the role of the agile coach
08 May 2020
A version of this article originally appeared on Exceptional-PMO.com. Reprinted with permission.
Agile is an iterative and incremental approach for the development and delivery of products and services, and organizations are increasingly embracing it to best meet their business needs. An agile coach can increase the chances of a successful agile adoption or improvement.  
Some define the agile coach role as “an individual who coaches agile teams” or a similar self-descriptive representation. A more detailed definition along with examples are presented in this article.
Scott M. Graffius—author of Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions and Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change—defines the agile coach as:
"The individual is an agile expert who provides guidance for new agile implementations as well as existing agile teams. The agile coach is experienced in employing agile techniques in different environments and has successfully run diverse agile projects. The individual builds and maintains relationships with everyone involved, coaches individuals, trains groups, and facilitates interactive workshops. The agile coach is typically from outside the organization, and the role may be temporary or permanent." 
The agile coach illustration, shown above, provides additional information such as values, guiding principles, focus areas, tools, and activities for agile coaches.
Values include respect, courage, focus, openness, and commitment.
Principles include collaboration, technical excellence, transparency, continuous improvement, simplicity, fast and frequent delivery, and high satisfaction.
Focus areas include company; division or segment; product; tribe, squad, or team; and individuals.
Tools include data collection, visualization, best techniques, feedback, and agile process tools.
Activities include coaching, teaching, facilitating, and mentoring.
A downloadable, hi-res version of the image is available from Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions.
 Dikert, K., Paasivaara, M. & Lassenius, C. (2016). Challenges and Success Factors for Large-Scale Agile Transformations: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Systems and Software, 119, 87-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.06.013.
 Sureshchandra, K. & Shrinivasavadhani, J. (2008). Moving from Waterfall to Agile. Proceedings from Agile, 2008: AGILE ’08 Conference. Toronto, ON, Canada. DOI: 10.1109/Agile.2008.49.
 Graffius, S. M. (2019): Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change. Seattle, WA: Amazon Digital Services. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2652976.
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