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478 Lyssa Adkins: Coaching Agile Teams

“Coaching Agile Teams” explores the role of an agile coach and provides practical guidance on coaching techniques to support high-performing agile teams.



"Coaching Agile Teams" is a comprehensive guide that focuses on the crucial role of an agile coach in fostering collaboration, self-organization, and continuous improvement within agile teams. Lyssa Adkins offers insights, strategies, and practical tools to help coaches navigate the complexities of agile team dynamics, while promoting growth and unleashing the team's potential. The book covers various aspects of coaching, including building relationships, facilitating team development, overcoming challenges, and supporting the team in adopting agile practices. Through a blend of theory, real-world examples, and hands-on exercises, Adkins equips coaches with the skills and mindset required to empower teams and enable them to reach higher levels of performance and success.


  1. Title: Coaching Agile Teams
  2. Author: Lyssa Adkins
  3. Publishing Year: 2010
  4. Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
  5. Length in Hours: 13 hours and 57 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Agile Coaching Fundamentals: Exploring the role and responsibilities of an agile coach and understanding the key principles and values that underpin successful coaching.
  2. Building Effective Relationships: Developing trust, establishing rapport, and fostering open communication with individuals and teams to create a safe and supportive coaching environment.
  3. Facilitating Team Development: Guiding teams through the stages of formation, facilitating effective meetings, encouraging collaboration, and nurturing a culture of self-organization.
  4. Overcoming Coaching Challenges: Addressing common challenges faced by agile coaches, such as resistance to change, conflict resolution, and addressing dysfunctional team behaviors.
  5. Supporting Agile Practices: Assisting teams in adopting and refining agile practices, including agile ceremonies, visual management, and continuous improvement techniques.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Coaching agile teams is like conducting an orchestra of unicorns—magical, harmonious, and filled with possibilities."
  2. "A good agile coach is like a GPS navigator, guiding the team through unknown territories with a sprinkle of humor and a dash of adventure."
  3. "Coaching agile teams is like dancing in the rain—fluid, dynamic, and full of unexpected moments of joy and growth."
  4. "Agile coaching is not for the faint-hearted; it's for the brave souls who are ready to dive into the messy but exhilarating world of team development."
  5. "Coaching is like a cup of strong coffee—it energizes teams, stimulates their minds, and keeps them awake to embrace new challenges with enthusiasm."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Coaching is about being present, actively listening, and asking powerful questions that spark deep insights and drive meaningful change within agile teams."
  2. "An agile coach is not a superhero who solves all problems but a guide who empowers teams to discover their own solutions and become self-sufficient."
  3. "The art of coaching lies in creating a space where individuals feel safe to experiment, fail, and learn, fostering a culture of continuous growth and innovation."
  4. "Coaching is not just about helping teams achieve their goals; it's about enabling individuals to unleash their full potential and become the best version of themselves."
  5. "Successful agile coaches embrace vulnerability, curiosity, and empathy, building relationships based on trust and respect to ignite the team's collective brilliance."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the role of a coach and the need for an agile coach to step back and allow teams to take ownership and self-organize.
  2. Navigating the challenge of coaching teams with diverse backgrounds, personalities, and perspectives, fostering inclusivity and collaboration.
  3. Addressing resistance from individuals or teams who are skeptical or hesitant to embrace agile principles and practices.
  4. Managing the balance between providing guidance and allowing teams to learn through experimentation, without imposing a prescriptive approach.
  5. Dealing with conflicts and tensions within teams, helping them navigate through differences and build healthy working relationships.

5 examples

  1. The story of Spotify's agile transformation journey, highlighting how coaching played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and agility across their autonomous teams.
  2. A case study of Zappos, showcasing how Tony Hsieh's coaching approach created a culture of empowerment, innovation, and customer-centricity within the organization.
  3. The experiences of Google's People Operations (HR) team, demonstrating how coaching principles were integrated into their talent development programs, driving employee engagement and growth.
  4. The insights gained from Jeff Bezos' leadership style at Amazon, emphasizing his role as a coach who relentlessly pushed teams to embrace experimentation, learn from failures, and continuously improve.
  5. The lessons learned from the Agile Transformation at GE under the leadership of Beth Comstock, illustrating how coaching agile teams contributed to driving a culture of innovation and adaptability.

Referenced books


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"Agile coaching is not for the faint-hearted; it's for the brave souls who are ready to dive into the messy but exhilarating world of team development."

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