Agile is a project management method that serves as an alternative to traditional methodologies, specifically within the field of software development. As such, Agile Coaches lead teams of developers, often implementing this new methodology for the first time, meaning that in addition to coaching they are driving organizational change. The goal of an Agile Coach is to improve teams of developers and overall project management by increasing collaboration, innovation, and introducing techniques that promote adaptability and flexibility in the face of unpredictable circumstances.
Agile Coaches are in a leadership position and may report to senior management.
Agile Coach Duties and Responsibilities
In order to lead teams of developers in Agile methodology, an Agile Coach performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Agile Coaches in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
The Agile Coach must educate employees at all levels, including senior, and at times clients, on Agile principles, providing them with tools for implementing the process in their own work. They provide training sessions and teach valuable skills that lead toward the organization-wide adoption of Agile methodologies.
As a mentor, the Agile Coach is responsible for guiding teams into the Agile methodology, providing employees with feedback and means of improvement, catalyzing organizational growth and answering questions. They provide hands-on support to all employees, collaborating with people across widely varying levels and roles, leading teams toward further understanding and adoption of Agile as well as overall company growth and improvement.
Develop Agile Adoption Strategy
The Agile Coach is responsible for designing a strategy for the organizational adoption of Agile. This includes every stage of adoption, from the introduction of Agile and employee education, to fostering teams and cultures that practice Agile, to sustaining Agile methodologies and continually offering strategies for improvement.
Implement Agile Methodology
This task entails implementing Agile process, principles and practices across all levels and departments in an organization. The Agile Coach must use techniques that increase collaboration, predictability, transparency and promote a culture of experimentation and innovation. In order to do this, the Agile Coach must also embody the Agile principles and lead by example.
Agile Coach Skills
Both strong leaders and advocates for the adoption of Agile, Agile Coaches must be assertive about adherence to Agile processes and enthusiastic about Agile practices and their benefits. They are both educators and coaches, and thus possess great interpersonal skills, teaching abilities, and a capacity to inspire and motivate. In order to stay ahead, Agile Coaches must be self-taught, and they must constantly be updating their information, attending conferences, and continuously learning.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Agile Coaches with these core skills. If you want to work as an Agile Coach, focus on the following.
Having programming experience
Showing proficiency in relevant programming languages
Demonstrating strong knowledge of and background with Agile concepts
Possessing prior experience coaching teams in Agile adoption or as a Scrum Master
Having some background or coursework in Computer Science
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Agile Coach toolbox and broaden your career options.
Scrum Coach certification
Scrum Master certification
Experience coaching at large organizations or Fortune 500 companies
Nice to have
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