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Hiring a Freelance Agile Coach

Agile Coach, is it just a trendy title or a valuable asset?

It has been well noticed that the rise of agility in the business environment has created new roles. This is obvious everyday in the recruitment platforms, and one of these main roles is the Agile Coach. So, what are the responsibilities of an Agile coach, why and how can he be helpful for the companies.

As we live now in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) there is no choice for any company to survive in the market other than being dynamic, adaptive and quick to respond to market changes, that is why being Agile is essential in this era.

So if any company aims to adopt agile practices and mindsets, one would be wrong to assume that this can be achieved by simply sending their managers and employees to get some training on Agile methodologies. This would be a piece of cake but unfortunately, any mindset change and organizational transformation is not as fast or straight forward as this. In fact, this type of change is much bigger and deeper than just a few training sessions to be delivered, it is the job of an Agile Coach to guide and deliver this type of transformation in an organization.

As an Agile Coach, changing people's mindset is my passion, coaching them to realize value is my eagerness, and this can't be done without transparency, openness, integrity and collaboration

Certified Agile coaches in the Network

case study
Agile coaching case study for a telecommunication company

Challenge, Context, Problems to be solved

This leading telecom operator wanted a full transformation to agile methodology in their day to day organic growth activities.

  • Customers are very demanding and they want to see a very quick outcome.
  • They are dealing with different suppliers and contractors which adds more challenges in communication.

Mission, tools and methodology

  • I started with listening to all their problems and challenges they are facing, without judging or providing solutions, cause I cannot provide solutions without understanding deeply the issues they are facing.
  • After that I build up the mindset and culture by doing several activities to focus on the value we are pursuing, building the right mindset first is the key to a successful transformation.
  • I started from where they are without making big bang changes.
  • We built the approach together and the way of working, then we started with a small project as a pilot, after which, we scaled it up to other bigger projects.
  • I conducted retrospectives every 2 weeks to make sure we are on the right track and to gather lessons learned, so we could decide on improvement actions.
  • We kept doing this for 6 months until the team became completely autonomous and self-organized, then I stepped back and gave them the lead.

Achieved results

  • The KPIs have been improved significantly and they could release 20% more orders than before and right-on-first-time.
  • The delivery time of an order was decreased by 50%.
  • Moreover teams were very satisfied and motivated.

6 months
Haitham
Enterprise Agile Coach

Must have skills of an agile coach

  • High communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Resourcefulness
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Stewardship
  • Problem solving and conflict resolution skills

Responsibilities of an agile coach

  • Making sure people in the organization truly understand the agile mindset and practices.
  • Should have a vision and foresights to look at the big picture to see the development areas in the company.
  • Listening to everyone in the organization to understand the problem context.
  • Facilitating workshops and meetings to make sure it achieves its goal.
  • Leading by example.
  • Coaching the teams to unlock the knowledge through powerful questions.
  • Mentoring individuals by explaining them the practices and the principles behind it.
  • Teaching people in the organization about Agile and other specific areas as needed.
  • Making sure leadership is supporting transformation and empowerment to create a productive working environment.

Challenges and hot topics of an agile coach

Resistance

The greatest challenge any Agile Coach faces is the resistance to change, as people naturally stick to what they know, they resist anything new to their usual practice and have doubts about any new approach

Leadership support

It is essential for a successful transformation to have the leadership buy-in and support, this will encourage the teams and give them empowerment and a safe environment to try, test and learn. 

Agile is the ultimate answer

In many occasions, Agile at first does not seem to be the easiest answer for an organization, that is why insisting on building the right mindset is crucial at the beginning to guarantee consistency and continuous improvement in all aspects.

Not paying attention to quick wins

Agile coaches should always pay good attention to achieving quick wins in order to get the team's trust and support. This gets the wheels in motion like no other thing does. Avoid the temptation to think that since change takes time, we can spend a long time in transforming the organization without achieving impactful outcomes.