Lessons Learned from (Scrum) Coaching sessions

Working at a customer in recent months I was on the receiving end of a Scrum coaching project. Unfortunately this ended early. And I started thinking about what I could learn from my angle as a team member. I came up with the following cases and hope they can be helpful for you as well.

Stick to your role and deliver value

If you take the role of coach in a certain expertise field, stick to the that role. This will give you focus and a higher probability of success in the field in which you perform really well. In addition to that, this is the thing/trick you are hired for. It is great if you can deliver additional value, and get the team of organization you are coaching to a higher level, only after you are delivering what you should deliver.

For example you’re coaching in SCRUM, and there is loads of work to do to get the Product Backlog in good shape, getting the documentation up to par, and help the people with the SCRUM way of working; it might not be the time to debate all kind of possible coding issues, try to remove commit hooks from SVN (requiring an JIRA issue number) and other stuff like that.

Should you as a coach decide to be a part of the team, you also have to commit to results delivered by the team (that now includes you). After you check out the code it doesn’t shown you value individuals if the only thing you do is place remarks and object without not delivering anything yourself (let alone things perceived as value by the product owner).

Stick to your role.


Focus on your assignment and the results you have to deliver. In the case you are coaching a team in the world of SCRUM it is not necessary to start a debate on all design, technical, technology and frameworks choices that are made in the first week. When valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools, also keep in mind that it is the team of those individuals that made a range of choices. Some of them could very well be the result of much (heated) debate.

Focus on your assignment and the results you have to deliver. Don’t (re)fight every battle.

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