We understand the following terms as:

consultancy
ˈkuh n-suhl-tn-see/
adjective
Engaged in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a professional or technical field.

consultant
ˈkuh n-suhl-tnt/
noun
a person who gives professional or expert advice.


Observation

This website through many tangible examples, details many of the area definitions of what an Agile Coach should be. However often we have observed that there are potential misconceptions in the world of work that Agile Coaching is the same as Agile Consultancy. Therefore we wish to state that….

We do not see Agile Coaching and Agile Consultancy as one and the same. They are different.

While we believe an Agile Coach can perform Agile Consultancy (although we do not always recommend it), we do not currently observe the majority of Agile Consultants being capable of performing Agile Coaching as we understand it. Nor do the majority of Consultants we observe seem to know the difference between Coaching and Consultancy in general. This we have observed mean on occasion they may even accidentally often mistake themselves as being Agile Coaches!

This is concerning, as confusion can occur when people consider themselves to provide Agile Coaching when instead we have observed they are providing Agile Consulting. This can also affect positive outcomes for Clients as these misconceptions are perpetuated to them too!

Coaching or Consultancy

The difference between Coaching and Consulting is a vast subject that has many areas of interest, relative at the time and depending upon the context domain occur within. A quick example of this is that as is often the case with Consulting, problems will be presented, diagnosed and solutions recommended, possibly even being prescribed by the Consultant, rather than the Client.

In a very crude simplistic way to provide some understanding of a difference between the two, one could say in very basic layman’s terms (and it is very basic) a difference could be….

“Coaching can accelerate, through collaboration with others their self-growth, whilst avoiding instructional advice directly
vs
Consultancy which can through direction, accelerate instructional advice directly, but is limited in catalysing the self-growth of others.”


However, this simple definition is in by no way conclusive and merely acts here in a very crude and basic guiding capacity. It hopefully at least illustrates our view that we consider Agile Coaching and Agile Consultancy to be different and thus should not be considered one and the same.

Conclusion:

As a result of our Agile Coaching, we have come to observe an Agile Consultant is not the same as an Agile Coach.