Why An Agile Coaching Code Of Ethics

Agile is practiced in nearly every culture. Each culture has its own definition of duty and of right and wrong. Coaches help to establish and address the client’s needs by leveraging approaches that align with the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. Coaching is a mechanism to help people, teams, and organizations change how they behave so that they are agile. Coaches come in a wide range of roles such as coach, Scrum Master, and manager – to name a few. People of unlimited diversity deliver each role. A common denominator is required to synchronize all coaches’ actions to the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. The values and principles expressed in the manifesto generate a duty for those that take on the role of an agile coach. Immanuel Kant suggested that a person’s actions possess moral worth only when one does their duty for its own sake. Consequences don’t define rightness or wrongness but rather whether our actions fulfill our duty. Codes of ethics provide an outline that establishes the duty of a coach by defining a set of standards that govern conduct. A code of ethics will deliver five tangible outcomes for our profession. A Code of Ethics:

Guides. A set of rules and expectations allows agile coaches and those that use our services to synchronize behavioural expectations. Guardrails highlight behavior that is appropriate or inappropriate to the duty of a coach.Supports. When deciding to act in one way or another, a Code of Ethics provides perspective so a coach can understand and express the consequences of a particular course of action. The Code also provides a basis for introspection and peer support by providing a common language of behaviors and outcomes. Deters. Most agile coaching is provided to advance the financial wellbeing of the coach. Mutual understanding of the boundaries of behavior prevents innocent violations of ethics and delivers support to deflect pressure to violate those ethics.Exhibits Integrity. A code of ethics helps to establish an image of integrity and supports a positive public image of both agile and the agile coach profession.Promotes Social Change. A code of ethics helps to establish an environment that embraces diversity and a sense of duty for fostering the greater good.

Why a code of ethics? All altruism aside, practitioners and consumers of agile coaching need to have a framework to distinguish between good and bad actors.  Without a frame of reference there will be as many opinions as there are atoms in the universe. A code of ethics provides a tool to constrain and guide behavior so that coaching delivers more value and less angst.  

Why An Agile Coaching Code Of Ethics first posted here tcagley.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/why-an-agile-coaching-code-of-ethics/