I’m sure you’ve considered hiring a management consultant when you were faced with a business obstacle that was difficult to solve on your own.
But management consultants aren’t always the best answer.
You’ve heard of the phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it?'”
In an article from the Harvard Business Review, the authors reveal all of the ways consultants live by this motto. Some consultants are sold to us as experts even if they necessarily aren’t in reality. Here’s why instead of hiring a consultant, an agile coach would be a better investment for your company.
Essentially, an agile coach helps companies reexamine the ways they take on workflow practices, development, team collaboration, and other work-related issues.
“Our work as coaches is to understand where the teams are in their journey and to offer the right approach to support their growth. Our agenda is improvement. We do that by bringing the right questions, providing good mental models, challenging people in their thinking and guide them towards building great products for our customers,” says Fabiano Morais, a coach experienced in technology, strategic planning, project management and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
CIO points out that it can be incredibly hard to get everyone on board with new methodologies and that it can be challenging to make big changes. An outsider influence is one of the best ways to open your employees minds to new ideas and reinstate better communication within your team. With the help of an agile coach, the right avenues can be opened up to start the necessary conversations without totally taking over as a leader.
As agile coach Michael de la Maza puts it, “We facilitate but don’t dictate, allowing you to innovate the way you’re meant to.”
Here are a few different kinds of coaches according to Payscale:
- Technical coaches: work closely with developers and typically have experience with coding and integration, since they’re necessary skills when working with the dev team.
- Process/management coaches: focus more on establishing leadership for agile teams and overseeing successful adoption of the agile method.
- Non-directive coaches: offer individualized support for people or organizations looking to solve specific agile-related problems.
Your employees can be taught skills that can solve any future issues within the company. Everyone has the power to access the tools they need to solve problems, and coaches can help unlock that knowledge.
Big management consulting agencies are often interested in making as much money as possible. Agile coaches take a more personal, human-centric approach. This makes employees within the company feel valued and not like a bit player. Actually listening to your employee’s needs, goals, and challenges is how coaches can help give you the best solutions.
Hiring an agile coach will allow your company to embrace a cultural shift. “It is a tectonic shift from command-and-control management practices to collaborative, team centric environments. Nurturing an organization through this shift requires someone with a depth of agile experience and great influencing skills,” says Alan Zucker , founding principal of Project Management Essentials.
Coaches want to create this shift for your business so that you won’t need to see them again.
If your company is in critical need of big changes, hiring an agile coach would be a great investment in your success.