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Agile Coach: What is the role of this professional?

An Agile Coach is a professional who helps organizations implement agile methodology, developing agile teams and facilitating the change in organizational culture necessary for sustained agile success.

In this article, you will see what exactly agile coach does, what benefits it can bring and how to take it to your company.

What an Agile Coach does within an Agile team

Agile Coach helps train corporate teams in agile methodology and oversees team development to ensure effective results.

This professional is responsible for guiding teams during the implementation process and has the task of encouraging employees and leadership to adopt the agile methodology.

An agile coach’s ultimate goal is to arm teams with the right knowledge, tools and training so they can use this methodology to its full potential. In practice, he seeks to understand where teams are on their journey and offers insight to support growth.

They have an improvement agenda and do the following:

  • Asks the right questions.
  • Provides good mental models.
  • Defies people by their way of thinking.
  • Guides them to create great products and services for customers (whether they are Consumers or the internal community itself, depending on the project).

The Benefits of an Agile Coach for Your Organization

As we’ve seen, implementing Agile helps simplify processes. It is worth pointing out that in order to achieve lasting results, the teams’ approach must be improved as well. Encouraging everyone to adhere to the new methodology requires a significant effort on management’s part.

Until the results appear, you will have to live in an environment of uncertainty. But rest assured, it’s just a transition and it’s going to be worth it. Our marketing went through this process and the results were beyond satisfactory, we tell this story in the agile marketing ebook.

In this sense, an Agile Coach will keep business up and running while internal agile development teams are expanded—which can help save time, money, and resources.

An Agile Coach has the function of helping navigate common obstacles and trouble points in the adoption process.

It is important to point out that the role of an Agile Coach can be temporary or permanent, depending on the needs of the organization. Larger companies, with multiple agile teams, can choose to keep an agile coach on the team to help oversee the methodology in the long run.

For most companies, especially medium and small companies, it is more useful to hire a project-based Agile Coach to help get an agile team get up and running until everyone is adjusted.

Agile coaches are not only responsible for organizing an agile team, they also help the company adopt agile as a cultural change. To properly implement the methodology, an Agile Coach needs to encourage employees and key stakeholders to adhere to the program.

Skills of an Agile Coach

Before getting into the features that cannot be lacking in a good Agile Coach, we need to see that there are basically three profiles for them: Technical, Process and Non-Directive. Check out below for greater detail.

Agile Coach – Technical

Technical coaches work closely with the agile team and generally understand the operation in question very well, besides being a facilitator for agile, they are also ready to get their hands dirty.

Agile Coach – Process/Management Coach

Process or management coaches focus more on establishing leadership for agile teams and overseeing the successful adoption of the agile method.

Agile Coach – Non-Directive

Non-Directive coaches provide individualized support for people or organizations looking to solve specific problems related to agile.

Now you can check out what skills that are expected from an efficient Agile Coach:

  • Strong understanding of Scrum and Kanban.
  • Experience as a scrum master or with agile methodology.
  • Knowledge of agile software development.
  • Strong communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Interpersonal skills and patience.

Today there are already certifications for Agile Coaches. They help validate your skills in the field, further legitimizing your capabilities. It is recommended that before hiring an Agile Coach, the company checks their certifications.

How to add an Agile Coach to your team

Before hiring an Agile Coach, the company needs to inform its team on agile methodologies. It is important to show that agile methods provide greater operational flexibility and a competitive advantage, implementing practices very similar to what startups do.

This means, in most cases, the need for a shift in mentality. An Agile mindset needs to be adopted; the company must change the way they think —even before the tools are implemented.

This requires a period of acclimation of employees. This process is commonly carried out through scheduled and incremental applications.

With this initial step done properly, the team will be able to absorb gradual changes. If it’s already possible to seek an Agile Coach on the market or develop one internally, then why not?

In the recruitment process, it’s important to check for certifications but mainly professional experience. In the current market dynamics, experience does not always mean years of work; Very young professionals may be well apt to work as agile coaches, what matters is the intensity of their backgrounds.

What did you think, does your company already have an Agile Coach? What did you think of the reflection we brought here? Go deeper into this theme. Download the e-book right now – Agile Transformation in Scale: scability as a business need