Are there levels of seniority for Agile coaches?
There are Certified Team Coaches, Certified Enterprise Agile coaches, Certified Executive Coaches, and a myriad of different titles associated with coaches in the Agile world. Are they different levels of seniority or simply different areas of specialisation? John McFadyen explains.
In any working environment, there are going to be people with varying degrees of expertise and experience.
It’s that diversity that makes Agile coaching so valuable and rewarding.
There isn’t, however, a level of seniority in terms of coaching, there are simply different areas of focus and experience.
An Agile coach with a decade of experience is just as inclined to listen to a newly minted Agile coach because of their perspective and willingness to contribute as they are to listen to a senior coach.
There are different levels of accreditation to help mark the trajectory of your Agile coaching career but they don’t play into a different level of authority, unless there is a specific hierarchy of coaches within your organisation.
I tend to work with senior leaders within organisations but that doesn’t make me more senior than a coach who specialises at the team level.
I actively need that team coach to be doing a great job in order for me to have an effective impact on the leadership of that organisation. In that sense, we work together as coaches rather than in a hierarchy.
Coaching skills include critical analysis and critical listening. It means that we listen to the people we are talking to, regardless of whether they are a junior member of the development team or whether they are a fellow Agile coach with expertise and experience within our sphere of influence.
An Agile coach with decades of experience is likely to have a great deal of expertise in a specific area of coaching. It may be with individuals, it may be with teams. It isn’t more senior to the role of an Agile coach, it is simply a different area of expertise that benefits us as a team.
Through working with individuals and teams, you will find the niche that best suits your style and personality. As you work within that niche, you will naturally develop your skillset and expertise in that environment that would make you an authority in that specific area.
You can invest in training and certification such as the IC Agile Certified Agile Team Coaching course, Certified Team Coach (CTC) certification from Scrum Alliance or the Certified Enterprise Agile Coach (CEC) certification from Scrum Alliance.
You can also develop your professional coaching skills through industry certification bodies such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and learn to blend your Agile practitioner skillset with a professional coaching skillset.
The path to Agile Coach is a natural evolution for Scrum Masters as they deepen their expertise in Scrum or other Agile frameworks, and increasingly take on a coaching role to help teams create environments where they can thrive.
As you become more experienced and your expertise grows, you may even find yourself coaching new Scrum Masters on their path to mastery.
If you would like to become an Agile coach, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master course page, our Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course page and the Agile Coaching Academy page.
Agile Coaching FAQs
- What is an Agile Coach?
- What is the difference between a traditional coach and an Agile Coach?
- What are the career opportunities for an Agile Coach?
- Do you need to be a Scrum or Agile practitioner to become an Agile coach?
- Do I need to be an expert in Scrum to start my Agile coaching journey?
- Is an Agile coach a line management position?
- How do I integrate Agile coaching into a traditional management role?
- Do project managers make great candidates for Agile coaches?
- Can I become an Agile coach from both the scrum master and product owner tracks?
- What would be a great apprenticeship for an Agile coach?
- How is an Agile coach different from a Scrum Master?
- How will I know if Agile coaching is a good fit for me?
- Are there levels of seniority for Agile coaches?
- How effective is Agile coaching in an organisation that doesn’t embrace Agile?
- Is Agile coaching a natural evolution from Scrum Mastery?
- What is the difference between an Agile coach and a Project Manager?
- How will hiring an Agile coach help our business?
- I’m a project manager. Can I make the transition to Agile coach?
- How does Agile coaching help Agile transformations?
- How much of an impact can Agile coaches have on entrepreneurs?
- Will becoming an Agile coach help me lead my company more effectively?
- What is the difference between a Certified Enterprise Coach and a Certified Team Coach?
- Do Agile coaches work with individuals or teams?
- I lead a development team. Will becoming an Agile coach benefit us?
- How long will it take to go from Scrum Master to Agile Coach?