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Agile India 2021: 8 guiding principles for Agile Coaches (or change agents)

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Agile India 2021: 8 guiding principles for Agile Coaches (or change agents)

  1. 1. 1 8 guiding principles for Agile Coaches (or change agents) from the Spotify Ads R&D Agile Coaching team Jason Yip Senior Agile Coach, Spotify @jchyip https://jchyip.medium.com jchyip@gmail.com, jyip@spotify.com
  2. 2. The Agile Coaching team in Spotify Advertising R&D came up with 8 principles for coaching effectiveness.
  3. 3. These principles are derived from what has seemed to work and what hasn’t over 5 years.
  4. 4. I’ve adjusted the language to be more general and added some more details to compensate for lack of shared context.
  5. 5. Guiding Principles You are more impactful with both team-level AND senior leadership relationships. Team-level efforts have limited impact in the face of large systemic issues. Increase influence by building trust and shared context with leaders but maintain sight of issues teams face to uncover areas of potential impact. Results are for the short-term; systems and habits are for the long-term. There is necessary work to contain immediate problems but you will not have sustained, long-term improvement without addressing broader systems and habits. You should not become operational. Help set up and improve systems and habits but don’t become operationally responsible for systems and habits. Your goal is to enable and build capabilities in others. Involve existing leaders (formal and informal) in brainstorming and implementation. Leverage leaders with passion, positional authority, and influence. Too much time spent on quick wins limits your ability to have a sustained impact. Prioritization and limiting work in progress are keys to success. Coaching structure follows coaching strategy; coaching strategy follows product/business strategy. Be responsive to the needs of the organization. Don’t be tied to a specific coaching structure. Coach collaboration is more effective than silos. You have more impact if you build enough shared context that coaches (and allies) can support and influence one another. Sharing your work should be intentional, not just organic. Share ideas, results, and problems in a structured way in order to influence change.
  6. 6. You are more impactful with both team-level AND senior leadership relationships. 6
  7. 7. Team-level relationships give you insight into what's actually happening.
  8. 8. Senior-level relationships give you influence to do something about it.
  9. 9. You should not become operational. 9
  10. 10. Enable others, move on to the next problem.
  11. 11. Too much time spent on quick wins limits your ability to have a sustained impact. 11
  12. 12. Spending all your time on quick wins means insufficient time on underlying systemic issues.
  13. 13. Coach collaboration is more effective than silos. 13
  14. 14. Teamwork improves Agile Coaching too!
  15. 15. Results are for the short-term; systems and habits are for the long-term. 15
  16. 16. Results contain; systems and habits address underlying issues.
  17. 17. Involve existing leaders (formal and informal) in brainstorming and implementation. 17
  18. 18. Existing leaders have influence and power. Involve them.
  19. 19. Coaching structure follows coaching strategy; coaching strategy follows product/business strategy. 19
  20. 20. “Structure should follow strategy” also applies to coaching teams.
  21. 21. Sharing your work should be intentional, not just organic. 21
  22. 22. Just doing the work is not enough because influence is required to be able to initiate larger changes.
  23. 23. Guiding Principles You are more impactful with both team-level AND senior leadership relationships. Team-level efforts have limited impact in the face of large systemic issues. Increase influence by building trust and shared context with leaders but maintain sight of issues teams face to uncover areas of potential impact. Results are for the short-term; systems and habits are for the long-term. There is necessary work to contain immediate problems but you will not have sustained, long-term improvement without addressing broader systems and habits. You should not become operational. Help set up and improve systems and habits but don’t become operationally responsible for systems and habits. Your goal is to enable and build capabilities in others. Involve existing leaders (formal and informal) in brainstorming and implementation. Leverage leaders with passion, positional authority, and influence. Too much time spent on quick wins limits your ability to have a sustained impact. Prioritization and limiting work in progress are keys to success. Coaching structure follows coaching strategy; coaching strategy follows product/business strategy. Be responsive to the needs of the organization. Don’t be tied to a specific coaching structure. Coach collaboration is more effective than silos. You have more impact if you build enough shared context that coaches (and allies) can support and influence one another. Sharing your work should be intentional, not just organic. Share ideas, results, and problems in a structured way in order to influence change.

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