Agile Coaching and Training is a Scam

May 5, 2013

con-man4

In the Agile world, coaches and trainers are distinctions that were created in order to create different ways of making money. They have no useful business purpose outside of filling the pockets of consultants with cash.

How can I maintain this? Here’s how I see it now: I (used to) have friends who are trainers. They are normal people like you and me. They typically got their start as project managers and or scrum masters just like the rest of us. At some point they go through a process where they are vetted for the following:

1) An understanding of the vague terms used in the agile lexicon
2) Conformance to religiously held views regarding a process
3) Communication skills & attitude

Once they are hit with the golden hammer, anointed by the powers that be, given the blessings of the bishops, or certified, they can charge large amounts of money to provide the same training over and over…and over…

Or they can just go out on their own and do it without any such approval. Of course if they do that, then they have to survive based on whatever actual skills they may have. They have to come up with their own material that isn’t provided by some governing authority. They have to market their skills all by themselves, and it’s a cold and unforgiving consulting market out there.

Regardless of which path you choose to take, are you doing anything that a good scrum master or a project manager couldn’t do? No. Training is part of any good manager’s role. Many scrum masters that I know have actually given CSM training at one time or another – and done quite well. Furthermore, the agile training that I’ve seen isn’t rocket science. It takes only marginal presentation skills to successfully deliver agile training. It’s not original material. It’s not like you have to know how to write code. In fact, most trainers I know, can’t write code. Are these really the people who are going to tell software developers how to work?

It’s nice work if you can get it.

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