Who ever Heard of an Agile Manager ???
There is no role of Agile Manager in Scrum.
What would you choose for the management and leadership involved with your company’s agile adoption?
1. Get extended time with an expert
2. Go get trained in agile
3. Hear someone share their story of how they changed as an IT executive when their company went agile
Management is consistently a top-problem with agile adoptions, and it’s clear to see why in the graph below from VersionOne’s latest State of Agile survey.
Again, there is no role of Agile Manager in Scrum.
I’m not saying management doesn’t exist, but I’m saying Scrum doesn’t speak to it. The ambiguity can be painful, and without guidance on how to change, it’s understandable that people keep behaving the way they have.
Yet management and leadership play a crucial role. They help and support the development of teams and team members into problem solvers who swarm on problems, pull work and create the best designs and architectures. My experience is that most teams don’t do these things well. This causes problems with delivery of a quality product on time. Soooo…management gets MORE involved to solve those problems. They add more meetings and processes and overhead to try and HELP!
It’s a downward spiral because the more management solves problems, the more the team feels a lack of ownership and empowerment. This leads to even more problems.
I’ve been the manager who couldn’t take time off during crucial times or holidays. I’ve been the guy to come back from time away to find team members waiting for my return to ask a question that’s blocking the work. … They knew even though more about the problem and possible solutions than I did!
But I trained them to be that way! I was not a self-organizing agile manager. Every time there was a problem, *I* solved it. Every question, I would have an answer for. But the truth is, they almost always had solutions and answers, too. I just didn’t ask them…
In the end, for Scrum to work its best, especially with multiple teams in approaches like SAFe and LeSS, the managers and leadership need to grow. The goal is not being experts but rather to empower, teach and expect problem solving by the teams.
This leads to more team ownership and empowerment, and thus better and faster decisions, and because of that, a better product.