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Agile Coaching [Paperback]

Rachel Davies , Liz Sedley

List Price: CDN$ 43.95
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Book Description

Sept. 7 2009 1934356433 978-1934356432 1

Discover how to coach your team to become more Agile. Agile Coaching de-mystifies agile practices--it's a practical guide to creating strong agile teams. Packed with useful tips from practicing agile coaches Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, this book gives you coaching tools that you can apply whether you are a project manager, a technical lead, or working in a software team.

To lead change, you need to expand your toolkit, and this book gives you the tools you need to make the transition from agile practitioner to agile coach.

Agile Coaching is all about working with people to create great agile teams. You'll learn how to build a team that produces great software and has fun doing it. In the process, you'll grow a team that's self-sufficient and skillful.

This book provides you with deeper knowledge of how agile practices work and how to inspire your team to improve. Discover how to coach your team through the agile lifecycle, from planning to writing software. Learn the secrets of running effective agile meetings and how to get your team following a consistent approach to creating software. You'll find chapters dedicated to introducing Test-Driven Development, designing Retrospectives, and making progress visible.

Find out what works and what to avoid when introducing agile practices to your team. Throughout the book the authors share their personal coaching stories from experience with real teams, giving you insights into what works and what to avoid. Each chapter also covers hurdles that you and your team may face and what to do to clear them.


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Product Description

About the Author

Rachel Davies provides expert coaching to teams in Agile software development techniques, such as Test-Driven Development and planning with User Stories. She has been working with Agile teams using XP and Scrum since 2000. Rachel is internationally recognized in the agile community, a frequent presenter at industry conferences worldwide, and a director of Agile Alliance.

Liz Sedley is an Agile Coach and .Net Developer working in London, UK. She has fifteen years industry experience, mostly as a C++ / C# developer. Liz has spent the last four years enabling companies to be more Agile.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for Every Software Manager Developer Sept. 1 2009
By Methods & Tools Software Development Magazine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There was a time when software developers worked with consultants that will do things for their company or teach some technical knowledge. Agile approaches have brought forward another type of people: coaches. According to Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, a coach doesn't tell you what to do, rather she shows you how she thinks you might do things and hope that it will help you to improve your situation. She leads by example. It is not easy to write a book on this type of topic. The authors recognize this situation and manage to achieve a good balance between general advice and practical usage reports.

The first part of the book is concentrated on the basics of coaching and communicating in software project. The software development curricula are often weak on "people" skills and you are not always lucky to find the right person as a supervisor when you get out of school. The second part goes through the different activities of a typical Agile project (daily meeting, user stories definition, planning, etc.) and discuss how coach can help a project team to achieve its goals. Each chapter has a final checklist and the book is also full of "personal stories" from the authors that enhance the theoretical advice, applying it on real situations.

Although the title of the book and some of its content might make you think that its value is limited to an agile context, I will recommend this book to every person that has some supervision function in software development organizations and to every developer who believe than acquiring additional "people" skill might improve its work environment. Just changing the way you talk with colleagues could lead to having more sunnier days at the office.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, thorough reference for aspiring coaches Oct. 6 2009
By Gerry J. Kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I echo Yves' statement in that I wish I had this book when I started out coaching teams. The book covers all the bases to get started as a coach.

For coaches like me who have a few years' experience, some sections might seem dry, but overall you will gain insights in many areas. The PrOpER (Problem, Options, Evaluate, Review) model for deciding what to do in a situation is an example of something I learned. Overall, I feel that Agile Coaching helps me go to a deeper level on the practices I am already using, as well as teaching me about technical practices less familiar.

The book is an easy read, organized so you can dive into the topics that matter most to you now and can be used as a quick reference later.

My road to learning how to be a more effective coach involved scouring posts and articles online, discussing in mailing lists and talking to other coaches. Agile Coaching is a one-stop shop, packed with practical advice, examples to work from and stories from the trenches.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Agile Coaching Feb. 22 2010
By General Dogsbody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a non programmer I was not looking forward to wading through another Agile book, but was pleasantly surprised to find it full of sensible advice for "normal" people. I've found a lot of great ideas, many common sense ones, which I can use to help institute our fledgling Agile practices. Many of the techniques suggested fit with educational practices, and which, from long experience as a teacher have proved to have worked. I'm recommending it to the Agile "drivers" in our business.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grow Yourself with Agile Coaching Jan. 2 2010
By Lisa Crispin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Agile Coaching, in my opinion, isn't only for people who coach agile teams. If you're in the software business, you'll learn something valuable from this book. Start with the last chapter - "Growing You". The only way to succeed in our industry is to continually learn and improve, and this chapter gives great suggestions how to do that.

This book is a model of concise, clear writing. It's packed with information in the form of narrative, bullet points, graphics, photos, stories of real teams and projects, exercises, tips and examples. The authors have been walking their talk for a long time, so you can feel confident about following their advice. Their flair for language makes the book fun to read. It could be a quick read, except you'll find yourself stopping to reflect on your own experiences, and thinking about how you could apply the technique you just read about on your own team. Each chapter includes hurdles you may face, and a checklist summarizing action items for you, the reader.

I particularly enjoyed the little vignettes with dialog from a typical team illustrating topics such as "Not Quite Done Yet" and "Getting Ready to Demo". The authors have insight into all aspects of coding, testing, and managing software teams. You'll find advice you might not expect in a software-related book, such as "Be kind to yourself". The focus on people and teams will make you a better person and team member.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Recognition That Agile Methods Must Work In A Social & Organizational Context Nov. 18 2009
By Ira Laefsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There was a time when it was believed that software development methodologies were a set of tools that could be taught and explained on their technical merits alone. Two decades ago when I was involved in the adoption of Knowledge-based and Rule-based Systems in a large Insurance Company it was thought that successful adoption of a new software methodology was a largely technical process that must be learned as a particular set of skills. Explaining what Team-based development Methodologies are, and their successful implementation requires much more than that. Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley describe and illustrate the Team Collaboration, Communication and Coaching Techniques that will insure the success of Agile and Lean Methodologies. They provide clear examples of the issues and methods of achieving clear communication and team buy-in. Illuminating and informal stories and pictorial illustrations are given that will ensure clear communication, Socratic/participatory learning and team member partcipation. They illustrate what it means to be a successful coach in Agile Methods and all team-based technology learning. I highly recommend this succinct guidebook.

--Ira Laefsky
Senior IT Consultant Arthur D. Little and Digital Equipment Corporation
MSE/MBA

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