Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Team Effectiveness Coach Approach and Style

This page is meant to serve as a supplement to an official job description. It consists of approaches and/or styles for concrete duties. It is separate from the job description because none of the following are actually concrete duties, and are therefore much more challenging to leverage as measures of success. However, they remain an important component of accountability (expectations) for the role, and also serve as a guideline for working agreements between the person in the role and the people supported.

  • Coach
    • Lead by example via communication and listening skills, etc, guiding professionalism, and demonstrating to coachees what is expected of them.
    • Guide teams in viewing their work from a user’s perspective (e.g. help them answer “why are we doing what we are doing?”).
    • Support teams in choosing processes and tools that suit their work style, and are appropriate to their context, so that they can work more effectively with one another.
    • Coach the team in healthy continuous improvement, including framing improvements as experiments with hypotheses and tests to measure success.
    • Keep the team motivated and help them find meaning and enjoyment in their work, and support them when it is absent, either by helping them find a way to get through the tough times or by following up on sources of grief (Nota bene: This does not mean being a therapist, for both parties' sake).
  • Focus On Delivery
    • Teams frequently face impediments to their delivery and health, and sometimes impediments are self-inflicted. Support teams to remove impediments by helping teams recognize and address them. Do so by providing them, within your own sustainable capacity, with the tools or training needed to overcome future impediments on their own. Ex: Need notes? Take them, then teach them to do it themselves.
    • Support project leaders as their “secondary conscience” (e.g. highlighting discrepancies in planning).
  • Manage Process
    • Affirm roles and responsibilities by reminding teams what they should and shouldn’t be doing, what their commitments are, and empower authorities such as the PO and Engineering Manager by reinforcing their direction.
  • Facilitate
    • Teach teams to “fish for themselves” to help maximize impact of limited coaching and facilitation resources.
    • Cultivate a working environment in which teams feel safe to explore and self-reflect.
    • Build a trusting environment, free of blame or retribution, that supports teams to self-report impediments to their success.