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What Is An Agile Coach

Who is the go-to person in your organization or department who everyone seeks when they have doubts on Agile? Which team member helps in new implementations of Agile and helps to create teams that are motivated and hyper productive? If you are thinking about your Agile coach, then you are thinking right!An Agile coach facilitates, leads, motivates, organizes and navigates change. This one person wears many hats, and this blog is dedicated to the responsibilities, salary and opportunities that come with this role.  Who is an Agile coach?An agile coach helps individuals, teams, and entire enterprises embrace a culture shift based on proven human-centric agile principles, practices, and values. This culture shift helps people and organizations continue to thrive in the ever-changing world of work—Scrum Alliance We all understand the need for change. Organizations know that in order to survive in these ever-changing markets, they must be adaptable, responsive and quick. For an enterprise-wide transformation to be effective, agility needs to permeate the workforce. In other words, your staff and team members need to know what it is to become agile and practice agility.  How do you help your workforce become agile? With the help of an Agile coach. An Agile coach is proficient in Agile and helps individuals and teams to transition to agile and adapt to the changing environment that the workforce must deal with. Agile coaches also oversee the creation of agile teams and equip team members with agile processes, techniques and tools. What are the responsibilities of an Agile coach?Coaches and trains individuals and teams on the Agile ways of working Coaches senior management on Agile adoption  Helps everyone across the organization adopt Agile practices and processes Helps teams define and use Agile metrics for better project management Helps teams troubleshoot Agile related issues Creates high performing and motivated teams and individuals What roles can an Agile coach take?Agile coaches can take on the following roles: Enterprise agile coach Lean coach Senior agile coach Why do organizations need an Agile Coach?The question arises, why would organizations need Agile coaches, when they have Scrum Masters? Can’t we make do with the Scrum Master? In many organizations Scrum Masters can play the role of an Agile coach, but Scrum Masters will have responsibilities towards the team and the project and Agile coaching should be a dedicated role. An Agile coach can bring a lot of value to the organization by leading the entire agile transformation, helping teams to implement the agile way of working and re-arranging processes and the very culture of the organization to ensure agility.  An agile coach in an organization: Creates an Agile environment that is conducive to high performance, innovation and creativity Trains and coaches' employees across departments and teams Helps teams implement agile tools and processes to ensure more efficient working Supports Agile scaling Helps create an Agile mind-set and an Agile culture Works with stakeholders to help them understand AgileBecoming an Agile CoachIn order to become an Agile Coach you need to have the following skills: Have a strong understanding and foundation of Agile and Scrum Scrum Master   skills or work experience on Agile methodology Expert knowledge of agile software development Strong communication and organizational skills A lot of patience How do you develop these skills? For the most part, in order to become an Agile coach, you must have the passion to teach and lead. You should have the desire to lead people on the Agile path and a passion for motivating individuals.That said, there are several certification courses and workshops that will take you through the journey of becoming an Agile coach and help you gain the skills needed to be a successful coach. Along with the right training, the right work experience and knowledge of tools such as those used for project management, you can become an Agile coach.Popular Agile coach certificationsThe following accreditation bodies provide Agile coach certifications  Accreditation BodyCertification NameAdvantagesRoadmapScrum Alliance®Certified Team CoachSMHelps you gain skills to work with multiple scrum teams, stakeholders, and management to improve performance and outcomes.Focus on a subset of an organization in a project or program, or across multiple teams; Work with Scrum teams, stakeholders, and management to improve performance and outcomes; and Effectively impact department, project, and program agility Scrum Alliance®Certified Enterprise CoachSMGives you skills to help leadership remove the barriers so the company can embrace and sustain a company-wide agile transformation.Partner at the leadership level to help navigate the ambitious process of becoming an agile organization; Use a customized approach to remove the barriers so the company can embrace the transformation; and Understand that sustainable agility doesn’t happen overnight; it requires commitment and a shift in perspectiveICAgileICP-ACCHelps you gain the skills to effectively impact department, project, and program agility and guide teams to cope with change and conflictConduct the Coaching Conversation Contrast Mentoring with Coaching Helping Team Members Experience the Agile Mindset Shifts Leadership Engagement ICAgileICP-CATGives you skills to address impediments in Agile transition and coach an organization to achieve agile transformationUnderstand Systems and Complexity Theory Extend Agility to the Enterprise Adaptive Principles and Patterns for Organizational Design Understand and Work with Executive TeamsAgile coach specialtiesexpertise in multiple agile methods  long experience  numerous references  numerous IT skills  soft skills  knowledge on team work and team dynamics  knowledge on change management   Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  Agile Coaching certification  professional coaching certification  On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  proven good track record  strong knowledge of agile   good cultural fit  ability to deliver the message to senior management  great interpersonal skills  software development background expertise in multiple agile methods  long experience  numerous references  numerous IT skills  soft skills  knowledge on team work and team dynamics  knowledge on change management   Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  Agile Coaching certification  professional coaching certification  On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  proven good track record  strong knowledge of agile   good cultural fit  ability to deliver the message to senior management  great interpersonal skills  software development background expertise in multiple agile methods  long experience  numerous references  numerous IT skills  soft skills  knowledge on team work and team dynamics  knowledge on change management   Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  Agile Coaching certification  professional coaching certification  On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  proven good track record  strong knowledge of agile   good cultural fit  ability to deliver the message to senior management  great interpersonal skills  software development background A survey conducted by Dublin City University among active Agile coaches, on the value of using an Agile coach, listed the following specialties that Agile coaches need to have: expertise in multiple agile methods long experience numerous references numerous IT skills soft skills knowledge of teamwork and team dynamics knowledge of change management. In the same survey, organizations listed the following specialists they wanted in Agile coaches:experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity proven good track record strong knowledge of agile ability to deliver the message to senior management great interpersonal skills software development background good cultural fit Agile coach salaryAccording to PayScale, the average salary for an agile coach is $122,426 per year. Most Agile coaches earn between $84,360 and $158,463 per year. Ending thoughts As organizations world over have realized the importance of going agile, the focus has shifted on getting the Agile transformation right. Agile coaches have greatly helped organizations navigate the complex route of Agile transformation with their insight, expertise and knowledge of Agile and its practices. The demand for Agile coaches has seen a sharp rise in the past few years and this trend is likely to continue as more and more organizations go agile.  
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What Is An Agile Coach

Susan May
Blog
30th Sep, 2021
What Is An Agile Coach

Who is the go-to person in your organization or department who everyone seeks when they have doubts on Agile? Which team member helps in new implementations of Agile and helps to create teams that are motivated and hyper productive? If you are thinking about your Agile coach, then you are thinking right!

An Agile coach facilitates, leads, motivates, organizes and navigates change. This one person wears many hats, and this blog is dedicated to the responsibilities, salary and opportunities that come with this role.  

Who is an Agile coach?

An agile coach helps individuals, teams, and entire enterprises embrace a culture shift based on proven human-centric agile principles, practices, and values. This culture shift helps people and organizations continue to thrive in the ever-changing world of work—Scrum Alliance 

We all understand the need for change. Organizations know that in order to survive in these ever-changing markets, they must be adaptable, responsive and quick. For an enterprise-wide transformation to be effective, agility needs to permeate the workforce. In other words, your staff and team members need to know what it is to become agile and practice agility.  

How do you help your workforce become agile? With the help of an Agile coach. 

An Agile coach is proficient in Agile and helps individuals and teams to transition to agile and adapt to the changing environment that the workforce must deal with. Agile coaches also oversee the creation of agile teams and equip team members with agile processes, techniques and tools. 

What are the responsibilities of an Agile coach?

  • Coaches and trains individuals and teams on the Agile ways of working 
  • Coaches senior management on Agile adoption  
  • Helps everyone across the organization adopt Agile practices and processes 
  • Helps teams define and use Agile metrics for better project management 
  • Helps teams troubleshoot Agile related issues 
  • Creates high performing and motivated teams and individuals 

What roles can an Agile coach take?

Agile coaches can take on the following roles: 

  • Enterprise agile coach 
  • Lean coach 
  • Senior agile coach 

Why do organizations need an Agile Coach?

The question arises, why would organizations need Agile coaches, when they have Scrum Masters? Can’t we make do with the Scrum Master? In many organizations Scrum Masters can play the role of an Agile coach, but Scrum Masters will have responsibilities towards the team and the project and Agile coaching should be a dedicated role. 

An Agile coach can bring a lot of value to the organization by leading the entire agile transformation, helping teams to implement the agile way of working and re-arranging processes and the very culture of the organization to ensure agility.  

An agile coach in an organization: 

  • Creates an Agile environment that is conducive to high performance, innovation and creativity 
  • Trains and coaches' employees across departments and teams 
  • Helps teams implement agile tools and processes to ensure more efficient working 
  • Supports Agile scaling 
  • Helps create an Agile mind-set and an Agile culture 
  • Works with stakeholders to help them understand Agile

Becoming an Agile Coach

In order to become an Agile Coach you need to have the following skills: 

  • Have a strong understanding and foundation of Agile and Scrum 
  • Scrum Master   skills or work experience on Agile methodology 
  • Expert knowledge of agile software development 
  • Strong communication and organizational skills 
  • A lot of patience 

How do you develop these skills? For the most part, in order to become an Agile coach, you must have the passion to teach and lead. You should have the desire to lead people on the Agile path and a passion for motivating individuals.

That said, there are several certification courses and workshops that will take you through the journey of becoming an Agile coach and help you gain the skills needed to be a successful coach. Along with the right training, the right work experience and knowledge of tools such as those used for project management, you can become an Agile coach.

Popular Agile coach certifications

The following accreditation bodies provide Agile coach certifications  

Accreditation BodyCertification NameAdvantagesRoadmap

Scrum Alliance®

Certified Team CoachSM

Helps you gain skills to work with multiple scrum teams, stakeholders, and management to improve performance and outcomes.
  • Focus on a subset of an organization in a project or program, or across multiple teams; 
  • Work with Scrum teams, stakeholders, and management to improve performance and outcomes; and 
  • Effectively impact department, project, and program agility 

Scrum Alliance®

Certified Enterprise CoachSM

Gives you skills to help leadership remove the barriers so the company can embrace and sustain a company-wide agile transformation.
  • Partner at the leadership level to help navigate the ambitious process of becoming an agile organization; 
  • Use a customized approach to remove the barriers so the company can embrace the transformation; and 
  • Understand that sustainable agility doesn’t happen overnight; it requires commitment and a shift in perspective

ICAgile

ICP-ACC

Helps you gain the skills to effectively impact department, project, and program agility and guide teams to cope with change and conflict
  • Conduct the Coaching Conversation 
  • Contrast Mentoring with Coaching Helping Team Members 
  • Experience the Agile Mindset Shifts 
  • Leadership Engagement 


ICAgile

ICP-CAT

Gives you skills to address impediments in Agile transition and coach an organization to achieve agile transformation
  • Understand Systems and Complexity Theory 
  • Extend Agility to the Enterprise 
  • Adaptive Principles and Patterns for Organizational Design 
  • Understand and Work with Executive Teams

Agile coach specialties

  • expertise in multiple agile methods  
  • long experience  
  • numerous references  
  • numerous IT skills  
  • soft skills  
  • knowledge on team work and team dynamics  
  • knowledge on change management   

Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  

  • Agile Coaching certification  
  • professional coaching certification  

On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   

  • experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  
  • proven good track record  
  • strong knowledge of agile   
  • good cultural fit  
  • ability to deliver the message to senior management  
  • great interpersonal skills  
  • software development background 

expertise in multiple agile methods  

  • long experience  
  • numerous references  
  • numerous IT skills  
  • soft skills  
  • knowledge on team work and team dynamics  
  • knowledge on change management   

Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  

  • Agile Coaching certification  
  • professional coaching certification  

On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   

  • experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  
  • proven good track record  
  • strong knowledge of agile   
  • good cultural fit  
  • ability to deliver the message to senior management  
  • great interpersonal skills  
  • software development background 

expertise in multiple agile methods  

  • long experience  
  • numerous references  
  • numerous IT skills  
  • soft skills  
  • knowledge on team work and team dynamics  
  • knowledge on change management   

Two qualities were considered as not critical for an Agile Coach:  

  • Agile Coaching certification  
  • professional coaching certification  

On the other hand, companies that used an Agile Coach were asked what profile they looked for when choosing an Agile Coach. They stated the following qualities:   

  • experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and complexity  
  • proven good track record  
  • strong knowledge of agile   
  • good cultural fit  
  • ability to deliver the message to senior management  
  • great interpersonal skills  
  • software development background 

A survey conducted by Dublin City University among active Agile coaches, on the value of using an Agile coach, listed the following specialties that Agile coaches need to have: 

  • expertise in multiple agile methods 
  • long experience 
  • numerous references 
  • numerous IT skills 
  • soft skills 
  • knowledge of teamwork and team dynamics 
  • knowledge of change management. 

In the same survey, organizations listed the following specialists they wanted in Agile coaches:

  • experience with agile implementations in companies of a similar size and 
  • complexity 
  • proven good track record 
  • strong knowledge of agile 
  • ability to deliver the message to senior management 
  • great interpersonal skills 
  • software development background 
  • good cultural fit 

Agile coach salary

According to PayScale, the average salary for an agile coach is $122,426 per year. Most Agile coaches earn between $84,360 and $158,463 per year. 

Ending thoughts 

As organizations world over have realized the importance of going agile, the focus has shifted on getting the Agile transformation right. Agile coaches have greatly helped organizations navigate the complex route of Agile transformation with their insight, expertise and knowledge of Agile and its practices. The demand for Agile coaches has seen a sharp rise in the past few years and this trend is likely to continue as more and more organizations go agile.  

Susan

Susan May

Writer, Developer, Explorer

Susan is a gamer, internet scholar and an entrepreneur, specialising in Big Data, Hadoop, Web Development and many other technologies. She is the author of several articles published on Zeolearn and KnowledgeHut blogs. She has gained a lot of experience by working as a freelancer and is now working as a trainer. As a developer, she has spoken at various international tech conferences around the globe about Big Data.


Website : https://www.zeolearn.com

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