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Defining Coaching and Coaching success in Agile

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A definition of Coaching followed by a definition of success for Coaching.

The concept of Agile Coaching is relatively new and it is influenced by both professional coaching and Agile.
These two equations at the heart of lean-agile coaching may give you a sense of it.
And here you find a possible definition of Lean-Agile Coaching:

Facilitating, mentoring, teaching and coaching individuals, teams and the organisation to develop an agile mindset, to enact agile principles and values, and to achieve agility in order to seize opportunities and tackle the challenges.

But then how do you define that coaching bit of the above definition? In order to draft below a definition of coaching that suits Agile Coaching, I’m taking inspiration from Sir John Whitmore (Author of Coaching for Performance) and the International Coach Federation:

Individual Coaching
Partnering with a person in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise and unlock their own performance. Helping the person to learn rather than teaching them.

Team Coaching
Unlocking team’s potential, maximising their performance improving the team’s members ability to collaborate, share information, make sense of things, build consensus, and decide together.

Organisational Coaching
Coaching teams and individuals from all parts of the organisation, including the leadership, toward a holistic view of the organisation as a living organism, and with a focus on the organisation’s strategy, principles, values, mindset, and culture.

In comes to my mind this quote often attributed to Socrates:

<< I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. >>

If you are interested to know more details about lean-agile coaching, you may find this interesting: lean-agile coaching self-assessment radars.

Measuring the success of agile coaching

Now that we have a definition of coaching, how do we define and measure success for Agile Coaching?
The best way to measure it that I’ve found is to use a combination of internal and external measures, like those listed below:

External measures of success for Agile Coaching

  1. Achievement of the goals agreed for the coaching
  2. Achievement of performance improvements pursued by the coaching
  3. Feedback collected from individuals and teams coached.

Internal measures of success for Agile Coaching

  1. Self-evaluation and self-assessment by the Coach
  2. Peer-feedback collected from peers and other Agile coaches
  3. Shifts in the Coach’s emotional state that inspires confidence.