What Does An Agile Coach Do?

A man is walking down the street and falls into a manhole. He calls his priest on his cell phone. The priest tells him to do thirty rosaries and the Lord will lift him out. He does the rosaries and the Lord does not lift him out.

He then calls his therapist who writes him a prescription for Prozac. His therapist tells him that once he chills out he will be able to figure out how to get out of the manhole. He takes the Prozac but still finds himself stuck.

He then calls his life coach who sends him a motivational tape and tells him to visualize his way out. The man does so and nothing happens.

Finally, an agile coach walks by and the man once again cries out for help. The agile coach immediately jumps into the manhole.

The man exclaims, “What are you doing!? You are supposed to get me out of this manhole, not jump into it!”

The agile coach says, “I’ve been in this hole before and gotten out, and we will get out together.”

[This is adapted from a story told by Nicole Daedone of OneTaste.]

Michael de la Maza

I am an agile coach and an angel investor. As an agile coach, I have consulted and trained at dozens of companies. Major agile coaching engagements have been with Paypal, State Street, edX, Carbonite, and Symantec. I typically begin with culture first and then proceed to process improvement and business results. I believe in a non-confrontational, non-coercive approach to change in which people are invited to be and act in a new way. This takes the pain out of agile transformations.

With Rob Rubin, an online education pioneer and the Founding VP of Engineering at edX, I recently created DemingWay.com, an online agile education portal that we plan to grow until it has the best agile content and the best learning platform.