Coaching seems to be more popular than ever. There are coaches for nearly everything, and it’s perfectly normal to be a bit leery of coaches. But if you’re looking to change and optimize your company culture from the inside, there is a lot to be gained from hiring an agility coach.
What’s an agile coach, and how can it help you scale your business? Find out below!
What’s an agile coach?
Sometimes referred to as an agility coach, an agility coach is a relatively new position in the entrepreneurial world whose job is to generate, promote, motivate, effect, and manage positive change in a work team’s dynamics and tools.
Agile coaches have extensive knowledge about work culture and organizational processes as well as the methodologies and hard skills that help companies accelerate their achievement and learning curve.
Agile methodologies always focus on the client needs, in this case, organizations and their employees. Far from being an imposing technique, the methodology adapts to the HR resources that are already in place in order to find the best way to eliminate obstacles and optimize processes. In other words, agile methodology helps a company do more with less.
What does an agile coach do?
According to premier consulting firm McKinsey, an agility coach focuses on:
- Creating a high-performing culture that fosters mental well-being and a sense of belonging throughout the company.
- Training people in every department to help change their mindset and behavior so everyone can reach their full potential.
- Use tools, practices, and methodological frameworks from Agile to Lean to smooth out wrinkles in company plans so everything can go smoothly.
- Develop best work strategy to ensure that all business objectives are met and guarantee the biggest bang for the client’s buck.
- Lead or provide support in agile team meetings in order to come to a consensus, prioritize, and establish plans of action.
When should you hire an agile coach?
Hiring an agile coach can be the perfect solution when:
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- Implementing changes to company tools and methodologies is difficult.
- There are errors or obstacles, or your team has a lack of communication or trust.
- The human factor seems resistant to change.
- You need to optimize your processes to make them more efficient.
- You spend a lot of time doing the same things in the same way.
- You want insight on scaling strategies and maintaining your competitive edge in the market.
Keep in mind that there are certain requirements that are essential for Agile methodology to sustain itself at any company. Some of these can be underestimated but are effective. First and foremost, it’s essential to ensure that each team’s goals and objectives are aimed toward achieving a common goal, and a lot it’s necessary to modify or redesign fundamental operational processes that by nature aren’t compatible with the demands of the VUCA business framework.
Hiring an agile coach can cause unexpected changes when the work culture is already established and for one reason or another, teams aren’t working like they should be.
How does Agile focus work?
- Creating goals: Coming to an agreement and making sure everyone involved is on the same page in terms of achieving common goals.
- Design: Analyzing and identifying the most efficient operating model to achieve the company’s objectives.
- Pilot: Conducting small scale tests to find errors or areas for improvement before implementing the changes on a company-wide scale.
- Scale: Optimizing fundamental processes and developing the abilities necessary to sustain long term agility.
- Improve: Constantly improving processes in order to prevent stalling.
An agile coach’s ultimate goal is to teach work teams to be agile and scale on a consistent basis on their own so they eventually don’t need any outside support.
What skills should an agility coach have?
The essential skills that every agile coach needs to have are:
- Extensive knowledge of agile methodologies, especially principles like Scrum, Kanban, Design Thinking or Lean.
- Focusing on perpetual learning. In other words, a professional who is always in search of new ways to learn, discoveries, and trends in their area and learning either in a school or self-teaching.
- Active listening in order to understand and fulfill the team’s needs.
- Soft skills like good interpersonal communication skills, empathy, solidarity, and the spirit of collaborative work.
- Work experience implementing agile methodology and/or experience as a consultant.
- Always focus on the client. Remember during the project that each team member has an important role, and improving the team’s relationship with one another is essential to achieving a common goal.
Source: McKinsey & Company
Hiring an agile coach brings plenty of advantages, especially a fresh and objective point of view on what you can improve, what could be changed, and what’s working well at your company.
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Post your project today and discover what freelancers can do for you.
*** This article is a collaboration of Lorena Santa Cruz
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