Brief Overview of Agile Coach Competency Framework

The world of software development is ever-evolving, newer practices are emerging with time and so are job opportunities. Multiple career chances are available for a trained professional in certain fields, one such field being Agile. The training for an ICP ACC certification which makes you eligible to be an Agile coach can be quite beneficial.

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Used initially and mostly in information technology, Agile methods require the collaboration of self-organizing teams to come up with flexible solutions for complex problems. As an Agile coach, you’ll have the responsibility of helping implement Agile practices by ensuring the transformation in culture by fostering cohesive, effective, and transparent teams.

The basics should be clear for anyone who’s stepping into Agile. One of the best ways to do so is by briefly understanding the Agile coach competency framework.

This framework talks about the various ways through which one can approach Agile coaching. From the perspective of an Agile and Lean Practitioner, the framework suggests three levels of base-level mastery and two areas of focus, all to ensure satisfactory results.

The Focus of Competencies-

  • Process Focus Competencies-

Process focus competencies include coaching and facilitating and this approach focuses more on the process, as the name suggests. It is a way of helping people uncover unknown ideas by providing space to tackle challenges through intelligence and creativity and learn from them for improvement. They are an impartial stance where the priorities and values of the client are considered instead of the expertise of the coach while determining the direction. The facilitator must also facilitate the team through retrospectives without focusing on a specific outcome. It is essential to trust the abilities of the team so that the team can solve their own problems. Micro-managing the team cannot be allowed in this focus.

  • Content-Focused competencies-

This is a contrast to the process focus competencies and includes teaching and mentoring. Here the teams rely on the expertise of their coach and one of the main reasons why a proper ICP ACC certification is necessary. There are predetermined objectives where the imparting of knowledge is quite direct. This method is most useful when coaching people who are just getting into Agile but becomes redundant when they have a slightly better concept of the methodology. Mentoring is also for beginner coaching but here your expertise should be imparted in a subtler way. You guide the team by telling them of your personal approaches or experiences so that they can know the options without being directly told the answer.

The three levels of domain mastery include Technical Mastery, Business Mastery, and Transformation Mastery.

  • Technical Mastery is the perfecting and teaching of technical practices like architecting, coding, designing, testing, etc by practically doing them and teaching to the team.
  • In Business Mastery, one has to apply business strategies, techniques, and processes for innovating, processing, or operating products.
  • Organizational change is facilitated, catalyzed, and sometimes leads by the ability of transformational mastery.

The first two are paired with teaching and mentoring while the last mastery is paired with coaching and facilitating. After an ICP ACC certification, you’ll need to use this framework.