on 18 February 2011
Let's start by stating that I liked the book a lot. The fact that sw development is more about people than technology is very clearly present in Lyssa's book. She describes the different roles agile coach plays while trying to help the teams to become a self-organizing high-performance business enabler. Lyssa presents lots of practical and insightful methods for coaching people and for creating correct kind of environment for the team to succeed. She also reminds that the role of the coach should be strong at the beginning and fade away as the team progresses on its journey towards truly agile team.
I personally found the failure and success modes to be to most useful part of the book. These describe common coaching issues in easy to remember and easy to identify personas. These help me out in day to day work to avoid harmful behaviour and recover from it. It makes sure I won't be a Butterfly or a Nag with my teams.
The funny part about book is that on the cover it says Software Development - Agile, but inside there is not much about software development. So more about teams, communication, coaching and trust. The important things.
on 13 June 2011
This book made similar impact on me as the first Scrum book by Schwaber many years ago: I immediately recognized that this is it, the elusive 'thing' that I have tried to capture and express myself, but catching only fragments here and there. It fills one important gap in agile transition, the team level, and it does it by providing a comprehensive and consistent approach. Comprehensive in the way that the multifaceted roles of a coach are addressed, as well as the mental requisites for becoming a good coach. And it is consistent with agile value proposition, putting the team's true needs, capabilities and learning first, instead of masterminding for the team.
One of the few cornerstones in any agilist's bookshelf.
on 11 March 2012
I am a big fan of Mike Cohn books, and am surprised that this is not only part of his signature series, but that he also provided such a strong recommendation in the pre-face. I found this lacking in detail or real actionable advice, over simplistic and dull to read. It has a great title and its publication exhibits wonderful timing, but beyond that and a lot of high level thinking it fails to really hit the mark in terms of techniques to train/coach agile professionals. I wish I hadn't wasted the half day it took to read.