Agile Coach (ICP ACC): All You Need To Know

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11th Mar, 2021
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18th Jul, 2019
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Agile Coach (ICP ACC): All You Need To Know

Want to shape your career as an Agile coach? ICP-ACC certification enables you to acquire the required skills to serve an Agile team in a better way. But how do these skills help you? These skills enable you to increase your focus on the objectives and business goals of an organisation as well as create a healthy environment for collaboration and problem resolution. 

In this article, we will see how to be an Agile Coach, roles and responsibilities, Agile Coach skills, and how the role is valuable for the organizations. But, firstly let us take a look at the definition of an Agile Coach.

What is an Agile Coach?

An Agile Coach is an individual who exhibits his/her years of experience in implementing Agile methodology in the projects and sharing that experience with a project team. Agile Coach trains project teams on Agile software development process and guide teams throughout the implementation process. The ultimate aim behind the Agile Coach role is to equip Agile teams with the right knowledge, tools, principles, and practices so that the teams can follow Agile in a full manner. 

As an Agile coach, you serve as a mentor to the Agile team while facilitating agile practices and thinking to empower the teams to reach their goals through improved team practices. Further, being an Agile coach you’ll be able to encourage a new culture of agile-lean thinking while bringing in a positive change to reflect an agile attitude by introducing some change in the organisational culture as well as redefining the work paradigm.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Agile Coach

When an organization wants to develop something new on the project, an Agile Coach is the best person to guide and to come up with some bright ideas that will enhance product development in Agile. The roles and responsibilities of an Agile coach are:

  • Being a non-Scrum team member, Agile Coach mentors and coaches the teams on Agile methodology
  • Agile Coach is partly trainer and partly consultant, more specifically he/she is a Guide to the team members
  • Being an individual outside the organization, Agile Coach helps the team members to implement their training knowledge into reality. 
  • Agile Coach is an Agile expert who provides objective guidance on the project
  • An Agile Coach runs any kind of Agile project (of changing size and complexities) successfully    
  • The Agile Coach is responsible for implementing the Agile techniques in varied cultures and environments
  • Working as a guide, the Agile Coach helps the team in Agile adoption and challenge the present environment 

How do you become an Agile Coach?
Steps to become agile coach

To become an Agile Coach, an individual needs an expert-level of understanding of Lean-Agile practices, strong skills of team facilitation, and professional coaching and mentoring skills. The steps to becoming an Agile Coach are as follows:

  1. Get CSM® certification from any registered education provider (REP) with Scrum Alliance
  2. After achieving CSM®  certification, you get at least 2-3 years of working experience as a Scrum Master, which will make eligible (in terms of knowledge) to become an Agile Coach 
  3. You need to get Agile Coach training- ICP-ACC certification training to become an Agile Coach 

What is ICP-ACC (ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching) certification?

ICP-ACC certification is a knowledge-based Agile coaching certification. The main focus of this certification is to set the Agile mindset, roles, and responsibilities of an Agile coach. After achieving this certification, a candidate can easily differentiate among facilitating, mentoring, professional coaching and teaching. Also, the candidates will learn all the skills like team collaboration and conflict resolution that will lead to form a safe environment in an organization. 

The key focus of this certification is to develop an understanding of the professional coaching skill set as well as the value of honing these skills in order to serve individuals in an agile team.

At the end of the ICP-ACC certification, you’ll be able to differentiate between and among:

  • Facilitating
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • Professional coaching

What is ICAgile?

ICAgile, established in 2010, is a globally renowned certification and accreditation body that enables organizations to configure learning experiences that develop an Agile mindset and empower to achieve sustainable agility in the organizations. It is not a training provider. The approach of ICAgile is not just limited to Agile methodology, it lets people add more flavors to make real sense out of it. 

ICAgile is a platform where Agile thought leaders around the world collaborate and develop learning programs that take people to achieve mastery in Agile. This accreditation body work with the course providers to certify new or existing courses against the comprehensive and demonstrated Learning Outcomes given at ICAgile. 

The courses provided at ICAgile meet the most elevated amount of guidelines created by overall Agile thought leaders and the learning roadmap gives a clear way to the professionals and organizations who want to begin or continue their Agile journey.    

Why should an individual take up an ICP-ACC certification?

Getting an ICP-ACC certification enables you to become an Agile Coach and with the rising demand for implementation of Agile methodology across various organisations, you end up having a promising career in the field. The following reasons trigger the organisations to hunt for Agile coaches to train their Agile teams:

  1. When it comes to an organisation looking to implement agile methods in their existing workflow, a high-quality Agile training program can offer a fantastic jump start to it.
  2. An Agile Coach encourages teams to adopt, scale-up, and thrive on Agile methods by communicating a vision on the need for Agile methodology. 
  3. For a company transitioning to Agile, an Agile Coach plays the role of a trainer by offering rigorous training and hand-holding for the teams.
  4. Also, an Agile Coach plays the role of a mentor to speed up with Agile to accelerate adoption, identify, and plug knowledge gaps by deploying the right set of activities.
  5. The role of an Agile Coach further includes the responsibility of ensuring continual improvement through regular monitoring to gauge the organisational progress brought by Agile adoption.

Who needs an Agile Coach?

Agile teams need an environment to grow. Such an environment should comprise of respect, trust, and mutual interest. This brings in the requirement of an Agile Coach who can coach and mentor various Agile roles or a Scrum Master who has acquired the required coaching skills.

Apart from the technical and business expertise, the Agile Coaches are expected to be equipped with certain unique behavioral skills like self-awareness, self-management, active listening, powerful questioning, etc. This has lead to a high demand for Agile Coaches in all the organisations across every industry around the globe. 

The learning objectives of ICP-ACC certification

The major focus of the Learning Objectives (LOs) of Agile Coaching Track is on the competencies required for self, individuals, team, and program level impact. On taking up an ICP ACC certification training, you’ll learn the following:

  • Learn to develop the Agile mindset
  • Learn about the roles and responsibilities of an Agile Coach
  • Learn to mentor Agile roles and transitions
  • Understand the team dynamics and coach the team to get motivated and become self-aware
  • Learn to handle the conflict and dysfunctions within the team
  • Learn team building and collaboration
  • Learn to define the coaching contract and maintain neutrality
  • Learn to identify and address issues
  • Learn to break down impediments for team success
  • Understand the pillars of agility of an organisation while learning to identify systematic challenges
  • Learn to create your personal coaching improvement backlog.

Now coming to the prerequisites, you don’t need to meet any specific prerequisites to take up ICP-ACC training. But it is an added advantage for you to have a basic understanding of Agile and some work experience in an Agile team.

Who can take up the ICP-ACC training?
Who can take up the ICP-ACC training

ICAgile is the certifying body for ICP-ACC certification and according to it, this certification is best pursued after Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF). However, this certification can be taken up by:

  • Agile coaches
  • Aspiring coaches with a passion for servant leadership and a desire to learn and practice facilitation, professional coaching, teaching, and mentoring in service of Agile teams.
  • ScrumMasters
  • Iteration Managers
  • Agile Project Managers

What lies beyond ICP-ACC training?

Equipping yourself with ICP-ACC training can help you to land upon a high salary job. Yes, you’ve heard it right! An Agile coach earns an average annual salary of $1448,698 in the US. Moreover, you get an opportunity to work with the top organisations around the globe, like, PepsiCo, Nissan Motors, Accenture, Wipro, and the list goes on. The following chart will give you a better understanding of the salary of Agile coaches across the globe: 

CountrySalary of Agile Coach (per annum)
IndiaINR 21,70,944
US$148,698
CanadaC$101,142
AustraliaAU$152,353

On a concluding note

With the frequently evolving industry trends, the demand for seasoned Agile Coach is on the rise. They are really looked up to as a change-maker who can really make a difference in an organisation’s Agile journey. This article comprises of all the information that you need to get ICP-ACC certified to embark on your journey to becoming an Agile Coach. 

All the best!

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