Difference Between Agile Coaching Mentoring and Agile Training

A scrum master needs to be skilled in Coaching, Mentoring as well as Training. Each of these activities have a considerable overlap. Each involves helping people to improve their performance.


Training involves an expert (trainer)imparting a certain knowledge or skill to other people (trainees). A trainer is not usually involved in day to day activity. Its a structured activity revolving around sharing the said knowledge or skill.


Mentoring on other hand,  is a system of semi-structured guidance whereby one person shares their knowledge, skills and experience to assist others to progress . Mentors usually are SMEs or experts who have traveled the path before and possess answers that will help the mentee. Coaching


Coaching is a form of development in which a coach supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. In other words, coaching is about a Coach unlocking the potential of the coachee. Here the coach may or may not have the answers. His role does not include handing over the answers on a platter. The coach helps the coachee to discover the answer himself.

How Agile Coaching, Agile Mentoring and Agile Mentoring differ?

A skilled scrum master needs to understand the difference between the three activities. He needs to be able to use the right tool for right situation. I have tried to list the key differences below.

 What is It?Duration & RelationshipWho Drives it?ModelsGoal
Agile TrainingImparting new skills
Or knowledge to the trainees
Usually short term. Is a transnational activity . Training is normally one to many where each trainee participates in individual capacityTraining is driven by the trainer - He/She decides the methodology and the model of the trainingMultiple models like classroom instruction , discussions , demonstrations , hands on exercises may be usedIncreased Skill or Knowledge for the trainee(s)
Agile MentoringHelping the mentee to reach the answers and achieve towards a certain goalUsually Long term. Its an ongoing hand holding till the mentee reaches the goal.Mentor , who is SME drives the direction and modelMore intimate one on one way extended via discussion or thought provoking questions. Mentor will help the mentee outline his options and choose oneBetter clarity for mentee
Clear plan of progress
Agile CoachingDevelop existing skills to enable the team reach a better stateUsually medium term - lasting a few months to couple of years

Agile coaching is usually in a one to many form where the coachees participate as a team
Here the coachess are the ones in driving seat. Coach will subtly influence but he can not enforce the way a coaching goesCoaching usually happens where coach helps the team to reach a stage where they them selves will find the answerBetter on the ground application on skills and knowledge