Note: this was not intended as an article, but the linkedin update character limit forced my hand. Below is not as polished as I would like. If this content helps you in any way shape or form, please leave a comment to share your learning! Previously posted on linkedin here.
As Mike writes in his provocative linkedin article “RIP Agile Coach – Why The “Agile Coach” Needs To Go Away”, we can dream of a world where operational coaching is no longer needed… But we are not there yet. Not by a long shot. Also, (SPOILER ALERT) the author states that Agile Coaching on the executive and other management levels are still sorely needed. So yeah, please go away Agile Coach and leave us be in our (fr)agile improvement theatres. Side note: the need and market for management coaching is reflected in a growing interest in PAL-E and other leadership courses at Prowareness & Scrum.org among others as well as the GRIP framework.
For now, many companies, mostly large ones, are still ramping up on Scrum or other agile initiatives (does Kanban count?). So there are a lot of new Scrum Teams and starting Scrum Masters that can benefit from coaching.
Two additional thoughts on that for Coaches, SM’s and clients alike
1. The coach should be coaching on two levels when working with Scrum Teams: direct, to get the team started and help them grow into their Scrum use swiftly AND indirect by coaching the SM to coach/teach/facilitate the rest of the team. Thus making sure that the SM also learns the coach part of the role and the Agile Coach can move on.
2. The Scrum Master should be able to embrace & apply a continuous improvement & continuous learning mindset for both themselves, their Scrum Team as well as their organisation. At least have the urge & will to. And have some grit & persistence to keep going!
What do YOU think? Agile Coaches should die in a fire, or can they be useful? I would love some examples of helpful vs damaging behaviour you experienced from Agile Coaches.