I am a fan of Bernd Shiffer’s “42 Tasks for a Scrum Masters job” and “37 Tasks for a Product Owners job“. I do not necessarily agree with every item or think the lists are complete, but I have found though that it can help understand just how broad these roles are if done right. And how much value these roles can bring to an organisation.
In my last couple of assignments, I had the role of Agile Coach. As this is a relatively new role, it seems to mean different things to different people, which means I often find myself spending a lot of time explaining the role. More as a thought experiment than anything else, I tried to make my own “`XX tasks of an Agile Coach”-list. I got to 28. 🙂 To be clear: my goal is not to create a complete list or even claim that the role of an Agile Coach is per se different than that of Scrum Master (although for a lot of companies it is), but to provide my opinion on what an Agile Coach could do for an organisation.
28 Tasks for an Agile Coach
- Deliver Scrum basic training
- Deliver dedicated Scrum Master training
- Deliver dedicated Product Owner training
- Deliver Agile Awareness training for stakeholders
- Deliver Scrum for managers training
- Deliver on demand training on specialistic topic such as user stories, refinement etc
- Coach individual Scrum team members 1-1
- Coach Scrum teams during Scrum Events
- Facilitate Scrum Events if needed (as teaching opportunity)
- Continuously and proactively improve existing training material for courses
- Develop and communicate vision on enterprise Agility
- Coach higher management on their role in an Agile context
- Keep an holistic view of the product development flow, seeing problems bigger than those on only Scrum team level
- Facilitate brainstorm session for new product development
- Interact with Facilities department to enable the best setup for Scrum teams
- Interact with HR to make sure HR policies support Agile, team-based thinking
- Be willing and able to explain Scrum basics to anyone that needs a 10-minute introduction
- Proactively organise opportunities for colleagues to learn more about Agile, inside and outside the company
- Keep informed on all relevant development on Agile, but also other relevant topics, such as Lean Startup, UX, Technology, Innovation etc.
- Work with all stakeholders to setup and maintain a structured way to continuously improve the teams and product development flow
- Expose waste, wherever your find it.
- Setup an company level impediment resolution process
- Continuously improve your skills on teaching, mentoring, facilitating and coaching
- Facilitate ‘big retrospectives’ (retrospectives on non-team level, e.g. project, program or department)
- Work with teams on conflict resolution methods
- Encourage a culture of continuous experimentation to further improve the Agile practices
- Work with stakeholders throughout the company to make the company’s vision on Agile clear and well understood
- Help setup Guilds for cross-team skill development and knowledge sharing (you can still call it Community of Practice if you want ;-). )
– Jasper Verdooren