For an organization to be successful at Agile transformation, one aspect that needs attention is self-sustenance. Having external coaches is useful as they bring in experience and a third-party perspective. Over time though, it makes sense to groom internal Agile practitioners as Agile champions, who can spread the mindset and practices further.
Transitioning from a practitioner to a coach is non-trivial. The organization should look out for certain characteristics in individuals to identify potential coaches, and follow that up by providing support to prepare them for the role. In a series of articles, we will delve into each of these aspects.
First off, let us establish practitioner-to-coach transition as an effective strategy for Agile transformation.
When do we know we are done?
This is a difficult question to answer at the onset of any Agile enablement undertaking. Some answers rely on metrics, measuring how the coached teams have progressed in those. A more subjective answer, but perhaps more relevant, relies on people:
We are done coaching a team when team members are capable of coaching others.
The above is indicative of the skills, mindset, and experiences picked up by team members. On the ground, not every team member will reach the same level at the same time, and while many may progress as practitioners, they may not make good coaches. Coaching does not come naturally to everyone, not even to long-time practitioners. One needs certain qualities and skills that require further grooming. We will talk about this in more detail later. For now let us assume we can get good coaches out of a coached team.