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What is an Agile Coach, and what does he or she do? Listen to what a coach has to say about it.

What qualities distinguish an excellent agile coach?

The top few attributes of an excellent coach, in my opinion, are the capacity to comprehend humans well, a full practical in-depth understanding of Agile values, principles, and practises, and situational awareness. A coach should be able to read people’s concerns, aspirations, wants, and motivations and connect with them on a deeper level. An Agile coach, in my opinion, should not be framework-obsessed and should be open to new ideas. He or she should be able to read the situation and have the fortitude to make bold and disruptive judgments when necessary.

What distinguishes an agile coach from a Scrum Master? As a PST, I teach Scrum Master as a coach in my workshop, so what are your thoughts on that?

I completely agree with you on this point. A Scrum Master who lacks coaching skills will be unable to effectively carry out his tasks. A Scrum master identifies and clarifies systemic dysfunctions, and his coaching talents enable him to assist the organisation in navigating through these dysfunctions and charting a course for their journey. Both roles are mutually beneficial.

What recommendations do you have for aspiring agile coaches? What kind of advice do you want to provide them, such as reading books or going to workshops?

Do not follow the crowd. Do not pursue a career as an Agile coach solely because it is in high demand.

The best learning happens in the present while performing the deed. While reading books and attending workshops, seminars, and conferences might be beneficial, someone else’s experience is only useful as information until it is validated in your context. So, study, confirm (in your context), adjust, and share.

And there’s no better time to get started than right now. Go ahead and find one element in your present system that doesn’t correspond with Agile or core human values, no matter how tiny, and improve it. An Agile coach does not require a formal title. You already have that leader within you. Apply uncommon common sense and take charge of your team’s progress.

I’d like to discover a little bit more about you. What have you learnt throughout the years that has helped you become a better person?

The ability to question everything that appears to be obvious has aided me in comprehending the system’s complexity. I’ve also learned to learn from my mistakes. There is no such thing as failure; only feedback. Fear of failing no longer deters me from attempting new things. Last but not least, no method or instrument can replace my ability to see and respond to the humanity of others or myself.

I’ve heard a lot of criticism regarding Scrum certifications, but I’ve also seen a lot of people sign up for them. What are your thoughts on this?

There exist certifications because there is a market for them. They could be an excellent beginning point for someone on their trip, in my opinion.

What is an Agile Coach?

Coaches are coaches, but I frequently see requirements for Agile Flow coaches, Agile technical coaches, and SAFe coaches, among other things. Is there a difference, and if so, could you perhaps assist us to grasp it?

It is equally critical, in my opinion, to hunt for job descriptions for these positions. These are company-specific positions with a concentration on a specific area. An Agile technical role, for example, would indicate an Agile coach with extensive engineering mentorship experience. SAFe coach, on the other hand, could refer to a coach with SAFe implementation experience.

When people talk about Agile, they usually refer to Scrum. What is your definition of agile?

Scrum is a method of becoming Agile. Agile, like mankind, is the foundation upon which all faiths (frameworks) are built. I practise Hinduism (Scrum), which is based on the core value of humanity (Agile).

Being Agile, in my opinion, is people working together toward a common objective of innovation and success at a sustainable pace, unlocking their human potential in a secure and trusting atmosphere.

Scrum is the most popular framework, and adoption is high, but I often hear people say that without XP engineering techniques, adoptions would not persist, particularly in software development. How do you assist your team with XP practices?

XP core engineering processes are similar to white blood cells in the body. They (engineering techniques) assist your body in fighting infectious disease (bad technical debt), viruses (defects), and dangerous intruders (untested code check-ins). I assist my teams and stakeholders in comprehending the parallel. I coach them by asking them questions like – Could this defect have been avoided if peer reviews had been conducted? Could we have saved time and effort if we had used Test Driven Development (TDD) instead? TDD, code reviews, pair programming, continuous integration, communal code ownership, and other approaches have been adopted.

Why isn’t Extreme Programming (XP) as well-known as it should be? All of this is due to the fact that Scrum provides certification while XP does not. Please let us know what you think about this.

XP and Scrum are well-suited to each other. Teams begin with Scrum before implementing their own version of XP (specifically core engineering practises that XP mandates). A high-performing Scrum team would be committed to XP techniques at all times. I believe there are certifications available for certain engineering principles, if not the complete XP framework, and they are pretty popular.

Scaling frameworks such as LeSS, SAFe, Nexus, and Spotify are frequently mentioned. Do you utilise any of these frameworks in your company? If so, whatever framework did you choose and why did you choose it?

No, we don’t use a scaling framework in the traditional sense. We try to figure out which Agile principles are getting more difficult for us to follow as we scale up, and then we strive to develop our own procedures to ensure we follow them even at a greater size. Problems shift from one location to another in the universe of continually changing reality, necessitating tweaking and refining. We learn from our mistakes and make adjustments. Who knows, maybe if there’s a certification for XP, it’ll be just as popular:)

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Aparna

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