In project management, comparing Agile Coach vs Scrum Master is important for fostering efficient teamwork, promoting adaptive methodologies, and driving organizational agility. According to industry data, the demand for Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters has recently increased. Job postings for Agile Coaches have increased by approximately 39% over the past five years, while Scrum Masters have surged by around 24%. To pick the ideal one for yourself, explore the key nuances between them.

What Is an Agile Coach?

The designation is given to a professional capable of implementing Agile principles, processes and procedures in an organization, team or company. The Agile coach can work in association with a company or be hired externally. The Agile coach is concerned with aligning team members or employees with Agile values and concepts. They inculcate transparency, flexibility and efficiency when an organization changes working practices. They introduce Agile methodologies to the employees or teams.

The commonly used Agile methodologies expected to be implemented by Agile coaches include Kanban, Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework. They do so through exercises like teaching, mentoring or coaching. Hiring an agile coach allows the company to introduce adaptability, a positive shift in workflow methods and results, better performance and higher productivity. 

What Qualifications Are Necessary to Become an Agile Coach?

There isn’t any specific qualification but the knowledge of Agile that is evaluated in any potential candidate. Hence, here is a conventional path taken to becoming an Agile coach: 

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree in the industry of your interest. While this will give you exposure to the industry of your preference, you will have to learn the fundamentals, application techniques, and other in-depth details of agile frameworks and other concepts separately. 
  • You will also have to consider gaining certification in the field to exhibit your expertise, knowledge and presence of skills. To do this, you must enroll in training courses specific to different principles or methodologies. The certifications for Agile coaches include PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) and ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC). 
  • Gain experience and skills. It will include your familiarity with project management tools and communication abilities. Take up the Scrum Master job role to be deemed experienced as an Agile coach. Also, work in an agile team to understand the transition of methodologies on taking up agile and to have first-hand experience of faced challenges.

Core Responsibilities of an Agile Coach

There are three types of agile coach: process or flow coach, delivery coach or agile program manager and enterprise agile coach. The following responsibilities are covered for all three posts: 

  • They must assume responsibility for teams, individuals or organizations to help them transition to agile-based practices. 
  • They have to offer specific training in agile frameworks or agile practices. 
  • Agile coaches can also offer leadership coaching to Scrum Masters, Kanban Leads and product owners. 
  • Develop policies for assistance in agile-based practices.
  • Implement systems and oversee encountered problems.
  • Ensure seamless delivery and self-organization of agile teams.
  • Develop agile maturity.
  • Interact with stakeholders, leaders and the whole organization system.
  • Mentor the businesses.
  • Implement systems thinking.
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Skills Required to Become an Agile Coach

The required skills include: 

  • Communication is needed to manage the agile team and meetings effectively.  
  • Self-organization and open mindset for effective guidance. 
  • Leadership qualities with empathy and understanding. 
  • Attentive listening skills. 
  • Ability to deal with conflicts. 
  • Interpersonal skills to deal with the team members. 
  • Team building and handling capabilities. 
  • A problem-solving approach to contribute to organizational growth, objectives and goals.  

The Impact of Agile Coaching on Organizational Agility

Agile coaching helps teams, individuals and organizations understand and apply effective project management. It benefits companies in the long run by offering an adaptable culture to meet dynamic market demands and overall goals and projects. Leadership roles, organizational change management, and actions as mentors or guides offer a smooth environment for implementing agile practices. 

Organizational agility is further achieved through the team's learnings on collaborative nature, adaptiveness and self-organizational capabilities. The consequences are better product and service quality with increased customer satisfaction. The employees begin positively taking the feedback and are encouraged to experiment, learn and correct their failures. Managers with agile coaching become more focused on leadership with approaches to scaling, promoting transparency and removing any hindrances in organizational success and growth. 

What Is a Scrum Master?

Scrum master is a narrower specialization yet comprises the responsibilities of an agile coach. Concerned with teams in the organization, they are responsible for enhancing strengths while reducing weaknesses. They also help employees learn methods to tackle problems and achieve improved outcomes. 

However, primarily speaking, the scrum master is accountable for establishing scrum, the lightweight, agile framework related to timely iterations known as sprints. They offer knowledge and practical experience via guidance and mentoring. The ultimate aim is to positively develop the team for refinement. 

Qualifications Required to Become a Scrum Master

When considering the educational requirements of a scrum master vs agile coach, the journey to becoming is similar for both. The pathway will go like this: 

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree in a related field that offers insights into business and management. However, the primary requirement will be to become familiar with agile methodologies and the scrum framework. Gain thorough knowledge of basic concepts and their applications. You can join training courses for this. 
  • Earn certification in scrum mastering to exhibit your capabilities and skills gained through the course. The certifications for Scrum Master include Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC). 
  • Gain experience to gain soft skills, as listed later in the article. Focus on teamwork and learning to complete the projects with worthy contributions. 

Primary Responsibilities of a Scrum Master

The scrum masters assist the scrum team, product owner and organization. They are tasked with the following responsibilities

  • Lead the daily or routine scrum meetings 
  • Help in navigating through the product backlog 
  • Head the iteration or sprint planning meetings to avoid overexertion or scope creep 
  • Take part in face-to-face interactions or meetings with stakeholders or team members as required by the project or company. 
  • Eliminate the hindrances in running the project or dealing with its success. 
  • Take the feedback and reflect on it to implement changes and oversee improvements accordingly. 
  • Ensure proper working of scrum tools 
  • Analyze the reports on portfolio tools such as burndown charts

Essential Skills of a Scrum Master

Becoming a scrum master is a responsible job that requires the following skills: 

  • Technical knowledge of basic concepts in Scrum and project management 
  • Communication to ensure compliance of all the employees and to communicate the task proceedings effectively
  • Effective time management 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Critical thinking and organizational abilities 
  • Deliver results by handling the problems through experience and a problem-solving approach 
  • Must be a good coach and mentor 
  • Empathy to understand the perspective, reflect and take action accordingly 
  • Leadership qualities to stand firm while efficiently managing the team 
  • Be adaptable to dynamic requirements and employees in the company 
  • Able to facilitate meetings and ceremonies and foster collaboration

Scrum Master's Role in Facilitating Scrum Ceremonies

As a facilitator, the Scrum Master must complete a project, task or plan while maintaining a neutral position. The task required to fulfill the duty includes planning and conducting Scrum events, but the Scrum Master is not obligated to attend them. Their overall task is to support the team in process optimization. 

As a facilitator, the prime tasks that allow the completion of responsibilities are encouraging smooth collaboration within teams, integration with the organization, and facilitating the Scrum process and its continuous improvement. The Scrum Master will oversee and manage the purposeful and effective happening of the Scrum event and the achievements of the team’s objectives. 

Agile Coach vs Scrum Master: Which Holds a Better Future?

The prime difference between the two is their area of focus. While an agile coach has a challenging and broad area of responsibilities emphasizing the organizational aspect, the Scrum master is limited to operating at team-level guidance. The agile coach works on team, product and leadership, but the Scrum master coaches the teams or individuals along with his contribution to the organization. 

The two roles are crucial for an organization and offer bright prospects to skilled professionals. Additionally, the Scrum master has to offer their services for a long time while an Agile coach is required for a short duration. However, the difference in their focus areas equates to their responsibilities and potential progress in their careers. To answer this directly, we recommend building an appropriate and worthy skill set chronologically, where your role as Agile Coach will be possible after working as a Scrum Master. Experience the environment and job roles during project management and find the best fit for you. The prospects of a better future lie in both career opportunities. 


The roles of Agile Coach and Scrum Master are necessary for the company’s success and seamless functionality. Having offered insights into these roles, along with additional essential information, the conclusion is that certification and experience are mandatory requirements to pursue a career in the field. 

At Simplilearn, we offer the education and exposure and inculcate skills that candidates demand. Offering you the platform to gain more of the mentioned benefits, we provide the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Certification Training to enhance your career.

To learn more about the best-fit schedule for you or in case of any queries, have a field expert and advisor on call right now. To connect, click on ‘Talk to an advisor,’ fill in the information and wait for us to call you. 


1. Can an agile coach be a scrum master?

Agile coaches have offered their services both at team and organization levels, making them an experienced Scrum Master during their journey. 

2. How does one transition from a Scrum Master to an Agile Coach? 

Increasing your responsibilities, expanding your knowledge, building your skill set and gaining exposure to broaden your guidance and coaching abilities are necessary for the transition from a Scrum Master to an Agile Coach. 

3. Can a small company benefit from both an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master? 

Small companies can benefit from both professionals. However, owing to their small scale, their responsibilities overlap if they are two distinct individuals.

4. Is an agile coach a technical role?

While the agile coach is not considered a technical role, it does require technical knowledge and expertise to perform the duties.

5. How do Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters stay updated with industry changes? 

Some of the easiest and most common ways to stay updated are attending agile workshops and conferences, being active in communities, reading books and publications and taking online courses and certifications. 

6. Is an agile coach a project manager?

No, the two professionals have distinct responsibilities and expertise. 

7. What is the average salary difference between an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master?

The average salary of an Agile Coach is around INR 25 lakhs per annum, and that of a Scrum Master is around INR 16 lakhs per year. 

8. Which is better, Scrum Master or Agile?

An Agile Coach is highly experienced and has more knowledge, skills, and capabilities. Scrum Master is a junior version. Working as a Scrum Master with the aim to excel in one’s skill set as an Agile Coach offers better opportunities in the career.