How Do I Get Started as an Agile Coach?

Agile Coaching Learning Path

The Agile Coaching Learning Path articulates the skills, knowledge and mindsets of agile coaches at three levels of development.

Level 1: Agile Team Facilitator.  Think of an Agile Team Facilitator as a ScrumMaster, Kanban Coach or Iteration Manager who helps one or a few teams use agile practices well.  At this level, Facilitation is the key skill that unlocks self-organization, empowerment and creativity in a team.  Even if one has progressed past this level, it is never too late to get Facilitation skills.  They make the difference between ho-hum “participation” to true team ownership and momentum.

Level 2: Agile Coach.  An Agile Coach operates at the multi-team level, engaging the forces within and outside teams that hinder agile’s full promise.  At this level, honing one’s skill in all four allied disciplines becomes paramount:  teaching, mentoring, facilitating, professional coaching.  Many people will focus on becoming a great Agile Coach.  This is an absolutely legitimate place to “stop” — if we had more skilled Agile Coaches, agile would be much healthier.  We need comparatively fewer Enterprise Agile Coaches, so only some coaches are needed to take the next big leaps toward that level.  See the more than 100 learning objectives for these first two levels, as published by ICAgile.

Level 3: Enterprise Agile Coach.  An Enterprise Agile Coach can come into an organization with the knowledge, credibility and deep coaching skill needed to directly coach the leadership team in what it means to have agile be a force for good in the organization and what it means to be agile leaders.  Enterprise Agile Coaches have deep experience in agile as well as organizational development, change, and culture and can work at all levels in an organization.  See the learning objectives.

The Learning Path is a powerful tool for self-directed development.  It’s Creative Commons — just download the learning objectives and start using them to chart your own growth or to create an agile coach development path within your organization.  It also sets forth an unambiguous set of knowledge, skills and mindsets that allow certification organizations to accredit courses.

Over time, ACI’s courses have been mapped-up to the Learning Path, resulting in accreditation by the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) and the Scrum Alliance.  ACI’s courses also earn PMI PDUs.

The Agile Facilitator:

  • ICAgile Professional – Team Facilitation
  • 16 Scrum Alliance SEUs
  • 16 PMI PDUs

Coaching Agile Teams:

  • ICAgile Professional – Agile Coaching
  • 21 Scrum Alliance SEUs
  • 21 PMI PDUs

Both courses are also taught in a 5-day immersion known as the Agile Coach Bootcamp.

For those interested in certifications, you can watch this short video in which Lyssa Adkins clarifies how ACI’s courses participate in various certifications: