What the heck does an Agile Organizational Coach do?
If you are in the process of transitioning your organization to an Agile approach, you have certainly realized that moving to Agile impacts more than the software development team – if you haven’t realized it yet, you will eventually find out the hard way ;-)
In a large scale transition, it is necessary to work with the various managers to help them understand and assimilate the principles related to Agile and make them integrate those principles into their day-to-day actions. Therefore, an Agile Organizational Coach helps managers change their management approach to a leadership style better suited for an Agile environment.
The transition to a new leadership style is not limited to the software development teams. It also applies to the interactions and relationships with the business team’s managers. Making managers more Agile requires changes in their behavior, more specifically, it requires managers to:
- Transfer certain powers to the team members themselves so they can determine how best to accomplish their tasks;
- Define the desired vision, to adapt to the context of each team to ensure alignment with the overall objective of the project and ensure cohesion between the teams and their members;
- Accept and publicly endorse the idea that the status quo is no longer acceptable and that the old methods are no longer adapted to the new reality;
- Adapt their style of management when necessary to use an inclusive and democratic approach.
As such, the role of the Agile Organizational Coach is to:
- Educate managers through appropriate training;
- Create groups (communities) of interest and exchange to assist managers in their development;
- Organize individual and group meetings with various stakeholders to understand their fears, their challenges, their resistance and to provide the necessary support to help;
- Work with groups who require special support during the transition;
- Participate in management committees where the presence of an agile expert is required.