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

(A Mike Cohn Signature Book)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,465 ratings  ·  106 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 18th 2010 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published May 14th 2010)
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 ·  1,465 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Start your review of Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
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
Emanuil Ivanov
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolute MUST for everyone working with teams (not just agile ones). Lyssa Adkins offers great insights on group dynamics and provides various tools, techniques and a general mindset change one needs when working in today’s ever-changing environment.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: consulting
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
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. ...more
Vahe Torozyan
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A boring book, some ideas are interesting but overall didn't like it. ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting ideas, combining the agile with sometimes more, sometimes less of systemic coaching. True to the ideal of servant leadership, the author emphasizes time and time again that competence lies within the team and the agile coach is just that - a coach. A coach's main goal should be to enable the team to self-organize, so the bulk of tips are about how not to interfere with the team (e.g., if they miss standup time, do not summon them to the daily standup).

Those who are looking for a lot
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) interdependent an
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: valuable-books
The book is packed with information, experience and examples that made reading it quite enjoyable as much as inspiring. This been said, it is not a quick read, and it wont be a one time read either. This is a book to come back to whenever you are in a new position or encounter a new (or old) challenge. The structure of the book and its chapters serves the purpose (using it as a reference book) greatly.

Additionally, the audio version offers a bit more than hard copy or the ebook, so it is great
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a tough book to read.

Not because it's badly written (it isn't), but because every page forces you to re-examine yourself and your own approach to people and work. Every couple of paragraphs sparks intense reflection "Do I do that? Could I be doing that and not be aware? Should I be doing that? That would require me to change..."

It's a book that I can see I'll return to again and again as I go through a learning journey as a coach. Not sure that Kindle was the right format to do that with
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
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. ...more
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.
Laura Lungu
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-read
I liked the holistic perspective and all the ideas presented.
This book is good and bad for the same reasons. Depending on what is your experience and your expectations you may love it (5 stars) or hate it (1 star). I do both equally, so hearing it (I listened to the audiobook version) was a rollercoaster of emotions.

Breadth vs Depth
This book covers an insane collection of topics, ideas, and themes. Not only defines and describes agile coaching but goes into life coaching, mindfulness, personal development, NVC, EQ, behavioral psychology, marriage counseli
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was giving to me by someone who no longer needed it, and as such, I didn't have the right expectations going in. I thought "coaching agile teams" referred generally to the act of working with a mentoring agile teams, which it does. But what wasn't clear to me from the outset was that Adkins considers an "agile coach" to be a specific organizational role, separate from a scrum master or a product owner.

Regardless, the tips in this book are applicable to anyone who works with agile team
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Useful not only for scrum masters and agile coaches, but for anyone involved in an agile project:

"Expecting high performance means that you believe the team can attain it, so you hold them, compassionately and firmly, to that expectation. By believing, you urge them to strive for a vision of what they can become together. They get called forth to be more than they are now. This propels them forward sprint after sprint and release after release. All along the way, they touch moments of greatness
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
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!
Peter Vozhdai
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management
Great book. Provides very useful insights on different aspect of coaching(styles, tools, actions) in Agile environment as well as in every day working life. Suggested ideas can be taken into practical use.
Concentrated primary on coaching, so one with intend to get more about Agile itself might want to look at something else.
The book is well structured and easy to follow. Good usage of graphical material.
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!
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.
Zoltán Dósa
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my "The Book" as a Scrum Master/Agile Coach. It is all about mindset, techiques, tools that should be around.
You read a lot about in Medium articles "The Coaching Arc how Lyssa Adkins describes it" or the "Coaching Metaphores how Lyssa Adkins describes it" or the conflict handling framework, or the Coaching Competency Framework... It is all here. Go and read it.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile
Lyssa Adkins defines the foundational path of learning how to better serve our teams and to help them find their improvements. Every time I read this book I learn more about how to better coach my teams. It has become my routine to re-read every couple of years. Cannot express enough how transformational this book has been for me.
Theo Kokonas
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
It's a fairly decent book, it will give you vast insights into how to better facilitate a scrum team. I did find it dry at times but this is largely due to my attempts at reading it cover to cover - don't do that. Where this book shines is as a reference to dip into, based on what areas you're working on.
Worth picking up for any aspiring agile coach or even scrum master.
TC Gill
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book on Agile and unleashing its power through coaching and c0-creating leadership.
It fits perfectly with the Coaching style that I am accredited with (CPCC) and inspired me to further improve the way in which I serve clients and the organizations I work with.
Just love it.
I would love to meet the author.
Cara Foley
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Practical guide for anyone working on an Agile team. If you’re stressing on a deadline or feel overwhelmed on a project - pick up this book again to help right your ship. Reviewing the roles and perspectives of everyone on the team will help you work better on the team no matter what your role. Has saved my sanity a few times.
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.
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Other books in the series

A Mike Cohn Signature Book (1 - 10 of 13 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
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