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How is an Agile coach different to a Scrum Master?

Technically, they are no different.

There is a difference in style and expertise but ultimately, a great scrum master acts as a coach throughout the organisation to help the team optimize Scrum and achieve sprint goals and objectives.

Most Agile coaches are scrum masters who have developed their coaching skills, professionally, in addition to being Scrum practitioners. It’s a natural evolution for Scrum Masters.

In a scrum environment, the scrum master works with the team to help evolve, incrementally, with each sprint that is completed. The coaching element extends into facilitation where the Scrum Master can play a valuable role in sprint reviews and retrospectives.

A scrum master will also work outside of the development team environment by actively engaging product owners and product stakeholders inside the organisation.

Their coaching skills develop naturally as part of their on-the-job skills development but many scrum masters choose to augment their skills with training and certification such as the Advanced Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master courses.

Agile Centre also host the Agile Coaching Academy to help cultivate and nurture Agile coaching skills in individuals who see Agile coaching as a career path they would like to follow.

So, the difference between an Agile coach and a Scrum Master is mostly a matter of time and skills development that focuses on the coaching element of being a master practitioner in Scrum.

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