Becoming an Agile Coach: What Steps to Take
[This article was written by Maggie Bloom.]
The success of projects relies on how well teams work together. However, if some of the team members talk with so much confidence and jargon that some members are left out, the efficiency of the whole team wanes. Agile coaches come to bring teams closer for more efficiency and faster operations. As an Agile coach, your work will involve helping teams adopt Agile practices in their work.
What Will You Do as an Agile Coach?
Your work is to make a team more efficient, cohesive, and open with each other, to facilitate better outcomes for the products or services they develop. The coach doesn’t promote one method over others, but help teams approach business challenges in a faster and smarter way while mitigating risks.
The success of every project starts with picking the right tools and methodologies. An Agile coach comes in to ensure that all parties in a project blend seamlessly for the efficiency and success of the project. You will be tasked with merging the organization goals with the goals of individuals and identify the methods that best work to help make the project successful. If your Agile coaching is successful, the team you coach shouldn’t need your services for the next project they take together.
Choose the Agile Coach Specialty
Once you make up your mind to be an Agile coach, you need to choose a specialty to study for your ICP ACC Agile coach certification. There are three main specialties:
Technical Coach – As a technical coach, you will work with developers and other employees in the technical field. You might need to have basic coding skills or any other technical skills that will help you understand the team and the project better.
Process Coach – A process coach helps teams establish leadership for Agile teams. The coach ensures the team successfully implements the Agile method.
Non-Directive coach – This coach doesn’t work with a team, but with an individual looking to adopt Agile practices to solve some organization problems.
Get an Agile Coach Certification
Getting an Agile Coach certification doesn’t make you a successful coach, but it is the first step. The certificate introduces you to the Agile-way, but it takes practice and good communication skills to be a successful Agile coach.
You need to undergo a course to get the certificate. The course teaches you the discipline of agile coaching, the aspects of servant leadership such as self-awareness and emotional intelligence, coaching skills such as mirroring and questioning, coaching techniques such as system-based thinking, mentoring skills to help teams through conflict, teaching principles and approaches, skills to enhance organization leadership engagement, and the need for designed alliances
With the skills above, you will be best placed to start handling a team to make them better. It is best to learn while working with a practicing Agile coach so that you can learn the hurdles in the field and how to handle them.
Practice as an Agile Coach
A good agile coach is one who has taken an agile role or worked with an agile team. When you work in a team and realize results fast and efficiently, you are better placed to guide other teams to achieve great results.
The best way to start is to take up agile practices in your current position. Most recruiters of agile coaches will need to see your experience in agile coaching. You also need to attend Agile or Scrum meet-ups to see other people in the field and share ideas and experiences. If you can find an Agile Coach to mentor you, you will learn from them the mistakes to avoid and how to best handle teams.
Like any other skill, your Agile coaching skills will improve with each team you handle. You, therefore, have to keep practicing. To be a good Agile coach, you need good leadership and communication skills as you are tasked with handling teams every day.
As an Agile coach, you can earn up to $1,000 every day, but it depends on your skills and experience. Your role will be to oversee the successful transition from a traditional project management approach to an Agile approach. In most cases, you will work as a project manager as you link your team with resources and with other teams and report to higher leadership ranks. You will also be tasked with resolving conflicts to make teams work together better.