Agile Notes (No. 16)

Every Friday, I send out an email highlighting a concept relating to Agile/Scrum/Continuous Improvement. Lets get to it….

This week, we continue with Notes from the excellent Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins. I absolutely LOVE how Lyssa brings her practice of mindfulness and being present into her coaching. Being an agile coach is about listening and communication.

This week, we will talk about what it means to be an agile manager. But Mike! There is no such thing! Grab your popcorn.

Adkins introduces the concept of the Agile Manager on page 173. She acknowledges that middle managers in an agile organization don’t have a prescribed agile role. They are not scrum masters or product owners. They aren’t team members. They in the middle and are being:

“…squeezed by the top brass who want the fruits of agile but still long for the illusion of certainty that schedules, status reports, and steering committee meetings represent.”

They CAN however, help their teams deliver. Which is the subject of the screen grab above. They have to play on both sides of the ball - offense AND defense. You have to “be like water” in the words of Bruce Lee. Adkins brings the Zen. (I love it.) I highly recommend the ESPN 30 for 30 on Bruce Lee. (So good that even my 19 year old daughter liked it and she h.a.t.e.s. everything I watch.)

I think the last bullet sums up the rest: Team Champion. Protect the team. Help them deliver. Do whatever is needed to help them deliver. Maintain a laser focus on delivering value. Clearing road blocks.

Thanks for reading. Please, leave a comment.

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And, if you think about it, maybe forward this on to someone you know. They don’t have to be Agile or even be thinking about being Agile.

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