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Agile Servant Leadership

An Agile Servant leader changes behaviors to meet our team’s needs while modeling collaboration, trust, empathy and ethical use of power. Practices deep listening, self-awareness and commitment to others. Servant Leader doesn’t do. Direct the team by telling them what to do. Instead, he or she should assist the team to self-organize and do what it takes to expedite their progress. Manage the daily stand-up. A Scrum Master should simply ensure that the stand-up happens and is conducted properly. Estimate the team’s work. If an agile team are using estimates in their planning, they must be responsible for them. The Scrum Master will arbitrate if needed.
Agile Team Stages
Zhuhai roughly translates to "first learn, then detach, and finally transcend."
Shu "Protect", "obey" — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
Ha "Detach", "digress" — breaking with tradition — detachment from the illusions of self
Rig "Leave", "separate" — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms; transcending the physical
The idea is that a person passes through three stages of gaining knowledge:
Shu: In this beginning stage the student follows the teachings of one master precisely. He concentrates on how to do the task, without worrying too much about the underlying theory. If there are multiple variations on how to do the task, he concentrates on just the one way his master teaches him.
Ha: At this point the student begins to branch out. With the basic practices working he now starts to learn the underlying principles and theory behind the technique. He also starts learning from other masters and integrates that learning into his practice.
Ri: Now the student isn't learning from other people, but from his own practice. He creates his own approaches and adapts what he's learned to his own particular circumstances.
The fundamental idea here is that when teaching a concept, you have to tailor the style of teaching to where the learner is in their understanding, and that progression follows a common pattern. Early stages of learning focus on concrete steps to imitate, the focus then shifts to understanding principles and finally into self-directed innovation.
Agile Coaching
An agile coach helps teams grow strong in applying agile practice to their work. It takes time to adopt these changes so you can't do this effectively as a "seagull consultant" or trainer who swoops in to deliver words of wisdom and then makes a sharp exit. You need to spend time with a team to help them to become more aware of their workflow and how to collaborate effectively. Agile Coach Balance many things as you work with different teams and stay true to your own values. Understanding of the social psychological and complexity aspects of team. Sense- making models for analyzing teams and situations. A method for designing non-intrusive interventions for changing team dynamics. Learn what’s really needed to get people to work together as teams.
Skills of Agile Coaches
An agile coach is not going to help anyone get a perfectly toned physique. We are not in the personal fitness business. An agile coach works with software development teams to help improve their effectiveness and get the benefits of applying agile principles to their work. The first three skills focus on yourself. Set yourself on a path of learning and growing. Model Agile values and practices. Master yourself. Embodying and demonstrating agile values is also important. The next set of skills focuses on initial coaching of others. Instil agile practices. Coach the whole team. Coach team members. Coach team members one on one. Coach product owners. Coach outsiders. At this stage, it's important for the coach to know how to share agile practices in ways that can be quickly adopted by the team. The coach works with the team and the individual team members to better understand and apply agile practices, while also coaching people outside the team to minimize disruptions.
Once the teams have become comfortable applying the basic agile practices, the coach should move forward on the coaching scale by focusing on in-depth coaching of skills and team dynamics, working with the team while continuing to self-reflect.
  • Coach the team through change
  • Accept their ideas above your own
  • Navigate conflict
  • Integrate paths to high performance
Agile Coach Failure Modes
The Spy The Spy spends just enough time observing the team to pick up topics for the next retrospective. The Seagull The Seagull swoops in at stand-ups, poops all over the team (with well-intentioned observations or advice) and flies away again. Agile Coaches have a big job. "Support the team but not too much and not too little." "Be available but don't be overbearing." "Offer ideas but don't get too involved." "Coach, don't manage." Agile Coach is used synonymously with Scrum Master. To enable high-performance teams, Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches must go deep into Scrum, past the practices and into the coaching aspects of the job. .the failure (and recovery) modes presented in this article apply fully to both Scrum Masters and Agile Coach. The Opinionate The Opinionate expresses opinions during team discussions, getting so attached to their opinions (or others’) that they lose the objectivity needed to help the team have great discussions.
The Admin The Admin undermines team ownership by becoming an unnecessary middle-man for meeting logistics, access requests and other administrator type jobs. The Hub The Hub acts as the center of the universe for communication between team members and for task-level coordination. The Butterfly The Butterfly flits around from team to team, landing just long enough to impart a pearl of wisdom or pose a philosophical question. The Expert The Expert is so involved in the details of the team’s work that only the trees are visible. What? We’re in a forest? Huh, does that mean there’s a way out?