Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
- Diagnosing problems within an agile team
- Solving issues with agile meetings
- Creating cross-functional teams
- Helping distributed teams function well
- Managing up within your organization
Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Often, when Scrum is introduced into an organization, managers get nervous. There is no formal role for them in the Scrum framework. Does that mean that all the manager roles will be eliminated? Absolutely not. In fact, when managers successfully transition from the traditional manager role to an agile manager role, they become a huge asset to the teams. Let's look at some of the ways you can help the managers of your team members make the change. First of all, if Scrum training is available in your organization, make sure they take at least an overview course.
This will help set the context of how the team members will be working. They'll come away with the realization that some of the work they've been doing has moved to other roles. For example, many managers focused on assigning work, managing task details, and getting status updates from their team members. In many cases, in fact, the manager was a subject matter expert and provided detailed directions to team members. In Scrum, we want the product owner to manage the work.
Further, we want the team to self organize around the solution and defining how the work should be accomplished. As you share this information with managers, they may express concern. But the good news is, there's still quite a lot for the managers to do. Help them understand their role is shifting from task manager to people leader. That means you and the team will rely on them to help assess training needs and career progressions for their staff.
You'll also need their help in removing organizational impediments for the team. This means that their role becomes much more strategic in nature. They are in a unique position to assess the organization as a whole and see the things that will hurt the teams. They're also in a position to influence decisions that will improve team success. Another great thing that agile managers focus on is supporting a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
In agile, we don't see mistakes as failures. We see them as opportunities for growth and learning. As you interact with the managers, make sure you are influencing them towards this mindset. For example, you can point out a mistake the team made and how they overcame it with a better solution. It's helpful to remind everyone that mistakes are how we learn and improve. As you continue to work with the managers around you, you will help them transform into agile managers.