What does an agile coach do?

Well what i did today…

This was a mid sprint day for the majority of the teams i am currently helping……


TL;DR Teaching, Facilitation, Evangelising, Conflict Negotiation, Mentoring, Community, Tools, Product, DevOps


On the train I listened to the DevOps handbook. Loving this…..


Stand up 1, a team without a dedicated scrum master and took things offline which weren’t related to the work on the board and helped the stand up finish in 13 minutes.

Stand Up 2, similar encouraging the team to focus on the smallest chunk of delivery to the product owner and stakeholders for feedback asap

Stand up 3, Asking team members which ticket that relates to and getting the team to focus on the stories at hand, movement of the tickets across the board and the sprint goals.

Stand up 4, I needed to facilitate this one as we had a couple of team members off. I talked through each of the cards with the team and we even progressed some with one moving into Done. Woop, woop. I was demonstrating a different technique with tuning stand ups to the traditional scrum approach to someone who has expressed an interest in becoming a scrum master. We then went on to discuss what we needed to do to get them through the PSM 1 exam.


Then I talked to attendees of the awesome Test Atelier about what they had taken away from the event and got a bit of feedback. I am one of the organisers of this awesome testing community a free testing conference in Leeds.


After that I helped run a lean coffee for the Business Analysts to focus on their specific issues and provide some advice and support. We talked about all things, user stories, tools, BDD, splitting.


At lunch I facilitated a session a planning session for a team leaving inception and entering sprint 0. A pragmatic session introducing the concept of story points but initially sticking with days. We discussed BDD, the pyramid, test tools, environments, skilling up. We listed items, creating our backlog, roughly sized them and then filled a two week time box. We even did a bit of planning poker!


Had lunch…..


Unfortunately I had to cancel a coaching session with one of the existing scrum masters. Due to him having a desk assessment (Bad back!). So I took the time to catch up on e-mails sending out a squad health check form loosely based on the Spotify health check to help us gain feedback from our teams. Very important for us to listen to the feedback from the teams.


I caught up on an improvement action around conference participation, creating a conference calendar on Confluence to make it obvious to the teams what conferences may be available and which ones they could attend. Attempting to engineer a self improvement culture.


Talked to a product owner about his challenges with certain members of the team producing Gantt Charts and command and control. We don’t do Gantt charts in agile!


Set up a JIRA filter and confluence page to encourage collaboration between Infosec and the development teams.


I spotted a developer approaching the board to move a particularly annoying and long running ticket. We had a mini celebration and i made a real fuss of congratulating him, we resolved to have a large celebration when it makes its way all the way across.


I love the variety and autonomy of work this job provides, the ability to see a problem or be asked to come and help a team and to help them solve their problem. Being a serva


I may have a check up of some of the JIRA boards to see if they match the physical boards in the office before i go. All in all a varied day, none are the same.


Teaching, facilitation as a service, evangelising, conflict negotiation, mentoring, community, tools, product, DevOps all in one day not far off Lyssa Adkins model…….




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