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What is the one book you would recommend to aspiring Agile coaches?

What is the one book you would recommend to aspiring Agile coaches?

That gets tricky. I’ll be honest, I read a great deal of books and each of them contributes to my knowledge, skills and perspective in a completely unique and different way.

To choose just one book for an aspiring agile coach is tough.

If I am forced to choose just one, it would be ‘coaching Agile teams’ by Lyssa Adkins.

Coaching Agile Teams: Lyssa Adkins

It is an old but great book.

In it, Lyssa breaks down many of the key functions that we serve as an Agile coach and as a scrum master.

Anyone who works in service to teams to help them become better.

It examines:

  • whether you have the right Agile knowledge to begin with. That is often forgotten about.
  • Do you understand facilitation?
  • Do you understand coaching?
  • Do you understand conflict management and negotiation?

The book walks you through all these elements and also looks at the various stances an agile coach must take.

It instructs you to ‘coach as…” and for me, it is a really good grounding in the basics of agile coaching. It is not an advanced book, but if you are looking for a general overview and strong introduction to Agile coaching, it is a great book.

It helps you understand what is expected from the role, how people operate in those roles, and you are tapping into the many, many years of agile coaching experience and expertise that Lyssa has.

That is where I would advise you to start. Buy this book and savour every word of wisdom and insight that it offers.

If you are interested in becoming an agile coach and value mentored, coach-driven skills development in your journey to mastery, visit our Growing Agile Coaches page.

For more information on John McFadyen, visit or connect with John on LinkedIn at

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If you are already a scrum master and want to upskill to a more advanced level of knowledge and agile coaching capability, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course page.

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