Plenty of companies around the world are embracing and adopting an agile approach to their work and their culture. This is amazing! With all of this growth comes plenty of challenges and hurdles to overcome.

As an agile coach and consultant with more than 10 years of experience (training and coaching teams, mentoring leaders, developing structures and processes, consulting management, and coaching new coaches), I have seen successful implementations of agile thinking and doing as well as failures.

So with the above in mind, here are my Top 5 Reasons to Hire an Agile Coach.

1. You Get the Benefit of an Outside Point of View

Often we see what we want to see. We look for the results that we agreed to achieve without really trying to test those assumptions without a bias. This is where an agile coach can be valuable. He or she takes the time and focus to observe behaviours, observe outcomes, observe relationships, and observe actions as well as reactions. The agile coach is a master observer that strives to give advice that is based on actions as well as written content and results.

2. You Get a Highly Focused Individual

Throughout my many business transformations, organizational change initiatives, and agile adoptions there has been a large problem that arises early on — nobody is focused on this engagement as a whole. And, to make it worse, few if any have experience with similar changes so they are unable to foresee problems, build lasting behaviours, or create structures that will support the change. An experienced Agile Coach has been there already, knows what to pay attention to, known what to dismiss, and can greatly improve your odds of success.

3. You Get a Skilled Communicator

Change is hard. Change is scary. Change is necessary for growth. An Agile Coach can help you get the change that you are looking by being able communicate effectively in various forms and mediums. He or she can professionally facilitate meetings, train courses, mentor leadership, and coach teams and individuals. This is a proven aspect for successful change initiatives. Do yourself a favour, hire an experienced Agile Coach for your current (or next) change program.

4. You Get a Partner in the Change

Many leaders are alone in their attempt to make big and important changes within a company. The large change is often led by a single individual with many of his or her reports taking on pieces of the project. This is good, but not great. Who will collaborate with that leader? Who will challenge that leader? Who will share on-the-ground stories and anedotes to help that leader see other options on how to accomplish the change goal? The Agile Coach will and does this well.

Agile Coaches are More that Just Coaches Who Know Agile

There are plenty of other benefits to hiring an agile coach. It is important to note that a skilled Agile Coach is skilled in more that Agile and Coaching.

A great Agile Coach is also skilled and experienced at…

  • Conflict Resolution: how to overcome personality disagreements and achieve unity of action
  • Facilitation Techniques: how to adjust one’s method of leading sessions and meetings to achieve the best result
  • Adult Education Approaches: how to make a training or coaching sessions the most effective it can be for the learners
  • Empowering Others: how to bring out the best behaviours and actions from those connected to and co-leading the change

What Others Benefits Have You Gained from Hiring an Agile Coach?

This is just my list based on working with dozens of agile coaches and being an agile coach since 2008. I am sure that each of you has gained other benefits when you hired an agile coach. Let me know in the comments below.

I hope that each of you find success as well as learning in your change inititiatives. Remember that having an outsider (such as an agile coach) can give your deeper insight, broader perspectives, and a collaborator to improve your chances of success.

Paul J. Heidema


Paul J. Heidema

CEO at SparkActa Inc. -- Paul J. Heidema consults, coaches and guides senior management and staff to look for possibilities to improve their results and improve their organization. He leads large-scale organizational transformations to achieve lasting results in: building a culture that supports trust and growth, leadership coaching to mentor others, organizational effectiveness in processes, and systems thinking.

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