An Agile coach is someone responsible for adopting, creating, and improving Agile methodology processes within an organization. As a project management method in software development, Agile focuses on small but continuous releases geared toward the overall goal of delivering products and updates to clients. 

The method demands a cultural change in an organization, which can be challenging. For example, Agile requires developers to work closely with other teams, which may differ from traditional project management methods. This is where Agile coaches come in. They help employees and teams adjust to the Agile methodology, practices, values, and principles.

Read More about an Agile Coach

When talking about Agile project management, you will come across the term “Scrum,” a framework commonly used by Agile organizations. Software development teams are often divided into Scrum teams, with each team working on a task that is part of a larger project. The duration in which the team works on a specific task is called a “sprint.”

What Is the Difference between an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master?

Some people confuse the two job roles because the job description of an Agile coach and Scrum master overlap. Agile coaches train several teams or the whole organization. They work in an independent role and are not a member of a particular team. Additionally, they focus on implementing the Agile methodology throughout the organization. 

On the other hand, Scrum masters lead and take care of only one team. They help their teams reach their sprint goals by ensuring that all members adhere to the company’s Agile practices. With enough experience, Scrum masters can aim to become Agile coaches.

What Does an Agile Coach Do Daily?

With a higher level of insight into what an Agile coach is, you may be wondering what precisely an Agile coach does. What does a typical day look like for a person in this job? The video below may give you a basic idea.

As you can see, an Agile coach facilitates a series of “mobbing,” where team members sit together to discuss the project at hand.

What Qualifications Are Required to Become an Agile Coach?

Now that you know what an Agile coach is, you may be interested in learning how to qualify for the job.

Since the primary role of Agile coaches is to educate teams about Agile principles and processes, they must have Agile project management experience. Scrum master certifications are also essential to qualify for an Agile coaching position. 

Aside from these, Agile coaches must have leadership skills and a computer science background.

What Certifications Do Companies Look for in an Agile Coach?

Scrum master certification may be required as a testament to the job applicant’s Scrum experience. Below are some examples of Scrum master certifications you may need.

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  • Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
  • Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • Scrum@Scale

In addition to these, organizations looking to hire an Agile coach often list the following Agile certifications in the job qualifications:

  • ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching Certification (ICE-AC)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC)
  • PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • SAFe Practitioner (SP)
  • SAFe Practitioner Consultant (SPC)
  • SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT)

What Is the Typical Job Description of an Agile Coach?

Below are some of the job descriptions applied to an Agile coach.

  • Responsible for coaching and implementing Agile transformation
  • Help everyone adopt and adapt to Agile processes and frameworks
  • Lead Agile workshops for development, functional, and management teams
  • Guide teams and help them stay on track with the latest Agile standards
  • Promote ownership and accountability
  • Coach the team in such a way that they do the best they can in every Agile project

These are just a few Agile coach job descriptions often seen in job postings. They mainly require high-level leadership and project management skills that conform to the Agile methodology.

How Much Is the Usual Salary of an Agile Coach?

Knowing what an Agile coach is, an interesting thing to know would be how much they earn. According to Glassdoor, Agile coaches across all industries earn an average salary of US$118,930 annually. The more experienced the coach is, the higher the salary, which can go up to as much as US$165,177 or more. 

Agile has become popular among tech companies since it is a practical project management approach. For this reason, companies across all industries constantly look for Agile coaches.

Key Takeaways

  • An Agile coach is a person in a management position who oversees the implementation of Agile best practices and methodologies throughout an organization.
  • Agile coaches manage multiple teams, while Scrum masters lead one team only.
  • With enough experience and skills, Scrum masters can seek Agile coaching positions.
  • The main goal of Agile coaches is to ensure that every individual and team within an organization learns to work the Agile way.
  • To qualify for an Agile coaching position, you must have Agile project management experience, leadership skills, a computer science background, and Agile framework certifications.