Project Management

The Importance of Grassroot Agile Coaching

Nima has years of experience in coaching teams and championing continuous improvement. He applies double-loop agile to coach teams and help them build up flexible cultures. Nima has worked with a wide range of clients from small start-ups to big corporations. Previously, Nima worked as a Scrum Master and as a Product Owner, and successfully launched a vast array of products from light iPad apps to giant enterprise solutions.

Agile coaching consists of a wide variety of activities and tasks—some more visible than others. These activities vary in the impacts they make on individuals and teams.

A subset of agile coaching activities aims at changing people’s mindset and behavior. They can transform culture and instill new values. I call this subset “grassroot agile coaching” because it metamorphoses a lethargic waterfall organization into an agile one.

Despite this, grassroot agile coaching is commonly overlooked—or even completely ignored. Why? Because it is hard to be seen, measured and rewarded.

To get a better understanding, let’s look at two dimensions of agile coaching activities: change depth and method.

Dimension 1: Change Depth
Agile coaches work with teams and individuals to facilitate change in a positive direction. They aspire to push people out of their comfort zones and help them learn something new. But change depth varies from activity to activity:

  • Tools and methodologies: On the surface, agile coaches help teams learn and use tools. They also establish new methodologies. For instance, coaches work with traditional organizations to transit to agile and adopt a methodology (like scrum). They run a myriad of workshops and meetings to teach Agile 101, scrum, product ownership, etc.
  • Practices and methodologies: Agile coaches help …

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