The 3rd wave of Agile

The role of the Agile coach in tomorrows organisation

The role of the Agile coach is changing as the organisation grows into agile

“We have mastered the agile way of working”, my new manager told me,” The teams will continue doing their work, whether you coach them or not”. I just started in a new assignment as agile coach and did my manager just tell me that I was not needed?

Agile has been around for many years and some organizations are pretty far in adopting agile practices and mindset. Still there are many organizations that are just starting, and a fast majority of organizations are doing agile for some time now. They are struggling to make it work. Due to this wide variation in agile adoption, the discussions on agile variate immensely making them diffuse. Analyzing the various organizations that I worked with, I distinguish three separate waves. Sharing examples from the trenches we will gain understanding of the challenges and scope of each wave. During the first wave the main focus is on teaching and training agile to the teams. When the progress is declining the second wave arrives, changing the focus on cross team alignment. The 3rd wave arises when teams can deliver a technical product and the shifts the focus on delivering value and boosting business performance.

Understanding and recognizing the waves in our agile journey helps to understand the different perception that organizations have and enable us to tailor our coaching approach.

It will enable us to have more grip on agile transformations and help us to explain why we focus on certain aspects. It puts our interventions in perspective and provides a roadmap for the organization. It also gives insight in how the role of the agile coach is developing.

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