The Role of the Manager in an Agile, or Wannabe Agile, Org
The Lesser KnownBreakfast of Champions a.k.a. The Role of the Manager in an Agile, or Wannabe Agile, Org Steven Koes President
Who Are You?• First: props for being here, you’ve already demonstrated more mo<va<on than 80% of par<cipants in soAware development. Need a job? J • Developers, star<ng a company or want to start a company? • What would you like to get out of today’s session?
Who is This Guy?• 15+ Years in SoAware Development: IBM, 2 Startups, Consul<ng, Travel, Educa<on • Believes Agile can create more of the right products and do so at a higher quality in less <me, regardless of the industry; has worked in orgs in which Agile did so and orgs in which it failed miserably • Computer Science BA & Masters in Business & Management from Wharton/Upenn • Recently started An<phon, Inc., to oﬀer business real-‐<me insight into the rela<onships between their online & mobile marke<ng (yes, SEO, too), web site sta<cs, customer interac<ons and, of course, revenue and proﬁt
Your Mental Model of ManagementWhich picture most closely resembles your mental picture when you think of a manager?
Your Mental ModelOver the course of your career...
Closer Look: What Our Mental Models of Management May Mean • Are managers primarily disciplinarians and/or task masters? • Should they know more and be more capable than you are? • Are they administrators, <me-‐sheet collectors, bean counters, irritants? • Do they, or should they, empower and support you? • Do they help you navigate your company’s hierarchy and/or help you understand your group’s vision and the market for your services and/or products?
From Control to Commitment• Models of management are changing in many industries, in most cases from control/admin/ supervisor to glue/facilitator/enabler/nurturer/ mentor • Why? – Crea<ve labor cannot be “herded” – Compe<<ve advantage oAen comes from extrac<ng discre<onary value from employees – Technology, of course – Company<-‐>employee loyalty is all but dead, both par<es must constantly “brand” themselves and develop and maintain a reputa<on
Aunt Jemima: Take a Closer Look• Nurturing • Conﬁdent but approachable • Updates her image and her recipes as needed • Authen<c: sure, she’s ﬁc<onal, but if she weren’t, the image makes it clear she makes and eats plenty of pancakes herself!
Aunt Jemima’s School of Management• Walk the talk: know your industry, company and product and help your team navigate them all • Pancakes/Feed your teams: share industry and company knowledge • Roll up your sleeves: get grunt work out of your teams’ way and help individuals ﬁnd and focus on what they are good, like and that adds value
Aunt Jemima’s School of Management• Smile and look straight ahead: make decisions collabora<vely and transparently and invite others to ques<on them and make sugges<ons • Change your recipe when it’s not working: nothing s<ﬂes construc<ve cri<cism like having no response and/or nothing changing
Nurturing Agile at Your Org How do your managers see themselves?
Nurturing Agile at Your Org• Assess your org’s culture: could the Marines use the Agile process? Should they? • Know thyself: know why you are doing it and how it beneﬁts both you and the org • As unappealing as it may be, you will have to make appeals to emo<on and personal needs as well as logical arguments
Basic Steps• Create a sense of urgency • Build a coali<on that spans all stakeholders and their bosses • Set “value added” goals, e.g. greater customer sa<sfac<on, more downloads, fewer defects • Deﬁne clear, simple ways to measure progress toward your goals
Basic Steps• Some of these should beneﬁt decision-‐ makers, likely your boss, directly, for maximum impact • Demonstrate how Agile helped if and when the group makes progress • Accept it will likely not be as well or completely Agile as you would like and celebrate baby steps
Some Things That Are Likely to Deter Your Progress• Going Agile in an organiza<on that is too culturally diﬀerent from what Agile requires • Saying “you don’t get it” to almost anyone; if you want to change things, it is incumbent upon you to “get” them and their business ﬁrst • Losing sight of what Agile is supposed to do for the company, a.k.a. making Agile the goal rather than a means
In Closing• Agile, and transi<oning to Agile, is challenging, rewarding and fun • If it is consistently none of the above for more than a couple weeks, pause, reﬂect (retrospec<ve J) and re-‐assess your process and/or transi<on • Your manager should be able to help!
Additional Materials“How to Change a Culture,” MIT Sloan Management Review, John Shook 12/2010 “Corporate Transforma<on Without a Crisis,” The McKinsey Quarterly, Jonathan Day & Michael Jung 4/2004 “Why Should Anyone be Led by You?” HBR, Robert Goﬀee & Gareth Jones 6/2004 “David Neeleman: Flight Path of a Servant Leader,” HBR, Bill George & Marhew Breiselder 9/2009 Organiza<on Change, Theory & Prac<ce, W. Warner Burke 6/2002 Communica<ng Change: How to Win Support for New Business Direc<ons, TJ and Sandar Larkin 1994 hrp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-‐success/201107/is-‐loyalty-‐dead
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