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What is an Agile Coach?

Agile Coaches and Consultants are typically those individuals who understand the benefits of lean and agile practices and help others implement, transition and transform by utilizing them. Typically Agile Coaches come from people who were previously ScrumMasters, but they can come from a variety of backgrounds and roles.

-Agile Coaches understand the underlying lean and agile principles

-Agile Coaches has a breadth of information across the many spaces that agile touches, with depth in at least a few

-Agile Coaches understand the traditional software development lifecycle, including the successes and shortcomings

-Agile Coaches are pragmatic and realize that any framework/solution is merely guidance based on the circumstances

What Certifications are Available?

There is not a hard and fast rule when it comes to certifications.  Therefore we will break certifications up into 3 categories:

Yes: This certification directly helps this role.

Maybe: This certification could help this role.

No: This certification is not needed for this role.

Certifications to Consider

An Agile Coach could really benefit from any knowledge/certification.  To narrow down and focus, this first set of certifications focus specifically on the most important certifications that are directly related to mastering/understanding agile practices to be able to coach/consultant an organization on an agile transition.

Scrum.org

Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) – Yes

Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) – Yes

Scrum Alliance

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) – Yes

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) – Yes

Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) – Yes

Project Management Institute

PMI Agile Certified Coach (PMI-ACP) – Yes

Project Management Professional (PMP) – Yes

Scaled Agile Academy

SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) – Yes

Disciplined Agile Consortium

Disciplined Agile Delivery White Belt – Yes

Disciplined Agile Delivery Yellow Belt – Yes

The following set of certifications could be beneficial to an Agile Coach.  They are more focused on a specific area (ex. development).

Scrum.org

Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) – Maybe

Professional Scrum Product Owner II (PSPO II) – Maybe

Professional Scrum Developer  I (PSD I) – Maybe

Scrum Alliance

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) – Maybe

Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) – Maybe

Scaled Agile Academy

SAFe Agilist (SA) – Maybe

SAFe Practitioner (SP) – Maybe

SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT) – Maybe

SAFe Product Manager/Product Owner (PM/PO) – Maybe

Disciplined Agile Consortium

Disciplined Agile Delivery Green Belt – Maybe

Disciplined Agile Delivery Black Belt – Maybe

Certified DAD Instructor – Maybe

Certified DAD Instructor Black Belt – Maybe

You May Be Interested In

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What are Good Books for Agile Coaches?

 

Top Books

Agile coaches should have a solid understanding and experience with agile practices and principles.  Therefore some of our top recommended books are focused on underlying aspects that are often overlooked, such as leadership and change management.

Better Under Pressure
Antifragile
Viral Change
Tribal Leadership
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Change Intelligence
Drive

Agile Coaching

The following books are specific to agile coaching, including strategies and how to overcome some fo the resistance that you will face when implementing organizational change.

 

Succeeding With Agile: Software Development Using Scrum
Coaching Agile Teams
Agile Coaching
Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

Soft Skills/Facilitation

The following books focus on soft skills that will aid in working with and training organizations.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Crucial Conversations