The Agile Facilitator (AF) role is broader than conducting meetings. … It includes group facilitation tools and techniques for effectively designing meetings and workshops that both engage the entire audience and drives toward agreed-upon outcomes.
The AF must also guide the team through the paradigm shifts required in Agile team environments and lead them towards collaboration and self-organization. To do so requires a mindset shift for the team leader – the facilitator mindset.
Organizational benefits of an Agile Coach
There are a number of different roles for a facilitator:
Meeting Adviser – The facilitator helps the leader plan the meeting, but during the session, he primarily sits on the sidelines, stepping in only when asked or if a situation occurs which the participants cannot handle themselves.
Meeting Manager – The facilitator sets the agenda, establishes ground rules, initiates the discussion, and allows the session to flow, stepping in only when needed.
Meeting Leader – The facilitator sets the agenda, establishes ground rules and initiates the discussion just as the meeting manager does. In addition, however, he is active in getting participants excited about participating. The facilitator describes the purpose of the session in terms that gives the participants a much bigger picture of the importance of the session. In addition, he is active in ensuring that all participants engage in the discussion. The facilitator challenges the participants when the discussion appears to remain at a high level. And, from time to time, the facilitator offers insights that may be otherwise overlooked.
Participating Facilitator – The facilitator starts out much like a meeting manager, setting the agenda, establishing ground rules, and initiating the discussion. But the facilitator also actively engages as a participant in the discussion, frequently offering his own views, giving opinions on topics, and expressing disagreement with various comments.
When you serve as the facilitator in this role, we believe you have seven specific responsibilities:
Guide You must know the steps of the process the group will execute from beginning to end. You must carefully guide the participants through each of the step.
Motivator From the rousing opening statement to the closing words of cheer, you must ignite a fire within the group and keep it well lit. You must establish momentum and keep the pace.
Visionary You must create a vision for the group of why the meeting is important.
Bridge Builder You must create and maintain a safe and open environment for sharing ideas. Where other people see differences, you must find and use similarities to establish a foundation for building bridges to consensus.
Clairvoyant Throughout the session, you must watch carefully for signs of potential strain, weariness, aggravation and dis-empowerment — and respond in advance to avoid dysfunctional behavior.
Peacemaker While it is almost always better to avoid a direct confrontation between participants, should such an event occur, you must quickly step in, re-establish order and direct the group toward a constructive resolution.
Taskmaster You are ultimately responsible for keeping the session on track; this means tactfully cutting short irrelevant discussions, preventing detours and maintaining a consistent level of detail throughout the session.
Praiser At every opportunity, you should praise the effort put forth, the progress made, and the results achieved. Praise well, praise often, praise specifically.
The Agile Facilitator Role (with Agile Coach Role)
Generally Agile Facilitator role is combined with Agile Coach Role. Agile Coach with Agile Facilitator training and experience is much superior than Agile Coach without Agile Facilitator role.
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:
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 5–9. 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: Margie Elliott Course Schedule: February 5 – 6, 2022 Completion Date: February 6, 2022 Total Training Hours: 15 Certificate Number: 87-444-1912-99866
ISO Accreditation and Certification:
ISO 9001:2015: Yes ISO 17024:2012: Yes ISO 21001:2018: Yes ISO 26515:2018: Yes
This Certified Agile Coach (CAC) training program and all other Agile training programs from Chicago State University (CSU) are ISO 9001:2015, ISO 17024:2012, ISO 21001: 2018, and ISO 26515:2018 accredited and certified.
What is the purpose of ISO?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.
How does ISO define quality?
The term “quality” has a relative meaning. This is expressed by the ISO definition: “The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs”
Benefits of ISO
Some of the main benefits of ISO 9001 certification include:
Suitable for both small and large organizations.
Better internal management.
Increase in efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.
Improved customer retention and acquisition.
Consistent outcomes, measured and monitored.
Globally recognized standard.
What is the meaning of ISO 9001:2015?
ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for a quality management system when an organization:
a) needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
b) aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
All the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 are generic and are intended to be applicable to any organization, regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides.
What is the meaning of ISO 17024:2012?
ISO/IEC 17024:2012 contains principles and requirements for a body certifying persons against specific requirements, and includes the development and maintenance of a certification scheme for persons.
The nature and complexity of the IT industry/Agile Industry has created hundreds of training courses and qualifications over the years. Many are vendor-specific and – in terms of training staff to configure and operate these products – provide a perfectly adequate demonstration of knowledge and skills. They are, however, often linked to the purchase of products and, as such, are subject to the commercial bias of a very competitive IT marketplace.
ISO 17024:2012 – recognized by employers worldwide
Independent and accredited exam bodies such as ISACA, (ISC)2, Chicago State University’s Agile Training Programs, CompTIA, APMG, and IBITGQ have been created to counteract the commercial bias of vendors, and to provide consistent and comparable qualifications on an international basis.
But who verifies the independence and quality of the courses and exams offered by these organizations?
The ISO/IEC 17024:2012 standard (Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons) specifies that accredited exam bodies:
Meet a global, industry-recognized benchmark
Are consistent, comparable and reliable worldwide
Demonstrate that holders have the necessary knowledge and skills
Are validated to ensure they are recognized by employers and peers
Employers and training development managers recognize the value of ISO 17024:2012, and it’s no coincidence that the careers of Agile Practitioner are built on the foundations of ISO 17024:2012 qualifications.
What is the meaning of ISO 21001:2018?
ISO 21001:2018 specifies requirements for a management system for educational organizations (EOMS) when such an organization:
a) needs to demonstrate its ability to support the acquisition and development of competence through teaching, learning or research;
b) aims to enhance satisfaction of learners, other beneficiaries and staff through the effective application of its EOMS, including processes for improvement of the system and assurance of conformity to the requirements of learners and other beneficiaries.
All requirements of ISO 21001:2018 are generic and intended to be applicable to any organization that uses a curriculum to support the development of competence through teaching, learning or research, regardless of the type, size or method of delivery.
ISO 21001:2018 can be applied to educational organizations within larger organizations whose core business is not education, such as professional training departments.
ISO 26515:2018 Systems and software engineering — Developing information for users in an agile environment
This standard supports the interest of information developers and associated roles responsible for producing information for users of software and systems developed within an agile environment. This standard takes a process standard approach to specify the way in which information for users can be developed in agile development projects.
This standard provides requirements of information management and information development processes appropriate for software projects that are using agile development methods.
The overall requirements for information in agile software development.
Requirements for the information development lead or project manager to plan an agile information development project and manage the information development activities in an agile environment.
Requirements for designing, developing, and providing information for users in an agile environment.
Describes agile development practices and methods.
Clarity of Information
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 Facilitation 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”. Collaboration and self-organization are central to Agile teams. Moreover, Agile emphasizes an empirical approach of inspection, adaptation, and transparency. As a result, work in an Agile team is characterized by frequent group interaction – for planning, coordination, review, reflection, and even for pure team building and alignment of purpose. This all adds up to the fact that one of the first and most essential skills for an Agile Coach is the ability to effectively facilitate group interactions – of all kinds. This hands on, interactive workshop teaches you from the ground up what it takes to be a successful Agile Team Facilitator, and gives you plenty of practice in doing so. It would dramatically increase participants’ facilitation skills in general, especially as applied to Agile ceremonies, collaborative events and other team “moments of truth.” The workshop will focus on professional facilitation skills and techniques as applied specifically within the Agile context.
Some of the elements that participants will learn during the workshop:
The mindset and core behaviors required for successful facilitation
Basic facilitation methods for handling group interactions and decision making, including challenging behaviors and how to address them
Diagnosing and handling dysfunctional teams
How to specifically facilitate the common practices of Agile Teams: Release and Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-ups, Reviews, and Retrospectives, as well as Project Chartering
While mastering facilitation skills in the Agile context will require both time and practice, our class will enable you to:
Gain an in-depth and practical understanding of a wide array of techniques practiced by professional facilitators.
Understand and practice the art of collaborative meeting design, including the importance of smart preparation that will reduce overall cost and increase the effectiveness of your meetings.
Practice techniques for skillfully facilitating core Agile meetings and ceremonies with playfulness and a collaborative spirit, while still focused on key deliverable.
Gain rich, well-delivered feedback on your growing facilitation skills
Gives you different ideas for designing meetings in which the team interacts with the team so they can do the heavy-lifting.
Understand how to address some of the dysfunctional behaviors you see preventing your team from achieving maximum success.
Learn how to define, discuss, and achieve consensus with the team for faster and better decision making.
Come away with your own facilitator self-development plan.
Facilitator – Soft Skills
Agile Facilitator Framework
Agile Team Facilitation – Role and Stance
Facilitating Agile Meetings
Agile Facilitator Role
Retrospective Facilitation Guide
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Training Inquiry: email@example.com