Updated: Mar 18
Whether you look left or right on Linked-in, resumes or within organisations, everybody seems to be calling themselves an Agile coach as soon as they have some experience with Agile. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes me wonder whether there is a difference between the two roles or whether one is just a fancier word for the other.
If you are of the opinion that the two are the same, well then let me burst your bubble. In my opinion, if you haven't been a Scrum Master for multiple teams in different organisations and you have never had to train or convince management on the strengths and added value of Agile, you can not call yourself an Agile coach.
A scrum master is a person whom is able to coach and guide one or more teams within an organisation. Along the way he/she is still learning on how to improve teams and him/herself in his/her role.
An Agile coach is a Scrum Master with a vast experience whom can coach and guide all teams, their scrum masters and the management. He/she can make them understand the true value of Agile on all levels of the organisation.
It is one thing to convince a team of the power of Agile, but it is another to convince and organise an entire organisation "to be" Agile and not "to do" Agile. The skillset needed for the latter is theory, experience, adaptability, persuasion, negotiation and training. This skillset is absolutely not something that you can obtain within a few months and takes a lot of hard work, practice and dedication.