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How Is Agile Design Thinking Helping In Business Innovation?

Design thinking is no longer a practice monopolized by designers. It has pushed itself beyond the “design” confines and found its place in multiple avenues. The new-age connotation of design thinking is significantly different from the traditional one. Today, it is seen as a problem-solving methodology in businesses. It is essentially a solution-oriented approach and entails five steps-1) Empathize- Understand your audience, customers and target market2) Define- Specify your requirements, understandings, and problems3) Ideate- Create new ideas to form innovative solutions4) Prototype- Solutions are created by looking at a prototype5) Test- Test the solutions once they are finishedThese phases should not be executed in series. They should be implemented organically to get the target solution at the end regardless of the sequence.  Design thinking is assumed as the most effective way to understand a customer’s requirements. It involves thinking- ‘why they do’, ‘what they do’, ‘how they do’ and finding out some novel ideas, which may turn out as a solution the customers will love.Why Is The Agile World Talking About Design Thinking?How design thinking met Agile is a matter of interest and the topic of today’s discussion. While the two appear mutually exclusive and uncorrelated, an unbelievable intersection has recently come to the fore.                                                                                         Fig. Design Thinking and Agile development processBefore proceeding further it is crucial to know about the term ‘Innovation’. Generally, we hear this term everywhere and we know that innovation is all about providing ideas out of the box, that will lead to achieving business targets. Let us move on to the actual definition of it.Innovation is defined as a commencement of something new and unique. Actually, it is an act of innovating that leads to significant discoveries, processes, and devices.                                                                                                            Creativity + Work = InnovationTherefore, be an innovator to harness your creative ability. Here are some points that will help you know the importance of Innovation.Innovation in businesses is important as it provides not only an edge to penetrate the market at high speed but also better ways to develop a market to generate bigger opportunities, especially in abroad countries.It also results in developing new things if an innovator is given an enterprising and confident attitude for taking risks and accomplishing a task.Introducing an innovative culture to the businesses will help the latter grow easily, in spite of the creative process being unique. Usually, tried-and-tested methods are reliable, but trying out new things may be a worthwhile experiment.Is Design Thinking A New Agile?How does the design thinking concept complete Agile? Design thinking practices consider Agile principles by giving the customer the highest priority. It complements Agile in following ways-Customer interactions are done before getting an idea of the target solution. There are some tactics that can be used to identify your customers, such as carrying out interaction with the group, single person, or experts from the target market. This will help you better empathize and solve a problem. It is recommended, in this context, to build a product for your market, than searching a market for the product.During interaction, add customer engagement, observation and some useful techniques which will help you to immerse yourself in the client’s requirements. Ensure what problems the clients are facing and what you can do to solve them.Once you discover the problem and call it out, you are almost halfway through. Next, you sit down and ideate. This is nothing but envisioning the problem with its pros and cons and finding ways to solve it. The best way to do it is to think of a “prototype”, which essentially is your tentative solution. The basic idea in design thinking is to outline the prototype as a high-level concept, in a form closest to the real solution. This is where some of the popular tools like Axure and Invision come into the picture. They seamlessly create a high-quality model of the final product, without having to run through the complete software development life cycle.It is important to provide a solution as per the customer’s requirements because for the customer there exists only one criterion: Does the solution solve their query? If it is, they will pay for it. If it is not, they will search for the better fit elsewhere. Therefore, developing a product which fits the market is important.Another key technique that Design Thinking can promote is to have a multitasking, robust team that can view a query from various perspectives. This is similar to the Agile principles, in which autonomous and self-empowered Agile teams develop a solution themselves.How can the right environment be created for an effective combination?You may feel awkward while combining Design Thinking with Agile for the first time. Design thinking team, like Agile, needs to accomplish the task with the help of the entire team. There is enough room for collaboration of Design Thinking practices and Agile principles. An ideal environment needed for Design Thinking includes developers, UI designers, and testers in the team. To ensure success in combining Agile with Design thinking, one should keep the following things in mind:The combination of Design thinking and Agile will be successful when the team involves people with different skill-sets, backgrounds, perspectives and creative ideas that they can share with each other. Also, one can have the freedom to define ‘how’ while understanding the story behind the scene.Each team should be allowed to take risks and should be given exposure to the process of the other teams’ work. The team discussions will bring up new and innovative methods of addressing thereby resolving the problem which may arise.The team discussion will help you to micromanage your team. It is recommended as the best way to let the team manage system works more effectively.Last Thoughts-Scrum is derived from the Agile framework. Agile works in an iterative manner to deliver valued solutions in fixed time to the customers. Scrum plays an important role while transferring Agile framework to the Design Thinking process. In this regard also, Agile and Scrum are forming the bedrock of the organizations. Consequently, the demand for Scrum in successfully implementing Agile Design Thinking is rising as it is an effective, smart and perfect way to gain more productivity.  The world domination of Agile due to the incorporation Design Thinking is clearly happening and you may have archived various courses as well. But despite all your struggles, there is that glass-ceiling that is limiting your potential as a Scrum Master. This can mean only two things-# You are yet to practise the design thinking principles religiously# You are just a certification away from the best Agile practicesThe need of the hour is to introspect and find the shortfalls in your Agile practices. The final step, and invariably the way forward, is to opt for CSM certification courses.See for yourself what it means to make Agile work for you in the Design Thinking way!
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How Is Agile Design Thinking Helping In Business Innovation?

355
 How Is Agile Design Thinking Helping In Business Innovation?

Design thinking is no longer a practice monopolized by designers. It has pushed itself beyond the “design” confines and found its place in multiple avenues. The new-age connotation of design thinking is significantly different from the traditional one. Today, it is seen as a problem-solving methodology in businesses. It is essentially a solution-oriented approach and entails five steps-

1) Empathize- Understand your audience, customers and target market
2) Define- Specify your requirements, understandings, and problems
3) Ideate- Create new ideas to form innovative solutions
4) Prototype- Solutions are created by looking at a prototype
5) Test- Test the solutions once they are finished

These phases should not be executed in series. They should be implemented organically to get the target solution at the end regardless of the sequence.  

Design thinking is assumed as the most effective way to understand a customer’s requirements. It involves thinking- ‘why they do’, ‘what they do’, ‘how they do’ and finding out some novel ideas, which may turn out as a solution the customers will love.

Why Is The Agile World Talking About Design Thinking?
How design thinking met Agile is a matter of interest and the topic of today’s discussion. While the two appear mutually exclusive and uncorrelated, an unbelievable intersection has recently come to the fore.

Design Thinking and Agile development process                                                                                         Fig. Design Thinking and Agile development process

Before proceeding further it is crucial to know about the term ‘Innovation’. Generally, we hear this term everywhere and we know that innovation is all about providing ideas out of the box, that will lead to achieving business targets. Let us move on to the actual definition of it.

Innovation is defined as a commencement of something new and unique. Actually, it is an act of innovating that leads to significant discoveries, processes, and devices.

                                                                                                            Creativity + Work = Innovation

Therefore, be an innovator to harness your creative ability. Here are some points that will help you know the importance of Innovation.

  • Innovation in businesses is important as it provides not only an edge to penetrate the market at high speed but also better ways to develop a market to generate bigger opportunities, especially in abroad countries.
  • It also results in developing new things if an innovator is given an enterprising and confident attitude for taking risks and accomplishing a task.
  • Introducing an innovative culture to the businesses will help the latter grow easily, in spite of the creative process being unique. Usually, tried-and-tested methods are reliable, but trying out new things may be a worthwhile experiment.

Is Design Thinking A New Agile?
How does the design thinking concept complete Agile? Design thinking practices consider Agile principles by giving the customer the highest priority. It complements Agile in following ways-

  • Customer interactions are done before getting an idea of the target solution. There are some tactics that can be used to identify your customers, such as carrying out interaction with the group, single person, or experts from the target market. This will help you better empathize and solve a problem. It is recommended, in this context, to build a product for your market, than searching a market for the product.
  • During interaction, add customer engagement, observation and some useful techniques which will help you to immerse yourself in the client’s requirements. Ensure what problems the clients are facing and what you can do to solve them.
  • Once you discover the problem and call it out, you are almost halfway through. Next, you sit down and ideate. This is nothing but envisioning the problem with its pros and cons and finding ways to solve it. The best way to do it is to think of a “prototype”, which essentially is your tentative solution. The basic idea in design thinking is to outline the prototype as a high-level concept, in a form closest to the real solution. This is where some of the popular tools like Axure and Invision come into the picture. They seamlessly create a high-quality model of the final product, without having to run through the complete software development life cycle.
  • It is important to provide a solution as per the customer’s requirements because for the customer there exists only one criterion: Does the solution solve their query? If it is, they will pay for it. If it is not, they will search for the better fit elsewhere. Therefore, developing a product which fits the market is important.
  • Another key technique that Design Thinking can promote is to have a multitasking, robust team that can view a query from various perspectives. This is similar to the Agile principles, in which autonomous and self-empowered Agile teams develop a solution themselves.

How can the right environment be created for an effective combination?

You may feel awkward while combining Design Thinking with Agile for the first time. Design thinking team, like Agile, needs to accomplish the task with the help of the entire team. There is enough room for collaboration of Design Thinking practices and Agile principles. An ideal environment needed for Design Thinking includes developers, UI designers, and testers in the team. To ensure success in combining Agile with Design thinking, one should keep the following things in mind:
combining Design Thinking with Agile for the first time

  • The combination of Design thinking and Agile will be successful when the team involves people with different skill-sets, backgrounds, perspectives and creative ideas that they can share with each other. Also, one can have the freedom to define ‘how’ while understanding the story behind the scene.
  • Each team should be allowed to take risks and should be given exposure to the process of the other teams’ work. The team discussions will bring up new and innovative methods of addressing thereby resolving the problem which may arise.
  • The team discussion will help you to micromanage your team. It is recommended as the best way to let the team manage system works more effectively.

Last Thoughts-

Scrum is derived from the Agile framework. Agile works in an iterative manner to deliver valued solutions in fixed time to the customers. Scrum plays an important role while transferring Agile framework to the Design Thinking process. In this regard also, Agile and Scrum are forming the bedrock of the organizations. Consequently, the demand for Scrum in successfully implementing Agile Design Thinking is rising as it is an effective, smart and perfect way to gain more productivity.  The world domination of Agile due to the incorporation Design Thinking is clearly happening and you may have archived various courses as well. But despite all your struggles, there is that glass-ceiling that is limiting your potential as a Scrum Master. This can mean only two things-

# You are yet to practise the design thinking principles religiously
# You are just a certification away from the best Agile practices

The need of the hour is to introspect and find the shortfalls in your Agile practices. The final step, and invariably the way forward, is to opt for CSM certification courses.

See for yourself what it means to make Agile work for you in the Design Thinking way!

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is a fast growing Management Consulting and Training firm that is a source of Intelligent Information support for businesses and professionals across the globe.


Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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1 comments

keonhacai 27 Jul 2018

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again

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Failures in Agile Transformation

With the increase in Agile adoption across the organization, the stories are piling up too. Now the question is, are these success stories or the failure stances. Usually, in the conferences or meetups, you get to meet people from various establishments, this is just another way of getting to hear what worked or what not. Even in your own organization, you can feel the pulse of the transformation. There are many reasons why we end up with messy transformation, I have tried elaborating few in the discussion today but there’s more to it. As you read, you might connect with some of the points, let’s start the digging:1. AIMING ON PROCESSES AND NOT PEOPLEThe inclination of Agile is more towards people or individuals, we talk about empowering team, making them self-organized. We even talk about creating high performing teams which can deliver maximum value by the end of every increment. With the adoption of Scrum, where the core values involve Focus, Openness, Respect, Commitment and Courage at the root level, the ‘people’ factor becomes important. Ultimately, it the ‘people’ who work at the ground level for client satisfaction, to achieve this, they adopt processes for smoother workflow. That’s it! Organizations, during their transformation, tend to overlook this critical piece. Their approach becomes more inclined towards processes and they start considering Agile as a process but in fact, Agile is more of a mindset change. Process starts getting priority over people or individuals, always remember, process is just for supporting or helping the individuals with their work. People are not for the processes, even one of the four principles in the agile manifesto says: “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and tools”. I was surprised to hear in one of the trainings’ that people in the same team are using mail to communicate around the stories/deliverables. Can we not give preference to face to face interactions?2. MICROMANAGING THROUGH CEREMONIESSelf-organization is one of entities in Agile, the core says, trust your teams. Micromanagement not only hinders creativity, but it also impacts the morale of agile teams. Management or the scrum master should refrain from getting into the minute details during the scrum ceremonies. Most of the times, it is observed that the daily scrum gets converted into a status meeting either for the scrum master or for the technical lead. As a Scrum Master, you should help the team getting self-organized rather than being directive. One of the principles from Agile talks about giving the space and trust: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” This enables the team to find their own solutions, helps them with innovation and most of all, teaches them the value of being a team. Every ceremony has its own schema and none of the ceremony is to track individual chores. You must trust your teams, remember, trust can do wonders, believe me, if you trust your people, they will never let you down. Here comes another principles’ focusing on the same. “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.”3. Hastening the TransformationAny change, whether it is for the system or for an individual, takes time. When was the last time you promised yourself to change one of your habits, was that easy? Almost every individual at the start of the year takes so many resolutions, how many do you think gets accomplished! Same goes with the transformation, it takes time and you will have to give because it is not just about the individual, it is about the organization. When the transformation journey starts, the delivery teams take the maximum heat. They are the ones who are expected to be Agile BUT the management usually lags, they are still in need of mindset to support the change. Just by doing the agile ceremonies is not being Agile, it comes with a wide variety of shift, be it - culture, technical, management or team. You have to accept that it is going to be a challenging journey which will have its own milestones and you cannot skip those. Also, it is long journey with hiccups, be ready to accept the challenges, learn from the mistakes and come up with the action items to improve.4. Scrum Roles Getting a Back SeatWhen teams in agile are formed, some of the roles are asked to play dual. In such scenarios, scrum master roles can be played either by the team lead or by someone who is ready for that extra piece. Though the role gets played, but the essence of this position goes for a toss. The focus just stays on delivery without instilling the purpose.  The organisation needs to acknowledge that scrum master'sis a fulltime job that helps teams in staying on track, motivated and helps them see their own progress through information radiators. Anyone else playing a dual role might not do justice and end up walking on two different tracks - not able to reach the goal in both the positions. The team needs someone who can teach, mentor, train and be with them. Just forming the team is not enough if the organization doesn't follow the best practices, such cases tend to get trapped.5. Lack of support from Middle managementIn my past experiences with the organizations in transformation mode, usually the middle layer is where the problem brews. Transformations get a go ahead from the top layer, but it gets difficult for the middle management to adopt. It is important to ensure alignment among the leaders of the organization on the aspiration and value of the transformation is done before moving ahead with the approach. In another example we can see a project manager being insecure as most of the juggling is being handled by the scrum master. In such cases, to prove their existence, the middle layer starts getting into the little details, this impacts the team as half the time they are functioning as per the project manager. Due to this, we hear a lot about the role of scrum master being questioned on their responsibilities. They are assumed to be just sitting and watching, in other words, doing nothing! According to the research led by AgileTurkey.org in Turkey in 2018, the two major hindrances to agile transformation were found out to be the resistance to transformation and culture transformation. Existing managers have a lot to do in order to manage with these two major challenges, they should be part of the transformation beginning from themselves, their day-to-day actions, and should guide the whole company by being supportive of the process.6. Tools over mindsetWith the transformation comes the need to use fancy tools and abide by ‘laws of the tools. Some feel proud in using the costliest tool, some make it a point to introduce the tool being used by the competitor. But is it worth it? Transformation can be done using ‘MS Excel’, there is no set protocol for focusing on the tool. Though the tools play an important part, but teams should focus on Agility and Scrum framework first and then on tools. You certainly need to track metrics like velocity, burn-down, estimates. But with the right mindset, the goal can be achieved with no trouble. This doesn't mean tools are bad, but it means mindset should be given priority over the extensive use of tools.7. Transformation as a Destination (Thinking Your Transformation Is Done)Many a time, we hear ‘We are now agile, we transformed in so and so year’ and what not. But is agile a destination, NO, it a journey, a never-ending journey. Some teams think just by implementing a bunch of backlogs, doing the ceremonies and tracking metrics, they are Agile. No, they are not!Whatever way out we have today are based on our experience, knowledge and the situation we are in. If any of the factors change, our solutioning will be different. Both the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto point to the continuity of the process. Responding to change over following a plan relates appropriately as much to the processes as to our sprint outputs. We have to understand that process is never whole. You just have to continue reflecting what worked and how to fine tune the process whenever required.8. Misunderstood cross-functional teamEvery time I speak about the delivery teams, at least one of the participants from the audience ask this question “We say it's a cross functional team, but my tester is not ready to code!” Have we understood it correct? None of the processes are bad, it is about how we adopt them that makes a difference. “Cross Functional Doesn’t Mean Everyone Can Do Everything, a cross-functional team has members with a variety of skills, but that does not mean each member has all of the skills.”  – Mike Cohn. This interpretation of cross-functional imposes a pressure on the delivery team which breaks the team apart and is sometimes the cause of conflicts among the members. As per scrum guide – “Cross functional teams are groups consisting of people from different functional areas of the company. – it should be formed not only with technical specialists (Back-end, Front-end developers, QA engineers, etc.), but also consists of member like Business Analysts, Marketing and UX specialists or anyone else taking an active part in the project.”9. Scrum for AllJust because everyone is going that way doesn’t mean that way is for you too! It is necessary to understand the current and what exactly you want it to be once the journey starts.  Scrum is one of the frameworks to help with complex adaptive projects, but it is not for all the products or projects. If you are transforming your IT helpdesk department, scrum might come out as a failure, the support team cannot say that they will be delivering 10 high priority tickets after the end of sprint, where sprint duration ranges from two week to a month. Second scenario can be the team handling production defects. But this does not mean that Scrum is bad, no it is not. It is just that these scenarios are not meant for Scrum.Every story is different and so are the reasons, as said earlier as well, this is not just a complete list, there can numerous other details depending on the situation. I will be happy to hear your viewpoints on the misalignment and disorientation. Lastly, it is significant to focus more on the people, the mindset and the collaboration to get better results.
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How much does a Scrum Master earn? How prolific being a Scrum Master is? These are quite relatively simple and common questions but answering them is not that simple. Scrum Master was created around 1992 by Jeff Sutherland and his teams and is quite a new term. Nevertheless, it has not taken long to establish its importance to companies across the world. Scrum Master is currently one of the most promising jobs in the world.In this article, we will cover various aspects of a Scrum Master salary, such as how much a Scrum Master earns, what affects it and how, what the future prospects of a Scrum Master are in terms of salary structure and growth, and why Scrum Masters earn so much.How much does a Scrum Master Earn?According to Payscale, on an entry-level, Scrum Masters in India earn an average of Rs 723,565 per year, going up as high as Rs 1,486,991. In the USA, the average entry-level scrum master salary is $79,309 per year, the highest reaching a six-figure mark of $107,957. However, with more experience, the figures become interestingly better and here is how. Once again, Payscale search results indicate that an experienced Scrum Master in India earns an average of Rs 1,441,276 per annum with the maximum earnings going as high as Rs 2,078,905. Similar reports show that an experienced Scrum Master in the USA earns $103,566 per year on an average, earning as high as $134,203.Below mentioned are statistics from Payscale:Scrum Master Experience/CountryIndiaUSAEntry-Level Scrum MasterRs 723,565 p.a.(Rs 1,486,991 highest)$79,309 p.a.($107,957 highest)Experienced Scrum MasterRs 1,441,276 p.a.(Rs 2,078,905 highest)$103,566 p.a.($134,203 highest)The 2018 research by Glassdoor state that the Scrum Masters are one of the highest paid professionals in the USA, with the average salary being $98,239 and vacancies as high as 1,876. Cities such as New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbus, and Richmond are considered to be the best and most prolific places for the Scrum Masters to work in.Evidently, the figures above are quite staggering and impressive, showing us how fruitful and career aspiring being a Scrum Master is.Here is a table of content for Average Scrum Master salary based on regions:Scrum Master Salary/RegionUSAINDIACANADAGBRAUSTRALIAAverage Scrum Master Salary/yearUS$93,2851,411,000CA$87,000£51,124A$110,000And here is the average salary based on various Scrum certifications:Scrum Master CertificationsSalary in US$/YearCertified Scrum Master (CSM)89,150Professional Scrum Master (PSM )91,000Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)108,000Agile Scrum Master (ASM)115,000Scrum Master Certified (SMC)115,000SAFe Scrum Master114,546Salaries that Top Companies pay the Scrum MastersScrum has become so popular down the years that an incredible number of the major software companies adopt its methodology and ways of solving issues.According to the Scrum Guide, Scrum has been adopted by a vast number of software development companies around the world.Apart from being religiously used in manufacturing, operations, education, marketing and other fields, Scrum has been an important problem-solving tool for all the major software companies.Provided that you have the skills to deal with conflicts and are a proven facilitator, you have a great chance to join any of the top companies who are hiring skilled Scrum Masters like you.Glassdoor job search results in India reveal that the major companies hiring Scrum Masters are:Companies Hiring Scrum MastersAverage Salary in INR/yearCisco Systems2,200,000Capgemini1,487,461Amdocs1,279,001Tata Consultancy Services1,243,340Cognizant Technology Solutions1,242,530Wipro1,019,654Accenture1,000,975And in the USA, Scrum Masters are highly sought after by these major brands:Companies Hiring Scrum MastersAverage Salary in US$/yearTransUnion104,728Thomson Reuters104,130UnitedHealth Group97,904Ciber97,156IBM93,403J.P. Morgan91,786Capital One87,732AT&T85,977In the past few years, the pay structure for Scrum Masters has increased at a relatively quick pace. Although Scrum’s popularity status continues to get better, being a Scrum Master is undoubtedly a tough task because what a Scrum Master needs is more like servant leadership skills, and that is the primary asset a Scrum Master needs to possess. After all, it is all about following the Agile-Scrum tactics to finish projects on time along with keeping the quality of the end product intact.Factors affecting a Scrum Master’s salaryThere are many factors that determine how much a Scrum Master earns. Some of the key ones are:1. ExperienceThis is one of the most important criteria, if not the most important one. Like discussed in the previous section of this article, not only the salary of a Scrum Master increases with experience, the job role and position in an organisation gets better as well. Here are a few of the required skills/experience:In terms of landing a better Scrum master job with high pay package, it is recommended for a professional to have worked as a Scrum Master for a minimum of one year with a software development team, one that was diligently applying Scrum principles, practices, and theoryAdequate skills in and understanding of servant leadership, facilitation, situational awareness, conflict resolution, continual improvement, empowerment, and increasing transparency.2. The skills required by the job roleAnother important one. A Scrum Master’s role is not restricted to particular job designation. The more you know about the other Agile approaches in problem-solving, the better your job role and salary will be. By Agile approaches, we are talking about XP, Kanban, Crystal, FDD, etc3. Awareness of multiple Agile techniquesTo get better job opportunities, it is preferred to have knowledge of widely successful Agile techniques such as:User StoriesATDDTDDContinuous IntegrationContinuous testingPairingAutomated TestingAgile Games4. Applicable knowledge of the technologiesA particular organisation will pay you a better package for a Scrum Master if you have a sound grip over the type of technology they use to run their business. Why? It is simple. If you are aware of the system they work in, then they do not have to work on much in getting you in sync with the way they work in their organisation5. Knowledge of appropriate patterns and techniquesA progressive Scrum Master always thinks of using a variety of relevant well-documented patterns and techniques for filling in the intentional gaps left in the Scrum approach, such as Burndown technologies, various Retrospective formats, handling bugs and many more6. Location of the jobThe salary of a Scrum Master depends massively on where the job posting is. If the living standard of a particular city is high, so are the chances of getting a higher pay package. On the other hand, a city having a comparatively lower standard of living renders the Scrum Masters with a lesser salary range.Reason for Scrum Masters being so valuedWhy are the Scrum Masters paid so much? What do the Scrum Masters have to offer that makes them so vital to organisations? After all, in the past few years, Scrum methods have swiftly brought in a revolutionary change in project handling and problem-solving matters.We are living in times when software needs to be delivered on time after much feedback, changes, supervision. Collaboration with frequent updates and patches. To meet the delivery deadline, it is essential to keep the team members connected and in sync, preferably face-to-face. This is critical as the team working on the project should be well informed, collaborated and kept up to date throughout the project. Failure to execute any one of these steps would lead to a breakdown in software, the end result being loss of business, not to forget the reputation of the relevant organisation being tarnished.Nowadays, companies prefer the Agile workflow and are aware of the importance of a Scrum Master in an organisation. Converting a team into a productive one and self-organised by following the Agile practices without any fail, that’s what Scrum Masters do and that is what makes them special.
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How much does a Scrum Master earn? How prolific be... Read More

Differences Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master

There is an exponential increase in the demand for Agile Coaches in the market. But at the same time, there is a lot of confusion regarding the differences and commonalities between an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. When the teams are already being coached by Scrum Masters, what is the need for an Agile Coach?It is really important to understand that there are many similarities between the two roles. Both Agile Coach and Scrum Masters are responsible to help develop an Agile mindset in their organisations. Even the techniques that they use to support and facilitate their teams are very similar. The difference lies in their scope.In this article, we are going to discuss the key differences between and see how a Scrum Master and Agile Coach complement each other and play important roles.Agile Coach vs. Scrum MasterScrum MasterAgile CoachFocus AreasWorks with one Scrum teamApply the basic Scrum practicesWorks with multiple Agile teamsDefines what has to be done, how, who does it, etc.KnowledgebaseScrum practicesScrum and other frameworks like Kanban, Scaling Methods, etc.ExperienceLess than 5 years in ScrumGreater than 5 years in multiple frameworksSalary$115,766$149,867Now, let us take a deeper and clearer look at the differences between the two roles.The Scrum MasterAs a facilitator of an agile development team, a Scrum Master is responsible for managing the process of how information flows. The Scrum Master is like a leader for his Scrum team and focuses on a single team or at the most, a couple of teams. He is up-to-date with everything that is taking place inside the workplace, and knows the whole team inside out.The Roles and Responsibilities of a Scrum MasterMake sure the team is well trained and is working in accordance with the Scrum framework and Agile practices.Impediment solving, that is, anticipate, identify, track, and remove any impediments that the Scrum team faces or might face.Manage and drive the Agile process, that is, scope and timeline of the entire project.The Agile CoachThe Agile Coach is expected to have a deep understanding of multiple Agile methodologies which are beyond the Scrum Framework.The main focus of an Agile Coach is not to support individual team members but rather implement an Agile working method in an organisation. Unlike Scrum Master, an Agile Coach is not a part of a specific Scrum team. The role of being an Agile Coach is independent and has the responsibility to coach various teams or management.An Agile Coach works directly with teams or works via a team’s management. Moreover, they work with Scrum Masters and managers to help increase a team’s agility.The Roles and Responsibilities of an Agile CoachOffer new tools and techniques to promote a healthy group dynamic.Make sure that teams work together effectively. For example, implementation of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) that requires active coordination at a team and enterprise level.Make the individual employees as well as the various teams aware of their strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a collective Agile mindset.In summaryThe roles of an Agile Coach and Scrum Master are used interchangeably, which is counted as a risky move. Though the roles of Agile Coach and Scrum Master have a lot in common, there are a lot of differences as well. Agile Coaches deal with the process and not the content, and are most in-demand when an organization is transitioning to Agile.You can gain distinct benefits out of both roles, all you need to know is how to leverage their skillsets and make the most out of the same to reap the benefits of Agile adoption.
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Differences Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master

There is an exponential increase in the demand for... Read More

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