How Do I Become An Agile Coach?(If I’m an Agile PM/ScrumMaster)


How Do I Become An Agile Coach?(If I’m an Agile PM/ScrumMaster)

Let’s say you’ve been a Project Manager for many years and moved on to the next “job” in project management to become a Agile PM/ScrumMaster. But, instead of a “job” you found a calling and you not only like the agile world, you love it.  That’s what happened to Padmini Nidumolu.

After a few years as a practicing Agile PM/ScrumMaster, Padmini’s natural question was, “How do I get to do more of this agile thing that I love?”  Over time, her question shifted to, “How do I become a really good Agile Coach?” which is when we sat down together to explore the question and offer some answers.

Here’s a guide book to the conversation:
1:50 Padmini says: “I found various websites and various certification bodies. There are a lot of options out there, CSP, CSM — it’s like a potpourri of alphabets which really don’t make sense to everyone.  I want to learn a methodical approach for how I can work myself up from being a CSM all the way to Agile Coach.”
In Lyssa’s answer, learn about:
  • An Agile Coaching learning path which is separate from certifications, but participates with various certifications.
  • How the Learning Path is transparent, and shows how to progress from level to level without it being a big mystery.
3:51 Lyssa runs down the certifications available at Scrum Alliance to develop one’s self as an Agile Coach and how Agile Coaching Institute’s courses contribute to those.
5:30 Padmini asks: “With ACI being accredited with Scrum Alliance, does that put us well on our way to become a CST and a CSC?”  In Lyssa’s answer, learn about the difference between CST and CSC and how that relates to coaching courses.
7:03 Lyssa runs down the certifications available at ICAgile and how they work.
In Lyssa’s answer, learn about:
  • Continuing education certifications for attending classes and attaining learning objectives — like getting credits in a University.
  • ICAgile gives you the materials you will be scored on when you go for the ICAgile Expert certification.
  • Even if you don’t care about certifications, the materials for the ICAgile Expert gate tell you what level of skill and competence is expected, so you can use it to develop yourself.

Video 2 starts with Padmini’s question: “What can we expect in your classes and what beyond what ACI offers is needed to fill the gap at ScrumAlliance or ICAgile?”
In Lyssa’s answer, learn about:
  • How the Coaching Agile Teams class and The Agile Facilitator class cover all the agile coaching learning objectives.
  • How you can take them separately and in a bootcamp format.
  • How you can get close the gap between classroom knowledge and real-world competence through ACI’s mentoring program, and how the mentoring program builds your competence with skill drills and scored supervisions.
3:30 Padmini asks: “Does ACI provide any certification?”
In Lyssa’s answer, learn about:
  • ACI’s competence-based certification after taking the classes and mentoring program.
  • ACI’s transformation agile coaching certification beyond that.
  • Steve Crago
    Posted at 21:17h, 09 March

    Hi Lyssa:
    Please tell me more about the mentoring program; how is this different from the Agile Coaching Circles that I have attended?

    Looking forward to hearing more about these new offerings.

    Be Safe and Be Agile


    • Lyssa
      Posted at 12:59h, 22 March

      Hi, Steve!

      As you know, we have been leading Coaching Circles for a number of years. They are focused on helping people integrate the core skills of agile coaching into their daily work, and allow opportunities for one-on-one spot coaching from the master coach/leader to help overcome one’s self-imposed limitations. To take part in a Coaching Circle, one does not have to first attend any of ACI’s classes (although that helps). The idea behind Coaching Circles was to serve people who will not be able to come to our in-person classes and to help those who do come to our classes integrate what they learned.

      The Mentoring Program (which will likely be renamed to Certification Competency Cohort) is for people who have completed the in-person classes and who want to embark on a certification program that is focused on building skill competence tightly coupled with the Agile Facilitation & Coaching Learning Objectives (housed at It yields the first ACI Certification in Transformation Team coaching — we are finally ready to put our name on a cert! And, along the way, builds the student up to the competence standard of the ICAgile Expert in Agile Coaching. (The student is completely prepared through the program and can also achieve that certification, if desired). If someone doesn’t care about certifications at all, but wants to do what’s needed to build true competence (and their confidence) in agile coaching, this program is still applicable.

      Let me give a quick comparison of some of the main characteristics of the two:

      Prerequisites —
      Coaching Circle – be a practicing agilist; no classroom prereq
      Competence Cohort – successfully completed The Agile Facilitator and Coaching Agile Teams (3 day version)

      Timeframe —
      Coaching Circle – 3 months
      Competence Cohort – 10 months

      Populations Served —
      Coaching Circle – people who cannot attend in-person classes or who want to integrate what they learned in class; “newbies” to Agile who receive support making the shift
      Competence Cohort – existing ACI students who want to pursue a rigorous program to build competence and confidence, as judged by experts (supervisors) in the field and who may also want to achieve industry certifications

      Hope this helps!
      More coming on the Competence Cohort soon!