State of Agile CoachingThe latest report into the current State of Agile Coaching, has recently been compiled and released. The 2022 summary, which is the 2nd edition of the report (Vol. 2.0), once again aims to provide an insightful analysis of the emerging profession of Agile Coaching – including the latest trends and valuable insights on this vital role.

As you would expect, the annual report – which is produced collaboratively by The Scrum Alliance, The International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) and The Business Agility Institute – contains a large amount of information and detail. Therefore, to help digest some of the key points from the report, we’re creating a number of articles that summarise the key insights and takeaways from this document.

And so, to kick things off, we’re focusing on what benefits an Agile Coach can bring to organisations, and how their impact is measured – as well taking a look at the biggest challenges and impediments that coaches currently face.

The Impact of an Agile Coach

Similar to the first State of Agile Coaching report (2021), one of the primary focus’ of this research was to determine what the value of an Agile Coach is, and which organisational factors experienced the biggest impact from a Coach.

An overwhelming 98% of the respondents felt coaching had a measurable impact on at least one, or more, area within the organisation. The area recognised as achieving the biggest impact, with 32%, was moving organisations closer toward an Agile mindset and culture.

Shifting an organisation towards an Agile mindset and culture was the biggest impact coaches believe they had on their organisation. This holds true whether the coach was measured with Individual, Team, or Organisation level metrics.
State of Agile Coaching Report 2022

The Impact of an Agile Coach
1. Mindset / Culture Shift 32%
2. Agility Improvements 20%
3. Delivery Improvements 12%
4. Performance Improvements 11%
5. Process Improvements 11%
6. Other  14%
7. No Impacts / Unsure 2%


How is Coaching Success Measured?

Taking the above into account, it’s equally as important to understand how such impact and success is measured. A range of metrics and methods were identified within the report, with respondents placing General Performance Metrics (e.g OKRs, KPIs) at the top of the list with 29% of the responses.

How is Coaching Success Measured?
1. General Performance Metrics (e.g OKRs, KPIs)  29% 5. Unsure / Not Measured 11%
2. Performance Reviews 16% 6. Customer Satisfaction Metrics 8%
3. Qualitative Feedback 15% 7. Employee Wellbeing & Engagement Metrics (e.g NPS) 3%
4. Specific Agile Metrics (e.g Agile Maturity) 15% 8. Leadership Style in Use 2%

“Regardless of how a coach was measured, their overall perceived impact on the organisation remained consistent. However, there was a clear upwards trend in a coach’s perceived impact the more years of coaching experience they had.” State of Agile Coaching Report 2022

Challenges that Agile Coaches Face

Typically the challenges that Agile Coaches face relate primarily to the key areas of culture, organisational structure, and leadership. This was reflected once again in the 2022 report with each of those factors being identified as the top 3 impediments.

Interestingly – although respondents clearly felt that shifting an organisation’s culture towards an Agile mindset was the main area of impact/success – this was also highlighted as the biggest challenge that coaches face when trying to implement Agile.

“Culture and mindset shift is the greatest challenge, especially with higher levels of leadership, due to lack of direct engagement.” State of Agile Coaching Report 2022

Challenges that Agile Coaches Face
1. Difficult to Change Culture / Mindset 39%
2. Existing Organisational Structure not Suited to Agile 28%
3. Resistance from Management / Leadership 11%
4. Not Enough Time Allowed for Agile Transformation 4%

While organisational culture topped the chart of challenges faced in this year’s report, with 39% of the share – it was by no means the only impediment that Agile Coaches identified.

Existing organisational structure, and its suitability (or lack of) to adopt Agility was also reported as one of the biggest challenges (with 28%), followed by the re-occurring theme of Management and Leadership either not engaging with, or worse, resisting Agile transformations (11%). It was also noted that the latter of those particular challenges also has a follow-on impact across other areas of the organisation, as leadership provides no example for the rest to follow.

With plenty more insights available – you can download and read the full State of Agile Coaching Report 2022 by simply clicking here.