Does Agile mean NO Managers?

In trying to move in the right direction Agile-wise too soon, there are organizations who will consider removing managers or team leads completely from the equation.

However, removing the title doesn't mean, the role or the job has been removed and these management positions are simply disguised via different names. There are scrum masters sometimes who are actually functional managers for the team.


I think the reason these roles overlap is because sometimes organizations don’t realizes the role of a scum master.

A scrum master is the facilitator for the team and does not make decisions for the team. I think this is the trickiest factor that no management realizes. Scrum master isn’t the decision maker or someone who will appoint stories or tasks to the team. So a manager cannot disguise himself into this role.

So, one way to resolve this problem is to never merge both of these roles. Scrum master and the functional manager shouldn't be the same person. Even by overlapping roles for one team, you send out the wrong message to the other teams.  

The managers can happily co-exist with the agile teams and they can be great blocker resolvers. They should be the one helping teams deliver more by removing all impediments, looking into the patterns and trend of all teams and see what can be done to minimize the recurring causes of the issues.  


If management interferes and spoon feeds teams in every chance they get, teams never come close enough to becoming self-organizing teams and making their own decisions. Management can choose to either make teams adopt Agile better or make decisions that messes it u for the organization. 

(pic courtesy: google images)

2 comments:

Amani Phoenix said...

An agile process tends to focus on iterations, and client feedback, to allow for the inevitability of changing requirements whereas a waterfall process tries to define all requirements up front, and tends to be inflexible to changing requirements. You can learn more about agile and scrum by referring to some free resources (http://www.scrumstudy.com/free-resources.asp) provided by scrumstudy or by attending any agile scrum certification courses. I would personally suggest Agile Expert Certified course or a Scrum Master Certification to you.

Kenley said...

The first step is to train the project managers in Agile Project Management. Try to get them to be certified scrum masters, and agile project managers, preferably from Project Management Institute.