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Agile Coach FAQ’s

Welcome to our Agile coach FAQ library, check out our frequently asked questions on Scrum & Agile to support you with your journey.

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Agile Coaching

In the fast-paced world of Agile, the role of an Agile coach is pivotal. But technical know-how alon…

Emotionally Intelligent Feedback
Emotionally Intelligent Feedback: Improving Performance in Scrum Teams

Sprint after Sprint, Scrum teams around the globe strive to continuously enhance their products, pro…

How much of an impact does a great Agile leader have and why?

How much of an impact does a great Agile leader have and why? I think it’s important to start by def…

What is the most impressive turnaround you have seen a scrum adoption achieve?

What is the most impressive turnaround you have seen a scrum adoption achieve? It depends on what th…

Which do you prefer for product development, Kanban or Scrum?

Which do you prefer for product development, Kanban or Scrum? Why do we keep putting these agile fra…

If your organization has less than 50 people, how hard is it to adopt and succeed with Scrum?

If your organization has less than 50 people, how hard is it to adopt and succeed with Scrum? The nu…

Did following a certification path change the game for you, if so, how?

Did following a certification path change the game for you, if so, how? I have never followed a stru…

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 the most powerful coaching session you have been a part of?

What is the most powerful coaching session you have been a part of? I’m not going to go into details…

How did mentorship change your career trajectory and why?

How did mentorship change your career trajectory and why? Mentorship changed my entire career trajec…

How important is a solid apprenticeship for scrum masters?

How important is a solid apprenticeship for scrum masters? It would be useful to start by defining w…

How are user stories, epics, and tasks different from one another?

How are user stories, epics, and tasks different from one another? Welcome to part 59 in our scrum m…

What does timeboxing mean? When can a sprint be cancelled and by whom?

What does timeboxing mean? When can a sprint be cancelled and by whom? Welcome to part 58 in our scr…

How would you deal with a difficult or disruptive product stakeholder?

How would you deal with a difficult or disruptive product stakeholder? Welcome to part 57 of our scr…

How is definition of done defined and why does it matter?

How is definition of done defined and why does it matter? Welcome to part 56 of our scrum master int…

What is MVP and MMP?

What is MVP and MMP? Welcome to part 55 of our scrum master interview questions series where John Mc…

How does a scrum master deal with scope creep?

How does a scrum master deal with scope creep? Welcome to part 54 of our scrum master interview ques…

How should a scrum master track sprint progress?

How should a scrum master track sprint progress? Welcome to part 53 in our scrum master interview qu…

What are the primary risks in scrum and how are they dealt with?

What are the primary risks in scrum and how are they dealt with? Welcome to part 52 of our scrum mas…

What are the key skills of a scrum master?

What are the key skills of a scrum master? Welcome to part 51 of our scrum master interview question…

What are some of the disadvantages or drawbacks of using Scrum?

What are some of the disadvantages or drawbacks of using Scrum? Welcome to part 50 of our scrum mast…

What is user story mapping and how do you go about doing that effectively?

What is user story mapping and how do you go about doing that effectively? Welcome to part 48 in our…

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 …

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…

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity?

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

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 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 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 …

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…

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach?

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach? It’s contract. I…

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out.

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out. That is a tricky one…

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach.

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach. I used to think this was true. Maybe that was my ego…

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching This is an interestin…

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable.

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable. This is an interesting one. It’s something that I ha…

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks This is one of …

The Definitive Guide to Scrum Training

Why take Scrum training? Scrum may appear simple at first, but it is deceptively difficult to do wel…

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems.

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems. All teams have problems and op…

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure?

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure? I’m going to put my consultant h…

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?
How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization? I’m go…

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning?

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning? This answer may be a bit different to how a scru…

What is one of the most important traits of an Agile coach
What is one of the most important traits of an agile coach?

What is one of the most important traits of an agile coach? Patience. Without a doubt, patience is o…

When did you realise that you had transitioned from scrum master to agile coach?

When did you realise that you had transitioned from scrum master to agile coach? I will be honest, I…

What is the most common mistake made by newbie Agile coaches?

What is the most common mistake made by newbie Agile coaches? I would be hard pressed to pick a sing…

How does an Agile coach learn to work at the executive level?

How does an Agile coach learn to work at the executive level? There are many ways that agile coaches…

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…

How do you prioritise team coaching over individual coaching as an agile coach?

How do you prioritise team coaching over individual coaching as an agile coach? I would question whe…

What is one of the toughest lessons you learned as an agile coach?

What is one of the toughest lessons you learned as an agile coach? The toughest lesson, without a do…

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team?

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team? My first piece of advice to you is…

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters?

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters? In a nutshell, simply be cur…

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong?

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong? Possibly, you’re doing …

scrum project success
We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it is a success?

We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it’s a success? That is an interesting ques…

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict?

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict? That is …

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise . How do I help them?

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise. How do I help them? What you need to do is understand …

How do I help developers work closer with customers?

How do I help our developers work closer with customers? A part of me wants to say that scrum master…

I am a scrum master and we have just hired an agile coach. How do I help them?

I’m a scrum master and we’ve just hired an agile coach. How do I work with them? It depends. First a…

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do?

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do? Congra…

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done?

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done? It depends on what we m…

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team?

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team? I’m not sure if scrum masters…

What is your favourite scrum event and why?

What is your favourite scrum event and why? If you know me at all, it’s the sprint retrospective. I …