what is an agile coach
What is an Agile Coach?
05 May 2019
This article was updated on August 19, 2020 to include the newest version of the The Agile Coach image, shown below.
Agile is an iterative and incremental approach for the development and delivery of products and services, and organizations are increasingly embracing it to best meet their business needs. An agile coach can increase the chances of a successful agile adoption or improvement.  
Some define the agile coach role as “an individual who coaches agile teams” or a similar self-descriptive representation. A more detailed definition along with examples are presented in this article.
Scott M. Graffius defines the agile coach as:
"The individual is an agile expert who provides guidance for new agile implementations as well as existing agile teams. The agile coach is experienced in employing agile techniques in different environments and has successfully run diverse agile projects. The individual builds and maintains relationships with everyone involved, coaches individuals, trains groups, and facilitates interactive workshops. The agile coach is typically from outside the organization, and the role may be temporary or permanent." 
The following Agile Coach illustration from Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ provides additional information such as values, guiding principles, focus areas, tools, and activities for agile coaches. A downloadable, hi-res version of the image is available here. For permission requests, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Values include respect, courage, focus, openness, and commitment.
Principles include collaboration, technical excellence, transparency, continuous improvement, simplicity, fast and frequent delivery, and high satisfaction.
Focus areas include company; division or segment; product; tribe, squad, or team; and individuals.
Tools include data collection, visualization, best techniques, feedback, and agile process tools.
Activities include coaching, teaching, facilitating, and mentoring.
If you'd like to learn more about what an agile coach does, you may be interested in the new book — Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change. The trailer is below.
About Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change
Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits. Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ISBN-13: 978-1072447962) provides a revealing behind-the-scenes story about an actual successful agile implementation at a global entertainment company.
The award-winning book — a quick (60-90 minute) read — is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle formats in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.
- 🇦🇺 Australia
- 🇦🇹 Austria
- 🇧🇷 Brazil
- 🇨🇦 Canada
- 🇨🇿 Czech Republic
- 🇩🇰 Denmark
- 🇫🇮 Finland
- 🇫🇷 France
- 🇩🇪 Germany
- 🇬🇷 Greece
- 🇮🇳 India
- 🇮🇪 Ireland
- 🇯🇵 Japan
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg
- 🇲🇽 Mexico
- 🇳🇱 Netherlands
- 🇳🇿 New Zealand
- 🇪🇸 Spain
- 🇸🇪 Sweden
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland
- 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
- 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
- 🇺🇸 United States
- 🌏 More countries
 Dikert, K., Paasivaara, M. & Lassenius, C. (2016). Challenges and Success Factors for Large-Scale Agile Transformations: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Systems and Software, 119, 87-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.06.013.
 Sureshchandra, K. & Shrinivasavadhani, J. (2008). Moving from Waterfall to Agile. Proceedings from Agile, 2008: AGILE ’08 Conference. Toronto, ON, Canada. DOI: 10.1109/Agile.2008.49.
 Graffius, S. M. (2019): Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change. Seattle, WA: Amazon Digital Services. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2652976.
About Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ helps clients strengthen their project management capabilities and realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. The firm provides advisory, training, and facilitative consulting services related to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management. While every engagement is unique, outcomes typically include getting more projects done, faster delivery time, improved on-budget performance, improved customer and stakeholder satisfaction, and more consistent realization of business results. Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ confidently backs its services with a Delighted Client Guarantee™.
Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
© Copyright 2019 Scott M. Graffius, Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius/Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™.