What is the difference between Agile Coach & Agile Consultant?
Do these terms describe different types of challenges which a Scrum Master might address?
Jokes aside, Ian's raising an important point. Good Scrum Masters may simultaneously be acting as agile coaches or consultants.
Alternatively, such a Scrum Master, may also work with others who have the necessary skills, to address certain challenges.
I don't believe there's a universally accepted definition of job titles containing the word "agile", so I would encourage obtaining clarity about expectations, constraints and responsibilities, before appointing someone or accepting such work.
I would say that in general, even if the brief of an agile coach or consultant might not relate to Scrum, the same traits that make for a good Scrum Master will be vital.
"Agile Coach" is already an overused and tainted term,
Because there are too many fakes and scammers, they were originally "project managers", "product managers", "functional managers", "department managers" and other middle-level managers who "occupy the latrines and don't shit". personnel or others who goof around on the team.
When they saw this "Agile Coach" concept, they were excited to find a new one that could continue to cheat, continue to play bureaucracy and cleverly hide their intentions;
There are also many institutions in the market that cater to this demand and continue to sell certificates;
Therefore, demand + market forms a thriving and prosperous scene at the same time. There are "Agile Coaches" who are constantly jumping around. They have beautifully dressed CVs. They "dig a hole" here today and "set fire" there tomorrow. , because their essence of "playing bureaucracy" has not changed, and they have not mastered real "coaching skills". This is a tragedy for the market and the industry.
Only “Professional Scrum Masters” who really master Scrum and use them skillfully and create value for customers or organizations are worth promoting and owning. They have not been polluted, and this is the last piece of pure land.
What is the difference between a football coach, and a football consultant? Or in general, what is the difference between coach and consultant?
You can use for example dictionary definitions:
- Coach - someone whose job is to teach people to improve at a sport, skill, or particular subject;
- Consultant - someone who advises people on a particular subject;
So, by those definitions, an Agile Coach is a person whose job is to teach people to improve at Agile. Agile Consultant on the other hand is a person whose job is to advise people on Agile.
For example, you can imagine such a scenario:
Company X heard about Agile and would like to try it, therefore they involve an Agile Consultant to get some advice about the topic/idea. This Agile Consultant may advise them about where they can put Agile in the company in the first place, then can advise them which framework or method seems best to start with, and based on that may advise them which course they should take. Such a consultant may wrap it up with advice about who and how many extra people should be involved in the longer run, for example, Profesional Scrum Masters, and/or Agile Coaches may be needed.
Can the above do Agile Coach or Scrum Master? Sure thing. However, the difference would be exactly here, consultants provide advises, while coaches focus on helping you understand the subject, improve on it, and become self-sufficient in the coached subject.