Agile Coaching Canvas

I hate to admit it, but I’m a relatively ad-hoc agile coach. I don’t use a lot of frameworks or tools. I mean I have a few that are well used and well worn, but I don’t have a toolbox the size of Montana (that’s big for folks outside of the United States).

I compensate for the tools with my overall experience. I’m coming up on 40 years of overall experience and 25 years of leadership experience in software development, so that helps me quite a bit in my coaching. And I’ve been leveraging agile approaches since the mid-to-late 1990’s.

That being said, I’m aware of this gap and I’m frequently looking for powerful tools to add to my coaching arsenal.

For example, I’ve been leveraging:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Strengths Finders
  • Crucial Conversations
  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
  • Emotional Intelligence

In my current agile coaching toolset for quite a few years. I share them so you can get a feel for the types of tools/frameworks that I find useful.

Found another one…

I met as part of my volunteer role in Scrum Alliance events. In particular, I help out with their Scrum Coaching Retreats and Martin is the “area leader” for Latin America. Last year I attended the retreat in Buenos Aires and got a chance to know him better.

Martin is a Certified Scrum Trainer and Coach in Argentina. He’s incredibly active in the agile community in South America and is the founder of , an agile consulting and training firm.

One of the things that Martin is passionate about is coaching agile teams. And to that point, he’s developed a tool called the Agile Coaching Canvas intended to help improve all of our coaching.

The Agile Coaching Canvas

The canvas can be found here:

There are two aspects to the site. First, you can download the canvas form (shown below):

It’s intended to be a “follow the numbers” coaching conversation and agreements device to help you more effectively coach.

You start at #1 (Goal), move to #2 and #3 (Behaviors and Emotions) and wrap-up with #8 and #9 (Actions and Metrics/Dates).

It really helps guide your coaching to be broader, deeper, more collaborative, complete, and accountable.

Powerful Coaching Questions

The second part of the site is a repository of “powerful coaching questions” directed towards each of the nine areas of the canvas. What’s interesting is that you can also contribute your own questions to the repository – so it’s continuously getting richer. (I’ve even contributed a few and I’ll continue to do so…)

This notion of powerful questions is a fairly pervasive one in the agile community. For example, talk about it a lot in their coaching training materials. Please check out the references for more information on coaching questions.

Wrapping Up

I’ve definitely added the Agile Coaching Canvas to my toolbox. It’s helping me to create more holistic coaching conversations and engagements both with individuals, teams, and organizations. I find it particularly helpful at the leadership coaching level.

I guess I’m not as “ad-hoc” as I thought I was…

Why don’t you try out the canvas and see how it might help your coaching.

Stay agile my friends,



Bob Galen

Bob Galen

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. Contact: [email protected]