Most enterprises are now familiar with agile innovation teams and the demand for agile coaches continues to grow. However, there appears to be a lack of clarity on the commonalities and differences between the roles of an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master. While teams are already being coached by Scrum Masters, is there even a need for an Agile Coach? In this article, we seek to shine a light on the nuances between the two roles.
Both, an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master, are responsible to help teams develop an Agile mindset. They may even use similar techniques to support and facilitate their teams. The difference, however, lies in the scope of their roles.
|Scrum Master||Agile Coach|
|Duration of role||Throughout the life of the Scrum Team||Limited, until the goal is accomplished|
Now, let us take a deeper and clearer look at the differences between the two roles.
As an integral part of an agile development team, a Scrum Master is responsible for managing the process of how information flows within the team. He is up to date with everything that is taking place inside the workplace, and knows the whole team inside out.
The Agile Coach is expected to have a deep understanding of multiple Agile methodologies which are beyond the Scrum Framework. An Agile coach is independent and has the responsibility to coach various teams or management. He also works with Scrum Masters and managers to help increase a agility within and across teams.
As the team matures through the leadership of the Scrum Master, he or she may become ready to take on more of a leadership role for the organization. This may pave the journey of a Scrum Master to become an Agile Coach, providing mentoring and coaching for new Scrum Masters, or other roles in the team.
Many tend to interchange the roles of an Agile Coach and Scrum Master, which can be counter-productive. Though the roles of an Agile Coach and Scrum Master have a lot in common, there is a difference in the scope as discussed above. With clarity in the scope and skillsets that come along with each role, organizations stand to gain distinct benefits out of both roles.
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