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Managers Hold the Key to Unlock Agile Transformations
Everyone has seen the famous commercial with little kids posing as adults saying, “I want to climb my way up to middle management.” It may not be the pinnacle of our professional aspirations, but middle management is often the “make it or break it” point on the career ladder for you and your organization.

This is especially true for organizations transitioning to agile. As I reflect back on my past coaching engagements and training sessions, it’s clear that mid-level managers are actually the key to unlocking agile transformations. Middle managers get executive authority to "make it happen." They are EXTREMELY powerful in enabling (or disabling) an organization’s agile adoption!

To provide a bit of support for transformational middle managers, we'll dust off the agile manifesto and begin a 4-part agile value (mini)series. This month's value: 

Individuals and Interactions OVER process and tools.

As a manager, your job is to promote the power of people over the power of processes. Here are actions managers can take to create an environment where individuals interact to get the job done:

  • Work with facilities to build team rooms with a team board so face to face communication is easy
  • Change the structure of your global teams by building cross-functional teams in the same geographic location
  • Break down departmental silos by having Development, QA, BA’s, etc. report into the same manager who can enable the team as a whole and rely on centers of competencies to bring coding, testing, automation, etc. standards.
  • Build partnerships with other managers to streamline processes, which are cumbersome (audit, release management, security).
  • Evaluate the tools with your team(s)- are they getting in the way of how we collaborate and/or communicate?  Is there a better or easier way to leverage them or replicate them, allow your team(s) to find the right balance of tools needed to get their jobs done.

It won't be easy or quick, because there are no silver bullets. Change is hard and transformations need to be seen as a journey.  

Next month: How do managers enable Working Software OVER comprehensive documentation?

Upcoming Events

The Difference Between Agile and Scrum
What does it mean to BE Agile and DO Scrum? Join us for this highly interactive and insightful half-day session hosted by PMI's Metrolina chapter. November 21 in Charlotte

Agile 101 | 3-Day Workshop
Over three highly interactive days, participants will gain the skills needed to be effective agile team members. ICAgile Accredited. November 30 - December 2 in Charlotte | December 7-9 in Nashville

Leading a Scaled Agile Framework | 2-Day Workshop
Want to learn more about Lean-Agile Principles and SAFe? Want to earn your Scaled Agilist certification? December 14-15 in Charlotte
Our new lean-agile start up adventure. Training Partner Network. In partnership with Global Knowledge, we are your single source business and technology training partner. Agile, Oracle, Microsoft, PMP and more!
What Are You Reading?
Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst delivered an awesome keynote at Red Hat Agile Day that left us wanting to know more, so we've added his latest book "The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance" to our winter reading list. Mention @agile314 on Twitter to let us know what you're reading!

"If there's more honesty at the water cooler than in the conference rooms, you have a problem." 
-Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO.
Copyright © 2015 Cross Impact Coaching, All rights reserved.

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