Agile Management: Leadership in an Agile Environment
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
If you have tried to implement Agile in your organization, you have probably learned a lot about development practices, teamwork, processes and tools, but too little about how to manage such an organization. Yet managerial support is often the biggest impediment to successfully adopting Agile, and limiting your Agile efforts to those of the development teams while doing the same old-style management will dramatically limit the ability of your organization to reach the next Agile level.
Ángel Medinilla will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what Agile means to an organization and the manager’s role in such an environment, i.e., how to manage, lead and motivate self-organizing teams and how to create an Agile corporate culture. Based on his background as a “veteran” Agile consultant for companies of all sizes, he delivers insights and experiences, points out possible pitfalls, presents practical approaches and possible scenarios, also including detailed suggestions for further reading.
If you are a manager, team leader, evangelist, change agent (or whatever nice title) and if you want to push Agile further in your organization, then this is your book. You will read how to change the paradigm of what management is about: it is not about arbitrary decisions, constant supervision and progress control, and the negotiation of changing requirements. It is about motivation, self-organization, responsibility, and the exploitation of all project stakeholders’ knowledge. We live in a different world than the one that most management experts of the 20th century describe, and companies that strive for success and excellence will need a new kind of manager – Agile managers.
bridges are normally built on time, on budget, and do not fall down, but, on the other hand, software never comes in on time or on budget and, in addition, it always breaks down.3 In fact, the numbers repetitively shown by Chaos Reports are scary: according to the participants, in 2009, only 32% of all projects succeeded (were delivered on time, on budget, with required features and functions), while 44% were challenged (late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and
things that will create motivation if present, and hygiene factors, things that will not create motivation on their own but will de-motivate if not present. It is interesting to notice that most of his theories were based on interviews with knowledge workers, especially engineers and accountants. 1 Maslow AH (1943) A theory of human motivation. Psychol Rev 50(4):370–396. Skinner BF (1953) Science and human behavior. Free Press. 3 Herzberg F, Mausner B, Snyderman BB (1959) The motivation to
the motivation line. At one end, the lesser one, we have the opposite of motivation, which is not de-motivation. De-motivation is a mere absence of motivation. But if you go even further, what you will find is fear. There is no chance of motivation if there is fear around. Companies and individuals using fear as a motivator have absolutely lost the point on how to motivate knowledge workers. Maybe fear is useful when motivating a squad of soldiers who must charge against a machine gun nest: if
should be aware of the research at Cornell University in the 1960s, quoted by Tom de Marco and Timothy Lister in their awesome book Peopleware, where they proved that coders listening to music with earphones performed more or less at the same speed as those working in a silent environment, but they were less creative and more prone to ignore global issues. That’s because most programming is made on the left side of the brain, while music excites the right side and distracts it from the task
to handle calls and be more “efficient,” and calls will be frequently monitored by supervisors to enforce the company’s policy. This would be a clear case of conflict between espoused values and assumptions and also of Taylorism applied to customer service. But Zappos is not doing that. The management message and the real values are aligned, so all behaviors are consequent with it: there are no scripts nor limits to call times, the longest call recorded exceeding 5 hours. They even have call