Something that has become a burning issue for us and one that we think belongs under the auspices of the Agile Alliance is the lack of consistency in the discipline of Agile coaching and the lack of any ethical framework or code of conduct for that profession.

Agile Coaching Ethics Logo

In informal polls of the community, there is evidence that there is general support for the idea of an ethical framework and a code of conduct for Agile coaching. However, none of the commercial bodies are seen as the right organizations to credibly lead such an initiative.

To this end, a group of volunteers has been working to produce a Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching (Code) and supporting Ethics Scenarios that are aimed to help readers identify the types of dilemmas they may face and to give them examples of appropriate and inappropriate ethical behaviour in different contexts.

Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching

Agile Coaching Ethics Scenarios

This is currently a work in progress and we welcome your feedback. Does the Code resonate? What are we missing? What is unclear? Are there any points that should not be included? Please send any feedback to so that it can be considered in a future draft.

When considering the topics to be included in the Code, we came up with the following guidelines:

  • To be an ethical consideration a topic needs to be something that someone can do as soon as they sign up for the code. As a new agile coach, I can read the statement and apply this immediately in practicing my profession
  • In order to be an ethical consideration, it must be something where there is broad agreement that it risks causing harm to myself, the profession, or others if I do not abide by the statement
  • These points must be applicable to people who are internal agile coaches, external Agile coaches, and those practicing agile coaching as part of another role (for example a manager in an organisation who is expected to also be an agile coach, likewise someone in the role of Scrum Master is often taking on some or all aspects of agile coaching)

Possible future activities for this initiative include:

  • Create a register for Agile Coaches to commit to holding themselves accountable for abiding by the Code of Conduct
  • Encourage Agile Coaches to sign onto it, and recommend that people looking for coaches should check the register for their Coach (social pressure to sign on to the Code of Conduct)

The volunteers who have contributed to this initiative:

  • Shane Hastie
  • Craig Smith
  • John Barratt
  • Geof Ellingham
  • Paul Boos
  • Steven Crago
  • Alex Sloley
  • Melissa Boggs
  • Polly Storr
  • Sarah Skold
  • Renee Troughton
  • Deepti Jain
  • Tom Calgey
  • Sydney Markle
  • Georgina Puli
  • Leslie Morse
  • Andrea Darabos
  • Max Stephan
  • Theresa (Tere) Given
  • Natascha Speets
  • Jean-François Helie