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The history of agile coachings’ development

As the use of agile has become more widespread, a basic definition of good agile coaching skills has been lost, so we decided to present the beginnings.

The Adkins/Spayd model, i.e. the beginnings

In 2011, Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd created the Agile Coach Competency Framework. This was intentionally not a competency model as it did not define specific behaviours, skills/skill levels or knowledge. Instead, however, it was built around personal coaching attitudes and competencies. This was the so-called "X-wing" model, which served as an important guide to help coaches select the right one for them from the four competencies (coaching, mentoring, facilitating and teaching). 

The eight core competences of agile coaching

  • Agile/Lean Practitioner: The agile/lean practitioner has a deep and tacit understanding of agile and lean principles. In addition, they have experience working with agile, lean frameworks and practices. 
  • Service: Service means looking after the needs of the team or business rather than our own interests. In this case, the leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of the team/business. 
  • Coaching: A coach partners with a person, team or organisation (client) in a creative process to help the client achieve their goals by realising their full potential.  
  • Facilitation: Facilitation increases the effectiveness of the group, so they can align, interpret their context and identify the most valuable outcomes. The facilitator has the skills to create a neutral environment of openness, safety and innovation in a group. 
  • Managing learning: Managing learning means effectively developing the skills of an individual, a group or a team. This competence enables the leader to select the most effective learning method to help achieve learning goals and inspire future development.
  • Counselling: Counselling is the ability, as a leader, to transfer our experiences, insights and observations to the client in a way that can help them achieve sustainable success, even after we have finished working with them as a coach.
  • Leadership: As leaders, we have the ability to catalyse growth and inspire others to achieve a shared vision.
  • Transformation: Transformation is the management of sustainable change that enables individual teams and the organisation to become more effective and learn how to change for themselves through leadership, facilitation, coaching, learning facilitation and consultancy. 

Agile coaching is an evolving profession that encompasses a number of disciplines, including individual, team and systemic coaching, facilitation, teaching and mentoring, all of which openly and consciously apply agile approaches to meet client needs. - Agile Alliance Coachings’ Code of Ethics 


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