Difference Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master Explained

Difference Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master Explained

An organization wants to know the difference between an agile coach and scrum master when they have to shift their organization from the traditional software development to the agile methodology. It is a difficult process due to which an organization wants to understand the deviation between the two.

A simple difference between an agile coach certification and a scrum master certification is between the works performed by them. A scrum master only gives coaching to a team but an agile coach gives coaching to the entire organization. To use agile methodology a person should have years of experience and knowledge whereas it is not needed to become a scrum master. Let us learn what their responsibilities are and how they can help an organization to achieve better goals for a business. Read ahead to know more about agile coach vs scrum master.

 

Role of a scrum master

A scrum master is more closely involved with the team. He works as a close observer for the team as compared to an agile coach who works as an outside observer. A scrum master is a person who manages different processes in a team, he helps the team members to self-manage and self-organize, helps the team members to find a solution for problems, and uses his vast and extensive knowledge to use strategies for helping team members to work efficiently.

 

Responsibilities of a scrum master

The role and responsibilities of a scrum master and an agile coach overlap but they differ in their scope. Some important roles and responsibilities of a scrum master are given below:

  • Giving proper knowledge and information of scrum theory and practices to the team members
  • Teaching team members the use of effective communication skills
  • Helping team members in proper planning and management of backlog
  • Helping each team member how to continuously and consistently improve knowledge and skills
  • Observing and improving the results of the performance given by the team based on his/her guidance
  • Increasing the efficiency of team members to meet commitments

 

Work done by an agile coach

An agile coach is more experienced than a scrum master. He has advanced training and special skills. Some enterprises may misunderstand the role and responsibilities of a scrum master and an agile coach because their work overlaps each other. An agile coach works at a much broader level and he has the skills and experience that can help an organization to overall development.

An organization that is planning to transform to the agile methodology will need an agile coach to help team members create effective and high-value solutions creatively and independently. An agile coach is important for an organization because he acts as a mentor, trainer, and facilitator.

 

Responsibilities of an agile coach

An agile coach has more responsibilities as he has to play a bigger role as compared to a scrum master. Some important responsibilities of an agile coach are given below:

  • Explaining the agile methodology to the team members
  • Putting in constant efforts to instill best methods for the team and the organization
  • Giving training to the team to use the agile tools and strategies in the right way
  • Keep a check on the progress of the team members and the organization
  • Offering help and support for removing any obstacles during agile transformation and development process
  • Ensuring that all stakeholders and leadership are actively participating in the process
  • An agile coach would train the team in such a way that he/she would make his/her role redundant.

 

How does a scrum master transform into an agile coach?

There is no separate definition to define a scrum master and an agile coach. We do not have any guide available that gives the divergence between the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master and an agile coach.

We do not see this transformation because most organizations do not hire a scrum master and they directly appoint a project manager or an agile coach to run their organization. Organizations can see a natural transformation of a scrum master into an agile coach by giving proper knowledge to the scrum masters. Organizations can have their agile coach by giving proper training to their scrum masters.

  • The enterprises can offer necessary professional development training and guidance to the scrum masters for transforming them into agile coaches
  • The organization should give access and authority to the scrum masters to make things happen for their team
  • The organization should give powers to the scrum masters to focus on strategies that can help in the overall growth of the team as well as the entire organization.

 

Main differences between a scrum master and an agile coach

As already said the main deviation between an agile coach and a scrum master is that of scope. Some other differences between the two are given below:

Scrum master focuses only on one team whereas an agile coach focuses on all the teams in an organization.

  • A scrum master helps the team with the daily work whereas an agile coach helps to create a system for all teams and leadership to follow.
  • A scrum master has to ensure that everything is going smoothly in the scrum process whereas an agile coach has to work with all teams, leaders, and stakeholders and he has to find out answers to what, how, when, who, and why for a workflow.
  • A scrum master knows only the scrum framework whereas an agile coach knows different agile methods including Scrum, scaling methods, and others.
  • A scrum master remains with the team throughout the life of a scrum team and an agile coach stays with an organization only till the goal is achieved.

 

Conclusion

A scrum master and an agile coach are both important for an organization. One cannot be replaced with the other. They both are required for a smooth and successful transformation from scrum technology to an agile methodology.

It is not possible that both roles are played by one person. A scrum master and an agile coach have different areas of focus. They both are different and therefore if an organization wants to achieve the desired results it should choose the best software development company to bring agility to its projects.

 

See More: The 4 Ultimate Core Values of SAFe – Scaled Agile Framework