New Jobs in Technology: Scrum Coach

team project leader

You may remember my previous article about the Scrum framework (if you missed it, head over there now so you’re familiar with what Scrum actually is!).

Today, I’ll discuss one of the most lucrative career options connected to the methodology: Scrum coaching. With a median salary of $96,000/year in the U.S., it’s definitely an option worth exploring.

What Is a Scrum Coach?

A Scrum coach is a person who can effectively coach in all the roles defined in the Scrum Guide: he or she has been a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and a member of development teams.

Since a Scrum coach has experience playing all these roles, he or she can assist teams in a variety of organizational settings.

Using both their theoretical knowledge and their personal hands-on experience, a Scrum coach helps organizations adopt and implement Scrum principles for their own project development needs.

What Do Scrum Coaches Do?

Fulfilling multiple roles, a Scrum coach brings a lot of value to any organization that uses Scrum as a project management framework. A few of their duties:

  • Guiding the organization to adopt and evolve towards good Scrum in a viable way

  • Developing an organization’s Scrum Maturity

  • Helping Scrum teams deliver high-quality products during each phase of development

  • Working with multiple organizations to broaden their knowledge and be able to handle many different types of problems and situations

Scrum coaches are experts in both the theory and practice of the Scrum framework: they are well-versed in Scrum principles and know how to implement them efficiently and sustainably.

Skills Needed to Be a Scrum Coach

Keep in mind that Scrum coaching is not a career you can jump right into after taking a course or two. “Experience” is the key word (although it’s certainly not the only thing required). A Scrum coach needs:

  1. Knowledge of Scrum and Agile framework practices
  2. Ability to coordinate and participate in an Agile team
  1. Extensive training in Scrum fundamentals and principles
  2. Experience as a former Scrum Master
  3. Proper coaching training
  4. Strong leadership and communication skills
  5. Experience working as a coach for a variety of teams
  6. Familiarity with change management and organizational development
  7. Ability to constantly adapt to new situations and business practices

How to Become A Scrum Coach  

Although an official certification is not required to be a Scrum coach, certifications do help you get the training and legitimacy you’ll need to achieve maximum success in the career.

You can become a Certified Scrum Coach, or CSC, through the Scrum Alliance. Requirements include the below:

  • You must have had a Certified Scrum Professional title from Scrum Alliance for at least a year.

  • You should have a minimum of three years and 2,000 hours of Scrum coaching experience with numerous teams and organizations.

  • You should have been actively engaged in the Scrum community during the past three years.

  • You’ll need to provide two recommendations from clients and one from a mentor to confirm your experience and skills.

If you’re just starting to learn about Scrum and get involved in the community, it’s best to view Scrum coaching as more of an end goal than an immediate career change option.

In the meantime, look for positions on Scrum development teams, work up to being a Scrum Master, and begin building a reputation as an expert in the field.