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 & Relationship||Who Drives it?||Models||Goal|
|Agile Training||Imparting 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 capacity||Training is driven by the trainer - He/She decides the methodology and the model of the training||Multiple models like classroom instruction , discussions , demonstrations , hands on exercises may be used||Increased Skill or Knowledge for the trainee(s)|
|Agile Mentoring||Helping the mentee to reach the answers and achieve towards a certain goal||Usually Long term. Its an ongoing hand holding till the mentee reaches the goal.||Mentor , who is SME drives the direction and model||More intimate one on one way extended via discussion or thought provoking questions. Mentor will help the mentee outline his options and choose one||Better clarity for mentee
Clear plan of progress
|Agile Coaching||Develop existing skills to enable the team reach a better state||Usually 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 goes||Coaching usually happens where coach helps the team to reach a stage where they them selves will find the answer||Better on the ground application on skills and knowledge|