The Agile middle management muddle
Agile makes middle managers very uncomfortable. Why does the team not need me anymore? Do they secretly hate me? Will I have a job next year?
While some of this anxiety is justified, a lot of it is not. Middle managers need to accept a different role in an Agile organization, but it can be an extremely important one. Be warned, the new job is not for everyone. For managers who embrace this new role, the job can be far more fulfilling than what they were doing before.
During this talk, we will take a Lean perspective on the role of managers. The discussion will center on the tasks and responsibility in the new role, as well as the type of mindset, experiences, and personalities needed to thrive in it. We'll be honest about what challenges middle managers face. Finally, we’ll discuss a way to assess the manager’s positive contribution to Agile teams and the larger value stream.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
Why Agile makes managers anxious
The intersection of management and leadership
The new, Lean role of management (with specifics)
Measuring management's contribution to Agile teams
A clear job description for managers in an Agile organization.
A list of activities on which managers should focus.
Measures of managers' success.
A way to tell managers, "Don't worry, there's an important role for you, as long as you're willing to adapt."
Managers, Scrum Masters, product owners, team members.
Prerequisites for Attendees
Some basic familiarity with Agile principles and practices is a must. Familiarity with Lean is helpful, but not required.