Agile consulting and Agile coaching have become increasingly popular in software development over the past few years. Undertaking an Agile mindset would require an organization to go through a massive transformation in processes, governance, work culture, and strategy.  

Ideally, implementing an Agile framework occurs across various departments of an organization, ranging from HR and finance to business development and legal teams. Adopting Agile consulting and Agile coaching can bring about positive changes in sustainable growth, increased resilience, and consistent improvement. This is indicative of an organization’s survival in a marketplace that is quickly expanding. 

While both an Agile coach and an Agile consultant may seem similar and even confusing, there is a marked difference between them. 

What Is Agile Coaching?

As the name suggests, an Agile coach assumes the role of a teacher. Coaches are experts who have studied Agile methodologies. Their job is to instruct others in those methods. They help train teams and closely assist them as they implement the Agile framework. 

Coaches also help teams that already have achieved a certain degree of success but find themselves stuck at a certain point. Agile coaches provide all the necessary information, resources, and guidance to inculcate and maintain the Agile mindset. 

Since coaching is a continuous and dynamic interaction, engaging Agile coaches are generally long term. 

What Is Agile Consulting?

An Agile consultant is an expert practitioner. He or she offers his expertise, analysis, and recommendations to identify and navigate through roadblocks in applying the Agile framework. An Agile consultant identifies reasons for the lag in an organization’s progress. 

When compared with a coach, a consultant takes a more directive approach in guiding the organization. Consultants provide a solution that’s more short term as they work on providing specific recommendations to problems. 

The common reasons to hire an Agile consultant include:

  • If you believe the problem at hand is something your team cannot handle, and you need expert advice.
  • If you are looking to identify threats to your organization’s success and how to tackle them.
  • If your organization is unable to experience the benefits associated with the Agile framework.

Difference Between A Coach and A Consultant

Understanding how an Agile coach and consultant are different will help you choose the right expert based on your organization’s needs. The main differences are as follows:

  • Approach: An Agile coach follows a nondirective approach by helping a team identify problems and then facilitate them. A consultant, however, identifies the problem and provides the implementation plan to solve the issue.
  • Perspective: An Agile coach places great value on the team’s perspective and uses its capabilities in the development process. With a consultant, there is little consideration given to team knowledge and expertise. The consultant gives direction based on his or her expertise.
  • Flexibility: Coaches adapt their approaches to fit the team’s needs and look at issues from a broader perspective. Consultants work on a more structured contract that clearly defines the need for services and the team’s goal. 

Final Understanding

Though an Agile coach and Agile consultant have dissimilar roles, they are equally instrumental in facilitating change and overcoming the Agile methodology challenges. 

The Gibson Group provides experienced resources that can assist you irrespective of whether you are new to Agile or a seasoned practitioner. The coaches and consultants understand your unique needs and help to maximize the potential of your team.