Showing posts from December, 2006

What does an XP Coach/Mentor actually do?

One of the things I do is XP coaching and mentoring. But a question that keeps cropping up (bizarrely, often after I have been hired!) is " What does an XP coach/mentor actually do? ". Interesting question. And is there a difference between a Coach and Mentor? In my opinion there is a slight difference, but first the common ground. What both do is to guide a given team through the learning process of implementing XP. It is the responsibility of the Coach/Mentor to gently guide the team around the pitfalls by encouraging the good agile behaviours - communication, testing, team self review etc. Equally, destructive behaviours - slipping into mini-waterfall process, not talking to (or not having!!) customers etc - are discouraged. Often the best way of doing this will be from inside the team, demonstrating by example the power of the techniques. IMO this is the "Coach" part of the job description. As the team begins to understand and becomes truly self-organising, the