April 7, 2018

 

Your company has finally decided to “go Agile”. That’s great! As everyone begins to learn about Agility, managers will learn that:

  • They don’t get to prioritize the work anymore because that’s now the role of the Product Owner.

  • The team monitors and reports on its own progress and the Product Owner handles the exceptions.

  • They don’t get to work on the process anymore because that’s now the role of the Scrum Master.

  • They are not allowed to tell the team how to organize because the team is self-organizing.

 

This puts managers in a very uncomfortable situation. How can managers adjust to such a big change? What’s in store for their future? The typical reaction is to resist or obstruct the transformation effort. And who could blame them?

 

This is reflected in the findings of the VersionOne Annual State of Agile Survey.  For over a decade this most highly regarded survey found that management is one of the largest impediment to Agile transformations.

 

Typical transformation efforts do a great job addressing the needs of the teams. Unfortunately, many simply ignore the management aspect. How is it possible to transform an organization without fully engaging the management? Since Agile transformations have a major impact on management, failing to address this aspect of the transformation effort creates a significant shortcoming.

 

Instead, plan on including management as part of the transformation by:

  • Engaging managers by asking them to take ownership of the transformation. After all it’s their team members who are involved.

  • Providing training and coaching specifically tailored to their needs:

    • Understanding what agility is and how to apply it in day-to-day decision making.

    • Understanding the role of a manager in an Agile organization.

    • Having pragmatic tools and practices to help managers perform effectively.

  • Providing continuous development: building expertise in modern ways of managing takes time. Ongoing coaching and support is essential to hone these new skills into a new craft.

You can transform the Agile transformation, and make it what it ought to be.

Transforming the Agile Transformation