At the Agile Coach Camp (San Diego 2018) there was a recurrent theme: the agile coaching profession has become split between process coaches and technical coaches. This split is common across the industry, at almost every agile conference, in almost every transitioning organisation, in almost any domain. It is evident in the Agile Alliance as well - with the launch a few years ago of Deliver:Agile, in response to the reducing technical content of the Agile conference.
While teams and organisations often do need help with process, the ultimate measure of success (as described by the Agile Manifesto) is working software. Delivering working software, ultimately, needs teams to refine and improve their technical practices. To do this, teams are frequently offered short, intense, technical training courses - costly, time-consuming, and often disappointing. If instead they were offered the input of skilled coaches and facilitators - the sweet spot of the typical agile coach - they would grow as technologists and team-members, empowered and enthused by self-driven learning. How sad, then, that many agile coaches disqualify themselves from helping with the common refrain "I'm non-technical".
In this session, we'll look at the background to this split and discover that it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of coaching. We'll discover just how technical the typical process coach is. and explore how every agile coach can use their skill and experience to help teams deliver high quality software. Finally, we'll take a brief look at a new track at this year's conference, Technical Excellence, which is specifically aimed at giving agile coaches the confidence to help their teams tackle some of their technical challenges.
The future of agile depends on teams improving their technical practices - and they need coaches to help them achieve this. Come along and become part of the vision of an agile community that has healed the technical/process divide, empowering agile coaches to do what they are good at - which is coaching.