Why would a team and/or organization want an external coach? In previous entries we have discussed the attributes of a good coach  and what a coach delivers, all of which may have whetted your whistle. However, it doesn’t answer the question why you would seek out an external coach. An external coach brings new ideas to the table, different perspectives and a shot of energy.

Software development in general, and Agile specifically, is evolving a rapid pace. New techniques and concepts are developed, vetted and deployed across the globe. Some of those ideas may work for your organization, but if you don’t know they exist, you can’t try them. External coaches, the honey bees of Agile, are a conduit for new ideas to be introduced into a team or organization. I am using the metaphor of a bumblebee to reelect the itinerant nature of coaches  (Coaching techniques used: training and mentoring).

Teams and projects get stuck. Enter the external coach, who can provide a different perspective and to help define a path forward. Often the ability to see a problem or situation with a fresh set of eyes is all that is needed to identify new options or solutions. (Coaching techniques used: cajoling, arbitrating and mentoring).

After teams or organizations implement Agile (or any major development framework), and have begun to accrue the benefits of the implementation, it is easy to relax and get complacent. Complacency is dangerous. An external coach can provide a fresh shot of energy that can keep the transformation moving. (Coaching techniques used: consulting and mentoring.)

Why would you invest in an external coach? External coaches bring new ideas, perspectives and energy into the mix to keep teams and organizations moving forward. As soon as you stop moving forward entropy will set in, and effectiveness and efficiency will suffer.