Pull-based agile coaching

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Pull-based coaching (or pull coaching)[1] is a supplementary agile[2] coaching technique[3] to engage team members sub-consciously to adapt principles and values by inspiring and igniting thoughts in a strategized manner.


Pull-based coaching has been an accepted practice in coaching and consulting circles.[4] However, the idea and methodology in the agile domain as well as widespread use in organizations has been under experimentation for last couple of years and shown considerable success. Earliest known experiments were done in early 2002, but notable contributions started coming from 2009.

Why pull-based coaching?[edit]

Often teams involved in transformation journey complain that the transformation is owned by the management and to make it successful, they push or drive it. They feel that they have little or no say in this transformation. Hence it becomes another delivery item for them (although it takes second priority as it is not required by the customer). One of the three situations may arise out of this:

  • The teams commit to adapting some of the practices without realizing value or benefits to them and to the product or to the customer. They execute the practices for the sake of it.
  • The team shows lot of resistance even when it is logical and easy for them to adapt these practices. This can happen in two ways:
    • The team is not at all executing any of these practices and shows resistance in adapting
    • The team is using some or all of these practices but are not deriving a significant value

As a result of this, teams that might be initially perceived as gaining agile maturity seldom are able to sustain that in the long run.


Pull-based agile coaching is a supplementary technique to the agile coaching in which the team undergoes coaching thinking it is driving the transformation; however, it is as a result of a joint strategy and effort put in by all stakeholders who are impacted by the transformation.


  • To enable the team to honor WIP Limits,[5] one can use a message on the Kanban Board of the team.


  1. ^ "Influencing others - Pull versus Push Coaching". managementcraft. Retrieved 13 April 2016.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "agilemanifesto". agilemanifesto. AgileAlliance. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  3. ^ Davies, Rachel; Liz, Sedley. Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  4. ^ Warner, Jon. "Coaching Styles". readytomanage. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ "LimitWIP". Personal Kanban.