I can’t help but really live by and appreciate the words “software is eating the world”. Every company is a software company. I’m not a futurist as much as I’d like to be, but I do have a deep love for dystopian science fiction. The reality however, is I would love a more optimistic, perhaps even boring, utopia often depicted by the Star Trek universe. To me, if I come back to reality a little, this means all companies become Agile Companies. And, if you think about it, the role of Agile Coach becomes the center of that universe, almost a nonsensical term as if you were to say “business expert”. It’s virtually impossible to fulfill those expectations well; to know everything there is to know about business. Even today (before Agile Companies have become the norm and while agile software still continues to gain momentum), I posit that a lot is expected of our agile coaches, and honestly, the world on average barely even understands what they do.
Here in this exploratory blog post I will attempt to show that the universe of agile knowledge is so big already, it’s almost impossible already to be aware and knowledgeable of everything you need to be nimble enough to help an agile team with anything. That’s the unrealistic ideal I start with, FWIW, about what an agile coach should do. They should be able to assess the needs of any agile team, provide coaching, and share enough knowledge and tactics to significantly improve the outcomes the team produces. An Agile Coach should understand the universe of agile, the technology landscape and content from today’s agile influencers. What follows is simply the corner of the universe I’ve been exposed to, which I readily admit, I have not retained in my little brain.
Below are 194 concepts I call agile terminology, 161 technologies and team roles, and 132 public figures that are either authors (of agile or business books) or public speakers. This is still not a complete list. You can probably think of dozens of more items that could be added to one of these three lists. This is a huge amount of knowledge and information that an excellent Agile Coach can and should have “ready enough” to share with a team to help them be successful. For some things, clearly just a cursory knowledge of the item is enough, other things they need to be an accomplished expert in. Does this match your understanding of what an excellent Agile Coach does?