Agile Coach or Scrum Master? Take this Black Caps quiz to know

New Thinking 9 March 2018 Ceedee Doyle

New to the Agile way of working and getting a bit confused between Scrum Masters and Coaches? Not surprising if you’re thrown into a whole new way of working with new terminology and often new people to work with. Think of it like a sports team – like the Black Caps.

To be considered a great team, it needs to have players with great potential, but also needs support, training, coaching and leading. There’s always a big difference between the Captain and the Coach. Here’s a quick checklist for you to ascertain who does what…

You are a Captain if…

  • You work with the team day-to-day, before the match and on the field
  • You give a supportive word in the heat of the battle
  • You help the team run pre-arranged sequences and ensure things go smoothly

You are a Coach if…

  • You work with your team to become a high-performing team
  • You arrange the facilities and people that the team needs around them to constantly improve
  • You have a few battle scars; you have been a team member or Captain previously
  • You have dealt with enough challenges to be able to guide your team from wherever they are

Captain, you are a Scrum Master for sure!

If you fit into the Captain’s role, you are the awesome sauce who helps things happen. You’re the Scrum Master who guides day-to-day, helps tweak the daily stand-up so that it’s meaningful for the team, alter the board to show the information the team wants to concentrate on, facilitate the core meetings, get the team working together and exhibiting the core values. You stand tall with your team through thick and thin.

Coach, you are an Agile Coach for real!

Pat yourselves on the back because you help teams get from good to great. Being an Agile Coach, you provide solid training, use your deep experience on where things are working and where they’re not, work on the gap between where the team is now and where they could be, coach individuals and make sure that they’re getting the environment and support they need from the management, other teams and technical specialists.

In the real world, the roles can overlap so that Scrum Masters coach individual team members and Agile Coaches can get in and facilitate sessions; but they work together in a complementary way to help the team be the best it can be.