the services of a Scrum or Agile Coach.
Benefits of Scrum coaching
Making use of a Scrum coach brings with it a number of significant benefits that go beyond what can be achieved with other attempts at solving Scrum problems.
Among these benefits are:
- Coaches give the Scrum team the best chance to combine immediate Scrum success with on-the-job training and growth.
- Coaches bring both tried and new practices and processes to the team and organization reducing the degree of trial and error commonly found in homegrown experimentation.
- Coaches take time pressure off the managers and supervisors by providing extra guidance and management of the Scrum process on a day-to-day basis until the Scrum process is running well.
- Coaches bring an outside view of the organization, team and individuals and remove intrinsic bias and interpersonal issues.
- Coaches provide needed learning and mentoring opportunities to the employees.
- Coaches collaborate with the managers and leads to help the careers and growth of the organization’s employees with feedback and suggestions.
- Coaches are organizationally agnostic and are not subject to the same pecking order, enabling them to tell the hard truths that may need to be said.
- Coaches work on themselves and their craft continuously to bring with them the latest thinking and tools so companies benefit from their continuous improvement to get the best and latest.
- Coaches create an environment that allows teams to address the difficulties they face rather than sweep them under the rug.
- Coaches embrace the need for continued learning and strive to lead teams into embracing continued learning as well.
What does a Scrum coach do?
Scrum coaches tailor their actions and deliverables to the organization and situation they are called in to assist with, but they bring with them a broad range of insights and guidance.
Some of the things Scrum coaches do are:
- Coaches examine organizations, teams and individuals to see what they are doing and how, both in Scrum implementation and in other processes or facets of how they do their jobs.
- Coaches teach Scrum practices but also teach a variety of other methodologies that may be needed to help the team or organization succeed.
- Coaches challenge teams and individuals to do their best work and to become the best agile practitioners they can be which, in turn, enables them to do their best work and fosters mindsets that make that best work sustainable.
- Coaches lead by example by modeling the core behaviors of excellent, successful agile practitioners in order to allow the team to learn and internalize these behaviors.
- Coaches mentor individuals for personal and professional growth, including Scrum leadership roles when appropriate.
- Coaches bring with them a better view of the “big picture” than people within the organization or team, because they are coming in from outside.
- Coaches facilitate change, not just within a team but across multiples teams and disciplines within an organization.
- Coaches work at many levels, from individual coaching to that of entire organizations.
- Coaches advise the organizational leadership and management as needed to ensure Scrum success.
- Coaches question assumptions and the status quo in order to discover the actual needs and requirements behind them.
- Coaches foster continuous improvement and learning.
What to look for in a Scrum Coach?
There are a number of things an organization needs to look for when they hire a Scrum coach in order to get the best results. With the growing popularity of Scrum and Agile methodologies, there are also a growing number of people advertising themselves as Scrum or Agile Coaches.
A good Scrum coach should be able to demonstrate the following: