What is the difference between an Agile coach and a traditional coach?

A professional coach uses questions and frameworks to help guide you through thinking about the problem you are trying to solve.

They help you understand, specifically, what it is that you want to do and to gain clarity around what specifically is needed for you to achieve the goals and objectives you have set for yourself.

A professional coach will work with you to review what has happened and reflect on what could have been done differently to achieve your goal or objective. They also help ground you on what has worked and how that can be deployed effectively in the future.

An does these things too.

The difference lies in the word Agile.

A professional coach won’t have an agenda when working with you whereas the Agile coach does.

An Agile coach is interested in helping you create more effective teams and an Agile organisation that is both responsive and adaptive.

They work closely with teams to create environments where people can excel. Environments where people are better able to unleash their creativity and passion in pursuit of team and organisational objectives.

An Agile coach focuses on aligning teams with Agile principles and values, as defined in the Agile Manifesto.

They also use their deep experience as Agile practitioners to inform coaching sessions and help guide you through challenges and problems you may encounter.

Their experience and deep expertise means that they will often have the solution to the problem and coach, mentor and/or teach as a methodology for overcoming obstacles.

A professional coach doesn’t do that at all.

A professional coach would be focused on helping you identify what the potential problems are and coaching you toward discovering and deploying the best possible solution based on your own input.

Sometimes, there is an answer to a challenge that an individual or team face. An Agile coach with significant experience related to that challenge would simply provide the answer and coach you through the deployment of the solution.

They would also use the opportunity to encourage you to review and reflect as part of the process but would have a mentorship approach combined with their coaching style.

A mentor is often someone who has deep experience in your field and has walked the path, successfully, before you. They tap into their wealth of knowledge and expertise to help guide you through tough decisions and the crossroads you encounter on your journey.

An Agile coach does the same thing whereas a professional coach would not.

If you are currently a and would like to explore opportunities to embark on an Agile coaching journey, visit our Advanced Certified course page, the Certified Scrum Professional course page, and our ing Academy course page.

If you are currently a Product Owner, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner course page as well as the ing Academy course page.

Please also check out our IC Agile Certified Agile Team Coaching course page.

The ing Academy will help prepare you for the Scrum Alliance Certified Team Coaching and Certified Enterprise certification journeys.

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John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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