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Niall McShane

Niall McShane

Victoria, Australia

I'm a coach and mentor of agile coaches. I focus on the competencies required by coaches to enable changes to agile ways of working and the associated mindset.

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About the author

I work as coach of agile coaches, promoting organisational agility through education, mentoring and modelling of new behaviours.

I enable the disruption of inefficient ways of working using a gentle but influential consulting approach that embeds new values and principles of work. My goal being the development of a high-performing sustainable lean-agile delivery culture.

I am always about results and have been a coach my whole working life, firstly in professional sports, then leadership and for the last 10 years, agile transformation. Coaching is the core capability which supports the advisor/consultant/mentor roles I perform.

My work centres around guiding clients towards the establishment of new enterprise lean-agile delivery models and supporting coach capability; it is tough but rewarding work; I love it and the challenges it presents.

- Coaching Capability development
- Scaled Agile transformation advisory
- Business agility and digitisation
- Agile coaching /consulting /delivery
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Success! Agile Coaching 2.0 sold 312 pre-orders by Sept. 12, 2019, was pitched to 2 publishers, and is in discussions with publishers.

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Agile Coaching 2.0

a beginner's guide to becoming a great agile coach

What is required of an agile coach has changed. Mindset counts more than skillset. This book presents a new model for developing great coaches; it fast tracks beginners to greatness.

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50,000 words
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2 publishers interested


This book provides insights and lessons I’ve learned as a coach of agile coaches, including running a Coach Academy for a 30,000 employee corporate during an agile transformation. I have hired, mentored, developed and coached hundreds of coaches from expert through to raw beginners. So why this book..?

I’ve repeatedly noticed senior agile coaches with 5-8 years experience hitting a point in their career where they repeatedly fail to progress to the next level. It’s at this point that they come to realise the need for fundamental personal change. As I went through trying to hire and develop coaches and observed my industry peers doing the same, two observations and one realisation emerged that led to this book:

Great agile coaching is now predominantly about influencing people’s mindset, not just being a subject expert in agile practices.

To become a great agile coach you need to reinvent your self; challenge your own truths and values, let go of some and experiment with who you are as a person.

Current learning approaches for Agile Coaching are outdated and are failing to meet the needs of the market. Beginners are encouraged to follow linear learning pathways with “advanced” skills being made available later on.

So if current approaches to developing great agile coaches are outdated what does this mean in practical terms. To influence a person’s mindset a coach is required to learn, practice and master a very different set of competencies to what has traditionally been the focus in agile coach development.

The competencies required to be a great coach do not easily “bolt on” to existing ones that beginners are taught, but have to be integrated into the coach’s values and beliefs over a period of time. Hence the need to start integrating these up-front.

What I write in this book comes from observations made as I’ve coached across many companies and also as a freelance leadership coach. But one recent set of experiments I ran really helped solidify my thinking on what beginner coaches need to become great.

Over a 12-month period I took 49 beginner agile coaches through a learning journey; concurrently I was recruiting many expert coaches from the market. This large-scale coaching uplift program exposed a consistent competency gap in expert level coaches. It was then that it dawned on me that beginners need to consider a different set of competencies as they start their careers so as to avoid this gap later on.

Beginners should be more aware of what great coaches do so that they are integrating all the required competencies for greatness from the start of their career as opposed to adding them on once they gain some experience. It is because of this need for a new integrated learning approach for agile coaching that I’ve written this book.

Why support this book?

  • I recently posted the topic "what great looks like for an agile coach" on a LinkedIn post. It generated 123 comments from a global audience and over 14,000 page views in a 48 hour period. This topic is real for the target market.
  • "Why Agile is Eating the World" and "The 12 Stages of the Agile Transformation", both from Steve Denning in indicate this way of working is fast becoming the new norm for organisations globally. Agile Coaching is the key to success but the coaches are not equipped with the right skills. Hence this book.
  • has its 13th report this year. It reports that 97% of respondents (major global companies) are implementing agile in their organisation. The future coaches in training now are critical to successful implementations of agile but are not currently being equipped with the right competencies in development approaches.

Similar titles

  • Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition by Lyssa Adkins (Author)
  • Presence-Based Coaching: Cultivating Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body, and Heart 1st Edition by Doug Silsbee (Author)
  • Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives Paperback – 23 Aug 2018 by Henry Kimsey-House (Author), Karen Kimsey-House (Author), Phillip Sandahl (Author), Laura Whitworth (Author)


Aspiring, beginner or intermediate Agile Coaches

2 publishers interested Express interest
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  • Sunish Chabba
    on Aug. 14, 2019, 8:22 a.m.

    All the best Niall.

    • Niall McShane
      on Aug. 15, 2019, 10:28 p.m.

      thanks amte, really appreciate your support on this initiative. Spread the word!

  • Anonymous
    on Aug. 23, 2019, 6:45 a.m.

    Hi Niall. Is the book appropriate for someone like me who does coaching/counseling/mentoring within my industry, but has not done agile training? Or is it aimed at people who have already done agile training? Is it for people who are training other coaches, or is it for the people doing the coaching, or the people receiving the coaching - or all of the above?

    • Anonymous
      on Aug. 23, 2019, 6:46 a.m.

      Jo Voight

    • Niall McShane
      on Aug. 23, 2019, 6:50 a.m.

      It is aimed at people who are aspiring agile coaches at the start of their career. If you are a coach/counsellor and have any intention of moving into ways of working coaching (that includes agile ways of working), then this would be a great book. Check out the website for more info and watch the videos there

  • Sunish Chabba
    on Sept. 10, 2019, 2:16 a.m.

    Niall- Just read the latest update. It is so exciting, congratulations.

    That said, just a reminder that I've my own small publishing company GPCC (in Mitcham, VIC) and I also throw my hat in the ring as a potential publisher. I do hope and wish the book gets picked by major publishers but do rememeber that my offer will stand, just in case ;)

    Let me know if you want to look at a sample copy of the recently published book to check the quality of printing, paper & features like gold foil and embossing on the cover.