Agile Coach = Agile PMO?

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PMI Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter

Júnior Rodrigues, MSC, PMP is a Project Manager, Senior Consultant and Professor in Rio de Janeiro.

One of the questions I still hear today is about a PMO’s performance within an agile environment. There is still some skepticism in the agile community about it, many believing that it doesn’t exist. However, if you look at job postings for some high-profile companies, you’ll see positions like “Agile Coach, PMO” and “Head of Agile Coaching and PMO—Marketing.”

As strange as it may seem to some, there’s a role that is very similar in an agile environment—an agile coach is a leader, mentor and facilitator in agile methods. They create an environment for individuals and the team to grow faster—an environment of trust, respect and healthy collaboration. And because the coach is hardworking and knows several techniques besides scrum, he or she acts in a scaled way with organizations and projects.

The agile coach is like an agile PMO structure. The purpose is like that of a traditional PMO—to ensure that the project satisfactorily creates the intended product within an acceptable time frame. What changes is the approach. By forming an effective team focused on executing agile methodologies and frameworks together—and in a professional and efficient manner—the agile PMO supports the organizational portfolio as well as team communication, execution and reporting.

One of its main roles is to be …

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