Problem with Management
You have a problem with management. Well, at least according to the main agile survey, you probably do.
Per VersionOne’s annual survey, management support is one of the top barriers to adopting agile in your company. And it’s getting worse – growing from 24% of respondents in 2009, to 30% in 2013. Add in 53% of those polled saying that “Inability to change organizational culture,” 42% “General resistance to change,” and 35% “Trying to fit agile into a non-agile framework,” and we have a big problem with management and leadership understanding, supporting and (preferably) leading this change that agile and Scrum (and SAFe and kanban and XP and LeSS) all bring about).
Part of the problem with management is that it typically hasn’t been trained in what being agile means. I’ve trained thousands of ScrumMasters, but only asked to come and train leadership a dozen times or so. Therefore it’s understandable that they may not know how to support the teams’ efforts. They know what they’ve done for years, and try to map it back (if not force-fit) that into this new paradigm. If you add to this recipe that most people respond poorly when asked to lead something that they don’t know (not the expert, not comfortable, know that they know less than others in the room), you can see why they might actually pull away and back towards what they do know and feel competent in.
Not coincidentally, training or certification for management and leadership is the most requested to the Scrum Alliance. I am part of a Scrum Alliance workgroup on this training, and there should be the first level of the leadership certification announced at the April 2016 Scrum Gathering. Topics include: Supporting Self-Organizing/Self-
Managing Teams, Developing Collaborative Multi-Team Environments, Guiding Organizational Transformation and Change, Unblocking Agility Constraints at the Organizational Level, Creating a Culture of Trust and much, much more.
Here at Rocket Nine Solutions, we are piloting the training at clients we are coaching, so let us know if your leadership might be interested as well.