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Managing in an Agile World

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Agile is based on self-organizing teams, so if teams organize themselves, what do managers do?

It turns out that managers can play a critical role both in agile adoption and in agile success long-term.

Unfortunately, scrum training mostly doesn’t address the role: when trainers and coaches sketch the structure of a scrum team, they almost never include a manager. (Think about it: While there's always a scrum master, a product owner, the core team and maybe some stakeholders, have you ever seen a manager in that drawing?)

Managers not knowing their changed role can be a problem: A frequently cited barrier to agile adoption is managers who don't know what to do when their teams become self-managing. When they're not included in training, how would they (or anyone else, for that matter) know the contributions to which managers need to apply themselves. Worse, their larger organizations often lay down expectations for them that are incompatible with agile.

Agile has shifted the old roles and responsibilities. A manager bent on command-and-control is clearly a barrier to agile adoption. But managers who take a hands-off approach or are unclear on the contribution they must make will almost certainly stymie adoption, as well.

Ron Lichty echoes many of the early agile thought leaders: we managers have critical roles to play in enabling success, both in transitioning to agile and in agile itself.

This session is about managers’ critical contributions, and is for managers at all levels, for prospective managers, for team leads, and for members of teams thinking through how to make their teams the best teams they’ve ever been part of.

Bio:
Ron Lichty has been alternating between consulting with and managing software development and product organizations for over 25 years, almost all of those spent untangling the knots in software development and transforming chaos to clarity, the last 19 of those in the era of Agile. Originally a programmer, he earned several patents and wrote two popular programming books before being hired into his first management role by Apple Computer, which nurtured his managerial growth in both development and product management roles.

Principal and owner of Ron Lichty Consulting, Inc. (www.RonLichty.com), he both is a VPE firejumper and has trained teams in scrum, transitioned teams from waterfall and iterative methodologies to agile, coached teams already using agile to make their software development "hum", and trained managers in managing software people and teams. In his continued search for effective best practices, Ron co-authors the periodic Study of Product Team Performance (http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html).

Ron's most recent book is Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams - http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net. Published by Addison Wesley, it has been compared by reviewers to the software development classics.

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Managing in an Agile World

  1. 1. Managing in an Agile World Ron Lichty, principal, Ron Lichty Consulting author, Managing the Unmanageable
  2. 2. Code Camp Management Track © Ron Lichty 2
  3. 3. Who Are You? • Managers? (people managers) • Tech Leads? • Developers? • Testers? • Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches? • Product Managers / Product Owners? • Other? © Ron Lichty 3
  4. 4. Ron Lichty, Managing Software People & Teams SOFTWEST © Ron Lichty 8
  5. 5. * Addison Wesley (Amazon, BarnesandNoble, InformIT.com, Safari) http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net <-----tools, excerpts, more rules of thumb © Ron Lichty 9 *
  6. 6. 13 The Problem: ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)© Ron Lichty
  7. 7. 14 The Problem: Where Is the Manager? ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)© Ron Lichty
  8. 8. 15 The Problem: Where Is the Manager? © Ron Lichty
  9. 9. --Laura Powers, crafted for Ron’s talk to Agile Learning Labs © Ron Lichty 16
  10. 10. --Laura Powers, crafted for Ron’s talk to Agile Learning Labs © Ron Lichty 17 When the shift is from Managers in charge to Teams in charge
  11. 11. --Laura Powers, crafted for Ron’s talk to Agile Learning Labs © Ron Lichty 18 When the shift is from Managers in charge to Teams in charge The double-squeeze: When the rest of the org doesn’t get that!
  12. 12. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* * 300 in the book more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html © Ron Lichty 19
  13. 13. Managers and Agile • “A common misconception is that because of this reliance on self-organizing teams, there is little or no role for leaders of agile teams. Nothing could be further from the truth.” --Mike Cohn, Succeeding with Agile © Ron Lichty 21
  14. 14. Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams • What’s unique about managing programmers • What’s unique about programmers • Finding and Hiring Great Programmers • Getting New Programmers Started Off Right • Managing People / Managing a Team • Managing Up, Out, and Yourself • Motivating Programmers and Teams • Establishing/Nurturing a Successful Culture • Managing Successful Software Delivery © Ron Lichty 22
  15. 15. Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams • What’s unique about managing programmers • What’s unique about programmers • Finding and Hiring Great Programmers • Getting New Programmers Started Off Right • Managing People / Managing a Team • Managing Up, Out, and Yourself • Motivating Programmers and Teams • Establishing/Nurturing a Successful Culture • Managing Successful Software Delivery • If We’re Agile, Why Managers? © Ron Lichty 23
  16. 16. Agile Management Roles • Familiar management roles teams still need • Roles that change, sometimes dramatically • Roles (and styles) that are inappropriate – Roles that are deprecated • Management roles that are new with agile © Ron Lichty 24
  17. 17. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 25
  18. 18. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 26
  19. 19. 27 a single Scrum Team ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)© Ron Lichty
  20. 20. Agile Recommends Feature Teams • before agile, typically – teams organized around technology components • after agile – smaller feature teams, each owning features across components for one area of the business – clear ownership of end-to-end business value for business features that require multiple components, each focused on a single business value stream
  21. 21. Agile Organization best practices: example • VersionOne: Frameworks for Scaling Agile: A Case Study, http://blogs.versionone.com/agile_management/2014/03/25/safe-and-other-frameworks-for-scaling-agile-a-case-study/ © Ron Lichty 29
  22. 22. Spotify: Kniberg calls Scrum Teams “Squads” • Each squad has a long-term mission: e.g., building/improving the Android client, creating the Spotify radio experience, scaling backend systems, payment solutions, …
  23. 23. Spotify: Kniberg calls Scrum Teams “Squads” • Each squad has a long-term mission, “own” parts of the UX
  24. 24. Managers lead “Chapters” that span Scrum Teams • “Chapters” are manager-led tech organizations • Managers are called “Chapter leads”
  25. 25. Managers lead “Chapters” that span Scrum Teams • vertical dimension: “what”: guidance on “what to build next” • horizontal dimension: “how”: guidance on “how to build it well”
  26. 26. “Guilds” span both Scrum Teams & Chapters • Kniberg layers on “Guilds” – Communities of Practice or Affinity Groups
  27. 27. How Teams Change in Agile Web Mgr DB Mgr Srvr Mgr Net Mgr Sys Mgr PjM Mgr PdM Dir Web Mgr DB Mgr Srvr Mgr Net Mgr Sys Mgr PMO Mgr PdM Dir PO PO PO PO PO S M S M S M S M S M Team Team Team Team Team From manager-led component teams… To self-organizing feature teams... t-shirts, public domain under Creative Commons CC0, https://pixabay.com/en/tee-shirt-white-clothing-casual-34009/
  28. 28. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 36
  29. 29. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 37
  30. 30. Creating an Agile Culture • TheoryY:“enabling”,“empowering”,“developmental",“continuousimprovement”->ServantLeadership McGregor's X-Y Theory © Ron Lichty 38
  31. 31. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture Lean-Agile management is the art of leading people, not managing them... Leading people involves creating the correct environment, focusing them on the right things, and trusting them to do their work... In Lean-Agile, the manager has two primary responsibilities: • setting the outcomes or goals expected of the team; • assisting the doers in creating a better process and workspace to get their jobs done... --Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives © Ron Lichty 39
  32. 32. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb Management sets the boundaries of what needs to be done and says to the team, I trust you to figure out how to get it done. -- Agile Open California 2013
  33. 33. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb Management sets the boundaries of what needs to be done and says to the team, I trust you to figure out how to get it done. -- Agile Open California 2013 At Spotify we trust our people and teams to make informed decisions about the way they work and what they work on. -- Agile à la Spotify
  34. 34. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify.
  35. 35. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. - RONALD REAGAN
  36. 36. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb – imperative not to micromanage – the essence of delegation – setting expected outcomes for teams Trust but verify. - RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN
  37. 37. Leaders and Agile • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. - RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN I inspect what I expect. - ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quoting LOU GERSTNER
  38. 38. Programming Is a Team Sport
  39. 39. Programming Is a Team Sport • Create a culture of communication – at every level – with everyone • up, down, within and across
  40. 40. Programming Is a Team Sport • Create a culture of communication – at every level – with everyone • up, down, within and across • “We have two ears and one mouth. Use them in this ratio.” — Kimberly Wiefling
  41. 41. Programming Is a Team Sport 49© Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty You cannot overcommunicate. -RON LICHTY
  42. 42. Programming Is a Team Sport 50© Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty You cannot overcommunicate. -RON LICHTY • Virtual teams – There is never enough communication – Commit to communicate The more distance between teammates, the more you have to formalize communication and make it explicit. -TED YOUNG, Development Manager & Agile Coach, Guidewire
  43. 43. Creating an Agile Culture • Establishing Culture © Ron Lichty 51http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
  44. 44. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 52
  45. 45. Managers and Agile • Supporting Agile Values http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html© Ron Lichty 53
  46. 46. Managers and Agile • Agile Adoption curve… http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html - the 2014 Study© Ron Lichty 54
  47. 47. Managers and Agile • Supporting Agile Values Methodology You Use Methodology You Associate with Increase Profits Agile Blended (Some Waterfall and Some Agile) Lean Waterfall Agile 73.9% 13.0% 9.8% 0.0% Blended (Some Waterfall and Some Agile) 31.8% 46.2% 10.6% 6.1% Lean 14.3% 0.0% 42.9% 14.3% Waterfall 15.8% 50.0% 18.4% 13.2% Don't Know 5.3% 42.1% 26.3% 5.3% http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html - the 2013 Study© Ron Lichty 55
  48. 48. Why might that be? • The Agile Principles begin… –Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer… -- www.AgileManifesto.org
  49. 49. What defines “Success”? • Go beyond the Agile Principles… –Our highest priority is to delight the customer… -- www.AgileManifesto.org
  50. 50. How do we do that? • Agile practices?
  51. 51. Agile Practices Do Deliver Value
  52. 52. Agile Practices Deliver Value • Planning Daily • Planning Weekly (or biweekly or…) • Planning Publicly • Ordering Work Based on Customer Value • Together defining “Done” • Delivering Frequently • Sharing how we’re doing • Reflecting on how to do better
  53. 53. Agile Practices Deliver Value • Standups – Standups matter: – Effective, Daily Standups --2015 Study of Product Team Performance
  54. 54. Agile Practices Do Deliver Value
  55. 55. Voting Machines Deliver Value, too
  56. 56. Voting Machines Deliver Value, too • But no one claims voting machines are what make us a democracy
  57. 57. Similarly… Agile Practices Don’t (by themselves) Make Us Agile
  58. 58. Leaders and Agile • Agile seems easy: it has practices – …and the practices deliver value • Agile is hard because it’s not just practices • Agile is a philosophy • What’s hard: breathing life into the practices • making them your own • adapting them to the uniqueness of your teams, people, culture, products
  59. 59. Similarly… Agile Practices Aren’t Enough to Make Us Agile “Becoming Agile is hard. It is harder than most other organizational change efforts I’ve witnessed or been part of [for reasons] including…the need to avoid turning Scrum into a list of best practices.” --Mike Cohn
  60. 60. Agile Values and Agile Principles Make Us Agile
  61. 61. Agile Values Make Us Agile The Agile Manifesto – We value: • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools • Working software over comprehensive documentation • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation • Responding to change over following a plan -- http://agilemanifesto.org/
  62. 62. © Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty 70http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html
  63. 63. Support Agile Values Value the Agile Manifesto over sets of practices – We value: • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools • Working software over comprehensive documentation • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation • Responding to change over following a plan -- http://agilemanifesto.org/ © Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty 71
  64. 64. Agile Principles Make Us Agile • Build projects around motivated individuals • Trust… to get the job done • Face-to-face conversation • Self-organizing teams • The team reflects, …tunes, …adjusts -- http://agilemanifesto.org/
  65. 65. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 73
  66. 66. Empowering Self-Organization • If our self-organizing team were an acting troupe, … What kind of acting do we do?
  67. 67. Empowering Self-Organization • If our self-organizing team were an acting troupe, … What kind of acting do we do? • If our self-organizing team were a music group, … What kind of music do we perform?
  68. 68. Empowering Self-Organization • If our self-organizing team were an acting troupe, … What kind of acting do we do? • If our self-organizing team were a music combo, … What kind of music do we perform? • Who is the leader?
  69. 69. Empowering Self-Organization When teams self-organize there's still plenty for managers to do... a managers job is to engineer the organization so that teams can do their best work. --Esther Derby, co-founder, Scrum Alliance © Ron Lichty 77
  70. 70. Models: Self-Organizing Teams & Managers • Improv & Jazz don’t give us manager models
  71. 71. Models: Self-Organizing Teams & Managers • Coaching
  72. 72. Models: Self-Organizing Teams & Managers • Coaching: basketball – Phil Jackson • Sacred Hoops • Eleven Rings – Steve Kerr
  73. 73. Projects Not Suitable for Agile?
  74. 74. Projects Not Suitable for Agile? • Micromanagement
  75. 75. Projects Not Suitable for Agile? • Micromanagement • Agile calls for everyone on the team to step up • Micromanagement causes everyone to step back
  76. 76. Projects Not Suitable for Agile? • Micromanagement disrupts Agile • Micromanagement prevents Best Teams • Micromanagement prevents Learning • Micromanaged teams become order-takers • Agile calls for everyone on the team to step up • Micromanagement causes everyone to step back
  77. 77. Managers and Agile • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence © Ron Lichty 85http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
  78. 78. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 86
  79. 79. Managers and Agile • Removing Impediments © Ron Lichty 87
  80. 80. Managers and Agile • Removing Impediments “Managers are still needed. Not so much for their planning and controlling ability, but for the important job of interfacing on the team’s behalf with the rest of the organization.” --Diana Larsen, co-author, Agile Retrospectives © Ron Lichty 88
  81. 81. Managers and Agile • Removing Impediments Be a damper to the noise. --Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO John Evans, Winchester, Hants, United Kingdom, www.thetippingpoint.co.uk © Ron Lichty 89
  82. 82. Managers and Agile • Removing Impediments Ensure your team has slack! (100% capacity begets bottlenecks!) --photo (c) Bud Adams, SXC, www.aimpgh.com © Ron Lichty 90
  83. 83. Managers and Agile • Removing Impediments: Protect team focus! (Guard against the waste of multitasking!) --photo (c) jeweledlion, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeweledlion/1502706553/ Some rights reserved © Ron Lichty 91
  84. 84. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 92
  85. 85. Managers and Agile • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring Photo by Esti Alvarez, Some rights reserved, http://www.Flickr.com/photos/esti/4638056301/ © Ron Lichty 93
  86. 86. Managers and Agile • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring Photo by Esti Alvarez, Some rights reserved, http://www.Flickr.com/photos/esti/4638056301/ © Ron Lichty 94 “At Spotify managers are focused on coaching, mentorship, and solving impediments rather than telling people what to do.” -- Agile à la Spotify
  87. 87. Managers and Agile • Creating an Agile Culture • Supporting Agile Values • Empowering Self-Organization & Excellence • Scaling Scrum • Removing Impediments • Counseling, Coaching and Mentoring • Hiring and Firing © Ron Lichty 95
  88. 88. Managers and Agile • Hiring and Firing Always be recruiting! --Mickey Mantle and Ron Lichty, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams © Ron Lichty 96
  89. 89. Managers and Agile • Hiring and Firing Always be recruiting! Deal with problem employees! © Ron Lichty 97
  90. 90. How Do We Manage in an Agile World? • Trust Our People • Empower Self-Organization & Excellence • Expect / Enable Truly Shared Leadership • Model, Defend, Evangelize Agile Values • Foster a Culture of Communication • Encourage Teamwork and Collaboration • Shield Teams from Politics & Distraction • Take Care of Stuff! Take Care of Teams!
  91. 91. Why Do We Need Managers When We’ve Empowered Teams? • Critical to agile transformational success • Key roles in agile • Key roles in creating agile culture • Key to removing impediments • but Agile demands that managers (like everyone else) be proactive! – Managers must adapt to & own these roles – Starts by understanding new / changed roles © Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty 99
  92. 92. Let’s Raffle a Book • Mentoring, coaching, training, consulting: – http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com • The book: Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools & Insights for Managing Software People & Teams – http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net <-----tools, excerpts, more rules of thumb • The video training: LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams – http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net/video.html • The study: The Study of Product Team Performance – http://ronlichty.com/study.html • Training: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 100 (c) Ron Lichty: Teamwork: Making Your Dream Team Come TrueRon@RonLichty.com
  93. 93. Code Camp Management Track © Ron Lichty 101
  94. 94. Upcoming Talks & Classes Agile and Scrum: Immersive Training –Seattle: Fri, Oct. 19, School of Visual Concepts –San Francisco: Wed, Nov. 28, General Assembly Webinar: Organizing and Scaling Agile Teams –Online: Wed, Jan. 16, 2019, www.synerzip.com/webinars 102© Ron Lichty
  95. 95. Informit.com/lichty Save 50% on Video Training • Use code VIDEO50 Save 35% on Book • Use code SWDEV35 • Good on print, eBooks, and video • eBook files include PDF, EPUB, and MOBI Offer only good at informit.com 103
  96. 96. Ron Lichty Consulting • Mentoring, coaching, training, consulting: – http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com • The book: Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools & Insights for Managing Software People & Teams – http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net <-----tools, excerpts, more rules of thumb • The video training: LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams – http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net/video.html • The study: The Study of Product Team Performance – http://ronlichty.com/study.html • Training: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 104 (c) Ron Lichty: Teamwork: Making Your Dream Team Come TrueRon@RonLichty.com
  97. 97. © Ron Lichty 105

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