Traditionally, Agile coaches are involved in two areas of an Agile transformation.

At the team level and at the executive leadership level.

In my experience, Agile coaches are often placed at the team level which is fairly far removed from the executive leadership level.

It’s a pity because Agile coaches at the team level can have only so much of an impact on the effectiveness of the Agile transformation.

Whilst it’s good to have Agile coaches working at the team level, you do need experienced Agile coaches working at the executive leadership level for an Agile transformation to be truly effective.

It’s important that you hire Agile coaches who have Agile values and principles in their DNA.

People who have significant experience working through the process of shifting from project to product, and from traditional management to Agile leadership.

An Agile coach at the executive level is going to be helping leaders think through the consequences of their decisions. They are going to be coaching them through decision-making and helping them to understand how their decisions will impact individuals, teams, and the organisation.

An experienced Agile coach will also know how to work with compromises that are necessary when an organisation adopts Agile and shifts their focus from traditional management to Agile leadership.

It’s a tough process for individuals and teams throughout the organisation because change is hard for people at first. Scrum and Agile frameworks are also a process of continuous inspection and adaptation, and people may not be used to that level of scrutiny and intensity.

An Agile coach’s role is not necessarily to lead Agile transformation, instead, they work with the Transformation lead with the objective of coaching and supporting the team throughout the transformation.

A coach will be working with leadership to help them understand what has happened, how that differed from what was intended, and what can be learned as a result.

A coach will help leadership explore the available options and work through those options with the objective of helping leadership understand the purpose of the Agile transformation and how the organisation’s goals and objectives can be met.

Organisations don’t generally make changes unless there is a clear vision and purpose for why change must occur. An Agile coach helps maintain the focus on the north star throughout the transformation process and keep realigning teams and individuals with that purpose.

It’s easy to get lost in the midst of sweeping change, especially if there is a great deal of urgency behind the change. Agile coaches help leadership and teams stay focused on the purpose of the changes and skillfully coach teams toward achieving those objectives.

An agile coach, or team of agile coaches, can have a significant impact on the success of an Agile transformation if they are deployed correctly. They can help ensure that the purpose of change is achieved by working with individuals at both the teams and the executive leadership levels.

If you are thinking of becoming an Agile coach, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master course page, Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course page, and Agile Coaching Academy.

You may also like the IC Agile Certified Agile Team coaching course.

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