What Does it Take to Become a Successful Agile Coach?

What Does it Take to Become a Successful Agile Coach?
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Eshna Verma

Published on January 1, 2012


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The role of an Agile coach is not rigidly linked to the time duration of the project being undertaken but on the contrary, it is totally a transitory role i.e. time deadlines are a bit flexible as long as the job is being done in the best possible manner with timely and feasible innovations.

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In the present day and age, the entrance criteria that is required in order to become a successful Agile Coach depends a lot on the chances of coming up with retrospective ways. Furthermore, these candidates must know how to operate an Agile tracking tool. Balancing the various aspects of different teams according to their different expectations is a must but not at the cost of your own values, ideals.

Also, models can be made to understand and analyze the psychological aspects of different teams. If the need arises, then team dynamics might need a bit of tweaking and this must be handled with utmost care without deflating a few egos.  Let’s look at the major areas that needs to be focused in order to become successful agile coaches –

  1. Being comfortable around people, being sensitive to their problems and thus maintaining a good understanding with everyone.
  2. Being a harbinger of change by learning from past failures, having good support systems in place and getting people to gradually agree to important points.
  3. Technically sound so as to identify the main buttons to facilitate change, identifying emerging problems and thereby having a broader view of things.

Main Objectives of an Agile coach

In a nutshell, the main objective of any agile coach is to monitor the activities of a team and the technologies that they are taking into account. Furthermore, an Agile coach promotes and incorporates Agile practices in order to make the teams work faster and more efficiently. At times, it becomes tedious for team members to adapt to changes in a short span of time since a “seagull consultant” or a dynamic trainer cannot just walk in, power up the team and leave suddenly. In such cases, the coach has to find ways to make people do things without explicitly telling them to do so.

The coach has to mentor and guide the team till the goals of the project are achieved justifiably. Thus, an Agile coach is required to stick with the team at all times and not only deliver powerful words of wisdom but also analyze all the positives as well as negatives of the project.

As it has been mentioned above, one of the primary objectives of an Agile coach is to realize the fact that their role is of an ephemeral and transitory nature which may not involve the full time-window of the project.

Self-coaching is one of the most important lessons to be taught to a team so that they can work their own angles and pull off crucial operations comfortably without being over-reliant on a coach.

Unbound Limitations of the Agile Coach

There is no limitation when it comes to introducing the concept of Agile in organizations and giving rise to teams that enforce the guidelines of Agile in their operations in order to achieve the most commendable results. Agile software development is one of the most imperative sections since the team working on this section has to be immensely proficient and dynamic enough to employ Agile to their processes in order to boost their performance.

Lean thinking has to be taken into account based on different impediments as well as environments. This is because by enlightening the team regarding the most effectual methodology, an Agile coach helps members of the team to work and adapt to the existing environment in the best possible manner.

The role of the coach is to serve as both part consultant and part trainer i.e. a person who motivates the team to come up with strategies in order to increase the productivity as well as the market value of the company as a whole. An Agile coach must carry forward one-on-one sessions with the team members as well in order to ensure that the directives are clear to everyone and there is no scope of any hindrance or inefficiency as such.

Thus, Agile coaches should enlighten and transfer all of their knowledge to their respective teams and enthuse as well as motivate the members of the team to try out new out-of-the-box approaches without taking undue risks.

References
http://www.agileconnection.com/article/role-agile-coach
http://www.infoq.com/news/2012/12/agile-coaching

 

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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