Updated: Jul 13
There are various roles in Agile that confuse newcomers. However, while many roles in an agile organisation appear to have similar responsibilities, they do not. In some cases, the roles are nearly the same when seen roughly, but when understood thoroughly, you can see the difference. Two similar-sounding roles in agile are "agile coaches" and "agile consultants."
Yes, they both are there to help you!
But when, where, and who to choose is where the problem arises.
In this article, let’s seek an answer to this question.
The difference between coaches and consultants
Coaching is a process where an individual known as the coach works with people who have already achieved some success in their path but are stagnant. The coach assists them to clarify their doubts and put their best effort into achieving their goals and gaining high performance. The coaching process involves effective listening, facilitating, and supporting personal development. Coaching is typically performed over a longer period of time.
Consulting, on the other hand, includes offering expertise, recommendations, and analysis on the subject. A consultant, with their wisdom, provides people with ideas to alleviate issues and advises solutions that leave people motivated. The primary job of a consultant is to identify problems and provide the best available solution to them, mostly tactically. Consultants work as freelancers and on a contract basis in any business to provide advice as needed.
The Difference Between Agile Coaches and Agile Consultants
The agile coach guides the teams in following the action plan for the issues that occurred. They follow the indirect approach of identifying issues and facilitating them. Whereas the agile consultant, after identifying the issues, develops an action plan and deals with problem-solving in teams in his own unique way.
An agile coach will look at things from a team’s perspective and will consider the team as his own by standing with them and helping team members achieve the project goals. Whereas, an agile consultant will never be affected by a team's perspective, as it is not his work. They will provide advice based on their extensive experience with Agile.
Agile coaches frequently change direction with the team based on the needs of the team. They look at the big picture and how it affects project management strategies. The agile consultant will never show any such flexibility and will also only deal with the solutions to the issues for which he or she was hired by the organization.
While agile coaches help organizations build capacity and drive internal growth, agile consultants use their outside expertise to provide solutions.
An agile coach helps in exploring possibilities that arise; the agile consultant is the one who provides those possibilities.
The agile coach's role in any agile organization is long-term as they lead and guide them in every project. Agile consultants work on a contract basis or are hired on a short-term basis to provide recommendations for specific problems.
Whom should I hire?
If there are issues like cost reduction, improved innovation, and product delivery, these can be solved with business agility. Most of the time, when there are bigger issues with the organization while implementing agile, consultants are the ones who can help the most, but once the agile process is established and issues are occurring, agile coaches are required.
Most organisations require agile coaches and consultants to be able to wear multiple hats.By changing the agile mindset, this can be easily obtained. For example, when you are working with a team and improving their performance and process, you are acting as an agile coach, but along with it, you are also helping the organisation improve and give a better performance, which is an agile consultant’s job.
main reasons to hire an agile consultant
when expert advice is needed and the issue at hand cannot be handled by a team.
When it comes to identifying threats to organisational success and devising solutions to address them,
When an organisation is unable to obtain the benefits available from agile frameworks
Even though agile coaches and agile consultants have different job profiles, they both work in agile organisations to facilitate change and solve agile problems, making them equally important for agile methodology.
About Advance Agility
We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.
Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. We provide various SAFe certification courses along with DevOps, Scrum, Agile Coaching and more trainings. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.