Traditionally, Agile coaches are involved in two areas of an Agile transformation.
At the team level and at the executive leadership level.
In my experience, Agile coaches are often placed at the team level which is fairly far removed from the executive leadership level.
It’s a pity because Agile coaches at the team level can have only so much of an impact on the effectiveness of the Agile transformation.
Whilst it’s good to have Agile coaches working at the team level, you do need experienced Agile coaches working at the executive leadership level for an Agile transformation to be truly effective.
It’s important that you hire Agile coaches who have Agile values and principles in their DNA.
People who have significant experience working through the process of shifting from project to product, and from traditional management to Agile leadership.
An Agile coach at the executive level is going to be helping leaders think through the consequences of their decisions. They are going to be coaching them through decision-making and helping them to understand how their decisions will impact individuals, teams, and the organisation.
An experienced Agile coach will also know how to work with compromises that are necessary when an organisation adopts Agile and shifts their focus from traditional management to Agile leadership.
It’s a tough process for individuals and teams throughout the organisation because change is hard for people at first. Scrum and Agile frameworks are also a process of continuous inspection and adaptation, and people may not be used to that level of scrutiny and intensity.
An Agile coach’s role is not necessarily to lead Agile transformation, instead, they work with the Transformation lead with the objective of coaching and supporting the team throughout the transformation.
A coach will be working with leadership to help them understand what has happened, how that differed from what was intended, and what can be learned as a result.
A coach will help leadership explore the available options and work through those options with the objective of helping leadership understand the purpose of the Agile transformation and how the organisation’s goals and objectives can be met.
Organisations don’t generally make changes unless there is a clear vision and purpose for why change must occur. An Agile coach helps maintain the focus on the north star throughout the transformation process and keep realigning teams and individuals with that purpose.
It’s easy to get lost in the midst of sweeping change, especially if there is a great deal of urgency behind the change. Agile coaches help leadership and teams stay focused on the purpose of the changes and skillfully coach teams toward achieving those objectives.
An agile coach, or team of agile coaches, can have a significant impact on the success of an Agile transformation if they are deployed correctly. They can help ensure that the purpose of change is achieved by working with individuals at both the teams and the executive leadership levels.
You may also like the IC Agile Certified Agile Team coaching course.
Agile Coaching FAQs
- What is an Agile Coach?
- What is the difference between a traditional coach and an Agile Coach?
- What are the career opportunities for an Agile Coach?
- Do you need to be a Scrum or Agile practitioner to become an Agile coach?
- Do I need to be an expert in Scrum to start my Agile coaching journey?
- Is an Agile coach a line management position?
- How do I integrate Agile coaching into a traditional management role?
- Do project managers make great candidates for Agile coaches?
- Can I become an Agile coach from both the scrum master and product owner tracks?
- What would be a great apprenticeship for an Agile coach?
- How is an Agile coach different from a Scrum Master?
- How will I know if Agile coaching is a good fit for me?
- Are there levels of seniority for Agile coaches?
- How effective is Agile coaching in an organisation that doesn’t embrace Agile?
- Is Agile coaching a natural evolution from Scrum Mastery?
- What is the difference between an Agile coach and a Project Manager?
- How will hiring an Agile coach help our business?
- I’m a project manager. Can I make the transition to Agile coach?
- How does Agile coaching help Agile transformations?
- How much of an impact can Agile coaches have on entrepreneurs?
- Will becoming an Agile coach help me lead my company more effectively?
- What is the difference between a Certified Enterprise Coach and a Certified Team Coach?
- Do Agile coaches work with individuals or teams?
- I lead a development team. Will becoming an Agile coach benefit us?
- How long will it take to go from Scrum Master to Agile Coach?