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How long will it take to go from Scrum Master to Agile Coach?

For many people, it’s simply a case of updating your resume or LinkedIn profile.

In many ways, a scrum master is an Agile coach.

When they aren’t actively involved in the Scrum process, they act as Agile coaches throughout the organisation and help to remove impediments to progress in each sprint cycle.

Sometimes, they are coaching the development team and product owner whilst at other times, they may be coaching people within the organisation to discover the best way to solve a problem or overcome an impediment.

A scrum master naturally develops their coaching skills as part of their daily practice but there are training courses and certification paths that they can follow to upskill as a coach and improve their Agile capabilities.

IC Agile have a Certified Agile Team Coaching course and certification that is designed to help scrum masters make the transition to team coach. It’s a great course and has a great deal of respect in the industry as a path to Agile coaching.

For many people, becoming a rock-solid Agile practitioner whilst developing your coaching capabilities is the perfect path to Agile coaching.

The more experience you have working in an Agile environment and actively practicing Scrum, the better.

Scrum Alliance have created a great certification path for Scrum Masters looking to develop their skills and grow into the Agile coaching role.

It starts with the Certified Scrum Master course and approximately a year later, you are eligible for the Advanced Certified Scrum Master course.

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master course teaches you to straddle the role of Agile coach and Scrum Master and helps develop your Agile capabilities.

A year after that, you are eligible for the Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course and certification which further develops your coaching capabilities as well as your Agile capabilities.

At this stage, you’re at the professional level with approximately 3 years of experience in the role of a Scrum Master.

You’re going to be an experienced Agile practitioner and you’re going to also have developed your coaching and mentoring skills. Likely, you will have junior Scrum Masters coming to you for assistance and you may well be helping many of them develop and grow as Scrum Masters.

At this point, you can start to prepare for the Certified Team Coach (CTC) or Certified Enterprise Agile Coach (CEC) certifications from Scrum Alliance.

These certifications are designed to validate your skillset and are an application process rather than a course that you attend.

It’s worth having an experienced coach and mentor help you through this process and mentor you through your development as an Agile coach.

Agile Centre have an Agile Coaching Academy to help you do exactly that. It will also help you prepare for the CTC and CEC certifications if that is the route you want to go.

So, in summary, a Scrum Master is already an Agile coach and many people do choose to describe themselves as an Agile coach on their resume and LinkedIn profiles. That said, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of developing your coaching skills as well as your Agile practitioner skills before you can be formally recognised as an Agile coach by Scrum Alliance or an industry body.

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