Investing in internal change agents to be Agile coaches

Companies are increasingly looking to infuse agility into their operating models. However, as organizations attempt to scale these efforts across their entire business, new challenges that simply didn’t exist at the micro-level are beginning to surface. These challenges are especially prevalent where traditional organization silos need to interact.

The big realization for many executives is that scaling agile is not simply a matter of replicating agile practices across more teams. Rather, agility as an operating model requires the rewiring of core mindsets and behaviors.

With this comes a need for the organization to operate differently.

Need for Agile coaches

The degree of change required to adopt agile ways of working across an entire organization is simply too large to repurpose existing roles and structures. Only by investing in agility coaches—and a comprehensive program to identify, train, and support them—can companies expect to scale and sustain agile across the enterprise.

To support teams towards excellence, you need quality agile coaches.

Why invest in internal talent?

Given the nature of the role and the sudden need for companies to have more of them, businesses are having difficulty finding genuine agility coaches. While the role has exploded on LinkedIn and many profiles claim to be agile coaches, there is no degree or accepted global accreditation that provides comfort around the skills and experience needed for the job.

Based on findings from a recent Agile transformation study we did, the client needed 50-75 agile coaches to support new nearly 150 new agile teams (assuming a ratio of 1 Agile coach for every 2-3 teams). The number of agile coaches required is not available in the external market, and thus the client had to recruit candidates internally and develop them in-house through a rigorous development and evaluation program to ensure they meet the high bar needed for agile coaches.

Even if a pool of agile coaches were externally available, we would still encourage organizations to focus on growing their own. Agile coaching can be taught to those with the right intrinsic qualities. Moreover, outsourcing these key roles will often lead to an influx of agile coaches who are disconnected from a company’s culture and want to dogmatically apply agile the way they know it rather than the way it needs to be molded to a particular organization.

How have we helped our clients?

Across multiple geographies, we have helped our clients to set up internal agile Centers of Excellence (CoE) which acts as an enabler function responsible to identify internal talent, train, mentor and embed them into teams.

It was quite a privilege for us to help enterprises invest in their people and create a new career path for them. The clients whom we helped now have a solid bench of quality coaches who are helping their organizations organically transform from "inside-out".

Pretty cool, right?


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

Content Purpose Approach Duration
Setting the stage Clarity on investment of time and how the session will flow Present the learning outcomes and agenda for the session 5 mins
Context of the client case Introduce the story and background of the client case Play video and discuss the journey the client wen through 10 mins
Deep-dive on the client case Present the key learnings and provoke the participants thinking with outside-in perspectives Present the details of the client case study. Potentially have the client share the story directly. 15 mins
Debrief and Q&A To have a dialogue with the participants Based on the size of the audience we would either use a digital tool or have an in-person conversation to collect questions 15 mins

Learning Outcome

1. Understand the role, agile coaches play during an enterprise transformation and beyond

2. Learn how to develop internal talent from within the business to become agile coaches

3. Build awareness on how organizations are building agile CoEs to create sustainable change in behaviors and mindsets across the enterprise

Target Audience

Executives, CoE heads, Agile coaches

Prerequisites for Attendees

Attending participants should have a preliminary understanding of the Agile coach role.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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