Agile Project Management Process Grid–Process 4.1 Coach Recruiting


In the book “PMI-ACP Exam Prep PLUS Desk Reference”, John Stenbeck created an Agile PM Processes Grid, which has 87 Agile PM Processes divided up between the 5 process groups and 7 knowledge areas.    In this series of posts, I am covering the first of three processes in the first process group “Initiate” and in the fourth knowledge area, “Team Performance,” which corresponds roughly to the “Human Resources Management” knowledge area in traditional PM.

The first process in this block is process 4.1 Coach Recruiting.   I will discuss what an agile coach is, and why you should think about getting one for your agile project.

Agile Coach

An agile coach’s mission is threefold:

  1. Trainer–knowledge transfer regarding the agile framework to the team
  2. Coach–applying the agile framework to the specific environment the team will encounter
  3. Consultant–removing impediments that the team may face

The whole purpose of the agile coach is to facilitate teams to create change and improve delivery.   They help the team rethink their assumptions and create mental models so that the team can solve their own problems.

Internal or External Coach

When you think about an agile coach, you probably are thinking about hiring a consultant, which would be an external coach, but someone who is in the company and has reached the level of Certified Scrum Coach can act as an internal coach.  The internal coach has the advantage of knowing the corporate culture and history as well as being familiar with the team.   The external coach can bring a new perspective based on experience dealing with a variety of corporations to bring the best practices to bear on the specific environment that the team will encounter on the project.

The idea is to transfer the knowledge, to have the team apply it, and to gradually fade from the picture, only coming back into it when the team asks for advice.

The next post will cover Process 4.2 Servant/Adaptive Leadership.

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