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What does teaching a seven-year-old how to hit a baseball have to do with agile coaching? After coaching Little League for eight years, and agile teams for ten years, I thought I was an expert at both. Last year, while attending a New York Yankees coaching clinic, I quickly realized that I had much to learn. Rather than focusing on isolated mechanics, the Yankees believe in coaching towards achieving measurable outcomes. Their approach allows players to learn the “how” at their own pace through self-discovery and experimentation, which allows for deeper learning and longer-lasting results.
The Yankees philosophy can be applied towards coaching agile teams. For example, rather than coaching Scrum teams to only improve their practices, I now help teams to achieve business outcomes. Focusing on outcomes frees teams to experiment with the practices that will help them deliver the results they want. This approach made me a better agile coach. I had less friction with my teams, and they achieved their desired results more quickly.
In this session, I will describe the outcome-driven approach taught by the Yankees, which includes techniques like Inquiry, Imagery, Extremes and Engagement. I will teach baseball fundamentals to a few lucky volunteers, who will hit real baseballs off a “tee" and learn to pitch. And I will demonstrate how to apply these concepts to make your agile teams more effective.