With the explosion of companies who are now starting to use agile, the role of an agile coach is more important than ever. Many companies have now completely adopted using the agile methodology and it is a big transformational change which requires the use the role of an agile coach. The good news is, there are many agile coaches who can come in and help the company transform into agile. I recommend that you find the right agile coach who can adopt to your company culture to ensure that they are helping to lead, guide and direct the agile teams. Here are some benefits of having a role of an agile coach:
Consistency across teams: The agile coach will help to bridge the gap across multiple agile teams and will help to create consistency so if team members move from team to team, they will be able to jump right in and start helping the team make progress.
Defined process: Agile teams struggle and need consistency in terms of a defined process. The companies who can implement these changes consistently will be the most successful.
Flexibility: Agile teams need consistency and a defined process but they also need flexibility. What works for one team may not work for another and vice versa. It is important that agile teams have enough flexibility so they can define and adopt what works for them. This flexibility will allow teams to break through and accomplish more as a team versus having a strict defined process.
Experience: The agile coach will bring experience to the table and the more experience the role of an agile coach has, the more they will be able to help the organization transform the agile practice. Just like teams need experience working together and solving problems, the agile coach needs to have experience to know what will work and what will not.
Balance: It is important for agile teams to get a good balance of agile coaches. While 1 agile coach per team might be too much, it is important to find the right balance so that teams can benefit from using this role of an agile coach. If the agile coach is too busy with other teams, the team who really needs their help might not be able to achieve their sprint objectives.
Training: In most situations, the role of an agile coach is brought in to help provide guidance and training for the agile teams. This can be anywhere from helping the team to get agile certifications to helping the team understand how the agile model is designed for their organization. Typically the agile coach will participate in events such as agile planning, backlog grooming, retrospective sessions, and daily stand-ups. This training will help build the teams and make them stronger and transform the organization into a strong agile practice.
I hope this information has been helpful. In addition to the role of an agile coach here are some additional articles which might help you gain a greater appreciation for agile.