Agile Coaching Code of Ethics– Systemic Impacts


An Agile Coach’s Code of Ethics (ACCoE) will have a broad set of implications  Some of those implications will deliver tactical impact while others will have a more systemic effect. The systemic effects can be grouped into two categories. For example, an ACCoE will act as:

A Sign of Integrity. An ACCoE will help shape the image of the coaching profession by letting outsiders know that as a group, coaches  have spent the time needed to define a set of principles that govern their behavior. Having a strong  set of principles allows a coach to point to the ACCoE and say “this is how I will govern my behavior, even when I am stressed.”Professional integrity gives everyone in a coaching scenario assurance that the coach will put professional standards ahead of their own self-interests. Restated, without integrity there can be no trust.A Vehicle To Promote Social Change. Numerous studies show a strong positive relationship between cultural and structural diversity and knowledge work (for example, Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes Robin J. Ely and David A. Thomas). The belief that a diverse workforce improves decision making and value in software development has become an integral belief within agile movement. A code of ethics helps to establish an environment that embraces diversity and a sense of duty for fostering the greater good. Building cultural and structural diversity into an ACCoE promotes building diverse teams.

Two of the topic areas within the nascent ACCoE states talk to these two functions. 

Social responsibility, includes diversity and inclusionEnsuring the relationship is valuable for both coach and the client

How an ACCoE would shape behavior in areas is a function of the specific ethics statements that the group sponsored by the Agile Alliance and others are crafting to describe each area.  For example one of the ethics statements in the value area states:

I will ensure that the relationship remains valuable and I won’t extend it unnecessarily.

Natascha Speets suggested this helps address the tendency to “milk the agile cow.” Coaching relationships must provide value to all parties, which requires careful and transparent examination.

Implementing an ACCoE will not be easy, yet without one we will miss our chance to influence the future of our profession.

Agile Coaching Code of Ethics – Systemic Impacts first posted here

Did you miss our previous article…