Agile Transformation – Role of Management [#AgileTransformation #ManagementsRole]

1. Create Clarity
2. Remove Impediments
3. Innovate and Improve

1. Create Clarity
Since Agile emphasizes a pull-based system, it is important for leaders to provide sufficient detail on what outcomes the organization wants to achieve and the priority of these outcomes relative to others. Teams use this information to pull the right work into their delivery system.

Leaders need to provide not just details on what success looks like but how it will be measured, what value will be produced, who will benefit / receive this value and what leading indicators can be used to determine whether teams should continue working on the outcomes.

This activity does not need to be months in duration, in fact, almost the opposite is true. Leaders need to provide just enough information that teams can clearly understand how to organize and deliver the outcomes.

2. Remove Impediments
Once teams have sufficient clarity on what goals and outcomes to pursue it is important for leaders to actively remove any impediments that the teams might face. It is important to understand where the boundaries exist between teams and leadership when it comes to impediments.

Teams should be identifying any impediments on a frequent, ideally daily, basis to ensure a consistent and predictable delivery throughput. For the most part, teams should be enabled and encouraged to remove impediments themselves. However, there are some impediments that will be outside of their sphere of authority and this is where leadership can be a critical enabler of Agile practices.

Impediments that involve other functional areas (perhaps long wait times for approvals or excessive dependencies between two separate teams) or organizational structures (perhaps teams that have people in different geographical areas that make it difficult to collaborate or interact) are areas that only leadership can remove for teams.

This means leaders need to actively considering how to structure the organization to enable Agile practices. Leaders need to organize teams around value streams and create stable teams with the right set of skills to deliver the outcomes the organization needs.

3. Innovate and Improve
Finally, leaders need to be actively encouraging teams to find time to innovate and improve. This means providing them time to improve by ensuring they have capacity and protection to invest in themselves.

This includes supporting the team as they reduce their technical debt or introduce a process or tool that increases their efficiency.

Leaders need to leverage their organizational authority and visibility to help teams increase their effectiveness.

Adapted from:
Management’s Role in an Agile Transformation:

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