The Agile coaching market has been snowballing because of the mainstream adoption of Agile. In the 2017 “Most Promising Jobs” overview by LinkedIn, Scrum master (a type of Agile coach) was ranked in 10th place, with 104% year over year job opening growth. In 2019, Indeed.com listed Agile Coach as one of the top 25 best jobs in the US for 2019.
The average salary of an Agile coach, who works on a multi-team level, can range between $122,000 and $138,000 per year! So if you’re looking to break into a career in tech but don’t want to be a software developer or coder, this could be a great career path for you!
1. What is an Agile Coach?
An Agile Coach help organizations become more flexible, transparent, and efficient. They do this by introducing Agile practices and encouraging a culture shift. As an agile coach, you will significantly impact your team or organization.
As businesses increasingly turn to Agile product development to launch new products and features, it is becoming more likely that the teams responsible for delivery will apply Agile methods. In other words, agile is more like helping large companies think, act and deliver like startups. Startups have to provide value to their end-users weekly, so they can’t afford not to experiment and learn rapidly.
As an Agile coach, you help companies and individuals become more effective and deliver more value.
An agile coach is a facilitator. They can be a permanent or temporary position at a company and often come from various backgrounds, such as software developer, product owner, Scrum Master, and project manager. Agile coaches enable people to become effective in their roles through learnings and feedback on using their skills efficiently to resolve development and execution issues.
2. Who is a good fit for a career in Agile?
An Agile Coach is more than a coach. They’re professionals who enjoy mentoring and empowering individuals and teams. They are also adept at delivering training and modeling what great agile looks like. They help to improve business teams by sharing new perspectives and insight. An Agile Coach helps pave the path for long-term agile success for the company and individuals. Agile Coaches can either be employees or work as external contractors. Agile coaches also help to cultivate a work culture that’s strong and dynamic.
A good agile coach is detail-oriented, loves to organize things, and loves finding and optimizing the little things. They politely but firmly challenge, engage, question, motivate, and hold people (as well as themselves) accountable.
Often great agile coaches are interested in behavioral science, psychology of teams, high-performing teams, and emotional intelligence. They are highly conscientious and take a servant leader’s stance in high-pressure environments.
3. What does a career path for an Agile coach look like?
Where do you start? How do you move up to be an Agile coach?
There is more than one way to start your agile coach career path. No specific job title makes for the best agile coaches, but you will gain a head start if you have the right skills and experience.
Ideally, you should have worked in project management. You must also have superb leadership skills. Being an agile coach means you need to communicate clearly, offer advice, and identify solutions. This goes beyond what makes a good leader in a workplace environment. The best agile coaches are willing to take on any task in addition to delegating. You’ll constantly need to put the team ahead of personal accomplishments.
If you possess the above, the best way to start is by learning about agile practices and applying them to your current position. This will provide you with the practical experience to land your first official agile coach job. For support, try to attend meetups or online events with agile coaches.
In addition, mastering scrum can be valuable. Although some agile coaches specialize in other methods, such as kanban or lean, around three-quarters use scrum. If you lack an understanding of the scrum framework, you’ll find it more challenging to stay ahead of the competition.
Once you’ve crossed off at least a few things off of the above list, you’re ready to start formal agile coach training.
4. How to get started in Agile
Don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled a list of resources for you here. 😉
Videos and Courses To Watch
- Scrum Alliance Videos
- Agile Leadership Online Workshop
- Agile Coaching Tips
- Agile Coach Resources
- Google’s course on Agile Project Management
- Atlassian’s course on Agile
- The Power of Losing Control
- SPIN Selling
- The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully
Agile practices coaches should know
- Agile Estimating and Planning
- Software by Numbers: Low-Risk, High-Return Development
- Agile Software Development Ecosystems
- Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide
- “Lean Anti-Patterns and What to Do About Them
- The Art of Agile Development
Issues of transition, knowledge management, and organization
- Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change.
- The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions, and Results.
- Learning to Fly: Practical knowledge management from some of the world’s leading learning organizations.
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.
- The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations.
- Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions.
- Building a Project-Driven Enterprise: How to slash waste and boost profits through lean project management. 02.
- One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.
- Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results.
- The Leader’s Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done.
- How Organizations Learn: Investigate, Identify, Institutionalize.
5. How to get certified in Agile
Whether you’re new to the world of Agile coaching or looking to expand your knowledge, getting a coach certification can give you an edge in today’s competitive job market. To help you get started, we’ve compiled this list of available certificates and coach-specific courses from major training providers.
Agile coach certifications can make you more competitive in the job market and signal to employers that you have an excellent baseline of knowledge. The process of studying for and getting the certification can also help you learn about Agile coaching and gain new skills.
The following certifications are commonly requested in job descriptions:
- SAFe Practitioner (SP)
- SAFe Practitioner Consultant (SPC)
- SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT)
- PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
- ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC)
- ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching Certification (ICE-AC)
You can also consider getting a Scrum master certification. Many Agile positions request that you have experience as a Scrum master or with scaling Scrum.
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
- Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
- Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)
- Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
Read through a few job descriptions to see which certifications are in demand for the type of job you want and then work to get them!
The Agile Coach
Breaking into tech doesn’t mean needing to learn how to code. If you like building things, optimizing and organizing, and love sweating the details, a career in Agile might be a perfect fit.
The Agile Coach mentors, trains, and coaches you to land a non-coding Tech job in 3-6 months. You’ll go through an immersive learning experience that helps you to develop the Agile mindset. You’ll learn to respect collaboration, improvement, and learning cycles. The Agile Coach instructors are dedicated to your success, so much so you don’t pay tuition until you have a job making at least 55K.
The Agile Coach also offers real experience as part of their training where you get to apply everything you previously learned. Students who have gone through The Agile Coach have landed jobs at companies like Mastercard, Express Scripts, Bayer, Centene, US Bank, Ameren, Bank of America, and more.
The training is completely remote through live, online classes and real-time conversation, so all you need is your laptop, internet, and passion for learning! Since a lot of jobs in this field are also increasingly going remote you’ll also learn skills on how to coach a team remotely.
If you’re looking to jump into a career in Agile, check out The Agile Coach! They mentor, train, and coach you on how to land a non-coding Tech job in 3-6 months!
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