisions and continue to succeed long after we’ve gone.

Common benefits of Coaching include:

  • Backlog Refinement and Grooming
  • Clarification of Scrum Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities
  • Enhanced Story Writing and Decomposition Skills
  • Heightened Effectiveness of Scrum Ceremonies/Events
  • Increased Ability to Scale Agility
  • Improved Application of the Agile Values
  • Well-Formed Self-Organizing Teams
  • Improved Communication Patterns between Team Members, Stakeholders and Leadership

Coaching vs. Training – What’s the Difference?

Training provides foundational knowledge and skills in an interactive classroom setting, allowing learners to explore and ask questions from a fundamental perspective necessary to effectively understand the framework and spirit of Agility. Once the Agile practices are understood and applied, Coaching provides unbiased observation, feedback and recommendations to improve your Teams’ performance. Expert Coaching addresses the questions and impediments of applying and adapting Scrum or Agile in your real world of work.

Considering a sports metaphor, training ensures all the players know the rules of the game. Coaching improves the game through outside observation and feedback of the players’ behavior. In other words, Training addresses what Agile is while Coaching addresses how to utilize and adapt Agile at your organization.

How Much Coaching is the Right Amount?

The cadence and duration of Coaching depends on the current environment at your organization, the impediments you face, the size and number of your Teams and many other factors.

Coaching may only be necessary for a day or two to help provide clarifications for an already Well-Formed Team, or it may be ongoing over the course of many months for less mature Teams or highly chaotic organizations. For longer-term Coaching engagements, we recommend only a few days on-site at a time since Teams need time to retreat and build and practice new skills incrementally. To maximize the benefits of Coaching, a rhythm must be established based on the skillset of your Teams and the impediments they face.

What to Expect During Coaching

All new Coaching engagements will begin with an intake session with your 3Back Agility Expert. This background knowledge will assist 3Back in determining the most effective use of your Coaching day(s) to improve the Agile processes at your organization. While your Coaching session(s) will address impediments and growth opportunities specific to your organization and Teams, common focus areas during Coaching may include:

  • Observation and Feedback of Sprint Review, Planning or Retrospective meetings
  • Experienced Scrum Training‘Definition of Done’ and Acceptance Criteria
  • Backlog Grooming and Refinement
  • Decomposition of Epics
  • Writing Effective User Stories
  • Story Writing and Prioritization
  • Estimating Projects, Epics and Stories
  • Product Ownership
  • Improved Work Flow
  • Understanding WIP
  • Clarification of Scrum Roles
  • Stakeholder Involvement
  • Significance, Spirit and Tenets of Scrum

Your Coaching may also include ad hoc training and Q&A sessions as determined necessary.

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