Many of today’s successful companies use the Agile methodology for the development of their projects. Today’s marketplace requires companies to act quickly, flexibly, and efficiently to adapt on the fly to changing market and customer needs.
One of the roles related to this methodology is that of the Agile Coach, whose function is to guide the process and make communication between team members more efficient.
What is an Agile Coach
There are several roles within the Agile projects, the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, the developers and the Agile Coach. The latter is responsible for implementing the Agile methods in any phase of the project, promoting and facilitating the organization and communication between its members, as well as resolving the points of friction between traditional methods and Agile.
As a coach, the duty of the Agile Coach is to ensure that teams can coordinate and move forward, adapting to the new way of working, escaping from pre-established traditional practices.
What are the functions of an Agile Coach
As we have seen before, the Agile Coach plays a role of organizer and facilitator of the work teams, ensuring that they follow the agile methodology in their projects. Their main functions are:
- Train the team members. The Agile Coach must train their team in Agile strategies, making use of the appropriate tools (such as Kanban dashboards).
- Act as a mentor. He or she must act as a mentor in order to develop all the skills and potential of the team members, offering his or her experience and knowledge of the Agile methodology and encouraging feedback.
- Exercise the role of coach. The role of Agile Coach must act as a coach to achieve the objectives set in the Agile strategies. To this end, he can use various resources, such as specific tools, propose exercises and problems, and any other option appropriate to the team or project.
- Be a facilitator. As a facilitator, the Agile Coach will act in those facets that make Agile practices simpler and more effective. For example, he or she may arrange several meetings to solve any problem or issue that may arise or delay the progress of a task. The Agile Coach must have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs or priorities in order to properly guide the team in the right direction.
The Agile Coach is an important role to cover when working with an Agile methodology. The person who occupies this position must have specific characteristics that enable him/her to guide the teams in the achievement of the objectives (meeting the needs of customers) and be able to exercise his/her functions as a trainer, coach, mentor and facilitator.
To achieve this, the Agile Coach must have the ability to lead teams and encourage communication and collaboration. His or her knowledge of agile methodology, as well as its various tools, must be advanced, always being open to continuous training and learning from mistakes. To be able to exercise this position, it is necessary to have high communication skills, to make oneself heard and, most importantly, to make oneself understood.