"The people-greater-maker"

der agile coach

What is an AGILECOACH?

First and foremost, an AGILECOACH really enjoys making other people bigger. An excellent soft skill trainer from the AS&P AGILECOACH certification once said that he was “impartial” – he found “neutral” too passive. To make others taller, the AGILECOACH doesn’t necessarily have to be older – but it doesn’t hurt either. Why? Because it has to be accepted by managers in order to give them feedback on an equal footing about what makes a leader and what they identify with: their leadership. Those who have already been in the role of management themselves make their voices heard more easily.

Acceptance by executives

Young people can also get this acceptance by really listening carefully and asking the right questions. I’m sure you’re familiar with this: If you came up with the right answer on your own, then this insight would have a high value. A good AGILECOACH will get you there. It helps people to help themselves. If, instead, he were to pass on all his knowledge actively and directly, this would not be coaching, but advice. A good AGILECOACH is not the protector of the team: the product owner team or management would see him as an obstacle that must be overcome at all costs.

NOT: “Protector of the Team”

But he’s also not the extended arm of management that teaches the team to sprint (or fear). No, he is “impartial”. An AGILECOACH can AGILE and he can COACHING. He has mastered the AGILE method in all situations: XXL teams, global teams, very small teams and AGILE in leadership. As far as COACHING is concerned, he has the right method at the moment for each retro to give the team more confidence in themselves. Conflict situations in particular demand a lot from him, and then he is particularly in demand.


An AGILECOACH also does not allow himself to be abused: “You talk to the boss, he listens to you” or vice versa from the boss to the team: “Give them legs!”. Both would be fatal. Instead, he gets both parties to cope with conflicts better and better and on their own – even if he eventually became superfluous in this way. But it won’t: even the most experienced AGILE teams need an AGILECOACH – albeit with less intensity.


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Why do you need an AGILECOACH?

It’s easy to get excited about AGILE. Recognizing that leadership needs to change in order for team members to perform better is also quickly obvious. On the other hand, it is very difficult to change leadership habits permanently. Nothing convinces more than the success experienced. Real conviction comes from positive experiences. These create good feelings – and you want more of them. Good feelings are anchored in the content experienced. They create good moods and these infect others and are reflected back to the transmitter by them. That brings energy. A spiral that goes up.

Success and good feelings

But it needed the first impulse and someone to initiate and accompany this process and then help if it didn’t work the first time. Sustainable success requires habit change. Statistically, people need between 30 and 250 days, on average at least 66 days, for a habit change to really become sustainable. Changing the previous behavior pattern and reliably transferring it to a new rhythm requires support. This companion is the AGILECOACH.

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What does an AGILECOACH (hard skills) do?

Simply summarized: The AGILECOACH can do 1. AGILE and 2. Coaching: AGILE is the “hardware” and coaching is the “software”. In the hardware he teaches the teams in which rituals AGILE works and in the “software” he accompanies people on their journey of personal behavior change. What behavior change? In management: the change towards good leadership: 1. Clear goals 2. Freedom and 3. Feedback. In the team: the change from the working group to a real team. The ability to self-organize and develop self-responsibility. In my opinion, a misleading name for the AGILECOACH is the name “Scrum Master”. What do you think of when you hear Master? That’s exactly not what his role should be. An AGILECOACH is 100% neutral. The AGILECOACH is the “arrow” in the picture: making people – bigger – bigger. His task is “human development”.

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What can an ideal AGILECOACH (soft skills) do?

The AGILECOACH is responsible for the change: for the change from the current way of working – the IST workstyle – to the agile rhythm. This enormous task should not be underestimated. Particularly given the fact that the employed, non-external coach is in a dependent relationship with his superior. If you manage to give your boss feedback on his leadership today so that he authentically thanks you and continually comes to you for advice – then you are an ideal candidate for AGILECOACH.

AC = Agile + Coach: Method and people developer.

I am often asked: “Which department should the AGILECOACH come from?” What talent and experience does he have to have? Is it a full-time job? Is it possible without AGILECOACH?” The specialist area (sales, development, production…) is completely irrelevant, it depends on the talent. Which training? Many very good AGILECOACHes had systemic training in which they learned a lot about conflict handling and problem solving – but above all about self-reflection.

Who am I? – The path to self-knowledge…

…is a never-ending question that does not reach a conclusive answer and always leads to new self-knowledge. However, such training is not a guarantee of success or a necessary prerequisite. The decisive factors are the skills for self-knowledge and the sovereignty that you were able to gain in the process. As an external consultant, we have many very experienced coaches in our team who, for example: Some come from top management positions or have already ended their industrial career. During our AGILECOACH training, we also had a lot of young people who had talent that we could only marvel at.

A good AGILECOACH can/has more self-reflection.

Everyone who does something makes mistakes. A good AGILECOACH is more likely to notice the mistakes he has made and can correct them more quickly or avoid them next time. This means he can give himself feedback, as if two voices in one person were speaking to each other. This “dispute” between voices is constructive when there is a guideline that the disputants can follow – a higher order, so to speak. With AGILECOACH it is clarity about your own role. What is the role of the AGILECOACH and what is not? When have I crossed a boundary and if necessary correct it? Maybe I would like to apologize and thus relieve myself of the “guilt”. What is the AGILECOACH – what is it not? He is the midwife for getting started with the rituals and the continuous input provider for behavioral changes both in the leadership and in the team. His goal is to make people taller.

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THE AGILECOACH – “the maker of people” is a very demanding job. He is not the protector of the team. He is not a “girl for everything”, he is not the conflict resolver for the team or between the team and management. It brings leadership into good leadership: 1. Clear goals, 2. Freedom, 3. Feedback and it gives teams more responsibility and the ability to self-organize. To do this, he must be accepted in his role: both by the team and by the management. He can do it full time or part time. He needs about 20% of his time for a team. Under no circumstances should he be someone from the team or the management (POT) – that would be a guarantee of failure. THE AGILECOACH can do AGILE (the hard skills) and coaching (the soft skills). This includes the ability to adapt the method to a wide variety of environments (XXL to S projects, locally, globally in projects or in specialist areas and also in management). As a coach, he feels people, he masters conflict situations, can moderate and challenge in order to spark commitment and fun in performance. A good coach no longer “spins on his own axis” – he masters self-reflection and constantly practices self-discovery. He’s no Superman (-girl) – he makes mistakes – but he recognizes them earlier and better and is better at correcting them.

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