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What is an Agile Coach? Overview

agile coach

Although not a member of the scrum team, an agile coach is a key player for agile project team success. The agile coach has significant experience in agile project implementation and draws on that experience to help the project team learn how to make scrum work for them.

The responsibilities of this role include providing feedback, course correction, mentoring, teaching and facilitation for scrum teams and leaders who are in the trenches. Whether teams are brand new or more familiar with agile techniques, agile coaches provide the following:

Agile coaches hone your skills

The agile coach is similar to a golf coach. Most people engage a golf coach, not because they don’t know how to play. Rather, they do so to hone existing or develop more advanced skills. The golf coach objectively observes things you may never notice. Like executing agile techniques, golf is an exercise where small nuances make a world of difference in performance.

Agile coaches deliver expert guidance

The agile coach is an expert in agile transformation. They have in-depth knowledge of how to deploy agile techniques. This experience crosses many cultures and environments. They have a track record of success in running agile projects in various sizes and complexity.

To advance your team’s expertise, the agile coach can:

  • Serve in a mentoring or coaching role only and not part of the scrum team. In some cases, the person is from outside the organization.
  • Provide objective guidance, without personal or political considerations.

Other ways agile coaches add value 

An agile coach can also offer other valuable services. The coach may help with long-term strategy across the enterprise before the engaging with pilot scrum teams.

Post-project, the coach can assist with periodic check-ups, a bit like mentoring, enabling teams to stay on track with agile techniques and fine-tune behaviors if necessary.

In any case, a coach remembers that it is the client's agenda that matters, not the coach's. Agile coaches are most effective when those being coached have sought out the coaching and have clarified their goals with the coach. As you seek out an agile coach, be ready to be coachable yourself.

Whether you are brand new to agile or have years of experience, your team can benefit from agile coaches.

Contact us to find out how our agile coaches can help you and your organization.

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