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Agile Coach Articles

Welcome to our Agile coach articles library, check out our articles on Scrum & Agile to support you with your journey.

The Agile Mindset: How to Know If Your Business Is Ready for a CTO
The Agile Mindset: How to Know If Your Business Is Ready for a CTO

As your business scales, deciding when to bring on a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) can be a complex…

What is the major difference between executive and team coaching?

What is the major difference between executive and team coaching? An executive coach works with exec…

What is a ‘scrum of scrums’ and why is it effective?

What is ‘scrum of scrums’ and why is it effective? Welcome to part 49 of our scrum maste…

What are the primary challenges a scrum master faces when working with multiple teams?

What are the primary challenges a scrum master faces when working with multiple teams? Welcome to pa…

What do you do when the organisation is breaking or failing to honour agile values and principles?

What do you do when the organisation is breaking or failing to honour agile values and principles? W…

The developers encounter a technical issue that requires them to swarm. How would you approach this?

The developers encounter a technical issue that requires them to swarm. How would you approach this?…

A product owner refuses to allow the team access to stakeholders and customers. What would you do?

A product owner refuses to allow the team access to stakeholders and customers. What would you do? W…

The organisation is planning a roadshow and they ask you, as the scrum master, to contribute to several events. What would your response be?

The organisation is planning a roadshow and they ask you, as the scrum master, to contribute to seve…

What do you do if the team aren’t creating or using user stories in their backlog items?

What do you do if the team aren’t creating or using user stories in their backlog items? Welco…

One of the development teams elects to have a developer as a product owner? What would your response be?

One of the development teams elects to have a developer as a product owner? What would your response…

One of the development teams elects to have a developer as a scrum master? What would your response be?

One of the development teams elects to have a developer as a scrum master? What would your response …

How does a scrum master increase the productivity of a scrum team?

How does a scrum master increase the productivity of a scrum team? Welcome to part 38 of our scrum m…

Is a scrum master a management position, and if not, why not?

Is a scrum master a management position, and if not, why not? Welcome to part 37 of our scrum master…

You have a pilot that is going well, but the rest of the organisation don’t understand scrum which causes problems. What do you do?

You have a pilot that is going well, but the rest of the organisation don’t understand scrum w…

A scrum master has a growing list of impediments without resolution. Who would you consult and why?

A scrum master has a growing list of impediments without resolution. Who would you consult and why? …

Which metrics are and are not acceptable when assessing the value of a user story?

Which metrics are and are not acceptable when assessing the value of a user story? Welcome to part 3…

Does enforcing scrum process not contradict the Agile value of people over processes?

Does enforcing scrum process not contradict the Agile value of people over processes? Welcome to par…

How will you ensure the team complete action items within the agreed timeframe?

How will you ensure the team complete action items within the agreed timeframe? Welcome to part 32 i…

Would you include a health check on the team during a retrospective and if so, how?

Would you include a health check on the team during a retrospective and if so, how? Welcome to part …

Agile Top Tip – How do you conduct a Daily Scrum with a large team?

Ideally, the Scrum team will consist of up to 10 people, but larger teams do exist, which can make c…

Agile Top Tip – How do you address impediments in the Daily Scrum?

John McFadyen shares his top tip for addressing impediments in the Daily Scrum. Traditionally, teams…

Agile Top Tip – How do you structure the Daily Scrum?

The Daily Scrum is an opportunity for the developers to realign and ensure they’re on track to…

Agile Top Tip – How do you keep the Daily Scrum within the timebox?

Get your Daily Scrum back on track! In this video, John McFadyen shares his top tip to respectfully …

What would you include in an offline kanban board and why?

What would you include in an offline kanban board and why? Welcome to part 30 of our scrum master in…

How do you approach stand-ups with distributed teams?

How do you approach stand-ups with distributed teams? Welcome to part 29 in our scrum master intervi…

Would you recommend daily stand ups for all teams regardless of size or experience?

Would you recommend stand-ups for all teams regardless of their size or experience level? Let’s star…

As a facilitator, how does a scrum master prepare for a workshop?

As a facilitator, how does a scrum master prepare for a workshop? Welcome to part 27 of our scrum ma…

As a scrum master, when should you not act as a facilitator?

As a scrum master, when should you not act as a facilitator? Welcome to part 26 in our scrum master …

What are the 2 primary ways in which a scrum master ensures a high-performance team environment?

What are the 2 primary ways in which a scrum master ensures a high-performance team environment? Wel…

What are the most common reasons for a scrum master to attend the daily scrum?

What are the most common reasons for a scrum master to attend the daily scrum? Very often, when I gi…

During the daily scrum, what exactly is the scrum master’s role?

During the daily scrum, what exactly is the scrum master’s role? Welcome to our scrum master intervi…

What structure do you consider best for a user story?

What structure do you consider best for a user story? Welcome to part 25 of our scrum master intervi…

How do you choose the most valuable user story?

How do you choose the most valuable user story? Welcome to part 24 of our scrum master interview que…

Agile Top Tip – How to set personal goals that align with organisational goals

The start of the year feels like a natural point to set goals, both personally and at a team or orga…

Agile Top Tip – How to make goals specific

How do you make goals specific? In this video, John McFadyen shares his recommendation for making go…

Agile Top Tip – How to make sure goals are realistic

It can be easy to be over-optimistic when setting goals, leading to targets that aren’t attain…

Agile Top Tip – How to manage (and set) goals in a volatile world

Goals can be great to give us direction and keep us accountable. But in such a volatile world, you m…

Agile Top Tip – What do you do when a goal becomes obsolete?

What do you do when a goal becomes obsolete? The nature of today’s business climate means that…

Agile Top Tip – Conducting a Sprint Review when not all stakeholders can attend

The Sprint Review is an important event in Scrum, a chance for the Scrum Team to gain feedback on th…

Agile Top Tip – How to support your team after receiving negative feedback in a Sprint Review

How do you support your Scrum Team after receiving negative feedback in the Sprint Review? John McFa…

Agile Top Tip – Conducting a Sprint Review when the Product Owner is not present

This week’s top tip is how to conduct a Sprint Review when the Product Owner can’t make …

Agile Top Tip – How to give (and receive) constructive criticism in the Sprint Review

The purpose of the Sprint Review is to gain feedback. Sometimes it’s positive. Other times it&…

Agile Top Tip – How to foster openness from everyone in the Sprint Review

The Agile Top Tips theme for December 2022 is the Sprint Review, so we started by asking John his to…

Agile Top Tip – How to make continuous improvement items actionable

The Sprint Retrospective is often a great source of ideas, but how do you take these ideas and turn …

Agile Top Tip – How to facilitate a virtual Retrospective

This week’s top tip topic is how to facilitate a virtual Retrospective. Post-it notes on a wal…

Agile Top Tip – How to facilitate a Retrospective when the Sprint hasn’t gone to plan

Sprints won’t always go to plan, but how do you facilitate a Sprint Retrospective when this is…

Agile Top Tip – How to prioritise continuous improvement ideas

This week’s top tip topic is how to prioritise continuous improvement items. If, like our team…

Agile Top Tip – How to facilitate a Retrospective when the team lacks psychological safety

We’ll be sharing regular top tips around a different them for each month. The theme for Septem…

The product owner converts stakeholder requirement documents into tickets and asks the team to estimate them. Are you ok with that?

The product owner converts stakeholder requirement documents into tickets and asks the team to estim…

What is a good example of agile proving successful in an organisation you have worked with in the past?

What is a good example of agile proving successful in an organisation you have worked with in the pa…

How do you recommend a scrum master to follow up on action items?

How do you recommend a scrum master to follow up on action items? Welcome to part 21 in our scrum ma…

Who do you invite to the sprint retrospective, and why?

Who do you invite to the sprint retrospective, and why? Welcome to part 20 of our scrum master inter…

How would you influence or encourage product stakeholders to attend daily scrums?

How would you influence or encourage product stakeholders to attend daily scrums? Welcome to part 18…

Who writes user stories and what would you advise them to write in those stories?

Who writes user stories and what would you advise them to write in those stories? Welcome to part 17…

Why aren’t user stories estimated in hours or days?

Why aren’t user stories estimated in hours or days? Because, in complex environments, it simply does…

How would you help the team identify and select the most valuable backlog items for the upcoming sprint?

How would you help the team identify and select the most valuable backlog items for the upcoming spr…

What kind of information would you ask the product owner for to give the scrum team an update on the product and market situation?

What kind of information would you ask the product owner for to give the scrum team an update on the…

Do scrum team members need to wait until the next daily stand up to ask for help in resolving impediments or obstacles?

Do scrum team members need to wait until the next daily stand up to ask for help in resolving impedi…

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that?

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that? Welc…

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning?

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning? Welcome to …

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why?

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why? Welcome to part 10 i…

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization?

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization? Welcome to part 9 in our scru…

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react?

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react? Welcome to…

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and ideas?

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and i…

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not yet finalised. How do you react?

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not …

What is a definition of ready?

What is a definition of ready? Welcome to part 5 of our scrum master interview questions series wher…

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity?

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity? Welcome to part 4 in our scrum master interview questions…

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable?

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable? Welcome to part 3 in our scrum master in…

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments?

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments? Welcome to part…

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why?

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why? Welcome to part 1 of our scrum ma…

What is a spike?

What is a spike? Welcome to part 18 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John McFadye…

What is sprint zero?

What is sprint zero? Welcome to part 17 in our agile coach interview questions series where John McF…

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams?

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams? Welcome to part 16 of our agile coa…

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team?

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team? Welcome to part 15 in …

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring?

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring? Welcome to part 14 of our agile coach inter…

What is Agile coaching?

What is Agile coaching? Welcome to part 13 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John …

Why do organisations and teams need an agile coach?

Why do organisations and teams need an agile coach? Welcome to part 12 of our agile coach interview …

What role does management play during the Agile transition?

What role does management play during the Agile transition? Welcome to part 11 in our agile coach in…

What types of strategies have worked well for Agile transformations?

What types of strategies have worked well for an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 10 of our Agi…

What are the top 3 challenges when transitioning to Agile?

What are the top 3 challenges when transitioning to Agile? Welcome to part 9 of our agile coach inte…

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working?

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working? Welcome to part 8 of our agile coach inter…

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations?

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations? Welcome to part 7 in our agile coac…

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time?

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time? Welcome to part 6 in our Agi…

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology?

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology? Welcome to part 5 in our agile coa…

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation?

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 4 of our agile coach i…

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another?

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another? Welcome …

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development?

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development? As part o…

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective?

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective? This is a…

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint?

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint? They don’t. It isn’t their job. Th…

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review?

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review? I don’t recommend that they ru…

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review?

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review? It depends. I would start by first…

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews?

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews? The sprint review is a great opportunity for…

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation?

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation? In my opinion, you should get ri…

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders?

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders? What do you mean by …

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning?

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning? Does the Agile coach need to be there? I wo…

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach?

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach? I’m not somebody that believes in regret. Professiona…

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach?

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach? So, the contract element …

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective?

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective? It used to be ‘Mad | Sad | Glad’. Many moon…

What are the 3 things that trip you up as an Agile coach?

What are the 3 things that generally trip you up as an Agile coach? This is an interesting one. Ther…

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach?

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach? Your first step is to stop think…