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I lead a development team. Will becoming an Agile coach benefit us?

That’s an interesting one. It depends on how effectively you can make the transition from a team leader to a coach.

Are you a leader or a manager?

Are you someone who has a history of telling people what to do and how to do it or are you someone that helps your team discover what needs doing and why that is important?

If you’re a manager, you’re likely going to have a lot of experience having led from a perspective of authority and line management.

Agile coaching is highly dependent on actively coaching people and helping them uncover what works best for them so it’s a position of influence and trust rather than authority.

If you lead a development team in a Scrum environment, you’ve likely got a lot of experience using Agile methodologies so you will already be attuned to the ‘Agile’ element of Agile coaching.

Your experience at the coal face will help guide your team toward best practices and help them overcome obstacles and impediments. You would simply need to develop the coaching element of your skillset to effectively become an Agile coach.

You would also need to make a call as to whether you are willing to give up the team leadership role to fulfill the Agile coaching role. It’s incredibly hard for both you and your team if you have a dual role within the environment.

They won’t know whether they are dealing with you as their line manager or whether they will be dealing with you as their coach.

In my opinion, you’re better served hiring an Agile coach than you are in becoming an Agile coach.

If you are great at what you do and you’re a strong leader within the development team, I don’t think you need to make the change simply to become a more effective leader.

It will always be beneficial, especially in the 21st century, to develop your coaching skills in line with your leadership skills but that doesn’t mean that you need to become an Agile coach.

Your team are likely to respect you as their team leader and derive a great deal of value under your leadership. If you are working with your team and someone like an Agile coach to create an environment where your team can thrive, they are already lucky to have you.

Working with an Agile coach will help you focus on the areas where you and your team will derive the most value from improving. You’re also likely to understand how things actually work versus how you imagined they do.

An Agile coach can help you gain clarity across the entire value stream and begin to work towards continuous improvement and ways to help the team become more collaborative and creative.

If you love the idea of becoming an Agile coach, then by all means explore the career journey and look for ways to integrate training, mentoring, and coaching into your own apprenticeship journey.

Visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master, Agile Coaching Academy and IC Agile Certified Agile Team Coaching course pages to help you get started.

But if you are simply exploring how to create the most value for your team, look instead to hire an Agile coach that can mentor you and the team toward the best team environment possible.

You can also explore Agile leadership options like the Certified Agile Leader program.

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