I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite tools and resources I use as an agile coach. I find all these topics to be essential for being a coach.
I love helping teams do retros, so they can reflect and improve the ways they work. But better is getting them to lead their own retros. To help, I often share my favourite retrospective idea sites:
I try to use only the scrum guide here. Too often I hear people say things like “We must have User Stories because we are doing Scrum”, which is not only untrue by the definition of Scrum, but also may stop the team from doing something smarter (though I do like user stories in general, to ensure the team have a value focus).
David Anderson’s “blue book Kanban” suggests a fairly rigid approach, which is worth considering and learning from. I would argue it runs counter to the philosophy of empowerment evangelised by the Agile movement.
I like the “primary sources” for this, such as this from Toyota.
Clearly the Agile Manifesto is the source of truth on this.
I tend to use coursera to expand my horizons in Psychology (as well as in other areas such as gamification or mathematical techniques), as books get out of date very quickly. I very much enjoyed “foundational neuroscience for perception and action”, “social psychology” and “inspiring leadership through emotional intelligence”. These change all the time and many of the above are no longer available, so have a browse yourself.
I also love the following videos (which I am sure to have mentioned before):
Management and Leadership
The distinction between management and leadership is critical. For some “agile appropriate” tools, I like Jurgen Appelo’s work, particularly Management 3.0 #Workout.
For leadership theory, I’d recommend reading some summaries to broaden your perspective, such as this.
Lyssa Atkins’ book Coaching Agile Teams I found a helpful and well-thought-through guide. Overall though, I’d suggest that in coaching there is no substitute for practice. Inspect and adapt.
I’d love to hear about your favourite resources, and any feedback or suggestions for better resources.