When it comes to agile coaching, it’s all about understanding and coaching the human side of agile.
These roles and responsibilities show that agile coaching is much more than an entry-level role. Agile Coaches deliver value to the customer, the organization, and their teams. They communicate with different stakeholders to set expectations of both functions and results. And they help execute and adopt agile practices.
Below is a comprehensive list of the roles of an agile coach:
1. Agile Coaches possess and continually develop their problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are essential for agile coaches. They help ensure that customers, organizations, and teams successfully introduce agile practices.
2. Agile coaches seek to understand where others are coming from
Coaches develop empathy toward others to better understand their problem(s). Understanding is an integral part of coaching conversations because it helps coaches ask the right questions to elicit root causes.
3. Agile Coaches are responsible for clarifying agile role expectations, practices, and results through coaching conversations
It aligns with our profession’s well-known emphasis on people who solve problems by being Servant Leaders in their daily interactions.
4. Agile coaches must be able to articulate the “why” behind agile practices clearly
It is a crucial role of an agile coach. There are many different roles related to creating value, selling software, and meeting business objectives. However, it might not be worth doing without understanding why the organization wants or needs something to happen.
Coaches must provide this foundation for others to understand their work and make decisions.
5. Agile coaches must be able to analyze the technical aspects of a team’s workflow
Technical understanding helps agile coaches see how best practices support a team’s efficiency and effectiveness.
6. Agile Coaches solve problems by being Servant Leaders in their daily interactions
Successful agile coaching is rooted in having Servant Leadership conversations with many different people.
7. Agile coaches are responsible for helping others create, deliver, and sustain value
It is not just about writing user stories or conducting retrospectives. It’s about being an effective manager of the work that has been agreed upon by all stakeholders. Developing this ability helps coaches ensure that the work is completed well.
8. Agile coaches are responsible for helping others understand their workload and how it aligns with the business’ objectives
The role of an agile coach goes beyond solving process problems to understanding what people need to be successful in their work (e.g., information, motivation, support). We find it hard to know why things happen to us as humans. It is especially true when working in an environment with few standards and processes. Understanding the “why” helps coaches ensure that people make well-informed decisions about their work.
9. Agile coaches facilitate collaborative action by helping teams make decisions together
Decision-making is one of the most challenging areas for coaches and teams to work through. As humans, we find it hard to trust others’ decisions because they affect us personally.
The agile coach is an entry-level role. It’s an essential first step for anyone desiring to become an agile transformation leader. Agile coaches have some responsibilities, but none is more important than being servant leaders who guide teams through the learning process of creating value and delivering results.