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Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition

(A Mike Cohn Signature Book)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  990 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The Provocative and Practical Guide to Coaching Agile Teams
As an agile coach, you can help project teams become outstanding at agile, creating products that make them proud and helping organizations reap the powerful benefits of teams that deliver both innovation and excellence. More and more frequently, ScrumMasters and project managers are being asked to coach agile te
Paperback, 315 pages
Published May 28th 2010 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published May 14th 2010)
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Vít Kotačka
If you are the right target, then this book is truly excellent. But this evaluation has a very important precondition, which you can find in the title - this book is about coaching.

If you are a technical leader, team leader, developer, scrum master, or any other software engineering role, then this book could be interesting for you, but you wouldn't probably consider it as a gem. It can teach you something, you can learn something and definitely, you will have better understanding in which conte
Leonard Gaya
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very nice book on group coaching and team building. In my opinion, it is not so much about Scrum or XP methodology: the reader is supposed to already be familiar with the agile approach (applied to software development or otherwise). The coach is described in his/her many faceted role: mentor, facilitator, teacher, problem solver, conflict navigator, collaboration conductor... However, the key takeaway, for me, is that an agile coach and a leader is someone who allows the teams to unfo ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: coaching
It offers a broad view of the various hats you need to put on as a coach. Sometimes you are a mentor, sometimes teacher or facilitator, or maybe you are solving problems with and enabling collaboration within the team. You might be working with the entire team, or maybe just with one team member. It also provides advice on how to deal with Product Owners and team sponsors.

No matter the hat, you should always trust the team and take every issue to them. These are the two ideas I felt more pregnan
Vahe Torozyan
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A boring book, some ideas are interesting but overall didn't like it.
Andrius Zygmanta
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile, leadership
Good and deep and book on coaching self & teams to become high-performers. This is ultimate go-to reference for agile coaching with detailed examples, techniques and tips.

------------------- PERSONAL NOTES ---------------------

Healthy agile team works together in high-bandwidth, high-quality communication

Healthy agile teams experience peer pressure. On these teams, all team members have committed to complete the work of the sprint together. This makes the work (and the people) interdependen
Kiryl Baranoshnik
I acknowledge the significance of the book for the time of its publishing, but I find it largely lacking substance. There's very little practical information. It's mostly just expression of common sense backed up with the Agile paradigm. I also have a strong feeling the book was bloated by the publisher to be more voluminous (because "pages sell"). Many chapters could've been easily boiled down to a bulleted list without losing much meaning.

It is probably a good entry level booked, but for an ex
Wes Baker
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was worth reading, but I'm not sure the whole thing was worth reading. At times, it seemed that the author had a quota to fill and at other times that she truly cared about a subject and just let the ideas flow. It's this strange mix of loquaciousness and clarity that makes this book both hard to finish and hard to recommend. If you have the time and truly care about the subject, it's worth a read. If you're just starting, it might be worth holding off for a while.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book covers a wide variety of topics, from how to develop individually as coach to coaching teams in Agile principles and practices. It also talks about the different "modes" for an Agile coach, that is teacher, mentor and coach. And how to apply those depending on which stage of Agile understanding a team has reached. There is plenty of good references in this book as well, source material that I guess served as inspiration to Lyssa Adkins. Maybe the book doesn't go too deep in terms of exp ...more
Evgen Schekotihin
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The main question is: What you where expected from this book?
If you want to find answers to question "Why ... ? And should i go there?", you will not find it there. You need to believe in Agile.
If you decided to go and searching information about "Where and How ... ?", this book will show the road and vehicle which is possible to use for riding on it. But this book will not teach 100% how to drive on all of it. Maybe a little about coaching, something about conflicts, a drop of powerful question
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's that book that tells you what an agile coach does. I honestly recommend it to everyone who is interested in becoming an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, or who want to include a people oriented management style in their projects or teams. The book helps to get started with your self development path, giving some good practices and ideas for start and an helping you plan your journey further.

It's written in a reader friendly style, offers a lot of examples and cases that help you reflect on the p
Katarzyna Sikora-Smets
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: learning
I wish I had read it earlier! This book gives a lot of practical advice and a lot of ideas. It is based on Scrum, which the author states in the beginning, but most of the content is universally applicable. There are certain aspects I do not identify with, however, the book does not condemn you for having different ideas, you are often reminded that it is a description of the author's experience, not an instruction to be followed to the letter. Take it as such, and use it to grow yourself.
Bryan Jacobson
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was recommended by my outstanding Agile Coach, Chester Jackson. I totally love it. The book captures the heart and sole of Scrum Master, Agile Coach and servant leadership - and is packed with practical examples and tools to get you there.

If you are a Scrum Master or Agile Coach, get this book and read it. You'll love it enough to re-read it. I read at least a couple pages every day!
Abu Nasar
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book with a new perspective on teams and coaching

This is an amazing book on agile coaching. I still need to come to terms with the fact to let the team be. It really advocates a decontrolled team environment. There are tools and several guidance given. The idea of creating a void so that the team can fill it is amazing.
Jefim Piekarz
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The “Bible” for Agile Coaching

Fantastic read, even as an experienced coach. Lyssa does a wonderful job walking you through the role of an Agile Coach - the key skills, concepts, ideas, and finishes it off with some very relevant journeys. If you’re an Agile Coach or looking to become one, read this book!
Jordan Munn
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite not having a formal coach in my office, I found this book to serve as a bit of one anyway. I really enjoyed its perspectives on different Agile processes and participants, and reference it regularly as I encounter different situations at work.
Roel Trienekens
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Decided to revisit this one as a refresher. Even after having read it years ago, it still reminded me with plenty of hooks to be more conscious of my coaching, my stances and approach.

Must read if you want to become an agile coach and help agile teams improve.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book with a lot of practical advises and references to other sources. Book is well organized and consistent in terms of provided information and ideas. I'd recommend it to Scrum Masters, Project Managers and any leader working in agile environment.
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
good ideas but number of pages must be less
Tiago Palhoto
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book on how to REALLY coach everyone involved with Agile. A lot of material and sometimes a bit more though to digest, but a great reading!
Kenneth Roberts
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile-scrum-lean
Love this book.
Yann Che
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book for project managers who would like to embrace a coaching approach to their work using agile practices. A lot of tips, experience and insights shared.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great examples in this book!
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has become my go-to for direction and guidance on agile coaching.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Too much fluffy new age self help snake oil and not enough about how to get work done. If you are already getting "extraordinary" results from agile and want to "love" your team more then this book might be for you but otherwise stay away.
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book had been recommended to me many times, by many people. It forms one of the core study books for PMI's new agile certification and you'd be hard pressed to find a conversation on agile coaching that doesn't reference this book or the author.

Like me, Lyssa Adkins is a recovering command and control project manager and this is one of the things that makes this book resonate for me. While many agile authors have always been on the revolutionary/evolutionary end of the innovation
Jürgen Mohr
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, favorites
Brilliant book with many practical activities and helpful notes

This book is a must-have for every Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and those who want to become one. Lyssa describes in depth the responsibilities and duties of a good Agile Coach, particularly providing a list of Failure Modes and Success Modes. She filled her book with lots of practical advices and activities gathered by her own experience and learned through working together with other well-known Agile Coaches.
Wanja Krah
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Some parts are very useful and good. Other parts can be hard to get through, repetitive and full of unwanted self-help advice. So I can advise this book because the useful parts are in itself worth a full five stars. On the other hand, for me, it wasn't a great book in total. Guess it missed some good editing. Also, it's a little too much telling of how to be someone who doesn't tell how to be someone. Perhaps it's also because it's not fully my style.
Chris Wood
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology, agile
In the new world of Agile, project management is no longer the pinacle of the ambitious and aspiring technologist. Instead, something of a combination between the scrum master and product owner has replaced the more traditional and plan-driven approach to software development. These roles, no less than the former project manager, are primarily leadership roles oriented around different foci: for the product owner, the clients and vision; for the scrum master, the product and team. Unfortunately, ...more
Matthew Stublefield
As part of my current job, I’m expanding my study of project management from traditional PMI practices to agile methodologies and the Scrum framework. Being the academic I am, I turn to books for a lot of my education and exploration, and reading through blog posts and reviews pointed me to Coaching Agile Teams as a good place to start. I’ve been reading this book for about two weeks, and it has resulted in adding two other books to my wishlist, but that’s for later.

The sub-title of this book is
Ram Ramalingam
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great primer for anyone starting on the journey of coaching teams. I think the title is a little disservice to the content of the book - the book not only talks about coaching Agile teams.. though the result of such coaching would likely result in teams being more Agile. Lyssa discusses, for the journeyman and expert alike, very practical ways and pitfalls to keep in mind to navigate through the tough terrain of team development, and in the process achieve personal mastery. Only, the book may ...more
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Other books in the series

A Mike Cohn Signature Book (9 books)
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“We practice mastering ourselves in the moment so that we can better open ourselves to being a servant leader and to harness our emotions and choose what to do with our reactions.” 4 likes
“Over-seriousness is a warning sign for mediocrity and bureaucratic thinking. People who are seriously committed to mastery and high performance are secure enough to lighten up. —Michael J. Gelb” 3 likes
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