An Agile Coach is someone who takes teams beyond getting agile practices up and running into their deliberate and joyful pursuit of high performance.
Agile coaches help train corporate teams on the Agile Method and best practices, and they oversee the development of agile teams to ensure effective business outcomes for the organization. They are responsible for guiding teams through the end to end development cycle and are tasked with encouraging workers and leadership to embrace the agile method. The agile coach’s ultimate goal is to arm agile teams with the right knowledge, tools and training so that they’ll be able to use agile to its full potential to achieve better outcomes.
Organizational benefits of an Agile Coach
Implementing agile can help streamline processes, but it isn’t easy to make significant changes in an organization. Encouraging everyone to get on board with a new method requires significant effort on the part of management.
“Having a coach in place to give guidance can help a team navigate through the rough patches in the early period when the team or management questions the value of agile.”
An agile coach will keep businesses on task while they embark on building internal agile development teams — which can help save time, money, and resources. The coach serves as an objective party to help navigate common roadblocks and pain points in the adoption process. Before they leave, the goal is to have a fully functioning agile team that is energized and ready to embrace the method.
The Agile Coach Role
The role of agile coach can be temporary or permanent, depending on the organization’s needs. Larger businesses with multiple agile teams might want to keep an agile coach on staff to help oversee the method long term, but the position is typically temporary or contracted. For most businesses, especially midsize and small organizations, it’s more useful to hire an agile coach on a contract basis to help get an agile team up and running and later parting ways once everyone has adjusted.
Agile coaches aren’t just responsible for organizing an agile team; they also help the company embrace agile as a culture shift. To properly implement the methodology, an agile coach needs to encourage buy-in from employees and key stakeholders.
Agile Coach Responsibilities
Agile coaches pull from their own background in project management, IT, and other related fields to understand what will work for the business. Since some employees might be unfamiliar with agile, it’s important to focus on the fundamentals and to make the agile framework accessible to everyone.
Part of the job is leveraging experience and teaching the basics to bring people up to speed with an agile way of working.
As an agile coach, you’ll need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills, since you’ll be working closely with employees across the entire company, including leadership. Chances are, you’ll find it difficult to convert some workers to the agile methodology. In these instances, you’ll need to know how to navigate the corporate culture to help the organization realize its goals.
A good coach knows how to work with the team and the leadership to change the environment. Managers and management are often quite resistant to agile because it fundamentally challenges their power and control. The coach works with the leadership to see the future and be patient along the journey. The coach also works with the team to help them transform to being self-managing and accountable. These are big changes.
Most common responsibilities for an agile coach include:
Coach agile teams in the Agile mindset
Integrate related Agile methods and best practices within the company
Develop standards and requirements for the agile process
Provide training to employees on the agile process
Help teams navigate agile tools and software
Encourage employee and stakeholder buy-in
The most important skills for an agile coach include:
Soft skills such as active listening, trust, conflict management, servant leadership, emotional intelligence, mentoring, facilitation, change management, teaching, and powerful questions
Strong understanding of Scrum and Kanban
Experience as a Scrum master or any other role in Agile team
Strong communication and problem-solving skills
Interpersonal skills and patience
Agile Coach Compensation
Agile Coaches earn between $85/Hour to $135/Hour ($161,500 to $256,500 annually) if they work on a contract basis. For full time employees, earnings between $110,000 and $180,000 with benefits is prevalent within the US. Demand for Agile Coaches is expected to rise much faster than other IT roles. Experience, training and certifications, location, and industry are several factors that would impact expected earnings of Agile Coaches.
Agile Coaches do work in one or more of the following roles:
Agile Team Lead
Senior Agile Coach
Scrum Master/Agile Coach
Past participants of our Certified Agile Coach (CAC) training program came from variety of industries, including healthcare, banking, finance, credit card issuers, retail, oil and gas, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, communication and internet, energy, computer manufacturers, consulting firms, credit bureaus, network manufacturers, software, hardware, government organizations, satellite manufacturers, credit unions, and oil refineries to name several. Here are few of the 140+ organizations that our past participants represented:
Walmart, Kroger, Target, Accenture, USAA, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citibank, Master Card, Visa, Duke Energy, Bank of America, IBM, FedEx, Aetna, Anthem, CVS, Walgreens, Tesla, Verizon, Infosys, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CapitalOne, USPS, US Bank, Blackrock, CBRE, TD Ameritrade, Wipro, Micron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Discover, Chevron, Ford, HP, Allstate, State Farm, Desjardins, Petrobras, Enterprise, US Coast Guard, US Department of State, UHG, FDA, SAIC, BCBS, HCSC, PepsiCo, Dell
Training opportunities for Agile Coaches
We at Chicago State University offer several career enhancing training programs for Agile Coaches. Agile Coaches can pursue to attend one or more of the following training offered by us:
Certified Agile Facilitator (CAF)
Certified Enterprise Agility Coach (CEAC)
Certified Agile Transformation Coach (CATC)
Certified DevOps Transformation Coach (CDTC)
Certified Business Agility Coach (CBAC)
Certified Agile Leadership Professional (CALP)
Certified Agile Change Practitioner (CACP)
Agile Coaches can earn a Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (MCAM) by completing training programs 1-4 in addition to Certified Agile Coach (CAC) training. They can further their advancement by earning Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (AMCAM) by completing training programs 5–7. Both the Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (MCAM) and the Advanced Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (AMCAM) are the first and only such programs in the world!
Eligibility for Master's Certificate
Completion of this Certified Agile Coach (CAC) training program fulfills 20% of the requirement to earn Master’s Certificate in Agile Management (MCAM). Participants are required to complete total of five Agile Training Programs from Chicago State University (CSU) to earn their Master’s Certificate in Agile Management—the world’s first and only program in Agile field!
Name: Edwina Akorfa Gadze Course Schedule: September 10 – October 1 Completion Date: October 1, 2020 Total Training Hours: 15 Certificate Number: 99-377-4496-71061
Clarity of Information
High Performance Teams
Overcoming Practical Agile Coaching Challenges
Certificate Earning Criteria:
Attendance in the training course
Active participation in training course – Group Activities, Quizzes, Group Discussions, Q & A, Comments, etc.
PDUs from PMI – 15 [PMP, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, and PBA certifications]
SEUs from Scrum Alliance – 15 [CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO certifications]
CDUs from IIBA’s – 15 [CCBA and CBAP certifications]
The Agile Coaching Workshop is an instructor-led, live online training program that is offered in 10 sessions. Each session is one and half hours in duration. This training is unique and one-of-a-kind, and it focuses on both the areas of “being agile” and “doing agile”. This is a highly interactive workshop that makes ample use of discussions and exercises to help participants hone essential coaching skills like self-awareness, coaching stance, mentoring, facilitation, active listening, powerful questioning and coaching for action. The course explores real-world scenarios/situations and challenges, and helps you devise powerful solutions. It will help the learner differentiate between teaching, mentoring, facilitating, consulting, and coaching, and will help him/her gain the skills needed to create a safe environment for meaningful collaboration and healthy conflict resolution within an agile team.
Whether the coach is internal or external to the organization, agile coaching covers a broad spectrum that covers teaching, mentoring, problem solving, planning, leadership, team building and mastery of skills and knowledge. Agile coaches must challenge organizations to change culture for establishing new paradigms which permit agile-lean thinking and quickly deliver value. A coach must be competent, professional, and ethical, having business and technical knowledge and an understanding of the change and the impact it has on individuals and organizations.
Some of the elements that participants will learn during the workshop:
The various roles, skillsets and disciplines of an Agile coach – coaching, facilitating, mentoring, teaching and how to develop “your style,” moving in and out of those roles while remaining flexible, open and confident.
The philosophy behind servant leadership and practices and techniques to enable you to become a true servant leader; putting the needs of others first to facilitate the development of high-performance teams.
Agile Coach Thinking – the mindset shift necessary to help you, and others, focus on team improvement, value-driven delivery, and leveraging constraints while living in the present moment, staying curious, innovative and having fun.
Ways to establish mutual trust allowing you to create a safe, supportive environment in which your team can excel.
Active listening and powerful questioning techniques utilized to leverage your ability to focus on what is being said and maximizing communication and collaboration through seeking and receiving information.
Mastering agile coaching skills will require both time and practice. This workshop will enable you to:
Understand and utilize the key skill areas and knowledge areas applied by the best agile coaches.
Create healthy teams that are resilient, creative, resourceful and resonant.
Listen fully and ask essential, powerful questions that open up new possibilities and propel people into action.
Clearly ascertain the distinction between coaching and mentoring and know when to apply each of these most successfully in any given situation.
Understand how to address the dysfunctional approaches to conflict that teams often develop.
Coach and mentor people through all kinds of change, especially the change required to occupy agile roles fully.
See the broader organizational context more clearly and determine the best interventions, and best actions to create a positive impact.
You’ll walk away from the course with your personal coaching improvement backlog – a tangible plan you can use to thoughtfully improve your coaching when you’re back on the job.
You’ll have many new things to try with your teams and you will probably depart with a few provocative ideas to chew on or to wrangle with for a while. All of these outcomes add up to your ability to become the excellent agile coach your teams and organization needs.
Introduction to Coaching
High Performance Teams
Agile Coaching – Practical Considerations
Challenges faced by Agile Coaches and how to overcome
Knowledge of Agile Manifesto and Agile Methods (Scrum, Kanban, XP) would be helpful.
Interested to work in team environment with team members.
Willingness to learn and apply soft skills to teams.
Curious, eager, patient, and calm.
Who should attend?
This course is designed for:
Project, Program, and Portfolio Professionals who aspire to take up the role of an Agile Coach.
Scrum Masters, BAs, QAs, Agile Project/Program Managers or Iteration Managers who want a more comprehensive understanding of the complete range of business and Agile coaching skills.
Agile coaches who want to enhance and improve their professional skills as Agilists and professional coaches.
Coaches who wish to increase the ability to break through seemingly insurmountable problems with their teams.
Agile managers, product owners, and others wishing to access a broader range of skills in working with teams.
Skilled coaches who wish to polish their skillsets and learn a few new tricks and techniques.
Functional managers or Scrum Masters with some experience as an Agile coach, but when Agile seems like it is not working for your teams.
Someone coaching or mentoring Agile teams that get caught in a rut or just going through the motions and not making progress.
Phone: (800) 417-4940 Email: email@example.com
Corporate Training Inquiry: firstname.lastname@example.org