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Do We Need An Agile Coach?

  • Agile and Scrum
  • Agile Coach
Created on :
November 11, 2016
Saket Bansal
Updated on :
June 7, 2023

Agile coach is the buzzword of the town and many are still wondering why the enterprises are looking for an agile coach?

Most organization adopted the training route for agile transformation, where they hire an external vendor who imparts the agile training. The teams are expected to adopt agile development methodologies once the training is over. This approach worked for many organizations while some of them are still struggling in the change management process.

Post training, the teams are left on their own to implement and interpret agile the way it works for them. Agile comes in different varieties; scrum being most popular of them is adopted often. For most scrum teams the journey begins with understanding scrum roles, artefacts and events. The newly formed scrum teams often try to implement scrum in their context, and the change management issues start popping in.

Scrum is the bare minimum framework and expects teams to learn and adopt the missing parts. This is where the problem starts, often teams end up blaming the change management failures on agile. This is often the root cause of failure in agile implementation. This struggle often results in chaos and here begins the roles of an agile coach. The Agile coach guides the team in discovering the process, he/she works as a mentor and show them how to develop scrum artefacts and run scrum events.

Most enterprises and teams consider agile as an isolated software development process and rest organization remains in old state. Agile expects a fundamental change in monitoring and measurement processes inside an organization including that in organization structure, team hierarchy, communication among others. When teams try to become agile in isolation, it results in friction with the rest of organization. The Agile coach becomes the welcome change agent which guides the rest of organization in adopting the agile way of thinking in order to resolve organization level impediments.

ICagile Courses

Agile Coach wears multiple hats, and he plays a role of Change Agent, Mentor, Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and Facilitator. Agile Coach is someone who

1. Challenge the status quo by asking powerful questions
2. Train people on Agile Frameworks
3. Mentor Agile Practitioners
4. Challenge the team
5. Create High-Performance Team
6. Facilitate the creation of right measurement system.
7. Facilitate change at middle and upper management level
8. Work with business and make them aware of the Agile mindset.
9. Makes Agile work for the organization.

Scrum does not define the role of an Agile Coach in Scrum guide, based on the experience of many Agile transformations, organizations now started hiring an Agile coach who can work for some defined duration and help organizations in being Agile. The need of coach is more felt when the organization is complex. The complexity can be can be because of

1. Size
2. Diversity in work
3. Geographical distribution
4. Organization Structure

Some organizations hire permanent agile coaches on their role, in such cases coach not only introduces changes but keep working with teams to improve it continuously. Until we reach a state where we can change the organizations by training them on Agile, we need an Agile Coach.

Do you have an Agile Coach in your organization? How is he contributing in developing Agile mindset?