Updated November 15, 2023
Introduction to Agile Consultant
Agile is a method that has been used to develop and create new software. The approach undertaken for agile is iterative. An agile consultant works on 3 principles.
- An iterative approach
- Short feedback loops
- The disciplined project management process
As the name suggests, an agile consultant is an expert on agile frameworks with the expertise of working on agile. He acts as a consultant where firms using agile to develop new software need assistance to create the software.
A consultant helps these companies to find solutions to their problems. Consultants rely on their vast experience in a particular field and, over time, develop sufficient knowledge to help others find solutions. Primarily, a consultant has a short-term role. Organizations hire them on a contract basis to solve specific problems; once resolved, they no longer require their services. People can view the agile consultant as a freelancer who works on one project at a time.
Definition Of Agile Consultant
The agile consultant is a professional with considerable expertise in agile frameworks; he is hired part-time by the company to solve a particular set of problems that occurred in software development. He provides a course of action for the team to implement.
A consultant is there to answer a particular set of problems; often, their working style differs from that of regular employees, which can lead to some friction with internal staff who are unaccustomed to this way of working. But a consultant is not bothered by such differences and focuses on providing top-notch solutions to problems for which he is hired.
Agile Consultant often starts first as an agile coach, an agile coach can be viewed as an internal employee and is there to guide the team. The agile coach is also well-experienced and knowledgeable in the field of agile frameworks.
Coaching, as the name suggests, helps people become better at what they do; the coach works closely with the team and allows them to move forward by assisting them in finding solutions to their problems and increasing their knowledge of agile frameworks.
The coach essentially works on the personal development of the team members. He needs to understand the potential of each member; there is a lot of interaction with the team so that he can gauge the potential and knowledge of each member and then accordingly formulate a plan to improve the member.
Key Characteristics of Agile Consultant
However agile consultant is considered to be more knowledgeable than an agile coach; some key characteristic of a consultant is:
1. They typically follow a process of asking the team a series of questions intended to shift the team’s focus towards identifying key problems and issues.
2. He keeps reminding the team of essential problems, and they must not drift away from these problems
3. One key trait is consultant always needs to keep a broader picture in mind even if the team fails to do so because when a key issue arises, a decision can be taken keeping the broader perspective in mind
4. He guides the team to solve issues that come their way
Agile Consultant Development Practises
The consultant must undertake much work to develop successful agile practices at a firm. Each firm is unique and has hired a consultant for a specific problem that they face. Sometimes, the consultant may encounter a similar type of problem at various firms; in that case, he can develop the practice he employed at previous firms.
However, he may also encounter problems he has never experienced or handled. This would be a good learning experience for him, but he needs to tap into his past expertise to solve this issue.
However, there are certain development practices that consultants can use; they are
1. Educate colleges: The first important step is ensuring all developers understand what agile is and how to use it. From senior members to juniors, all levels of employees need education. And providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to work on their own
2. Mentor team: A consultant’s role is to make sure developers understand Agile frameworks and provide employees with frequent feedback so that they work on their improvement. Providing support to employees, coordinating across teams within the organization, and overall making sure there is a good understanding of agile frameworks
3. Implementing Agile: After spending considerable time training developers and finding solutions to their problems, the consultant being hired temporarily will leave the organization; before he leaves, he must make sure that developers can implement agile frameworks in any future development they do. Hiring a consultant can prove to be expensive for the company.
Agile Consulting Strategies
Consultants can use the solutions they develop for one company’s agile problems as consulting strategies for the next firm they work with; that is, they can apply solutions they learned at one firm to another if the firm is facing the same set of problems. And consultants will have developed very deep expertise in agile frameworks over time.
A consultant can use this expertise to design strategies at other firms; the first step is adoption at every stage; that is, all concerned teams come on board and become familiar with the agile framework and principles.
Educating employees and building a culture where employees learn to use agile frameworks and practice them on their own. And lastly, continually offering strategies for improvement.
Thus I would like to conclude this article by stating that the job of an Agile consultant is highly challenging because, in every project, they are working with a different company, different developers, different cultures,s and maybe in another company.
They start as an agile coach, and after much experience and perseverance, they become an agile consultant.
This has been a guide to the Agile Consultant. Here we discussed the concept, key characteristics, and strategies of Agile Consultants. You can also go through our other Suggested Articles to learn more –