Job brief

An Agile Coach is a seasoned professional who embraces a mentorship role. They improve the team through knowledge-sharing by offering new perspectives, possibilities and insight from their prior experiences. By developing agile teams and championing an organizational culture that embraces change, an Agile Coach helps pave the path for long-term agile success.

Change can be difficult to navigate and accept, and an Agile Coach must ensure Agile teams have the support, encouragement, knowledge and tools they need to execute the process successfully. An Agile Coach must also help to cultivate an organizational culture that embraces this dynamic atmosphere.

Agile Coach Job Responsibilities

An Agile Coach is responsible for encouraging the team, enabling them to solve problems and cultivating individual growth. Their job responsibilities can be diverse, including:

  • Facilitate Agile process knowledge to all team members at the outset of the project
  • Train the team on each specific process step throughout the project lifecycle
  • Support project planning
  • Identify project risks
  • Address team member questions
  • Identify and diagnose process issues
  • Coach Agile Product Owners to drive business value and retain the project vision
  • Assist Product Owners in writing user stories
  • Mentor Product Owners to make daily decisions to keep the project in motion and empower them to partner with business stakeholders to make more strategic decisions
  • Mentor ScrumMasters, who may eventually become coaches themselves
  • Support Scrum Masters in meeting preparation, including the pre-planning, planning, daily Scrum, and review stages.
  • Instruct managers on the basics of Agile tools, such as Scrum and Kanban
  • Coach managers to navigate their role in a dynamic environment through the cultural changes the project may be introducing
  • Cultivate an Agile mindset in all team members where problems are embraced as welcome opportunities to adapt

One key thing an Agile Coach is not, Labban advises, is the person responsible for actually solving the problems that can occur in a project.

“You want the team to handle that problem and solve it,” he says. “You can coach them how to find solutions for the problems, how to handle problems and so forth, but it’s not your duty to find the solution.”

  • There are perhaps two main differences between an Agile ScrumMaster and an Agile Coach. The ScrumMaster is tasked with ensuring the team follows the Scrum process and rules. An Agile Coach’s remit is somewhat wider, with a greater emphasis on the change agenda.