Management 3.0: Agile Leadership Practices

Agile management is an often overlooked part of Agile. There is much  information available for Agile developers, testers, and project managers, but  very little for development managers and team leaders. However,  when organizations adopt Agile software development, not only developers,  testers, and project managers need to learn new practices. Development managers  and team leaders must also learn a new approach to leading and managing Agile  organizations.

Several studies indicate that "old-style" managers are the biggest  obstacle in transitions to Agile software development. Development managers  and team leaders need to learn what their new role is in Agile software  development organizations. This course is designed to help them.

About the Audience

This course aims at leaders/managers who want to become  Agile, and people who want to become great team leaders or line managers. (No  practical experience with Agile methods is necessary, though some familiarity  with Agile principles and practices is useful.)

The course typically draws team leaders (15%), development managers (15%),  agile coaches (15%), scrum masters (15%), project managers (10%), product owners  (10%), developers and testers (10%), and top-level management (10%).


Topics Day 1

  1. Agile software development is the new golden standard for software teams.  You will learn about different Agile methods, popular best practices, the 7  dimensions of looking at software projects, challenges in Agile adoption around  the world, and the contribution of the manager and team leader in Agile  organizations;
  2. Complexity science and systems thinking are the cornerstones of an Agile  mindset. You will learn about causal loop diagrams, what complexity theory is,  how to think in terms of systems, about Black Swans and Jokers, about the  difference between complex and complicated, and about the 7 fallacies we often  recognize in traditional linear thinking;
  3. People are the most important parts of an organization and managers must  do all they can to keep people active, creative, and motivated. You will learn  about the difference between extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation, the 10  intrinsic desires, and common techniques for understanding what is important to  the people in your teams, such as one-on-one meetings, personal assessments, the  12 most important questions, and 360 degree meetings;
  4. Teams are able to self-organize, and this requires empowerment,  authorization, and trust from management. You will learn how to make  self-organization work, how to distribute authorization in an organization, the  challenges of empowerment, how to grow relationships of trust, and several  techniques for distributed control, such as the 7 levels of delegation, and  authority boards;

Topics Day 2

  1. Self-organization can lead to anything, and it's therefore necessary to  protect people and shared resources, and to give people a clear purpose and  defined goals. You will learn when to manage and when to lead, how to use  different criteria to create useful goals, about the challenges around  management by objectives, and how to protect people and shared resources from  any bad effects of self-organization.
  2. Teams aren't able to achieve their goals if team members aren't capable  enough, and managers must therefore contribute to the development of competence.  You will learn about skill levels and discipline levels, how and when to apply  the seven approaches of competence development, how to measure progress in a  complex system, the effect of sub-optimization, and several tips for useful  metrics;
  3. Many teams operate within the context of a complex organization, and thus  it is important to consider structures that enhance communication. You will  learn how to grow an organizational structure as a fractal, how to balance  specialization and generalization, how to choose between functional and  cross-functional teams, about informal leadership and widening job titles, and  about treating teams as value units in a value network;
  4. People, teams, and organizations need to improve continuously, in order to  defer failure for as long as possible. In practice this means that managers and  leaders must act as change agents, trying to change the social complex systems  around them. You will learn about the 4 facets of change management, which  address the system, the individuals, the interactions, and the boundary of the  system.