Agile coaches perform an assessment of an organization’s current overall Agile maturity and identify problem or improvement areas along with a roadmap. To arrive at this, they closely observe and record the workings of the teams on a day to day basis over a period of time. They pay close attention to the way the teams (product owners, development teams, scrum masters, managers, leaders and other relevant stakeholders) work and interact with each other.
Agile Coaches then derive an “exercise, diet and daily routine” for the development teams, similar to Sports Coaches.
Agile Coaches devise Scrum events such as Daily Standup, Sprint Planning and Reviews etc. which provide the rigor and discipline to development teams to deliver effectively (- The Routine or Cadence).
They plan or conduct trainings for individuals or teams as needed for filling gaps in knowledge (- this is The Diet or ‘nutrition’ required for high performance teams). This can be process related or something more specific to the project (technical or functional).
Lastly, Agile Coaches may come up with team building activities periodically to ensure the team working, communication and collaboration is top notch. This is The Exercise for teams; ensures teams are “fit” and team working is “healthy”.
Agile Coaches mentor teams, scrum masters, product owners, engineering managers with the objective of building a strong Agile culture.
They identify the roadblocks for effective functioning of the team – the issues that are disrupting the flow of work. The goal is to avoid rework as much as possible, which is wasted effort.
Agile Coaches look out for traits of traditional waterfall culture and practices among team members and managers and gently push them to a true Agile way of thinking and working.
They work closely with multiple teams in their journey towards high-performance Enabling teams to understand, learn and behave in an agile way to drive customer and business value.
They facilitate teams in writing effective user stories, which is of paramount importance for building quality software which serves the needs of the customers.
They provide Agile/Scrum Training to teams for better understanding of Agile methods & practices.
Agile Coaches observe teams’ self-organization, participating in various meetings and providing feedback for continuous improvement, including team behaviors.
They monitor team traits for better teamwork and team communication. Improving teamwork through various games, team building
They work with other stakeholders for standardization of Agile practices across globally distributed teams.
They ensure Agile becomes more of a culture and not just a process, within teams.
Related: The Role of Testing in Continuous Delivery
Per VersionOne “Annual State of Agile” Report, top 3 benefits cited by practicing organizations are:
Manage changing priorities (87%)
Team productivity (85%)
Project visibility (84%)
The Agile Coach focuses on coaching and enabling an Agile mindset in the development teams ensuring there is a consistent understanding across the organization. They help create an environment where continuous improvement of the development process is the focus and where everyone’s common goal is to deliver outstanding software as fast as possible while working together as one team. Agile Coaches help teams become high performing units focused on delivering amazing value to their customers.