Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching
This is an interesting one because it can take a long time to see results from agile coaching, especially at the enterprise level working with multi-national organizations.
I have talked about the importance of patience in agile coach, particularly the need for it as you begin to work with leadership teams and scaling scrum across the entire organization, because things simply take longer to achieve.
They just do.
But, not always, and not with everything.
Some of the experiments I have been a part of run for many years. We have a hypothesis about something and how we imagine it will turn out, and we run that experiment at ever increasing scale to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
It can take years for that experiment to prove itself consistently true across the organization.
That said, I have also run experiments which take a matter of weeks to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Some may even be completed in a matter of days.
Some of the most impactful coaching sessions I have run have been incredibly short.
Not only was the coaching session short but the implementation of the action by the coachee has been immediate, with rapid feedback loops and iterations leading to significant improvement.
The benefits of the action have delivered immediate results.
This is because lots of agile coaching is about intervention at the organizational level. It’s about change. It’s about getting hearts and minds working in alignment to achieve specific goals and objectives within rapid iteration cycles.
It’s about consistent and frequent communication that aims to help individuals and teams make significant improvement and rapidly remove impediments to progress. When you get that right, you often see great results within a very short amount of time.
It can take some time to help people identify the need for change and develop the appetite for change, in a way that works for them, but you also find that when implementation happens, results are often rapid and consistent.
Remember, in an engagement you will be having multiple conversations with multiple individuals and teams. In some of those conversations, people have breakthroughs which lead to significant change and momentum.
Momentum that rapidly removes impediments and brings about improvements that benefit people at both the team level and the organizational level.
At the team level, it may be identifying a skill that changes the game or a technique that creates flow throughout the team environment. Minor things that yield disproportionately larger results than you might expect.
At the organizational level, it may be the removal or creation of a policy that shifts absolutely everything for everyone across the entire organization.
That can happen in a single coaching session and straightforward implementation within a matter of days or weeks. Like the butterfly effect, often changing one thing changes absolutely everything and the entire dynamic system produces completely different results within a very short time.
So, in closing, yes it can take time to see results from agile coaching but it is also possible to see great outcomes in very short time increments. It depends on what you are working on, who you are working with, and what you discover and implement in that process.
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