Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Change Agent…Fantastic beasts and where to find them!

Session Category :  Talk 
19 March, 2020
16:00  -  16:45

Agile coach? Or rather Agile enterprise coach? Maybe better Agile agent? What about Agile Evangelist? Or could we take Kanban Coach? Should we hire somebody with the Scrum Manager certification?

Those questions regularly popup in my LinkedIn feed when companies are trying to decide which role to hire. Unfortunately, for most of the requests, I don’t have an answer! It was 1995 when a new star was born: the role of the Scrum Master was included in the definition of the Scrum methodology. A brand new soft-skills role! Even if many of us agree, the name ‘Master’ was a serious mistake, the guardian of continuous improvement had at least a name! As we moved beyond Scrum towards enterprise agility, new responsibilities are brought up, so we currently see a wide variety of ‘fantastic beasts’ in the form of coaches, evangelists and change agents popping up and populating the would-be agile enterprises.

Most of the time, managers have trouble understanding what such a soft-skills role is good for, apart from eating up budget. Even if I do manage to convince executives on the need for such ‘fantastic creatures’, HR departments struggle to seek candidates for a role with poorly described, fuzzy responsibilities which for most of the people in the company is a mystery. Based on my experience working with a wide variety of sectors, in this talk I would like to take a closer look at the challenges regarding the ‘Agile coach’ responsibilities which we are currently facing the industry. Furthermore, I will set up some guidelines on what we should consider as an enterprise when getting ‘fantastic creatures’ on board!