Team Practices Group/Engagement model

How Does it Work?Edit

TPG engages with teams (groups, departments, etc) for varying lengths of time and at varying depths of involvement.  While each engagement is unique, recurring patterns help guide the scope and processes of individual engagements.  TPG’s current best practice, the Matrix of Engagement, considers engagements within two axes: duration of engagement and concentration of effort.

Lifecycle of an EngagementEdit

Teams ask TPG for assistance via planning processes or direct requests.  In the initial consultation, TPG uses the Agile Coaching Life Cycle and a set of engagement definition questions as conversation-starters, helping the team articulate its objectives for an engagement.  TPG uses the Matrix to make initial estimates of engagement scope, depth, and duration.  These estimates then allow TPG to match demand to availability of its staff.

As the engagement continues, TPG and the team use check-in points to review progress, and re-validate or change the objectives and scope.  The Matrix can help clarify changes in the nature of engagements in progress.

Matrix of EngagementEdit


Duration refers exclusively to the calendar time of the engagement, with roughly 3 months being the threshold between short and long.  Depth of involvement (light or deep) is more complicated; it could refer to the amount of time spent, the nature and difficulty of the work, the number of stakeholders, the amount of preparation, or other factors.

Light and Short-TermEdit

A one-off or short series of engagements that could include a consultation, demonstrations, or a workshop. This type of engagement is not about putting out fires or resolving long-standing issues, but rather adding high-value with a light touch.

Agile Coaching Life Cycle Phase:  Any (Educate, Show, Mentor, Support)


  • Facilitate a couple meetings to help the team set their priorities for the next year.
  • Explain the main choices in Phabricator project setup.
  • One-off consultation with a team about the pros and cons of Scrum vs. Kanban.

Deep and Short-TermEdit

A fixed-term engagement or series of engagements, not to exceed roughly 3 months, that requires intensive preparation and/or collaboration with customers; higher-stakes, high-priority, high-profile engagements may generally fall into this category.  The threshold between Light and Deep short-term engagements is not absolute; some indicators of a deep engagement include spending >50% of time on one engagement; traveling for an engagement; multiple stakeholders; and/or participating in meetings and work planning as a quasi-team-member.

Agile Coaching Life Cycle Phase: Any (Educate, Show, Mentor, Support)


  • Plan and facilitate an offsite
  • Facilitating kickoff of a new org initiative
  • Intensive coaching with a group of stakeholders

Light and Long-TermEdit

Generally, multiple quarters of working with a team in a lightweight fashion (low weekly average time commitment, low need for support);.  Often recurring and repetitive, such as facilitating a recurring meeting.  Could be a direct delivery of service, or it could be maintenance and sustainment activities after the Show and Mentor stages of Agile Coaching Lifecycle.

Agile Coaching Life Cycle Phase: Support


  • Maintaining Phlogiston reports and interpreting them with the team each quarter
  • Scrum of Scrums facilitation

Deep and Long-TermEdit

Generally, multiple quarters of working closely with a team to help them build and improve their processes. A “long-term, deep engagement” (formerly “embedded”) for TPG is an engagement where the TPGer has a long-term relationship with a team or group. The TPGer helps the team or group address mutually agreed upon problems & opportunities.

Agile Coaching Life Cycle Phase: Educate, Show

  • Scrum Master role for a team