Consulting in Agile

Excerpt from The Agile Consultant: Guiding Clients to Enterprise Agility by Rick Freedman


Consultants are paid advisors and must focus on customer's best interest. Best consultants have following attributes.

  1. Domain expertise

  2. Creativity to add value

  3. Temperament to advise gracefully

  4. Relationship skills to collaborate and guide

  5. Adapt to the client and accept the feasibility boundaries

Clients of consultants expect more than counsel; they want us to implement the ideas we’ve proposed, and to be accountable for the business results we promised.

Anybody who is doing consulting in Agile definitely has all agile experience and domain expertise such as:

  1. Seen agile adoptions and agile transformations

  2. Ran into political and cultural roadblocks

  3. Aware of evolving theories of Agile such as tribes, SAFe, product centricity etc.

But Agile requires much more personal interaction rather than just advisory.

  1. Team level: Neutral facilitator for collaborative behavior

  2. Management level: Translate unfamiliar agile concepts into accessible, business-oriented language

  3. Executive level: Competitive benefits of organizational agility

Your ability to set the bar high, create a collaborative, performance-oriented team atmosphere with a sense of purpose and achievement, while keeping everyone’s eyes on the business prize, will determine your success as an agile advisor.

Five step traditional consulting model has been disrupted by Agile consulting.


  1. Understand the current state.

  2. Define the desired state.

  3. Analyze the gap.

  4. Recommend a plan of action to address the gap.

  5. Implement and monitor the plan.

As agile consultants, we are essentially contracting to undertake an experimental, experiential quest with our client to discover together how far toward agility their collective awareness, desire, and will can take them. We only learn their agile limit by trial and error. In agile evolution, when you push the boundary, the boundary pushes back.


The agile consultant is committing to a series of time-boxed value deliveries, rather than a 12-month study that produces a report.


The incremental model of consulting, both for agile transition clients and for our traditional consulting clients, is the disruptive idea that must inevitably replace the traditional leveraged, predictive, eternal entrenchment model of the Big 5 (or 4, or 3, or however many are left).


Hashtags: #Agile #Leadership #Transformation #Consulting


Ref: The Agile Consultant: Guiding Clients to Enterprise Agility by Rick Freedman


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