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I’m a project manager, can I make the transition to Agile coach?

Yes, you can.

Project managers possess a great deal of valuable skills that are transferable into the Agile world.

Project managers already understand the process of delivering great products that truly delight customers and they have augmented skills such as stakeholder management, cost management and customer relationship management.

Often, all that is missing is the Agile skillset and mindset.

Many project managers identify with the authority and ability to ‘drive’ projects. It can be a part of their personal identity in that they have X position and can tell Y what to do.

An Agile coach uses influence and coaching to achieve objectives rather than authority so that’s one of the areas of personality that a project manager will need to address.

Many project managers have great experience in project delivery but have very little to no experience operating as part of a team within an Agile product development environment.

That’s another area that a project manager will need to address.

They will need to acquire the skills and experience of an Agile practitioner. They will need to immerse themselves in an Agile environment and play an active role in helping teams to deliver solutions, products and services that truly delight customers.

They will need to have the stories from the coal face to help their teams understand why Agile values and principles are so valuable and how effective they are in helping teams to build products and services that have never existed before.

A project manager will need to have worked within a team environment as a contributor rather than as a ‘driving force’. They will need to embed Agile values and principles in their DNA so that when the pressure comes on, they are drawing on real world experiences rather than faking Agile.

For many project managers, becoming an Agile coach and working withing Agile environments can be truly rewarding and liberating.

Working as part of a team to deliver a solution is infinitely easier than being the lynchpin of an entire project and bearing responsibility for every aspect of the project.

Project managers often find that whilst they used to be the ones to come up with solutions in their past lives, in an Agile environment, collaboration and group creativity are vital elements of innovation and product development.

It means that a project manager no longer bears sole responsibility for discovering and creating solutions. As an Agile coach, they will be coaching and collaborating with others to discover and create solutions instead.

Many Agile coaches come from the Scrum Master track and as such, becoming a Scrum Master is a great place to start. As you advance as a Scrum Master, you will already be developing your coaching skills and can make the transition to Agile coach that much faster.

If you are in love with product development, becoming a Product Owner may be a better track for you to start and again, as you progress in product ownership, you can make the transition to Agile coach from the product ownership track instead.

If you are interested in becoming an Agile coach from the scrum master track, visit our Certified Scrum Master, Advanced Certified Scrum Master, and Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course pages.

If you are interested in becoming an Agile coach from the product owner track, visit our Certified Scrum Product Owner, Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner and Agile Coaching Academy course pages.

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