This Blog is about What is The Agile Leader? What role a manager or a leader can play in Agile teams? Also What is Project manager role in agile.
WHAT’S IN IT
Introduction: The Agile Leader
This is one of the most talked-about roles whenever we introduce agile people come up with our perception that Agile is against managers.
Yes we want to create a self-organizing team but we do need a leadership role in it but we don’t need micromanagement where people assign task and take status in the evening.
So we don’t need that kind of managers but we need leaders who facilitate create teams that can manage themselves and produce good outcomes.
Let’s discuss what role a manager or a leader can play in Agile teams.
In Agile environment, we expect leaders scrum masters manage to be a servant leader.
What does it mean it means the leaders who served the team and lead by serving them.
Means a leader who creates an environment solved problems for the team and let the team perform, creates a basic infrastructure, creates a basic environment where people can trust each other.
People can share their knowledge, People can experiment they can do their desired work rather than directing and monitoring.
This leadership says okay this is your goal you know how to achieve it and I am there.
If you face any problem I am at your service to help you and solve the problems which are raised by the team.
So if you have any problem. You can assign work to me rather than I assign work to you and I solve those things I serve you and I lead you, people, by serving you and that is a leader and servant leadership mindset we need in Agile leaders.
Since Agile is all about adaptation Agile is all about accepting that change is a way of life.
The agile leaders should believe in changes should believe in flexibility. They should not talk we have been doing this for 10 years and this is the best way of doing it rather than.
Yes we have been doing this for 10 years but let’s explore do we have a better way of doing it so these leaders are open for change.
Coaching and Mentoring
Traditional leaders were also expected or many times. They were performing the role of coach and mentor for their team member.
The same approach the same role has to be played by agile leaders as well agile leader needs to coach and mentor their team so that team becomes self-organized and produces exceptional results.
Focus on What Not Now?
So what does it mean the focus of an agile leader is towards cold rather than about steps so it’s like leading stats to the thing that you figure out how you want to do it but I facilitate you. I give you a direction to tell you what we need to achieve.
So Agile leaders are expected to set goals rather than giving a detailed instruction about How to achieve those goals? Because how part is expected to be known better by the team members.
The developer moves better how to code you just tell me what you need so Agile leader focus is on getting the needs the focus the goals communicated and they encourage the team to find out the best way of achieving it.
Leaders should build trust in the team how many times this word trust and transparency. They keep coming in interchangeably and I believe in my personal opinion that we don’t get transparency till the time we have trust.
I will not come to you and tell you that I have a problem in my code. If I know that you will start shouting on me if I do not come to tell you that this work.
I estimate for 10 hours but now it looks like if you take 20 hours if you react on my this statement I will avoid telling you this thing.
So the managers are the leaders in Agile organisation. Create an environment where people build trust with each other and they do share status.
We create an environment where we focus on problems, we focus on solving issues rather than who is raising it and who is stuck into a particular issue so more focus on work more focus on work follows more focus on producing outputs.
Customer Delivery Focus
We need to focus and create an environment where people start thinking about customer delivery now. Many time tradition leadership focuses too much on utilization focuses.
Too much on times sheets focus. Too much on How much time you have spent in XYZ activities in Agile leadership the focus should be what We have delivered today, What value we have achieved in this particular duration.
So move teams from activities towards customers focus towards outcomes.
Outcome Over Output
This is the same statement going forward that rather than focusing on I have turned this much amount of code and I have done this much of amount of testing.
We need to focus on that we have solved customers problem which result has been achieved so the manager should create an environment where people start thinking about outcomes rather than output.
The most important part of an agile manager is to create a team that works at a sustainable place.
You may find many teams working overtime once in a while it is ok. But you cannot keep working overtime because it’s not sustainable. People will start leaving the team people will get burned out they will have different type of behaviour.
So, as a manager, he needs to ensure that people work at a sustainable place and produce a predictable output so the business delivers delivery can be met.
Project Manager Role in Agile Leader
When we talk about the agile leaders and managers roll many times end up getting a question that do we have a project manager in agile and What is the role of a project manager in agile.
So fast thing is that many methods in Agile do not have a role called project manager.
But much Agile organisation who are following hybrid methods or who are following I think some there homegrown agile processes they do have a project manager role.
A project manager the traditional project manager was growing communication task allocation coaching all those roles alone in case of agile environment.
The management role goes to the team they are expected to self-manage the project manager or whoever is the leader is responsible for creating the team.
Which can himself manage the communication roll requirement gathering role which project manager used to do much time goes towards product management product owners or business analysis as a site.
The Primary role which is usually left to a project manager is an agile organization is helping the team to interact with cross-functional teams from the external team and also helping the team to remove implements, remove blockers which they cannot remove on their own.
So again like a facilitator, mentoring, coaching, direction role where we do trust the team can deliver.
We just need to create the good environment and project manager also works for the same goal creating the best environment possible for the team so they can perform the best.
An Agile leader is a kind of leader who facilitates creating teams that can manage themselves and produce good outcomes.
In an agile organisation, the primary role of a project manager is to make the team stronger by guiding them how to remove the hurdles.
Even if you want to create a self-organizing team but you need a strong leader to give the team members a right direction. An agile leader is the one who can adapt himself in any situation and work efficiently and also motivate his team to do the same.
Also, you can read our blog on Leading Peers – Learning How to Manage Former Peers